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Saurian DevLog #11 – Christmas Gerry

Welcome back for 2017! Undoubtedly this will be a huge year for Saurian, release year!
We hope that all our fans had a great holiday period, but our team was still hard at work through this time, pushing towards our intended Q1 Early Access release.

Chris L.
One of the bigger things I’ve accomplished in the last month or so is to create and finalize Hell Creek’s terrain. We’ve had a temporary terrain in for a while so everyone could work and test their stuff, but now it’s time for the real thing. Internal testing indicates it’s working well.

Section of raw heightmap by Chris Lomaka.

Some of our trees will have quite large trunks and extensive root systems, and we’ve done some non-flashy tests (boxes going into planes) of the tech, but I wanted to check out what it would look like with something resembling a final asset.

On the programming side, we combined our continued efforts and focused on managing the missing milestones for the initial release. We have come a long way but there are a few tasks yet left to tackle! One of the tasks we were heavily occupied with recently was building the framework and foundation for controlling the development of an animal throughout the course of its ontogeny. In short, ontogeny describes the sequential development of an individual organism over the progression of its lifetime. In Saurian, animals are part of a highly complex simulation and ultimately composed from a substantial variety of components. As such, we needed systems capable of managing the progressive development in both the backend (the data and logic that make up and drive an animal) and the view or frontend (the model, materials and animations that shape an animal). However, I was very adamant about designing the systems in ways to facilitate a high degree in reusability of our components. My intention was to replace only the parts of the animal that compose the frontend – keeping the backend and its data intact over the entire lifetime of an individual animal. This not only allows us to keep the moving parts to a minimum, but also promotes a higher degree of simulation while keeping the true, uninterrupted progression of an animal throughout all stages of ontogeny, including the fine variations caused by the sum of decisions made over the course of its lifetime. Consequently, this required a major refactoring work on our animal “prefabs” (a reusable object that acts as a prototype for creating new instances of said object) as we adopted a setup that follows the paradigm of separation of concerns, partitioning the prefab into parts of maintained persistence (kept intact throughout changes of ontogenetic growth stages) and parts of limited longevity that eventually end up being replaced upon reaching its succeeding ontogenetic stage.

On the backend side, the central system responsible for dealing with the progressive development of an animal’s data is Biota. As briefly described in a previous DevLog by Henry, Biota is capable of scaling individual attributes and properties of an animal by a variety of aspects over the course of its lifetime. This allows us to design how certain properties of an animal change as it reaches maturity. The affected properties can range from simple attributes like fitness, strength and resilience to affecting how AI behaves and perceives its world.

As the time of writing, we are still finalizing the first iteration of the systems responsible for managing ontogeny but it is already looking very promising and we cannot wait to share more about it in the coming year!

This past week I’ve done nothing but plants. Plants Plants Plants and Plants. I had something more exciting to showcase, but the powers that be (Tom) didn’t want to feature it this week. Oh well, I guess you’ll just have to deal with more boring plants. Sticky Australians. I’ve got the trees Platanites, Erlingdorfia, “Zizyphus” fibrillosus, and the ground plants Osmundaceae, Humulus, Zingiberopsis and Bisonia done. I’m a busy bee. Buzz buzz.

Gerry continued his typical work of being a dinosaur, but was forced to compensate for the cold american winter with a new fashion accessory.

  • Anderson on February 18, 2017

    Really incredible, a work of art !!!
    I would like to know if it will be sold at STEAM, and buying directly from the Sauriam website, I only receive content from the project or the game as soon as it gets warm!

  • Rickey Landry on January 30, 2017

    this game is going to be awesome, i want to play it rn so bad xD can someone give me a date for when they plan to put it in early access?

