Welcome to August’s Development Update!
In this month’s post, we’ll be sharing some upcoming developments and briefly discussing new features the team have been working on!
Where We’re At
Currently, the team is working on two updates. The big 1.1 title update, as well as a smaller patch that’ll be releasing sooner. This next update includes two main things: animal signs and Steam achievements.
Animal Info Signs (top left) display an image of the animal, their time period, and discovered location. Players can pick from a list of nearby species.
What’s in the Pipeline?
As the next update gets closer, some of the team have already begun work on future species and new gameplay mechanics! We’ve settled on what we think is going to be a very satisfying Research system that you’ll hear more about in a later blog post.
At the heart of animal AI is their locomotion; how they move is the foundation for what they can do. The more flexible their animation and movement systems are, the more behaviors we can add onto them. We’ve been making a lot of changes in the service of dynamic hunting, combat and ensuring that animals can get into position (i.e. drinking spots, eating, social animations) as seamlessly as possible. No stop start, no awkward idle turn.
Though we’re still experimenting, we thought we’d show off what we’ve been doing. Please note that all examples below do not include foot IKs, so there will be some sliding!
To start, animal movement speeds are now more progressive. Organically slowing down, speeding up and shifting into a run makes animals more far more responsive and lively. For animals that switch between quadruped and biped, they’ll still need a transition for it.
When walking, animals can move in 8 different directions. This allows us to easily reposition creatures by simply asking them to walk forwards, strafe or backwards. Obviously this can introduce sliding, so we’ll try to resolve it with IKs the best we can.
As you see below, we also have dynamic momentum on the head, body and tail depending on how fast an animal is walking forwards or backwards. We’ve found that adding these little touches helps to make the animal feel more grounded, especially since they’re reactive.
These are just some of the changes we’re making to core locomotion. There are a few more experimental but VERY cool things we’ve left out of today’s blog post, so keep an eye out. As a team, we’re extremely happy with the direction things are heading and once we’ve locked down our final pipeline, we’ll do a full showcase of everything the animals can do.
Once animal locomotion is 100% sorted, we can start working towards hunting and combat.
Work on improving guests has continued well since last month. As part of our efforts to enhance the simulation, we’ve made good headway into obstacle avoidance so that guests try to avoid each other. It’s yet to be integrated onto our actual guests, but our simulations have performed well! Our solution is pretty dang fast and has given great results thus far.
Any blue sphere below is an agent that has successfully avoided collision. A fun side effect is that much like real life, your park may suffer a traffic jam if guests can’t disperse.
Our programmer who’s been tasked with taking on crowds, Seth, also made heatmaps for us to use. Here’s a rudimentary look at a heatmap displaying guest density.
We know you’ve all missed our adorable faces, so we'll be making our streaming comeback after our short hiatus away for the Summer break! For the month of September we'll be hosting weekly livestreams on Twitch & YouTube. Members of the team will be building a prehistoric park together, discussing the game, chatting about future updates and from time-to-time even sharing sneak peeks on what we're working on!
Finally, check out our most recent Let’s Build starring the cherished Camarasaurus!
Created by Admiral_Plackbar (Discord).
Created by Wikz Gaming (YouTube).
Thank you for reading August’s dev diary!
In case you missed it, we’d like to highlight our most recent update launching Steam Workshop support. In less than a week, we're incredibly thrilled to have seen over 1,000 remarkable builds shared with the community! We plan to host creative competitions as well as unique building challenges that we think would be great fun for the community to take part in very soon.
We’re very excited for the next few months of development, and we can’t wait to share more with you!
Until next time,
- The PK Team