Welcome to February’s Development Update!
With much anticipation, it’s finally time to talk about alpha release plans and all the new content we’ve been working on behind the scenes. There’s a lot of important information in this one folks, so make sure you read it thoroughly.
Save the date, Prehistoric Kingdom’s alpha will be available March 19th!
Explore the game’s core creative systems and basic economy management with a mix of challenge and sandbox mode features. Get up close with the mighty Tyrannosaurus or the lovable Microraptor and design their habitats without environmental limits.
The initial alpha release includes the following:
• 6 Animals;
Tyrannosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Styracosaurus, Nasutoceratops and Microraptor, including alt skins or species.
• Multi-Level Pathfinding;
Use the modular system to create corridors, platforms and ramps for your animals to navigate around.
• Various Behaviours;
Animals can engage in a variety of basic behaviours like eating, drinking, grazing, resting, socialising and broadcasting. Some animals will be updated to include absent behaviours shortly after alpha’s release.
• Terraforming Suite;
Carve the terrain with six distinct tools: raise, lower, smooth, flatten, roughen and erosion. Get your feet wet with up to three paintable water materials and varying depths.
• 4 Paintable Biomes;
Tropical, Temperate, Scrubland and Wetland are available to paint terrain and forests with. Use the brush intensity to create subtle and stylish gradients between textures to add some more realism to the park.
• 13 Structures;
Bring your Prehistoric Kingdom to life with a selection of buildings from the Animal Care, Infrastructure, Guest Facilities and Enclosure categories.
• 250+ Modular Items;
Get custom with over 250 modular items, pieces and plants to build designs of your own specificity. Use the Modern styling to pick from 7 wall textures or 4 roof designs.
• Paths & Fences;
Choose from 12 fences and 7 path materials using an intuitive spline-based construction system. Enable terraced fence placement to create a uniquely staggered look.
• Saving & Loading;
Save your park and build it up over time. As with the nature of alpha, saved games will likely break upon entering beta and early access launch.
Due to more extensive development being required, some previously planned features like object/wall recoloring and undo/redo will be unavailable until beta or early access launch.
• Basic Economy;
Provide for supply and demand with guest facilities and attractions. Offset the costs of construction, animal production and building upkeep by turning a profit.
• Basic Power Management;
Connect and power your park with basic power management. Failure and reboot mechanics have been disabled for alpha.
• Basic Visitors;
What’s a park without guests to wander the paths? Additional animations, AI, enhanced model variation and guest related gameplay will be arriving in beta and early access launch.
Important & Additional Info
In terms of what you can expect for support during alpha, we’re only looking to tackle stability issues and bug fixes. We’ll be making note of player feedback and talking with the community the entire time, but any new or upcoming content we show in devlogs won’t be available until beta or early access release unless explicitly stated.
We’re treating alpha and beta as distinct milestones so that we’re not simultaneously implementing features and shipping them to a live branch without extensive internal testing or supporting content. By staggering additions between the two milestones we’re able to focus on feedback that’s specific to what we currently offer rather than diluting results.
• For alpha backers who went through Kickstarter, we’re currently trying to establish a reliable and automated distribution method to ensure contributors receive their key (and other rewards in the future). We will have specifics available prior to alpha’s release via a news update.
• Regarding general availability, we will eventually be removing the Alpha tier over on the Crytivo store. An announcement will be made to specify when exactly that’ll happen.
• Once purchased, there is no “end” to alpha playtime. It’s always accessible and will upgrade to the beta.
• Alpha isn’t the early access launch! That is arriving later in 2021.
• Screenshots, streams and videos from alpha can be shared! Show us what you’re making, we’d love to see it.
It’s almost time to release alpha and we couldn’t be more excited! Our VIPs have had access for a bit over a month now, leaving us with a lot of great feedback and creations to admire.
On the dev side of things, each part of the team has been creating, iterating and implementing a bunch of things so that they’re ready in time. Both planar reflections and water shading continue to improve and a whole bunch of audio has been implemented too, including an overhauled set of UI sounds.
Improved water rendering and reflections.
The visuals for our power management are starting to come together, as well. A change in color grading and some temporary but effective highlights for the power radius helps to show the range of generators to the player. These’ll get extra visual polish in the future, though they’re more than workable for now.
For our feathery friend, the Microraptor received new wing textures and an alula (a bird's “thumb”) to improve its fidelity and correct an anatomical issue.
With much excitement, we’re pleased to say that animals are now able to navigate modular buildings! This is a huge deal for us as we weren’t sure if it was something we’d be able to do. Thanks to one of our programmers, Matt, creatures can successfully walk around walls and utilize both ramps and platforms if the space is big enough.
We really wanted a level of interaction between modular pieces and our creatures, so to finally see it come to fruitition through pathfinding is simply fantastic.
As a result, there are so many more opportunities for creative builds. It can’t be understated how much of a game changer this is for the team (literally), and we cannot wait to see how players implement this functionality into their habitats.
Sound found its way to our vocalisation behaviours early in February, adding audio to the social call/response, sad and broadcast calls. We’ve created a short showcase video demonstrating the new animations and sounds for our Edmontosaurus. Take a look!
We’ve also been working on our distance model to help ground the distant sounds of broadcasts within the park and deliver important information like an animal in distress.
The field elm, oak and sabal palmetto were added to the temperate and scrubland biomes to introduce more verticality. We’re especially fond of the new palmetto, it’s great for honing in that prehistoric look.
The field elm (left) and oak (right).
Three size variants of the sabal palmetto.
Including all variants, this brings our number of foliage assets available in alpha up to 70.
Throughout February, we began implementing high quality custom wall and roof materials to replace our previous Modern texture set. Moving to a more advanced workflow (both in implementation and asset creation), this has allowed us to bring out a greater level of detail with a minimal performance trade off - increasing texture resolution by over two times.
Modern textures on the modular wall pieces (glass not shown).
Some of the wall and roof materials will become recolorable at a later date.
We’re aiming to transfer all of our existing buildings over to this new technique by alpha’s release so that Modern textures are one to one across the game.
All animals need a place to sleep and there’s no comfier spot than a hay bed! These items are used to define custom resting spots within a habitat or modular build.
Though the weakest of the bunch, Glass Fences are a stylish way to increase habitat visibility. They come in 1, 2.5 and 4 meter heights, making them the ideal window to another world.
Concrete Fences are strong, providing a thick slab of stone and internal steel to hold more aggressive animals. These come in 1, 2.5 and 4 meter variants.
Bringing the total up to 12 types, that’s all the modern fences for now. There are a few wall variants and new materials that we’d like to add down the line, but for the time being we’re quite content with the core lineup.
Brachiosaurus is one of the biggest dinosaurs coming in Early Access! With its neck fully raised, this gentle giant was almost 14 meters tall - a necessary adaptation for browsing trees.
Created by Dinobob.
Created by Dinomans.
Created by bautii.
Thank you for reading February’s devlog!
Make sure you follow our social platforms to stay up to date with all things Prehistoric Kingdom. Remember, March 19th is the big day for our alpha release! We look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.
Until next time,
- The PK Team