  • Rickey Landry on January 30, 2017

    i really want to know wehn this game will come to early access 😀 im so pumped for this game

  • Tyrannotitan on January 29, 2017

    Gerry the flightless sky doggo does a cold

  • david on January 27, 2017

    Id hate to say this but i dont think 2-4 kilometers is even big enough to be considered an open world map red dead redemptions map was over 30 kilometers thats a huge map i love dinosaurs but i want room to roam when i buy the game off steam and i really want to leave a positive review

  • Wolfyjewl1126 on January 23, 2017


    I’m really hyped for this honestly,it looks amazing so far!!

  • Nicolas on January 21, 2017

    Plz make Anatosaurus annectens one day playable after u are finished with the map and the core system ?! 😉

    • Lmao on January 31, 2017

      They won’t.
      The only playable caracthers are going to be dakotaraptor,tyranosaurus,dakotaraptor,pachycephalosaurus,anzu and ankylosaurus.

  • Thomas on January 16, 2017

    Will you make it for tomorrow (The first release date)

  • InfernoZola on January 15, 2017

    I have a genuine question. Down the line, I mean like a year or two in the future, will more maps and ecosystems be added? This is, of course, depending on success.

    Personally I’d love to be able to play in an Argentinian ecosystem. Gotta love Carnotaurus.

    • NublarRex on January 17, 2017

      It’s taking them a long time to just research this environment mostly fot plantlife so if there is a new ecosystem it would likely (I’m not a dev I don’t wanna put words in their mouths) be a separate game or paid DLC, but I’m not sure.

      • InfernoZola on January 19, 2017

        Ah, I don’t mind if it’s Paid-DLC. Something that big would require it for them to make a good profit. I was wondering about the possibility.

    • Paleosir on January 18, 2017

      They are currently focussing on Hell Creek, and it’s not certain if a sequel will be made, however, for possible sequels they miiiiight make the devs have referred to the Niobrara formation.

      • InfernoZola on January 19, 2017

        That may come with certain issues that the devs came up with when speaking about Pterosaurs. They mentioned that the map would have to be too extensive for something fast moving. As well as that, there was something about the fact that they wanted swimming/flying to seem real, could be difficult when it comes to currents and such.

        Best to wait and see.

  • william j on January 15, 2017

    hi saurian I’m soooooo exited when this is an early access game this will be the best dino survival game in history(my opinion)

  • andreas on January 15, 2017

    Hi! I’ve wondered, when you guys say “Final Game” I mean that in the final game it’s gonna be 6 dinos does that mean that it’s not gonna be more playable dinos than 6 dinos? Also I think, I can be uncorrect sorry if I am, but I think somewhere you guys acctually said “Eventually” like you meant “Perhaps/maybe” we add more dinos. I know it would take you guys such a long time to make a new dino be playable because you gotta research on it and, then make the designs as good as the other dinos. But my question is simply… is there gonna be more than 6 dinos? Or do you guys just have no idea yet? 🙂

  • Joseph Lopez on January 15, 2017

    Saurian does their devlogs every week? or two weeks?

    • Anthony Campins on January 19, 2017

      Every two weeks on Thursdays. So January 19 is the next DevLog.

  • juckthebuck on January 13, 2017

    behind gerry is a duck


  • Dyro on January 11, 2017

    Why isn’t there a Paypal option in the store?..

  • NublarRex on January 10, 2017

    I like that the map is not randomly generated so players can make maps to show where the water is as well as good grazing and hunting grounds.

  • San on January 8, 2017

    I hope one day, Saurian will be released on PS4 platform 🙂 (and worldwide, for European fans 😀 !)

    • DarkEnder64 on January 9, 2017

      Yes! And on xbox One too!

      • NublarRex on January 10, 2017

        There is talk of a console port however that will be waaaaaaay down the line

  • Wolff Jaw on January 8, 2017

    Thanks guys! It’s looking great! 😀 Especially the plants, lol!

  • Cookie on January 8, 2017

    Hello is there some way I can pre-order this game without credit card? :/ cause I dont have one.

