Saurian DevLog #9 – “You bred raptors?”
It is DevLog time again! This week we have raptor ontogeny, the science of dinosaur nutrition and a giant turtle concept.
This past week Tom, Bryan and I knuckled down and put together the final stretch of art assets that need to be created for the initial release. Item one on the list of priorities was getting the Dakotaraptor ontogeny done. Despite Henry’s milk related distractions I was able to complete the texture work over the weekend. Much work still left to be done, expect many more updates from me in the following dev logs. I’m a busy busy guy.
In the past couple weeks our programmers have been working hard on some important-but-not-particularly-devlog-suited progress, so this week will be a short update about one of the few, neat ways that we’ve tried to incorporate paleontological literature directly into our code. While many survival games have a simple “hunger” meter that depletes at some arbitrary rate, we wanted to make our system for dinosaur metabolism more complex, with simulated stomachs and digestion. Andrew Clarke, in his 2013 paper, described an algorithm for a hypothetical metabolic rate of both mesothermic carnivores and herbivores, which, with some correspondence with Clarke himself, I was able to translate into C# for use with our dinosaurs’ digestion system. It’s the type of detail a player will never be able to notice during gameplay, but we pride ourselves on basing our game on scientific literature whenever possible, even when it won’t be obvious to our players. Stay tuned for some more juicy programming tidbits in the coming weeks!
I’m now working on some of the smaller non-dinosaur, non-playable animals. This last week I have been doing concept artwork for the giant softshell turtle, Axestemys. This river turtle had a leathery carapace, with the “rim” being boneless. It’s crazy how large it was too: with a carapace covering well over a square meter of ground, it would be a quite a snack if you manage to get close enough through the mud to catch it. Oh, and I also re-touched Leptoceratops, now with 100% more patagium! If by any chance you have seen RJ tell him we miss him. Come back RJ, I promise I wont hit you again.