Saurian DevLog #13 – So-phisticated Techniques
This week we’ve got and update from Erin and I on map work, an early demonstration of some AI behaviours from Henry and Bryan has animated just the cutest little fluffy dinosaur I’ve ever seen.
During the last two weeks I’ve got the art-book text done and proof-read, and taken necessary steps to begin getting that put together. This is an exciting step as it is the last Kickstarter reward in need of completing. However, as it still requires some important artwork, it is not done just yet. Since then, alongside providing palaeo-consultancy to the team, I’ve begun on the prep-work required to get the game world set up for early access. Erin has made considerable strides on this already, so at this point I have been familiarising myself with the various tools (predominantly the Unity plugin Terrain Composer 2) so that once we have the final versions of all the plants from Jake and Chris L. all we need to do is plug them in and hit the “go” button to get the initial map set up. Below, and at the top of the post you can see some screenshots I have taken in a test scene I set up for an example of roughly how I’d like the environment to look in certain important areas of the map. The central section of the site on which our game is based was a long billabong surrounded by groves of horsetails within a great cypress forest. This is what I have attempted to recreate here. The screenshots are taken from the perspective of the player Dakotaraptor. The final map obviously won’t look exactly like this, some key components are missing (water plants, cypress knees) and we’ll have to play with density based on performance. We’d like as many people as possible to be able to run the game as possible, but thankfully we’ve gotten some good results with that already.
Since you last heard from the programming team, we’ve been busy with work that’s either a) not ready to be shown yet or b) not very interesting to read about unless you’re a game developer. As far as AI goes, one of my focuses has been steadily fixing bugs, balancing, and fleshing out the behavior for the animals. This is a very time consuming, often frustrating process — but all the frustration is outweighed by how awesome it is to see the dinosaurs doing their thing in the end. This week, I wanted to share a couple scenes I threw together, showcasing some new dromaeosaur hunting techniques, among other things.
Baby Dakotaraptor is fed with the hopes and dreams of orphans. It goes fast.
We are currently unsure of the final speed of the animation for the Dakotaraptor hatchling, the 100% & 90% variants seen in this video are probably too fast. We’ve sent it off to one of our consultant palaeontologists for his opinion on the subject.