As lifelong dinosaur enthusiasts and gamers, there has never been a video game that lives up to all that we know about real dinosaurs. A game that merges scientific knowledge and entertainment in a way that appeals to both dinosaur enthusiasts and the general public. The only way a game such as this could happen was if we came together and made it ourselves. We named our project Saurian, and now we need your help to make it reality.
Saurian is an open world survival video game being developed for PC and Mac. Our goal is providing the most captivating and scientifically accurate prehistoric experience yet developed: living the life of a dinosaur. Players will take control of several extinct species in their natural environment and attempt to survive from hatchling to adult. Staying alive means managing physical needs while avoiding predators and natural hazards in an open world landscape reflecting up-to-date scientific knowledge of the Hell Creek ecosystem of 66 million years ago.
Saurian’s ultimate goal is to educate the public about the significant and expanding knowledge science is uncovering about dinosaurs, the lives they led and the world they existed in. We want the player to absorb this knowledge while they play the game; learning by doing without ever feeling like they are being educated. The public perception of dinosaurs is heavily influenced by pop culture that increasingly references itself rather than the accumulating knowledge that scientists and researchers continue to gather about these fascinating animals. Our intent with Saurian is to let fossil evidence, peer reviewed science and consultation with leading experts inform our game design. This decision has already proven highly influential; new scientific studies have revealed key aspects of each animal's behaviors and lifestyle that offer the potential to enhance gameplay. As an example, Raptor Prey Restraint (RPR) hypothesis increasingly appears to be a key component to understanding the anatomy and hunting behavior of raptor-like theropods. Indirectly, our approach also challenges the common perception that “real” dinosaurs and games based on unembellished scientific data are not interesting or fun to play.
We pride ourselves on our scientific rigor. We have engaged in extensive research utilizing both the scientific literature and consultation with leading experts, including Robert DePalma, Dr.Victoria Arbour, Dr. Denver Fowler, Dr. John R. Hutchinson, Dr. Matt Wedel, and Dr. Gregory Wilson. As a result, the mass, locomotion speed, jumping capabilities, and turning ratios of all the dinosaurs in Saurian are based on data and research. Skin texture and pattern in some cases are based on direct observation of fossilized skin. Even the animal’s color are based on their inferred ability to metabolize and generate certain pigments. Whenever possible, all aspects of Saurian have been vetted to ensure our animals and their world is up to date with the cutting edge of scientific knowledge.
Play as Dakotaraptor, Pachycephalosaurus, Tyrannosaurus or Triceratops and advance through multiple distinct life stages. Survive from hatchling to adult, each stage presenting its own unique challenges based on your growth and development.
Saurian invites you to experience diverse survival challenges, expansive open world adventures and the amazing experience of living the lives of dinosaurs. The core of Saurian's gameplay is managing your stamina, thirst and hunger without falling victim to the unrelenting environment or becoming another animal's lunch. Players will need to draw upon a variety of skills and abilities to survive; mastering Dakotaraptor's grapple and pounce to subdue combative prey, avoiding the sharp eyes and bone crushing jaws of Tyrannosaurus rex, and tracking potential predators and prey with keen senses. With our dedication to scientific accuracy, we have created an immersive and engaging experience like no other game you have ever played before.
From the shores of the Western Interior Seaway to the tangled waterways, cypress swamps, open woodlands and towering conifer forests, we’ve recreated a portion of the South Dakota’s Hell Creek Formation of 66 million years ago entirely from the available fossil record. Explore this historically astounding open world while encountering the many species of dinosaur and other Mesozoic creatures that prowl the thickets to learn your place in the food chain.
The player is not the center of the brutal Saurian universe. As in reality, every creature dwelling in the forest is trying to survive a thriving simulated ecosystem. The animals’ AI tethers them to the same challenges and survival needs as the player, adding a dynamic balance of priorities between the varying species. Other dinosaurs will fight or flee from you depending on what will best aid their survival. We suggest you do the same.
