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Saurian DevLog #6

Above (left to right): Henry (sans moustache), RJ, Bryan, Erin and Jake.

This week was a special one as Jake, Henry and RJ travelled out to visit Bryan and Erin (and of course Gerry) at what has been dubbed The Saurian House. As this game is being developed by an international team communicating over the internet, this was the first time anyone other than Bryan and Erin had met each other in person. There was plenty of fun to be had playing VR, shooting Bryan’s many firearms and seeing Shin Godzilla.

Jake vs. Henry, the ultimate showdown.

There were plenty of zoological adventures to be had as well, playing with Gerry, Bryan’s Tegu and Erin’s innumerably large collection of snakes and lizards. Henry was even unfortunate enough to sustain a lizard bite, so he can add that to the bucket list. Additionally, the crew also took trips to the local zoo and to an impressive live raptor show, where they got to meet some of the modern world’s remaining dinosaurian predators.

Aplomado falcon at the raptor show.

Not to worry though, the trip was not all play, most of the time together at the house was spent having a big Saurian work get-together. With that, we’ll now get on with your regular scheduled DevLog, and I’ll let the guys show off some of what they worked on while they were together.

Henry and Erin work on Saurian while Jake plays with the Tegu.

Its been a long week of guns, emus, vicious reptile mood swings and various forms of male bonding, yet despite RJ’s pungent stench I managed to keep busy and got plenty done while doing my bid at the Saurian house. Some I can show and some will be revealed in due time. Aside from a fully realized Anatosaurus I also spent some time bringing our thescelo back up to standard. Its got a new sculpt that reflects more published data and a sexy new PBR paint job so that it shines in the sun like its supposed to. This will be one of the more common dinosaurs foraging around Hell Creek so its important it looks good, right? Literally flying back today, its been a fun and oddly productive 10 days. Hopefully Saurian dev congregations like this will be a bit more common in the future.

Female Anatosaurus game-ready model.

Thescelosaurus game-ready model.

During the past few weeks I’ve been fighting a battle against drawing the Pachycephalosaurus ontogeny. Since the last update I had to rework the head of the adult, again. Doing this forced me into setting up the horns into separate layers so I could move them down the line into the younger stages as each stage retains most of the same head ornaments. This was the worst, Pachycephalosaurus is almost certainly the hardest dinosaur to draw right, its dumb. Also I went to visit the Saurian house and Henry gave me his moustache.

Pachycephalosaurus ontogeny by RJ Palmer.

I finished the Anatosaurus rig shortly after the last DevLog and went ahead with a full locomotion series, it now walks, trots, runs and sprints at up to 18.26 MPH/29.28 KPH. Then we tested it out in-engine using my HTC Vive. Jake, Henry, Erin and myself can all confirm a 15 meter Anatosaurus is absolutely enormous when seen ‘in person’. We’re also working on Quetzalcoatlus sp, it’s been retopologized and Jake is sitting on my couch painting it as I type this.

And that is it for this week. RJ has already flown home, Jake and Henry fly out today. It will then be back to our regular workflow for everyone and we’ll show you what that brings on the next DevLog!

  • prashanth on June 29, 2017

    i know i am not an expert,but i thought that an adult Pachycephalosaurus had no spikes on the back of its head…
    the spikes are present in only juvenile and sub-adult…
    Then again i am not an expert

  • Estemmenosuchus on October 31, 2016

    Is that what I think it is? Jake’s wearing a Saurian t-shirt?

  • Anonymous on October 30, 2016

    Could dromeosaurs actually use WAIR? I have read claims that they could not get their arms/wings high enough, and that their arms/wings were not strong enough. Thoughts?

  • Anonymous on October 30, 2016

    I read that theropod femurs could not rotate past 90 degrees. Is this only for theropods, or for all dinosaurs? Because it does not seem very good for quadrupeds.

  • Zizzywizzywizard on October 29, 2016

    I can’t wait for this game to come out!

