Welcome to the May Development Update!
In this dev diary, weâll be showcasing a selection of development highlights from May and talking a bit more about our goals for the animal overhaul. Thereâs quite a bit to get through, so letâs get to it!
Where Weâre At
Both Update 8 and Update 9 have been progressing well on all fronts over the past month. Many players have been eagerly waiting for a better look at the animal overhaul, and while we do have more news to share, quite a lot of it is related to the backend programming side of things.
The current iteration of our animals, the ones in the public game, were built with rigid architecture that made it difficult to add new behaviors. In the new system, we are building the AI modularly, creating sets of emergent behaviors that can be turned on or off depending on the species. Our goal here is to put a high focus on animal reactivity and social interaction through multiple layers of decision making.
This means that animals become far more reactive to their environments and the creatures that they are housed with. For example, a T. rex may cause a Dryosaurus to flee while your Triceratops holds its ground.
As it currently stands, we are expecting development on this stage of the animal overhaul to wrap up towards the end of June. There have been a lot of changes under the hood with dozens of new variables at play, many of which will need to be tuned and adjusted to ensure everything responds the way itâs intended. Because of this, the team would like to release Update 8 in July to provide an extra period of polish and development. We thank you for your patience, and we look forward to sharing more previews as we get closer to release.
Since the last blog post, weâve been setting up the genetic mutation data for more and more of our species. Today, weâd like to show off how much variety can be achieved within a single skin from the same animal. With some basic masks and clever shaders, this has all been achieved procedurally.
Thereâs so much variety that itâs basically impossible to get the exact same variation during a regular playthrough. To showcase this in realtime, you can see us cycling through melanistic, albino and leucistic values at random on our Smilodon. We hope this will help players get even more attached to a specific animal!
In the previous dev diary, we touched on the land value system coming in Update 8. Since then, weâve introduced a dynamic occlusion mechanic to help players combat the negative effects of power generators. This is part of a new tab in the Management View, allowing you to visualise trouble spots in the park (temporary UI seen below).
In the example above, you can see how blocking sightlines with foliage reduces the negative area of a power generator. Players can also use modular structures like wall and roof pieces to help further reduce their impact! We hope to do a dedicated preview on land value and park beauty before this update releases.
The Next Animal
To catch a glimpse of our next upcoming animal, you might want to follow the sound of its peculiar chirps, caws and rattly barks. Be warned though, that sickle claw seems like it can pack more than a punch!
Keep an eye out in June for the full unveiling of this species! We canât wait for you to see all of its wonderful animations and personality.
Whatâs in the Pipeline?
Letâs talk about Update 9, the one thatâs coming after the animal overhaul. Last month we briefly touched on the new species coming in this release and today, weâd like to explore the primary theme of this update!
The Grassland Biome
Yes! The grassland biome is finally coming to Prehistoric Kingdom and weâre absolutely in love with it. 21 brand new plants are included, providing classic staples such as the beloved acacia and marula tree alongside a dozen placeable grass types such as triodia, pampas and elephant grass.
Created by acrogiga2004.
Created by Noah2002.
Created by gemini98.
Thank you for reading Mayâs dev diary!
After Update 8, please look forward to a more holistic showcase in the future with a look at our finished grassland map set in Tanzania. Thereâs so much more that the teamâs been working on behind the scenes these past few months and we canât wait to unveil more throughout the year. Once again, thank you for your patience. We hope to share more with you soon!
Just before we go, weâd also like to wish everyone a happy and safe Pride Month!
Until next time,
- The PK Team
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