Welcome to May’s development update!
Over the past month the team has been working hard on furthering the development of Prehistoric Kingdom, bringing great progress to all areas across the board. We’re finally ready to reveal some of our new changes and additions to central parts of the project, so let’s dive in!
Maps: Meet the New Playable Area
Moving forward, all maps will now include a custom background environment to immerse the player within the borders of their playspace. With a usable area of around 4,000,000m2, there is an unbelievable amount of room to work with. For the players who have the determination and hardware to build a park that big, this one’s for you!
But why’d we make this change? To put it simply, there are a lot of technical problems and edge cases that need to be accounted for using our old islands as they were completely surrounded by water. Without massively limiting terraforming, water painting or spending months of development time on a completely dynamic shoreline, the new maps will look better, feel bigger and most importantly: get the game to our fans quicker.
Decorated with distant foliage and varied terrain, each map will feature a landscape that feels more appropriate and grounded within the world of Prehistoric Kingdom. Since anywhere from 30-40% of the old islands were underwater, this change opens up 100% of the playable area from the get-go - allowing players to maximise their building space without the need for excessive terraforming or the removal of natural features like mountains.
Whilst the buildable area is square on all base-game maps, we’re open to exploring more unique shapes and boundaries down the line for advanced players.
We’ve made great strides this past month in locking down content plans and finishing up current tasks whilst keeping our eye on what’s next.
Adding to our studio’s growing staff roster, Siaka joined as our newest technical animator to assist with transitional animations. Edson, a talented human character artist, also joined the project to create visitor assets. You’ll see more work from the both of them in future development updates.
Currently, we’re working towards a polished and exciting build that will be showcased in the late summer of 2020. After that, it won’t be long before we start making trailers and delivering on an alpha build. Stay tuned, park managers. There’s not too much longer to wait!
To help get your feet wet, Seth’s made significant progress on water painting during May. It’s been a long road due to all the technical considerations, but it’s almost ready.
Regardless of its current level of polish, the system is mostly functional! From here it’s a matter of continuing to improve functionality and tidy up terrain deformation in addition to creating a non-temporary water shader.
The majority of the system should be finished next month, so we’ll be sure to showcase it in June’s update.
Adding support for smarter intersections and random signage decals, Matt’s made considerable usability improvements to the fence system. With increased performance and better mesh generation, a lot of the old visual artifacts have been eliminated whilst also allowing us to get data like exhibit size quicker.
Fences also now support dynamic separation in order to allow for additive objects like gates and viewing platforms. We’re still working on getting the preview to update in realtime, but you can see some of the changes here!
As a new option, terraced or sloped placement has been added as a toggle when working on inclines. This will change whether or not fences are placed smoothly or in a staggered manner.
Next up on our list of improvements will be finally adding fence replacement - which shouldn’t be too hard with Matt’s latest changes.
Modular Building Showcases
On a coding level, the modular building system is essentially finished. There’s some things to add, fix or alter, but ~90% of the functionality is all there. To celebrate, we’ve gathered some scenes made by our team showing off more basic builds.
There’s a lot of assets we need to produce to increase building options, but it’s an incredibly promising direction! Once there’s more content to work with the possibilities will only continue to open up.
In addition to designing our new level, Nathan’s been planting the seeds for our improved foliage assets.
Home to a number of animals, the Tropical biome is a vibrant and lush environment decorated with kapoks, palms, and banana trees. Thriving in a humid environment, these plants makes any park feel more alive due to their diverse heights and colorful nature.
Commonly found across the Pacific Northwest, the Coastal biome is compatible with most dinosaurs in the game due to its expansive and temperate nature. From towering redwood trees to tiny ferns, these plants can be used to create all sorts of microclimates.
All maps in Prehistoric Kingdom feature a Visitor Entrance, a tunnel-like structure that allows guests to enter and leave the park. Although it can’t be deleted while the park is open, players have the option to freely move the building to a new position or even change its style at any time.
Default Modern Styling.
In the future, we’re considering adding a handful of styles to various buildings to provide optional park theming and player expression. As the entrance is critical to a park’s feel, we’ve added its modular style early so that players can build custom “skins” around it in a more accessible manner.
Future updates may see the addition of new entrance types for players to pick from.
Working on habitats, fences advanced with the completion of some new assets. Utilising world space materials in-game, fence models can be stretched and deformed without destroying textures in the process.
The 6m metal fence will be completed soon!
Velociraptor was a small, feathered dromaeosaur that lived in what is now known as Mongolia. Well known through popular culture, this animal is dwarfed by its larger cousin, Utahraptor. Tough turkey, little guy!
One of the most famous dinosaurs, Stegosaurus is easily recognised by its tall dorsal plates and impressive thagomizers. Smaller than most of its Jurassic ecosystem neighbours, this herbivore makes up for its size with some serious weaponry.
This month Edson began working on our brand new visitor assets! They’re still in an early sculpting stage but it’s nice to see some humans instead of dinosaurs for once.
Arguably Britain’s best (sorry, Iguanodon), Baryonyx is a temperamental spinosaurid from the United Kingdom. Living in small colonies like modern crocodiles, this fishy fiend has both a nasty bark and bite - scaring away the competition with its gutterly shrieks and low rumbles.
Previous sound updates and music can be found on Byron’s Soundcloud, here!
Created dino dan.
Thank you for reading May’s Devlog!
Next month we’ll be working on fleshing out and finalizing our approach to animal locomotion so that new creatures can be added into the game once everything has been polished and standardized. Audio will finally see extensive in-game implementation using FMOD and there’ll be more environment artwork on the way!
Keep an eye on our social media for any announcements or new information!
Until next time,
- The PK Team