  • Kim on October 28, 2016

    So excited for this game. It looks so great and I love how attentive the dev Team is with their work and keeping us up to date!

  • CyborgIguana on October 28, 2016

    I’m truly amazed by the progress you guys are making, you should all be proud of everything you continue to accomplish. BTW if I may politely ask a harmless question, I know you guys have some logic behind neglecting to include fleshy “cheeks” on your ornithopod and marginocephalian models, but could you remind me what that was exactly? Because maybe I’m just not used to them, but something about cheekless ornithischians just looks a bit strange to me. Anyway, take care you guys, can’t wait to see what the next dev log brings!

    • Daniel Goitom on November 1, 2016

      From what I’ve understood there is no reason to believe they had these fleshy cheeks since no skinimpressions suggest this nor do no modern reptiles or birds possess these nor did any dinosaurs (with the exception of hadrosaurs) have the ability of side-motion in their cheeks like mammals.

  • Kieran on October 28, 2016

    I have a question. Will there be any AI dinosaurs in the final version of the game?

    • Garrus on October 29, 2016

      Our primary focus is singleplayer. So yes, there will be plenty of AI dinosaurs wandering around. Outside of multiplayer, which I must emphasize was a stretch goal, ALL other dinosaurs you encounter will be AI. As for multiplayer, we’re leaning in the direction of smaller servers. There will still be plenty of AI entities.

    • CyborgIguana on October 29, 2016

      Every dinosaur aside from the player character will be AI.

    • Nikolai Raevsky on October 30, 2016

      Saurian is predominantly a single player experience, so yes. Even in the multiplayer mode, there will still be AI dinosaurs. There will even be AI dinosaurs in Early Access.

  • Mamenchi on October 28, 2016

    I was wondering if it is possible to see some “skin stretching” in the models. After seeing Anatosaurus, I realized that the animal moves very well, but its skin does not make any wrinkles, stretches or stuff like that ( think about a monitor lizard or a turtle when it’s walking ). Is this feature going to be implemented in the final version of the animals?

    • Garrus on October 28, 2016

      This requires some explanation of texturing, modeling, and animating. What you see there is originally all sculpted onto the base model- see our blog post on Anatosaurus for an example. This is then retopologized, which basically brings the detail that was sculpted on as part of a ground texture for a lower-polygon model. This is then painted, to give the complete model you saw in the video. This is a necessity, as the original model is waaaay too high poly to be practically used in a game. Saurian would have higher system requirements than Crysis combined with Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt otherwise.

      As for rigging and animating, see the last dev log for Anatosaurus’s rigging. The rigging, or skeleton, determines all the movement which can occur in the model. Each element of the rigging is known as a “bone”, and they serve much the same purpose as actual bones in this regard.

      So every stretch, wrinkle, etc. would have to be independently animated. And these would not be reflected in the surface texture, which would become “stretched”. So, not likely. It would be time consuming, and might break immersion rather enhance it.

  • Dinochuck on October 28, 2016

    What are the system requirements for Saurian?

    • Garrus on October 28, 2016

      We do not yet know at this time. We will announce the system requirements as soon as we are able.

      • Broken Matrix on October 28, 2016

        PLEASE add graphics settings I dont have a very good computer and I donated to get the game.

        • Garrus on October 28, 2016

          We want as many people to be able to play Saurian as possible.

  • Garrus on October 28, 2016

    Just heading off questions about the Pachy: Yes, it has longer horns than we depicted it with before. No, we cannot explain why; you’ll need to Wait For The Paper.

  • Ky on October 28, 2016

    Wow that looks incredible. That VR video made me remember Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter when you could go into the spectator mode and just walk around observing the dinosaurs. Is there any possibility that this or something like it might make it into the final game?

    • Anonymous on October 29, 2016

      I think the kickstarter page mentioned a spectator mode.

