Welcome to January’s Development Update!
It’s been a busy month here at Blue Meridian. Starting off 2021 with a bang, we launched the pre-alpha version of Prehistoric Kingdom to our VIP backers. Now that alpha’s looming over the horizon, there’s a lot of content to discuss!
Screenshot by Captain Hadro.
With much excitement, our VIP backers have been playing the pre-alpha version of Prehistoric Kingdom. Over the last few days they’ve been instrumental in helping us locate issues and provide feedback about the current state of the game. Surprising no one, it turns out they’re much better at building than us! You’ll be able to see some of their creations at the end of the blog post.
On the development front, we’ve been hard at work polishing existing content and adding a bunch of new modular pieces like doors, glass, windows and awnings. AI is coming along with some new additions, and water continues to improve with more background work on planar reflections. We’ve added length snapping options for fences and paths, too! This way players can keep their shapes mathematically consistent while building.
WIP Planar Reflections.
AI & Locomotion
The team began work on integrating a variety of behaviours and animation states for the animals this past month. Idling, walking, running, resting, sleeping and grazing are all integrated with support for eating, drinking and socializing coming very soon.
For the hadrosaurs, we’re including a unique rearing behaviour that allows the gentle giants to stand on their hind limbs. From here they can perform long distance broadcasts that are audible from across the park.
When it comes to locomotion, animals now curve their walking path around obstacles like fences to reach their destination. Rather than relying on animation, the body bends procedurally while the creature turns for a more natural movement.
To make our animals even more grounded, we use body and head IKs to ensure limbs stick to the terrain and that they look at things like pathing destinations, other creatures and buildings.
Screenshot by Elliott.
By randomizing the hue, saturation, value and size of an animal, every creature you breed in Prehistoric Kingdom is unique.
The Edmontosaurus regalis above are both female, yet the small differences between them goes a long way in breaking up large groups of animals. Internally, we can control the variation amount per skin and sex, providing us with a lot of flexibility for variants.
Base level audio implementation began early in January for the Edmontosaurus and Microraptor; adding foley, breaths and a handful of other sounds to their animations. There’s a lot of detail we want to capture to bring these animals to life, so while there’s even more granularity still to implement, please enjoy this early look at the Microraptor.
To help with the sheer amount of assets required, we split animal audio into two parts: vocals and family sets. By doing this, we’re able to produce a large amount of reusable foley, breathing and generic sounds that are shared per family of animals e.g. hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, mini-aviary, etc. On top of that base layer, we’re then able to create unique vocalizations that make up the character of a species.
There’s much work still to be done, so we hope you’re just as excited to hear the animals as you are to see them!
This month we added two new small buildings to the game. Increasing guest education needs, the Information Kiosk is a compact way to show visitors everything they need to know about your park!
The Restroom is a condensed version of its larger variant, starting players off with an affordable yet occupationally limited structure. Researching buildings is an important part of Prehistoric Kingdom’s progression.
Designed to contain the most dangerous of creatures, the Modern Metal Fence set has now been completed. Ranging from 2.5, 4 and 6 meters tall, any escapees are in for a shocking surprise!
Though not as sturdy as their metal counterparts, the Modern Wood Fences are an essential part of the early game aesthetic. Coming in 1, 2.5 and 4 meter tall variants, these fences are suitable for weaker or less demanding animals.
Dusting off its previous look, Protoceratops is roaring to go! This sheep-sized critter is one of the smallest dinosaurs in Prehistoric Kingdom, lacking most of the complex facial features found in other ceratopsians.
Our lovely VIPs have been building, breaking and testing the game in all manners to help us find issues and improve the game. The feedback we’ve gotten so far has been great, and the team cannot wait to launch alpha for the rest of our backers soon.
Including three species of Edmontosaurus and the rest of the construction suite, many of the VIPs have noted just how easy the game was to learn and pick up. In a matter of hours we started to see some fantastic builds! Please enjoy this wonderful paddock built by Strix.
Throughout February we’ll be continuing to add new content to the current build as well as providing Alpha’s release date next month!
Created by AD.
Created by Grimnir.
Created by kanniballistik.
Thank you for reading January’s devlog!
We eagerly await your feedback during our time in alpha and are extremely excited to see what the playerbase will come up with. We’re very happy with the results shown thus far, and we can only expect that to increase as new features and items are implemented for everyone to play with.
Until next time,
- The PK Team