Triassic Zoo is a budget first person adventure game with light open world elements.
There's definitely dino videogame fever in the air with the revival of the JP "World" movie franchise and the upcoming "spiritual successor" to Op Genesis, Jurassic World Evolution. A recent release of Mesozoica shows there is an interest in dino simulation games (and that it's a good time to cash in) whether you regard games like that to be good or bad for Jurassic Park fandom. Another member states they are making a game in another recent thread here.
So I thought I'd drop by and tell you about another in the one big pile of...games. Triassic Zoo. It's not a dino survival game, it's not a park simulator, nor an on-rails action game. It's more akin to JP: The Game as story is the focus. But it's cheaper, simpler and more akin to a walking simulator.
I don't know other people's reasons for creating those games. Mine I think is from the excitement of JW: Evolution. Because I am an avid fan of Operation Genesis and many things Jurassic Park. I'm not a super-fan by any means, but probably way above your average, basically, somewhat obsessed
Back in the day maybe 25 years ago we played Jurassic Park all the time and turned my garden into one that people could visit, we had a bunch of us kids dressed and in part as our respective characters, haha. You could ride the tour jeep which was a go cart with strings attached so the person pushing could steer it (in true on-rails fashion haha). I'm not sure how far we took it beyond that but those are good memories. Of course, for our special friend visitors we ensured the T-Rex part was as realistic as possible, tipping them out of the go cart etc
My friend met Sam Neill on a flight and knowing I was a big JP fan Sam wrote a personalized message to me, woot! (To clarify, my friend was the son of the chief stewardess, a whole number of variables came into play not even Malcolm could predict the outcome of my personal autograph, haha, but thank you Sam (and Paul, my friend!)) Also, Arianna Richards responded to me on twitter once, so I'm quite a smitten fan LOL.
Later in life we joked about making a spoof "movie" called Triassic Zoo, about a really lame dinosaur park with sort of, waist high fences to keep the tyranosaurs in, half built parts and things like that. It never really got much thought into it than that, though I did start writing a draft at one point, many years ago now though still, 10-15. But that's that. Between then and now came several other movies and videogames.
Now in life I'm more involved with video games but still only on a small scale. Over the last couple of years like a lot of indies have been getting into Unity. I finished my first Unity game last year and needed a new project, and had a couple in mind but felt they needed a bit more prep and experience before starting them, and then with Evolution trailers coming out, Triassic Zoo sprung back to mind and it seemed like the perfect thing to do for gaining more experience with Unity and finally putting down some of those years old ideas into something worthwhile.
I don't want to bore you with backstory, but felt it was worth noting that even if it seems like a desperate cash-grab, it is actually borne from a deep respect of JP. And maybe from never being able to shoot Triassic Zoo the spoof movie... Anyway.
Triassic Zoo is inspired by JP and Op Genesis and Trespasser. The target audience is probably similar people. Although there's no shooting like Trespasser, and no real building like Op Genesis, and definitely no motion capture like JP: The Game, there is a budget adventure and story about dinosaurs and people working with dinosaurs to be found. I don't have the rights or access to the rights for Jurassic Park so have to make something a bit different...familiar, but different
The game will have full voice acting and a heap of music and sounds. Being somewhat open world you will be able to explore the zoo and keep it maintained through story quests and hopefully radiant quests. There will be references for JP fans to spot and although it's a non-violent game there will still be some action and tense moments thrown in. You'll use some vehicles here and there, feed dinosaurs some paleo bales and possibly solve a power-plant puzzle in a place called Pine Valley.
You may be asking yourself, um, there are supposed to be dinosaurs in this, er, dinosaur video game, right? Well, that's just it isn't it
I don't have any Pulitzer prize winning shots of them yet (Nick van Owen would be happy about that) but I'll update this thread in due course.
^ this image is very WIP by the way, just me testing a map
Now in the wider gaming world, no-one will really care about this game and that's a-ok with me. It's a personal project, self funded, no Kickstarter here, as mentioned as a sort of "thanks" for a new operation genesis type game... and at the same time a bit of a homage to my favorite JP games from yesteryear. But figured someone interested in JP stuff might be interested to give it a go in due course.
It won't be early access and will be released in as full a state as it can be on Steam sometime around the same time as Evolution. That said, it will probably get updates to smoothen it out after release. I'm aiming for about 10 hours gameplay minimum. It's not full on open world, but it is teaching me how to make a proper open world game in due course, step by step... I don't really know what else to tell you.
It's an adventure game about dinosaurs in a theme park and it plays off the idea that dinosaur theme parks are pretty commonplace, and that certain parks have influenced or are influencing the existence of Triassic Zoo. I don't want to spoil the plot too much but there is info on it out there. And if you can read between the lines you probably know what other parks I'm talking about
For now I really just wanted to share that this project exists. You probably won't hear or read about it anywhere else, it's not that kind of game or project, and I'm not that kind of game developer. If it picks up traction that's fine with me but ultimately it's a learning curve in storytelling and open-world gameplay for my future games.
More images can be found at: http://www.indiedb.com/games/triassic-zoo
and further info in time at http://www.triassiczoo.com
Thanks for reading, and see you at Triassic Zoo! (Open Mon-Sat, Apr-Nov). And PS we did not build it on a volcanic island, haha, what a douche mistake! A tectonic plate boundary, sure, but not a volcanic one...puh...! cheers, Mark