  • MD on January 8, 2017

    I love that so much detail is put into the plants… I’ll never be bored of plant updates~

  • slimeywoodchip on January 7, 2017

    I’ll be sure to stare intently at the foliage when we get to test saurian 🙂

  • Henry Ford on January 6, 2017

    Re plants. Ok I am chair of collections for a small uk museum, the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, and I used to be a plant population biologist, and I was nearly a paleobotanist, and I currently manage an ecological trait database. I modelled plant growth years ago and am reviving these programmes ( in simula….. yup, it still exists…….. ). So my comment is this. Bloody welll done. 🙂 my question is have you simulated the plants, or drawn them. That is to say have you used L- systems with a suite of parameters for each plant to produce representations at different sizes, or did you actually simulate the pattern of growth . I shall have to catch up with my paleobotanical past. I am looking forward to the finished product very much. And anyone who calls plants ” such mundane things” deserves to to be hunted down by a pack of Dino predators and nibbled till they realise the errors of their ways… 🙂

  • Matthew Haynes on January 6, 2017

    Excellent birthday present here guys. Cool as always

  • J Lo on January 6, 2017

    Next devlog will be awesome they said
    Worth the wait they said
    [ The landscape was pretty cooland so was the plants. I just expected something a little different.

    • Garrus on January 6, 2017

      You might find it interesting to know that the better chunk of that map you are seeing is a one to one reproduction of what Bone Butte looked like 66 MYA. It’s as close as we can make it without going into a time machine and surveying the landscape back then.

      • J Lo on January 6, 2017

        Really? that is truly amazing. Here i thought this wasn’t a cool devlog.

        Thank you for the info!.

    • Chris on January 6, 2017

      I kinda liked the programming bit. I understand things like code, variables, parameters, and AI, so I found it an enjoyable read. 🙂

    • slimeywoodchip on January 7, 2017

      maybe the cool thing was Gerry? Who knows

      (this is a complicated game, and there will be difficulties, but hopefully the next log will be better)

  • Thisguywhoisqueastioningwhyyouhaveanaustralianbirdexposedinwinterwhenitsnaturalhabibathassnow on January 6, 2017

    Gerry is basically the king of this game and project, He is a dinosaur that has become sentient enough to type messages, and wear SCARFS!

  • James on January 6, 2017

    Walk the dinosaur Gerry! And can’t wait to see what the Saurian team has to offer for us.

  • TheRaptorMovies on January 6, 2017

    YAY! These updates are more exciting every update! (Did that make sense?) Thank you! amazing work!

  • NathB$ on January 5, 2017

    Gerry’s first devlog!

  • Lehmannmo on January 5, 2017

    Will there also be fish in the water? And what about marine predators for the Western Interior Seaway? I know that Mosasaurus will be added, but are there plans for more marine animals that will habitat the ocean?

    • Unknownasaurus on January 6, 2017

      The mosasaurus is more so of going to be the border guard. And not really much else.

    • Garrus on January 6, 2017

      Fish are something that isn’t going to be coming for a long time. None of the playable animals are suited to a semi aquatic lifestyle, and for the most part I think you will find that fish will be out of sight, out of mind. Mosasaurus hoffmani is basically a glorified border guard.

  • ty on January 5, 2017

    GERRY 😍😍😍😍

    • ty on January 5, 2017


  • Sam on January 5, 2017

    Oh gosh! Oh gosh! Oh gosh! It’s looking fantastic! So happy I’m getting the early access thing!

  • Garrus on January 5, 2017

    Alright Kickstarter folks, I told you Gerry wanted a scarf, and he got one. 😉

  • Raptorfarian on January 5, 2017

    Christmas Gerry is overwhelmingly adorable.

  • KlarVyvern on January 5, 2017

    Woah, Gerry is really putting in some work. Be careful so that he doesn’t have to carry the team!

    Also, the amount of detail going into such mundane things as plants is fascinating. It really makes a difference.

  • slimeywoodchip on January 5, 2017

    Gerry, you look quite stylish!

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