Welcome to December’s development update!
Though the holiday season has now just passed there are quite a few goodies to discuss and showcase in this month’s DevLog! With a handful of artistic treats and programming gifts, the team's been hard at work spreading festive joy to all the good little critters of Prehistoric Kingdom in time for the new year.
The team’s been up to a lot of great stuff during December whilst tackling the usual engine headaches. Apart from addressing issues with the modular grid, support for new materials has begun to work its way into the game thanks to Mau’s automated setup procedures and Nathan’s exceptional patience in texturing new pieces.
In terms of keeping the community up to date, we’re looking to overhaul our milestones chart soon to better reflect what’s being worked on and where development priorities sit in a more fluid manner - something that the previous design failed to reflect. We hope to have more news on that available soon, so stay tuned!
Still a work in progress, Matt’s been developing new functionality for the path system; elevation! Slopes galore, elevated paths take your guests to discover your park from a new perspective.
Work in progress.
Continuing with polish and eventually finishing elevated paths, they’ll receive support for edge railings to make them appear more grounded. Once a raised path hits a certain angle, they’ll automatically become stairs to better suit the slope.
Although fairly rudimentary in appearance at this stage, we are certain that many of you creative builders have already begun to think of new walkway design ideas for your future parks!
Modular Building: Switching Materials
We’ve implemented a small texture gallery window to help make texture, color and theme switching quick and painless when selecting and working with various modular objects.
By keeping wall and roof textures contained to their own panel, materials are comfortably accessible at any time while designing - leaving more space in the object selection menu for a huge pile of pieces.
Players will be able to select areas of their custom buildings and effortlessly change textures without having to rebuild the structure, allowing for easy design switching to see how your building looks in a completely different style.
Terrain Painting Updates
Applying a much softer edge to the affected areas, terrain painting has been updated! Lower intensities are far more usable while offering better control over terrain blending and adding an improved sense of polish to the system.
As seen above, the recent changes provide a vast degree of subtlety that simply did not exist prior due to the hard delineation between surfaces. Smoothing it out resulted in hand-painted areas looking far more natural.
Animal Shader Update
Acting as one of the most visually important parts of the game, it’s imperative that we continue to improve the visual fidelity and shader functionality for animals in-game.
To keep animal shading consistent across all times of day, we’ve added occlusion maps to create definition on our creatures regardless of shading or the position of the sun.
Foliage Shader Update
Earlier in the month, we upgraded our foliage shader to support translucency, enabling sunlight to realistically pass through leaves where appropriate. Combined with Nathan’s new techniques for creating plants, our foliage is about to start looking a whole lot better.
Our most recent Kapok tree model and shader.
Kapoks are now properly shaded from all angles.
While the new year begins we’ll be working hard on environmental updates alongside core features to get both flora and terrain textures to a better state across a number of climates.
Closing in on the completion of our species spotlights with the introduction of five-star animals, fan favourites Parasaurolophus and Utahraptor received their in-game debut - complete with a design overhaul!
User Interface Update
Almost four and a half months out from PAX West, we’ve been making changes to streamline the user experience and bring improvements to both the interface and game design where necessary.
Based on usability feedback, Byron redesigned the landscaping panel to feature an enhanced layout, cleaner visuals and superior button styles that will be applied to the rest of the UI in order to help bring better consistency where it may have been lacking prior.
The New Design.
The Four Panels: Painting, Foliage, Water and Terrain.
Most reminiscent of ratites like emus or ostriches, Gallimimus is a classically bird-like dinosaur featuring feathers and a lengthy stride. Animated by Mau, this chicken mimic behaves similarly to its modern-day counterparts.
The third-largest ceratopsian in Prehistoric Kingdom, Styracosaurus is best known for its large nasal horn and impressive frill. Sharing an ecosystem with the fearsome Gorgosaurus, this defensive dinosaur treads confidently whilst boasting its intimidating appearance.
Delightfully croaky and ready to hiss, Byron’s Guanlong takes inspiration from a variety of birds and ground animals to bring its raspy character to life. Running around with a group of up to four individuals, this crested critter is one tropical bird you don’t want a bite from!
Alongside creature vocals, we’ve also taken the time to begin expanding our custom sound and foley library to truly bring these animals back to life. From swarms of flies to the subtle grunts and hisses of a feasting dinosaur, it’s the tiny details that help flesh out the believability of our animal roster.
Now that there’s a two-week gap between species spotlights, we’ve had a lot more breathing room when it comes to redesigns and overhauling animals. Featuring a design from Lis each, Cindy remade the beloved Parasaurolophus and Utahraptor with big improvements all around.
Our Discord community went crazy with fan designs this month, but there were simply too many for us to pick! Please enjoy a selection of some of our favourite concepts created in December.
Created by CEO of yourself.
Created by Velociboy.
Created by Medenadragon.
Created by Medenadragon.
Thank you for reading December’s Devlog!
With elevated paths working in their current state, the next goal of ours is to improve them in addition to adding new components to the modular system such as advanced editing to manipulate objects using a 3D gizmo.
Until next time!
- The PK Team