Saurian DevLog #18 - Art Book Preview #2

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The dev team has been focused almost entirely on bug fixing for pre-release in the last couple of weeks, which obviously doesn't translate well to anything we can show off to you. So for this reason we're devoting this week's devlog to another preview of the art book that a selection of our Kickstarter backers have pledged for. You can view our first art book preview here. The book will present itself as a "field guide" to the slice of Hell Creek in South Dakota that our game explores. This will include explanations of all aspects of the environment, with profiles on the animals, plants, and habitats present from the fossil site Saurian is based on; all based in meticulously researched, up-to-date science. Today we will give you a taste of each of these, along with some plant and animal concept art, and some previews of what to expect from the art in the book.

Platanites marginata, Erlingdorfia montana Height: 50 meters Family: Platanaceae Members of the family including the modern plane tree (Platanus) are a relatively primitive group of flowering plants that first appeared in the mid-Cretaceous. This family dominates the late Cretaceous of North America and Hell Creek is no exception. Platanites is one of the most common trees in the study area. Another genus, Erlingdorfia, is less common in the upper layers of Hell Creek but can be easily recognised by its distinct leaves, shaped like Tyrannosaurus footprints. These trees have held the same form throughout this time as they do today: as large canopy trees growing in close proximity to riverbeds. Their large size means their foliage is generally out of reach of herbivorous dinosaurs, but their saplings are consumed.

Borealosuchus sternbergii Length: 3.5 meters Weight: 200 kilograms Lived: 66mya Diet: Carnivore

Classification Order: Crocodylia

Northern Crocodile Crocodilians are some of the most common and important members of the Hell Creek ecosystem and Borealosuchus is the most abundant of them all. This animal lives much like the crocodiles of today, lurking below the surface of Hell Creek’s swamps and rivers, waiting to ambush prey that venture too close to the water’s edge. This ancient species is close to the ancestor of all modern crocodilians, and its genus survived on long after the extinction that ended the age of dinosaurs.

As well as concept art of the animals and plants, you can expect full colour scenic environmental & action paintings. You can see previews of these both in the header image of this blog and in the image below. These are both little sneak peaks of what are actually much larger images. We'd like to keep these full large-spreads as an exclusive for people who bought the book but we'll provide one of the habitat profiles that will go alongside them.

"The outer limits of the floodplain are defined by the bluff-line, or valley wall. These are formed of steep slopes and sharp bluffs carved over centuries by a combination of the ever shifting meander of the rivers, violent flood waters and a barrage of winds. These are the highest points of the study area and house a floral community more fond of well-drained soils and less tolerant to flooding. These include several mighty trees, the cedar-like Fokienopsis, the ancient Ginkgo and the tulip tree ancestor Liriodendronites, the tallest hardwood in Hell Creek. Gleichenaceae grow here as well, in the open spaces, while herbal angiosperms thrive in the shade. Being the driest areas of the floodplain, fires are also a major component of this habitat. Lightning storms have a habit of setting these areas alight, and thus they are often seen in a state of regrowth. The ankylosaurs Denversaurus and Ankylosaurus can be found here occasionally, when they wander in from deeper inland. The tiny troodontid Pectinodon are also common in these areas, their feathery bodies darting around amidst the undergrowth on the tail of mammals and lizards."