A Huge Announcement!

Welcome, everyone!

Thank you for making Prehistoric Kingdom a reality! Kickstarter campaigns can swing a lot of ways, and very few of them end in smiles. You shattered all of our expectations and sent a shockwave over the Internet announcing that Prehistoric Kingdom is going to hit the tycoon genre like a meteor. To keep the success rolling, we have even more exciting news to share! There’s a lot to cover, so get comfortable!

 

Our success on Kickstarter was the fundamental foundation to get Prehistoric Kingdom up and running as a project where we can pay our team for their efforts and push the game forward. Without you, our backers and fans, we wouldn’t be making this announcement today.

We are excited to announce that we are teaming up with Crytivo, a new indie publisher that is all about putting fans first and fighting against the shady business practices that are currently plaguing the industry. Alongside our Steam release and other distribution channels, we are adding our game to the Crytivo Store. The Crytivo Store only sells games that meet Crytivo’s fans-first criteria, which states that full-priced games cannot also sell microtransactions, loot boxes, or launch with impactful paid DLC (only cosmetic items). We share their views and want to show our support for all of you, just like you showed your support for us.

Crytivo will be helping us with the back-end, technical, and business side of game development – ultimately pushing us to a number of new platforms and venues that we could have only dreamt of achieving by ourselves. Because of their involvement, our consumer outreach has increased astronomically, the game will be translated into six different languages, previous fantasies like console ports aren’t entirely out of the question, we have a booth at numerous conventions, and we now have a close relationship with people that have an equal passion for the project. As developers who are also working on the fantastic Universim god-game, we couldn’t think of a better pairing! You, our backers, are what’s making this game and opportunities like this possible.

What does this mean for us? With Crytivo’s help, we know that we can make Prehistoric Kingdom even better! We also want to assure you that nothing is changing with the game’s direction. Creative control remains solely with us, along with the IP and all Kickstarter funding. With your feedback and suggestions, we’re going to make a game that’ll take the world by storm.

Crazy enough, the good news doesn’t end there. Prehistoric Kingdom is going to be at PAX South! We will be at the Crytivo booth (#10447). Stomp on by to play the Jurassic Patch early, chat with Crytivo, and forage for some free stuff. It’s going to be a great time!

If you want to learn more about Crytivo, head on over to the official site at www.crytivo.com. Our devs and those at Crytivo will love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

 

 

So, where to?

Right now, we’re crushing bugs and trying to tame the new dinosaurs introduced with the Jurassic Patch. As this will be the final update to the pre-alpha demo (excluding bug fixes) we want to make it a special one. We will continue to support it with hotfixes and smaller patches for a little while longer, but most of our attention is going to be drawn to the full game from here on out. For now, however, let’s discuss some things!

Firstly – optimisation!

The heavy hitter at the moment is foliage and trees. While the current foliage lineup is very modest with polycount, LODs, and billboards, the problem itself lies within the Unity engine and how it handles rendering. Thankfully, we have found a solution that we will be implementing post-Jurassic Patch to help keep performance high in the future. While we experiment and work with this new system, however, we urge users to play around with the graphical settings (particularly shadows and mesh quality) to reduce any immediate issues once the Jurassic Patch drops.

Secondly – game design and development.

As much as we love the animals, a functional and interesting game is paramount to us. At the moment we’re drafting up the first iteration of the game’s core management and creative features so that production isn’t hindered by any conceptual roadblocks that can arise from a lack of effective planning.  So far we are pleased with the direction of the project and can’t wait to sink our teeth into the essential parts of Prehistoric Kingdom’s building and zoo management experience – beginning with some creative tool overhauls and the introduction of basic management.

We’re expecting the alpha development phase to be quite lengthy, so if we do go quiet for a little while, don’t fret! The team is extremely active on our Discord server and interact with the community on a daily basis.

Thirdly – backers.