Saurian is a passion project. All of us are here first and foremost because we believe in the potential of Saurian as both an educational tool and an entertaining game. There are far less challenging and cheaper prospects to pursue if making large sums of money were our primary goal. It has taken us the better part of 3 years to push development to this point, working unpaid in our free time. All of us have invested substantial sums of our own money as well, to cover development costs up to this point. Our primary obstacle to completing Saurian has now become work time, and to overcome that, we need funding to allow team members to free more of their time for Saurian without putting themselves at financial risk. You can find a detailed breakdown of how Kickstarter funds will be spent below:
A successful Kickstarter will enable us to push Saurian’s development to the point that we will be ready for a Steam Early Access release. We recognize that some games in Early Access have a reputation for being unpolished, buggy and lacking in content. On Early Access release, our intent is to provide the public with:
A fully realized game world featuring polished, final game assets
One feature complete dinosaur (Dakotaraptor), fully playable from hatchling to adult
A vibrant, functioning AI ecosystem
Pre-release and ongoing optimization efforts to ensure maximum access
We will not consider entering Early Access until we can guarantee this list. We feel that an early access release allows us to mount a realistic, achievable Kickstarter campaign that will fully cover the core of Saurian’s gameplay and features. We will then be able to utilize income from sales to continue pushing Saurian to completion.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Saurian DevLog #18 - Art Book Preview #2
13 days ago
– Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 12:50:54 AM
As we've been almost exclusively bug fixing lately, for this week's devlog we've provided you with another preview of The Field Guide to the World of Saurian, enjoy!
Click the painting to read!
DevLog #17 - Hurricane Clarissa
28 days ago
– Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 08:56:37 PM
DevLog #17 is out now, there is some hard science in this one that we think is really cool. We hope you enjoy seeing some of the inner workings that go into making this game as accurate as we can!
Click the Thescelosaurus rig to read!
Saurian Delay Announcement + DevLog #16
about 1 month ago
– Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 01:25:54 AM
IMPORTANT: We regret to inform you that Saurain will now be releasing in Q2 of 2017, not Q1 as initially predicted. Please click the screenshot below to read why this is the case, as well as getting some special updates on the game.
It is just a delay. All major theme parks have delays.
Saurian DevLog #15
about 2 months ago
– Thu, Mar 02, 2017 at 10:54:46 PM
DevLog #15 is up. Click the screenshot for a preview of the environment and the scent mechanics:
2 months ago
– Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 11:59:59 PM
Greetings backers and followers!
1. First and foremost, we are announcing that all BackerKit pre-orders (unless you have used PayPal) will be charged February 28th. Please check your BackerKit survey if you need to make any changes to your payment information. – To retrieve your survey, click here – If you have any questions or need help, PLEASE use our BackerKit support
2. As you have probably noticed, January has come and gone, it is now mid-February, and Saurian is not sitting in your Steam library with several hundred hours of play time logged. We understand our backers can barely hold back their excitement to finally play Saurian, so we’d like to lay out for you exactly what is in store for pre-release backers.
If you have been following our social media, devlogs or joined our Discord, you should be well aware that it has been our plan for some time to release Saurian to Early Access during the First Quarter of 2017 (January through March). Kickstarter and Backerkit didn’t allow us to select a range for our release date so we optimistically selected an estimated delivery time of January. We apologise for any confusion this may have caused. It became apparent to us during our Kickstarter campaign that January was too specific a time frame for us to meet expectations, therefore we adopted a more broad projected release.
3. Now for some good news: For those of you who pledged $60 or more to our Kickstarter, Pre-Release Access is just around the corner, and we want to give you an idea of what’s in store. Pre-Release will consist of specific parts of Saurian’s advertised features, including Dakotaraptor movement and gameplay features like Raptor Prey Restraint (RPR) and climbing. In addition, we’ll be providing several playable scenes that feature other parts of the game; like environmental scenes showcasing our foliage assets, weather, and water systems; AI scenes and other features we’re still putting finishing touches on. These scenes will be iterative, and we’ll update them as we make progress on each aspect of development leading up to Early Access release. This is your chance as backers to provide us with targeted feedback on specific aspects of the game as we actively work on it. Which brings us to our next announcement: The best place to provide feedback will be on our Steam Forums, which will be available as soon as Pre-Release access is ready to play.
4. We’re still working every day on getting Saurian into your hands, thank you for your patience, only a little while longer now! We invite everyone to follow us on the development of Saurian through our devlogs, which we have been releasing every other Thursday since the conclusion of our Kickstarter in June 2016. You can find them here on our website’s blog.