Saurian DevLog #59
We’re still in patch lockdown, so our programming team have been in full bug-fixing mode and will have nothing for you this week. Thankfully, now the art team has still been at work on new content, so here we go:
With the addition of our ankylosaurs and hadrosaur comes a new AI behaviour to Saurian, the tail attack. As these big, unwieldy animals have such a slow turn speed, they really needed a way to attack a threat approaching from behind. Plus, we just couldn’t have Ankylosaurus without the ability to use that club.
Now, in his little animation spree he recently embarked on, Jake did do tail-whip animations for each of these animals. These animations were good, but in testing them I felt like they were not delivering enough force for the amount of damage they were to be doing. Jake revealed that he had been conservative with the flexibility of the tails as he didn’t have a full grasp of their level of mobility, so he let me have a go at them.
If you are immersed in palaeoart culture, you hear a lot about the lack of flexibility in dinosaur tails, but this is heavily overstated. Even on those taxa with stiffened bony rods on their vertebrae, I liken the level of flexion more to a fishing rod than a baseball bat. Ankylosaurus is a bit of an exception to this rule, as the vertebrae in the back half of its tail are fused together, but I think I got some good swing out of it.
Jake and I have also begun working on animations for the Triceratops ontogeny. This means we have to closely imitate the adult’s animations for each growth stage so they blend together correctly as the animal ages. Here is a work in progress example with the bite on the juvenile (left) and subadult (right).
The last few weeks I've started animating the Trike ontogeny in earnest, starting with this gross, disgusting little gremlin. (There are a few artifacts that I'm fairly sure are specific to Marmoset renderer here. Invisible faces and dark normals are something that won't be present on the in-game model). For now, just look at these errors as embellishments for this creature's disturbing and grotesque appearance. Are you excited to play as it? You shouldn't be. Bad.
There is still more work to do on the back end to make sure this boy blends smoothly from growth stage to growth stage, but thankfully we are still in feature lockdown for the next patch, so I can take my time to make sure everything comes out quality.
I’ve been working hard on dead plant assets, ironically to give our environment more life!
There are no remains of fungi from Hell Creek and almost none from the Cretaceous at all, so we had to improvise. Those we ended up creating are based on some recent specimens found in amber from the Late Cretaceous of New Jersey.
That’s all for now; we’ve got our fingers crossed the patch is just around the corner! Keep an eye on our Discord for announcements about the public testing branch if you want to catch an early peek at it.