We will begin creating private channels on our Discord server to organise backers and their requests once funding has been received from Kickstarter. Rewards not relating to a copy of the game, beta, or alpha will be fulfilled after our Early Access release for the sake of time management and efficiency. Special request tiers can be discussed with developers and noted, but also will not be completed until after launch. This was stated on our Kickstarter page, but it is worth reiterating for maximum transparency.

Last post we revealed the new Nursery menu and had some great feedback regarding the layout and design. To continue our push for a more user-friendly experience, we’ve gone back and gave a few of the important panels some much-needed loving. To start, let’s take a look at the brand new Animal Selection window:

Concept Art.

As you can see, there are now two additional panels viewable per animal; habitat, and statistics! The habitat window provides a summary of the requirements of the selected animal in its current exhibit, as well as the current enclosure name, whereas the statistics panel shows a detailed report of a species breeding age and an individual’s real time stats like length and weight.

These are especially useful when designing the perfect paddock for a creature! If you’re having difficulty with figuring out what a creature needs, the toggleable suggestions window can be a literal lifesaver. And to top it all off, the little arrows at the top let you switch between animals of the same species quickly!

One of the biggest issues we saw from fans playing the demo was a lack of feedback when pausing the game. As some of the systems depend on the game’s “time” not being paused (e.g. animal breeding and terraforming), this lead to some confusion amongst players. To reduce this, we’ve added an automatic pop-up and red-outline to the screen when a user has paused the game.

Don’t worry, the pop-up fades away!

Concept Art Breakdown.

Looking at the full-game, there’s a lot of UI that needs to be designed. Starting off simply, we’ll be touching up the main HUD to allow for future functionality and user feedback. You can see the current design for yourself above, complete with a handy little breakdown!

It isn’t too much of a departure from the current layout as we know that a lot of players find it relatively simple to use. With that said, we won’t be integrating this design with the demo as it’s not needed just yet, but be sure to be on the lookout for it in the future!  

Likewise, we’ve also started making concepts for a few of our “quality of life” features that’ll be worked on during development.

Say cheese!

Camera Mode is an optional tool dedicated to – quite obviously – screenshots! This small but welcomed feature has been an enjoyable aspect of zoo games in the past, and we are happy to offer this to players in Prehistoric Kingdom. Although you won’t be wrangling loose critters with it, the goal here is to offer in-game tools that allow users to show off their park, animals, and designs in the best looking way possible without having to jump into photo editing software. Photography missions, anyone?

Now, how about animals? At a distance, it may be hard to tell what a creature is doing without clicking on it or watching it chase after tiny, defenceless humans. Thankfully, Animal Moods™ are easily viewable with the push of a button!

Concept Art WIP.

This design is expected to change drastically when we’re able to experiment more in-engine, but it’s a start! You can see an extremely early version of this in the demo by holding down the ‘C’ key – displaying an animal’s name from a distance. Eventually this will display a similar graphic to the image above, highlighting the current activity and mood.

For those who may have missed updates during our Kickstarter campaign, here’s a brief overview of everything that we had previously covered and shown off.

Concept Art

Baryonyx.

Megaloceros

Guanlong.

Oviraptor.

Paraceratherium.

Thyreophoran Chart.

Ornithopod Chart.

3D Art

Yutyrannus WIP.

Megaloceros Update.

Harbour (1/3)

Harbour Crane (2/3).

Cargo Ship (3/3).

Foliage and Color Update

New Palms, Grass, and Color Grading!

Mediterranean Island Improvements

Soundtrack (Demo Music + More)

It’s been quite some time since we did one of these! However, as always, the community has created some standout designs and screenshots since we launched the pre-alpha demo.

Created by rickreptile.

Created by Пневматический Рептилоид.

Created by War Bear.

And to tease you all just a little more, take a lot at these floating islands made in the Jurassic Patch by one of our testers!

Created by Big Jacq.