  • nonavian on October 27, 2016

    This looks awesome! The Pachy stages look amazing, I watched y’all stream it and simultaneously worked on my own dinosaur Halloween costume… Very excited for Anatosauus/Thescelo to be in game as well. =) You’re all doing awesome work!

  • Greg on October 27, 2016

    Glad you guys are taking a break. You deserve it, and it often recharges you so you can get back into it at better energy levels. Really look forward to the game, it’s going to be awesome from what I’ve read so far!

  • Andrew H on October 27, 2016

    One thing that’s really struck me is how willing the team is to revise models, etc. based on new data. Will this be continued after the game is released via patches or similar measures?

    • Garrus on October 28, 2016

      There will be a point where we’ll have to move on. As long as we are in development, however, that is indeed the case.

  • Anonymous on October 27, 2016

    Great job! My only concern is about the lower jaw of Thescelosaurus. It looks like the teeth are sticking out of the beak (or is that just bald skin?) because I thought teeth could not grown out of a beak.
    Also I heard some things about Dakotaraptor.
    1) That since it is more adapted to running than other dromeosaurs, it could not grip as well, so would not be as good at restraining prey with its talons.
    2) That it’s arms/wings were better for grabbing than flapping
    3) That the large pads on the undersides of dromeosaur toes would hinder raptor prey restraint
    Thoughts on these?
    Also I read that T.bataar may have had a Jacobson’s/Vomeronasal Organ. Have you heard of this? If so, would the T.rex use it? How so? Like a snake (sticking tongue out)? Or maybe like a mammal?
    Thanks. Please answer my questions when you can. Thanks for all the great work and I hope I am not annoying you.

    • Garrus on October 28, 2016

      Heyo, your local friendly mod dropping by. Sounds like you’ve been reading Duane Nash’s Antedilluvian Salad.

      As regards Thescelo, look closely and you’re notice the upper beak is very, very short. This results in teeth further forward than on the lower jaw. It’s a bit of an odd duck.

      As regards Duane Nahs’s ideas: This was a HEAVY animal as an adult. It’s own body weight contributed to restraining prey. It could afford to loose some of its gripping power, and the giant claw helps compensate.

      Dromaeosaur fingers are actually rather inflexible, and at least two of them may have been partially linked by skin. Not good for grabbity grab. Using them to beat something up is still on the table, though… as anyone who has had a closer encounter with an angry goose or swan than they bargained for could tell you.

      As for the toe pads, IIRC that was specifically regarding Tyrannosaurus rex in his latest blog post. A creature that was far, far, FAR heavier than Dakotaraptor. In comparison to the ostrich analogy, I offer you the majestic emu, whose pads do not obstruct its claws. Alternately, I offer you the cassowary, which even has a hypertrophied claw of its own!

      And sources on the Jacobson’s organ?

      • Anonymous on October 29, 2016

        I first read about the Jacobson’s Organ from the Wikipedia article on Tarbosaurus. In the palaeobiology section under brain structure.

    • Mitchell Hall on October 28, 2016

      I could answer some of your questions for them if you like, though they might actually give you the full detailed answer after the fact and make me look foolish.

      Primarily, an animal that is extra-ordinarily fast, cannot hold that pace for long, so, Dakotaraptor would need some kind of very effective restraint, which somewhat covers your first question.

      The fact that it’s arms were better at grasping than flapping was quite possibly true, since most dinosaurs, despite how bird like they were, didn’t have plenty of the muscles that are often related to the flapping motions.

      As for your third question, If the toe pads were THAT large, natural selection would favor those with either A. More moderately sized toe pads, Or B. More range of motion and longer toe bones in the sickle claw.

  • Dylan on October 27, 2016

    I’m excited as usual! Truly a dev team that is delivering. So looking forward to the realistic dinosaur game I’ve always wanted.

  • lfirebrain on October 27, 2016

    the in game graphics look amazing, I’m so pumped for this game.

  • Hunter1324 on October 27, 2016

    Amazing updates.

    I hope the development continues smoothly.

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