Summer Development Update

Posted on Posted in Dev Blog

Oh look, we’re finally doing development announcements

It’s been quite some time since I’ve sat down to write something at length, and with a lot of the upcoming changes and major updates I wanted to give everyone a forewarning on the road ahead. I want to begin general monthly announcements so people can see what’s being worked on as opposed to frequent streams that seem to reach a smaller audience.

Currently there’s two blatant major issues with the gameplay, the first of which is that the game sits around the concept of casual roleplay and a birdbath simulator of dinosaurs slacking off around ponds or lakes, casually slaughtering one another just to respawn and do it again. You know it, I know it. This partially stems into the second issue: Between certain dinosaurs being insanely difficult to play from an enjoyable perspective (We just can’t put in 12+ button modifiers for a sauropod to hit with each leg + tail in a direction), and other dinosaurs being absurd when there’s more than a few working together (We’re all looking at you, T. Rex hordes), we have to separate intended playability. This introduces the separation of gameplay into Survival and Sandbox.

Sandbox:
Akin to the gameplay featured now, sandbox is where anyone can pop into a server and select a dinosaur within the administrator’s preferred rules. Anyone can start off as a Rex, Puertasaurus, etc, and dive in. This will also be where gimmick dinosaurs are showcased as playable entities, such as Titanoboa, Puertasaurus/other large sauropods, and other creatures that don’t particularly have a globally enjoyable playstyle because they only really serve one particular purpose useful in one particular instance. This will allow for a fully open experience for people to do what they want with their own rulesets and reasons. Sandbox will be fully customizable, a reason of which we as developers never intend for it to be balanced, and outside of legitimate bugs to the game, is not intended to be the direct user experience we cater to. It will be up to administrators of these private servers to customize functionality to achieve the gameplay they desire.

Survival:
In the next few updates, we will push out the first iteration of progression, followed swiftly by the onset of gameplay changes and first truly expansive map in order to give the game the necessary brutal punishment towards your efforts to survive. This is where you’ll find the game’s drastically different from right now, where all players start as small dinosaurs and work their way up, as well as certain dinosaurs being NPC only so they are more effective as a threat or prey item. The onset the game’s story will affect this gamemode accordingly.

Dinosaur Quality of Life & Finalization
Moving on, we have the dinosaur overlay system. This was a shader composed to achieve maximum detail on dinosaurs with the absolute minimum impact on performance. there’s been positive results in performance across the spectrum of computer specs. This means we will move forward with this system and impart updated detailing on the dinosaurs. The drawback is that many previous and popular skins are not compatible and consequently will be removed.

On the subject of the dinosaurs, a small note to be made is they will be getting a quality of life update on animations. Small things such as variations of idles, walks, and other expressive emotes other than the vocal wheel will be integrated over time.

The final note is that all of them are getting a new update on animation blueprints which will make movements a little more accurate and emulate root motion more accurately. No more dying from 10 feet away from a bite that didn’t hit you… and no more dying from something touching the tip of your tail.

The end of constant livestreaming
The last thing I need to immediately cover is an impending lack of development livestreams. It’s not that they’ll be ceasing as a whole, but they will be a lot less frequent than they were. We do have things to hide, such as the dinosaur strains, props, and environments we simply cannot display without giving away major points of the story we want to tell.

You can still find us on Discord here.

-Dondi