 

 

We are incredibly thankful to each and every one of our fans who have supported us during Kickstarter and since our beginnings back in 2014. While we prepare for PAX, make a trailer, and add some sprinkles to the Jurassic Patch, it is time to reflect on how much the game has grown and how vastly the community has expanded. Our team’s skills have improved, and we grow increasingly excited for the future every day. With support from Crytivo and our backers by our side, the sky’s the limit.

 

Thank you. <3

The PK Dev Team.

Prehistoric Kingdom now live on Kickstarter!

Hello everyone, back to a blog post for some incredibly exciting news!

As most of you already know, we have been working on the project completely unfunded for around 3 years now. In this time we went from iteration to iteration, progressively bettering both the project and ourselves. After having launched a working demo (to which we’ll still provide support, more on that later in the post) we believe it’s finally time to ‘up our game’ (no pun intended)!

Our project is now live on Kickstarter! You can find our page HERE.

Kickstarter allows us to do just that, as it gives us the necessary funding to spend more time on development and work more efficiently. As such we’ll be able to present a product sooner rather than later. Here’s where we need your help! Consider donating to the project and telling all your friends and family about it! Even small donations help, and the more people that can check the project out, the better! This holiday season you have the chance to help make this game a reality, resting assured that we all greatly appreciate your love and support!

The campaign page itself is jam-packed with never-seen-before new content in the form of concepts, in-game screenshots, gifs, and videos! Those with a keen eye will be able to find sneak peeks of the upcoming Jurassic Patch! These past few weeks we’ve been busy setting the campaign page up, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about the game itself! Not only have we added the new 4 animals in their entirety (Camarasaurus, Allosaurus, Dryosaurus and Stegosaurus), but we’ve also improved on the AI system and some interface graphics. It’s all still very much WIP, which is why we want to spend some more time on polishing before launching it, but some great looking results are already popping up!

Ending this blog post with much excitement, we want to remind everyone that we’ll be doing frequent updates throughout and after the campaign, so stay tuned!
We are also streaming right now, come join us here!

Demo V.0.1.4.3 Patch Update – What’s to Come

Hello again, everyone!

Last Wednesday, we finally released the new and improved Prehistoric Kingdom Pre-Alpha Demo – a collaboration of 11 months of unpaid work from a team that can be found all over the world. While we are still humbled by the positive reception and thank you all dearly for supporting us, there are obvious issues with the game which we are working hard at to fix! Most notably we have added grass removal for paths and buildings, as well as improving how terraforming behaves with fences, paths, and more. We have a very large, text filled blog post to get through today, so please enjoy the patch notes below.


PRE-ALPHA DEMO V.0.1.4.3 PATCH NOTES

FIXES:

  • Fixed AI getting stuck in swimming state
  • Velociraptor infants should now be able to properly eat/drink.
  • All AI eating/drinking behaviours have been improved.
  • AI should no longer die of thirst/hunger if resources are available to it.
  • AI should no longer try to path to places they cannot reach.
  • AI pathfinding has been improved, and will continue to be improved in further patches.
  • Dinosaurs should no longer randomly climb structures.
  • Can no longer terraform under buildings/fences/paths.
  • Terraforming will now properly exit build mode if used while building.
  • Fixed demolition bug where buildings/feeders/fences were not being demolished properly.
  • Fixed rendering glitch when selecting/deselecting buildings for demolition.
  • Fixed corrupt save files as a result of saving the game while infants are in the nurseries.
  • Fixed bug that corrupted fence positions when saving.
  • Save games are now archived into a single PKS file for easier sharing.
  • Infants no longer become adults when loading a save.
  • Fixed performance issue when loading saves with lots of buildings.
  • Close buttons now work on property windows.
  • Fixed permanent fence and path previews when entering demolition/terraforming modes
  • Fixed white artifacts on Gallimimus skins.
  • Fixed random glare effects.
  • Various other minor fixes and adjustments.

