Welcome to March’s development update!
There’s much to discuss in this month’s devlog for Prehistoric Kingdom: featuring new progress shots, concept art, animations and audio previews!
Despite current conditions around the world, progress goes well. The team’s trying to stay as healthy as possible and work where we can on Prehistoric Kingdom.
In the background, our programmers have been working on optimization, paths, water painting and modular building. Providing better solidarity within the codebase is a considerable focus for performance at the moment in order to maximise efficiency and code structure.
One area the project has been lacking in is how we handle the in-game rendering of fur and fluffy feathers. As a side task to water painting, Seth spent a few days in March creating a highly flexible custom-built fur shader for our animals!
As you can see below, this has a huge impact on the final rendering result of creatures:
Yes, the fur moves in the wind!
This new geometry based shading has already been seamlessly integrated into our existing animal technology, offering great visual fidelity alongside fantastic optimization techniques to help keep framerates high. For lower-end hardware, we’ll add quality options to outright disable fur just in case!
Animals such as Smilodon will feature varying lengths of fur depending on which species have been bred, giving S. fatalis a longer coat, for example.
Modular Building System
Mau continued work on the modular building system in March, bringing a lot of its most necessary functions to completion.
As described in prior development updates, players can select multiple wall or roof pieces and change their texture to a unified color or material. This feature is a huge gamechanger for the creative builders out there as it allows for rapid experimentation with various design combinations.
We’ve also been finishing up the remaining pieces of core functionality by implementing group merging and object duplication! Although they’re expected parts of a modular building system, it’s an area we hadn’t gotten around to yet.
Game Optimization & Water Painting Status
Another issue we’ve targeted over the past month has been performance and general optimization. With Seth helping out, we’re working on getting large FPS improvements across the board - searching for potentially troublesome areas under the hood that could use some code reworking or adjustments to speed up processing.
Part of this optimization process has been cleaning up the backend side of terraforming to make way for water painting. Since terrain editing has some existing APIs already built into the engine, part of our challenge is keeping those components performant whilst integrating our own methods within that. Now that we have an extra programmer to handle things like this, Matt and Mau are able to continue working on other parts of the project. Stay tuned for more water painting news!
Paraceratherium and Stegosaurus took the spotlight this month as some of the last animals to be revealed. With forty-seven down, there’s only three left to go!
Fence Concept Art & Gameplay Adjustments
For the past few months, a small part of the team’s been at work reorganising and cleaning up certain gameplay systems that felt bloated or messy, making areas of the game far clearer as a result.
From a visual standpoint, we noticed that our fence designs came across as inconsistent in how they scale against both security rating and the park’s aesthetic. Each fence material set now has three distinct height variants to work better with gameplay progression:
- Wood, stone and glass: 1m, 2.5m, 4m.
- Metal: 2.5m, 4m, 6m.
By putting more emphasis into materials, we’re able to squish security requirements and incorporate height as a reliable condition now that there’s consistency. With fewer fence assets to produce, we’re allowing players to recolor their fences from up to three presets per material type.
Please take a look at a handful of our new designs below!
Decorative fences will now be modular pieces due to these changes.
Taking things a step further, gates will now follow a homogenized style in order to fit in with the unified height measurements across fencing. This change reduces the workload for future additions and means we can create the assets at a much higher quality!
At launch, fences and amenities will be listed under the Modern theme - a unified style that defines Prehistoric Kingdom as a brand in-universe. Because of this, you’ll also be seeing improvements to various structure designs in the coming months.
Since the art team are handling these changes, it won’t be affecting the progress of the game as a whole, so there’s no need to worry about scheduling conflicts.
Wielding spiked-thumbs, Iguanodon was a bulky ornithopod found in the United Kingdom. Its enormous hands and stout hindlimbs make this herbivore a highly adaptive creature, switching between quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion when running.
Also known as the woolly rhino, Coelodonta is a distant relative to the Sumatran rhinoceros. This fluffy animal occupied most of Europe, grazing within a variety of climates such as tundras and grasslands.
Featuring uniquely deep booms and ruckles, the Allosaurus is one Jurassic predator you don’t want to meet! With a fearsome snarl and an even worse bite, Byron made sure to give this dinosaur some serious ferocity.
Previous sound updates can be found on Byron’s Soundcloud, here!
Having previously been one of the oldest models in the game, Stegosaurus received a well-deserved update after many years of living in eternal damnation. The entire model and sculpt have been overhauled with new skin designs to boot!
On a less drastic level, some smaller tweaks were made to the Paraceratherium to address some texture, anatomy and shape issues. Prehensile lips were added in addition to better limbs and skull shape, with both the sculpt and skins receiving a quality improvement.
Created by Stuk.
Created by DinoDJ.
Thank you for reading March’s Devlog!
We hope you’re all excited for upcoming content and reveals in future development updates. Keep an eye on our social media for any announcements or new information!
Until next time,
- The PK Team