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Saurian DevLog #19 – They’re Lethal at 8 Months

As with last DevLog, these later stages of pre-release development don’t provide much work that we can show off, but luckily Henry came through with some cool stuff for you. We’ve thrown in a few more screenshots as well to sweeten the deal.

For the last couple weeks I’ve been mostly concerned with integrating AI into the environment and working on setting up Dakotaraptor families.

Getting AI to work in a world the size of ours isn’t a trivial problem, largely due to the memory cost of storing navigation grids or meshes corresponding to such a large landmass in RAM. Luckily, Unity and the fantastic Apex AI libraries have made dealing with this issue much more easily manageable than it would have been in the past. Rather than making one large grid to represent walkable areas on the terrain, I replaced it with many smaller, interconnecting grids. After these grids are baked, we use a tool called WorldStreamer to load/unload the grids within a certain radius of the player’s position. Once the grids are taken care of, I spawn in the dinosaurs. Right now the spawning system is fairly simple — animals are chosen probabilistically based on data extrapolated from the frequency of fossils in Hell Creek and Bone Butte specifically. For now, they simply despawn when they get far enough from the player. Eventually we will be looking into persistent, off-screen simulation of AI to really make the ecosystem feel alive, but for now here’s some footage of AI inhabiting Hell Creek!

Second, I dusted off the cobwebs from my shelved work on family dynamics that I described waaaaay back in DevLog #1 to get our Dakotaraptor families working. While that DevLog described some of the behaviour between mutually-bonded family members in Pachycephalosaurus, Dakotaraptor have a much looser family structure — hatchlings will bond to their parents, but parents will not bond to their children or partners. This means that Dakotaraptor hatchlings will generally try to follow one of their parents while simultaneously searching for food and water, while their parents will mostly ignore them and go about their business. Players can rely on the presence of their parents to help defend from some certain threats, but the parents won’t hesitate to abandon them if they are threatened. At a certain age, the hatchlings will start to see their parents as threats, and their parents will see them as food, so they will part ways. Before that sad day arrives, though, there is much adorable baby raptor scampering to be had:

See you next DevLog, Saurian fans!

  • prithzilla on May 8, 2017

    when will full game release and what are min ram requierments
    i only have 4 gigs or ram will that be enough

    • HyperSpeed on May 22, 2017

      no one knows

  • NinjaGamer173 on May 5, 2017

    holy jesus i want this game so bad XD

  • DDP on May 3, 2017

    Since you guys are having trouble scrounging up stuff to put in these Dev logs may I suggest you do a sort of Q&A instead. I’m not sure if it is at all possible just wanted to make that suggestion, I’m sure all your fans would appreciate such an opportunity.

  • NublarRex on May 2, 2017

    *singing* Oooh thats soooo cooool so cooool. My computer can’t handle the rendering. Oh that’s soooo coool cooool! It’s so pretty! So pretty.

    • Blue on May 8, 2017

      OMG Markimoo!

  • Robert Borland on May 2, 2017

    Dakotaraptors; the family that preys together stays together.

  • Ana on April 28, 2017

    why do i receive the notifications about the same thing 2x every time? its a bit annoying. good to see progress tho, just wish each new email was about new things.

  • collard on April 28, 2017

    “Eventually we will be looking into persistent, off-screen simulation of AI to really make the ecosystem feel alive”. This game need that !

  • Isabelle on April 28, 2017

    How will courting work? Especially if your female?

  • Aster on April 28, 2017

    How come none of the dinosaurs seem to pay attention to you as you run past them?

  • Ynne on April 28, 2017

    Thanks for another very interesting update, I’m really looking forward to starting as a tiny dinosaur now. c:

  • Spinosaurus Aegyptiacus on April 28, 2017

    Looking excellent you lot πŸ™‚
    Can’t wait to hear more about this game.

  • Can't Wait on April 28, 2017

    Looks great so far, but I’m surprised the dakotaraptors don’t bob their heads slightly when they walk. It would make them appear so much more believable; right now their heads are just kind of stationary, even in high-speed pursuit. It looks very odd in the young dakotaraptors.

    • DarkShrimp on May 1, 2017

      Ok, i’m soory i’m french but i will try to explain my opinion:
      pigeon move their head like that because their eyes are on the side and they see better the environnment when they dont move, this is why they move their head as less as possible.
      but dakotaraptor is a predator, so its eyes are on front and it see world in 3D, like us.
      this is why we don’t need to move our head and, if you look at this someday, you’ll see that a lot of herbivore do this when walking. again sorry, I’m french

      • david on May 7, 2017

        Owls have frount facing eyis they bob there heads all the time its called triangulating all birds do it

  • Matthew Johnson on April 28, 2017

    Wow, looking real nice! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymouse on April 28, 2017

    Will there be stealth? That seems like a pretty major thing that should be included.

    • david on May 7, 2017

      Like in Skyrim? Just stop crouch and wait untill danger has passed and or pray is in reach

  • tumorhead on April 28, 2017

    I am SUPER EXCITED now!!! OH MAN!!! being one of the tiny baby raptors is going to be magical.

  • Kylie on April 28, 2017

    Exciting! A Shane about the Dino’s respawning at range, this makes it harder to make predictions or choices on navigation. For example you encounter a rex in an area, so you make a mental note to navigate around where the rex is until it moves on.

  • magpie on April 28, 2017


    You guys are doing such a great job. Being a Dakotaraptor on a beach at sunset is honestly all I ever really wanted from a dinosaur game. The environment is looking really beautiful. Keep it up!

  • Hunter1324 on April 27, 2017

    Great job so far, I really think I should upgrade my rig…

  • Me on April 27, 2017

    Hype meter overload, commencing self destruct.

  • Turtledragon on April 27, 2017

    Fantastic work as always! I can’t wait to play. πŸ™‚

  • Nathan on April 27, 2017

    I wonder if Dakotaraptor will be able to sit on branches like modern day birds (only bigger branches?)

  • mei long on April 27, 2017

    Oh my.

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