CHANGES:

  • Changed wind turbine placement hitboxes.
  • Changed decorative rock colliders.
  • Edited large water trough to account for infants.

ADDITIONS:

  • Dinosaurs can now take shelter during storms.
  • Dinosaurs can be picked up and moved.
  • Grass is properly removed from paths and buildings.
  • Added colliders to trees (meaning vehicles can crash into foliage).

Things and Tips You Might Have Missed!

Dinosaurs:

  • Did you know that there’s a chance of random genetic mutation? There is a 2% chance of a melanistic mutation, and 1% for an albino!
  • All dinosaurs, young and old, have full swimming capabilities.
  • By disabling the Single Instance button in the Nursery, you can select multiple individuals to be placed. Alternatively, this can be done by pressing Select All.

Building:

  • You can switch between buildings and animals of the same type by pressing the object rotation keys (check your keybindings in the options menu!).
  • Having to click on the UI to change the editing gizmo can get pretty annoying – that’s why we mapped a key (default is ‘X’) just for that.
  • Speaking of rocks, the game will save the dimensions and rotation of your next placement if you have Save Next Coords enabled in the Building Menu. Likewise, enabling Single Instance will only place one rock, and disabling Editing Gizmo will stop it from showing up immediately (but can be still edited by clicking on the placed rock).
  • Vehicles can be driven inside paddock’s by placing a Gate. These can be found under Fences and will automatically adapt to the selected fence type.

Vehicles:

  • Vehicles tend to get battered around when you drive recklessly or attempt to murder your beautiful creations (yes, we both know who you are). By returning to the Vehicle Depot., you can restore the Staff All-Terrain to its original condition.
  • If you ever find yourself lost on the island (and we don’t blame you!), the cars can be easily returned by clicking on your Vehicle Depot. and pressing the Restore Position button.

Gameplay:

  • You can disable automatic camera adjustment when building by disabling it under Options > Gameplay.
  • Don’t like the day/night cycle? No problem! By heading into Options > Gameplay, you can disable the automatic cycle and even set the game to a permanent time of day.
  • Want to spice up how your UI looks? Under Options > Gameplay you can choose between five colours; chrome, dark blue, light blue, orange, and red.
  • If you haven’t guessed already, quite a lot about the game can be changed in the Options menu!

Miscellaneous:

  • The Pre-Alpha Demo also includes random weather patterns! If you stick around for long enough, you might just experience rain, and even thunderstorms.
  • By digging down with the terraforming tools, you will eventually hit the water table. Animals are able to drink and swim in this.
  • Who doesn’t love taking a nice screenshot? For this reason, we’ve added three image effects sliders to the Options menu; Bloom, Tilt-Shift, and Vignette.
  • If you want to see who helped build Prehistoric Kingdom, the Credits can be found in the main menu – featuring the developers, testers, and friends who have worked on the game.

The Future of the Project

Updating the Demo

Two words; Jurassic Patch.

Yes. The Jurassic Patch is the main content update that is expected to hit Steam “Soon™”. In other words, we do not have an ETA on its arrival. But we do however have a very clear idea on what to expect, so hold onto your butts!

  • 4 NEW Animals from the Morrison Formation (Allosaurus, Camarasaurus, Stegosaurus, Dryosaurus).
  • Enhanced Nursery UI.
  • Improved AI & Interactions.
  • New Placeable Objects.
  • Lite-Challenge Mode.

“But Mr. and Mrs. Developers, what are the new objects?!” we hear you cry! They’re a surprise, but we are very confident that you will all enjoy what we have planned. Regarding the Lite-Challenge Mode, it will act as a taste of basic management that follows the current Sandbox mode goal (build a park that isn’t designed for guests but rather a reserve). This means that players will have to deal with money, complete missions/objectives to earn money, wrangle a monthly upkeep, and ship resources to the island in order to sustain their animals and build structures. The AI will be getting an improvement too, leading to the much anticipated hunting and herding! To accommodate our new additions to the demo roster, we’ve overhauled the Nursery UI (as detailed below). Stay tuned for more info!

