Welcome to September’s development update!
It’s been a big month here at Prehistoric Kingdom. In today’s post we’ll be recapping some important events that occurred in September as well as detailing some of our future plans. Without further ado, let’s get straight into it!
Earlier in the month we streamed footage of the PAX build over on our Twitch channel - giving us the opportunity to speak directly to the community and discuss future content.
One of our key points discussed during the livestream was the future of Prehistoric Kingdom and what’s left to do before moving onto the next phase. Announcing new features such as a dedicated moat tool and enhanced modular building, you can find the core slides from the stream below.
Additional information discussed during the stream can be found here.
Development during September was a little more relaxed after the weeks spent preparing the game for PAX West and the livestream. We took some small much-needed breaks, but the show must go on.
As detailed above, we’re going to start laying the groundwork for our modular building system in October. Much like the project, our plans for modular construction have expanded greatly and once finished should offer a selection of tools that are extremely easy to work with.
In terms of general development, we’ve mainly been addressing issues relayed to us from PAX and getting the first pre-alpha into the hands of our generous VIP backers as well as making the game look prettier. We’re currently investing some new issues that will be fixed in an internal patch soon but despite some bugs, the entire team has been humbled by the overwhelmingly positive reception to early footage.
Saving & Loading
Saving and loading were added this month so that players can now return to their parks at a later date! Thankfully, it works far better than the demo’s iteration and should be more immune to strange issues like missing data or corruption with game updates. Of course, we’ll need to see how it plays in the future, but so far everything’s been working fine!
Shortly after PAX we spent a few days developing our own screenshot mode to give early players an additional thing to do as well as help the team more easily create new species spotlights and promotional material.
Compared to some of the other screenshot solutions available on the market, we decided to develop our own system as it allows for easier customisation in addition to better accessibility for a variety of graphics cards since it’s built directly into the game.
While it was an extremely easy feature to implement, it’s added a lot of replayability to the game as sharing paddock builds and pretty scenery has never been easier. Depth of field, image effects, filters, camera field of view and more can all be changed and utilised by players to get the perfect shot. And yes, since we include the ability to natively change the timescale we’re expecting some awesome player-made documentaries to come out of this!
In the future we'll be adding support for light direction and dynamic resolution so players can take high-resolution images!
This month’s species spotlights featured an interesting array of cuddly and not-so-cuddly creatures as we begin to close up with our three-star animals.
As some of you may have noticed in our Milestones graphic, Nathan expanded our fence list beyond our expectations for Pre-Alpha 1! With over 30 fences in the game, there’s a lot of variety to select from when building your Prehistoric Kingdom. Take a look at some of our brand new creations!
Continuing the trend of improving the old, the restaurant has been massively improved with higher fidelity textures and a new model. Like the old iteration, we’ve kept the top floor interior visible. However, now it’s far more detailed and even includes a fluorescent Crowny light!
Due to needing to address issues with the PAX build and having to make constant tweaks in preparation for our VIP’s and YouTubers, there will be no animation reel this month as we didn’t have the time to squeeze it in.
Tune in next month for a new animation reel!
Although on the larger side of our small herbivores, the Dryosaurus chirps and chitters with its almost-chittering like calls. Byron’s completely remade our favourite Morrison ornithopod to retain its sound identity from the demo with a brand new mix and enhanced vocal quality.
Please enjoy the Dryosaurus sound update!
In the realm of music, Byron’s been working on a new breakout track for the game titled ‘Run’. It’s not finished yet but we wanted to give everyone a little sneak peek at what’s to come.
Cindy gave two of our Mammoth Steppe friends a fantastic remake this month with completely overhauled textures and big anatomical improvements from Mau. We’re proud to do mammals justice even when against the dozens of dinosaurs available in the game and hopefully, the results speak for themselves.
Mammals weren’t the only things to receive tweaks, however! Although we won’t be updating its textures, Baryonyx had some troublesome anatomy that we wanted to take a closer look at as it’s one of the first animals we made post-Kickstarter. With some tweaks to size and body proportions thanks to more available information, England’s fishy forager is now at its true size and features a more accurate silhouette.
Continuing where we left off from last month’s update, we’ll be discussing staff specialization and its implications in park management.
As previously established, all three staff types have their own skill types relating to their role in the park. The more times a staff member completes a specific skill (e.g. cleaning or refilling a feeder), they’ll gain a skill point and complete that task faster.
Once the keeper has maxed out their skill level in a specific area, they’ll be able to complete that task twice as fast - but how does specialization come into this?
By paying a training fee, players can promote staff members into only completing tasks relating to one of their skills in order to more efficiently manage their zoos when generalised staff simply isn’t cutting it anymore.
Now that a staff member has been specialized, they have the potential to work almost six times as fast for that specific role upon maxing out their skill level.
Although it’ll take longer for them to improve their level since they’re performing a stricter range of tasks, the long term benefits of investing in this system are highly recommended for efficient park management.
Once a specialized staff member has maxed out their skill level, they’ll gain a special perk offering various benefits depending on their job type and chosen specialization.
Example of perks available from a staff type's chosen skill specialization.
These perks offer passive abilities that will greatly reward players for their time investment and can help to cut back on park management stress or make things like animal capturing easier.
Whilst specialization isn’t absolutely required to run your park, players seeking more management opportunities should be able to enjoy experimenting with this system to provide new and diverse results. Tune into October’s update for the next instalment of staff management; needs and benefits!
Since our Kickstarter VIP’s have received their first early preview, check out some of their park creations and screenshots!
Created by AD.
Created by AD.
Created by Silver.
Created by Silver.
Lastly, please enjoy some builds from one of our developers!
Thank you for reading September’s Devlog!
It’s been a crazy month for impressions and feedback from the community. We’re humbled by the response from those who have gotten to play it and are dedicated to improving Prehistoric Kingdom where we can! October holds a myriad of improvements and core additions that we’ve all been waiting for, so we’ll see you all again next month!
- The PK Team