“Okay, that nice and all, but what can we expect in the meantime?” Bug fixes, mostly. With today’s patch, we’re hoping to eliminate the majority of the issues that users have experienced in the demo. And while in a perfect world that’d be all done and dusted, we’ll continue checking the #pk-bug-reporting channel on our Discord server and try to add some quality of life improvements.

In terms of updates, there might be one or two more blog posts before we go to Kickstarter (which will be preluded by the Jurassic Patch). Behind the scenes, we are hoping to stream more often and interact with the community directly, but due to the global location of our team it is incredibly hard to find an appropriate time where a large portion of the development team is available at once.

Redesigning the Nursery

As development picked up its pace over the last few weeks before releasing the demo, we realized that we were going to have to look at a new approach to how users will navigate the user interface for our Nursery building. Combining our intentions for the future and looking at user feedback, we are hoping that this new design will mitigate issues such as being unable to find certain animals (for example, we have found that some are unable to find the Triceratops) and will make the future animal additions far easier to recognise.

Non-final concept art of the new Nursery UI. Text + Icons are a work in progress.

Breakdown of the user interface.

Type Selection (Purple)

  • Choose between terrestrial, aerial, and aquatic creatures.

Preview Window (Red)

  • Rotate an animated preview of the selected animal.
  • Displays a brief summary of the creature’s length and weight.
  • Use the search bar to find animals directly.
  • ‘Favourite’ a selected creature to easily find it again under filters.
  • Move the white slider to dynamically set or preview an animal’s age.
  • Click the left and right arrows to switch to the next or previous animal.

Creature List (Green)

  • Selecting the dropdown ‘Filters’ will display a variety of settings (e.g. Time Period, Climate) to filter out undesired animals.
  • All relevant creatures will be shown along a slidable bar.

“Quick Stats” (Turquoise)

  • Shows the animal’s popularity/rating out of five stars (don’t worry, the Tyrannosaurus only has four here to show what it looks like!).
  • Brief summary of where the animal is found and when it lived.
  • Core statistics about the animal which will be highly important to consider when breeding a creature (e.g. diet, space required, aggression).

Description (Blue)

  • Basic overview and summary of the animal and its in-game behaviour.

Animal Sequencer (Orange)

  • This area has the same functionality as the current demo.

Animal Holder (White)

  • This area has the same functionality as the current demo.

Community Spotlight

We have seen some amazing things built so far in the demo! Because of this, we wanted to share some of the screenshots and builds that have impressed us the most. With longtime players of multiple tycoon games becoming interested in our project, we only expect to become more blown away by the creativity of our community each and every day.

Fountain – Created by Narwhaler

Estuary with Mangroves – Created by T_L

Small Paddock – Created by DrBylund

T. rex on the Hill – Created by Gale

Cave – Created by Ammonite

Sleeping Tyrannosaurs – Created by YourCasualFox

Smile! – Created by Byron (Developer)


Addressing the News

We would like to reconfirm our dedication to Prehistoric Kingdom. We are confident that it’ll give our players a unique and fun experience. Because of this, we tip our hats, and greatly look forward to where we want to take the game.


Until Next Time…

We are both humbled and pleased with the reception to our initial Pre-Alpha demo. The feedback given over the last week has been crucial for our understanding towards player interaction, usability, and expectations. There could not have been a better result, and we hope that you, our supporters, are as excited as we are regarding the future of Prehistoric Kingdom.

With Kickstarter on the horizon, we hope to begin explaining the game in a broader sense. To the now 6000 (and counting) players who have played the demo, and thousands more who have watched gameplay on YouTube, we thank you deeply. If you’d like to keep up to date with the game, we have an Official Discord Server: https://discord.gg/3pRpYTE