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A decent Jurassic Park game (Forums : Ideas & Concepts : A decent Jurassic Park game) Locked
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Mar 27 2013, 4:21pm Anchor

Hello everyone,

Since this is my first post ever on this website - and therefore I probably don't have a lot of credibility ;) - let me introduce myself.
I am a Belgian university student, graduating as a Master in Computer Sciences in a couple of months, meaning I am a quite skilled developer.
Not only have I been modding for games since I was only a 12 year-old, during my studies I have also taken several game-design courses.
I have several competences:

  • Primarily, I'm a skilled programmer
  • I have some experience with writing a design document
  • I have experience with Unity3D
  • I have played around with Blender and 3ds Max, for the fun of it
  • For one of my courses, I have written part of an OpenGL-based self-made game engine with a small team of students
  • When I was younger, I used to create maps for Medal of Honor Allied Assault all the time (Quake3 Engine, but as you know, the same format is used in many games)
  • ...

I'm not saying that I'm the very best at everything - on the contrary - but I do know my way around many aspects of game creation.

Enough about myself, let's get on topic.
Since I was a little boy, I have been intrigued by Jurassic Park. For me, it has some sort of aura around it, that not a single other movie has ever established to this day. When I grew older, I read the book, and the story just became even more epic. Ever since it has been my dream to one day play, or create, the game, that could take me to that world. A thing no one has accomplished to this day. My desire for this has been fueled once more, by the upcoming re-release of JP1 in 3D in cinemas.

I am very well aware that some projects exist, or have existed, trying to reach a similar goal. One of the problems I see with these projects, is that they see everything too big. They try to do what a real game studio does: create a whole game, and when it's finished, release it. The thing is that up until now, these games never have been finished! This is of course very understandable: the people working on these projects are either very young, lacking in experience, or old enough, but with a full-time job that makes it impossible to invest enough time in the project.

When looking for a solution to this problem, I was inspired by DLC. Many games today are quite short, but after they're released, gamers are more satisfied when they get DLC. Why not transpose this to the creation of a mod? Just create small parts of a larger game, and release the game incrementally. Quality over quantity!

Let's describe this in the context of a Jurassic Park game with an example. Say we started development by just recreating one place from the movie, the Visitor Center. If it is finished, or a first version of this scene exists, it could be released for download to the public. This way a community is established. Whenever new parts are created, they can be released as updates, which can be loaded into the main application. Whenever something new is released, the community can react to it, and thus influence the development of the game. In the event that the project is never 'completed' in the broad sense of the word, then the community is possibly still satisfied, since they had more of an experience than just seeing some videos.

Some key points that I would like to achieve with this project:

  • Recreate scenery and atmosphere of the Jurassic Park movie (and book)
  • Free roaming on the island of Isla Nublar
  • Include a Single Player adventure

For the single player adventure, I had a basic story in mind. This story diverges from the one from the book and movie, the incident has or hasn't taken place, but eventually the park did open its doors. In this story, the player takes the role of a Park Ranger, that has to respond to several incidents happening in the park, or daily duties. These can include for example delivery of a dinosaur going wrong, a breakout, visitors on their tour that are stuck and have to be saved, ... And in between other tasks have to be completed. This can be done in several ways. One way is to just follow one static story line, but in my opinion the 'replay value' would be increased if the gameplay would be more free, as in GTA. There could be several jobs listed all over the island, that can be started at any time by going there. In between there could be pressing events, like a breakout, that have to be attended to immediately. It's just a general idea, and the purpose is to let it grow into a game by input from team-members and community.

In my spare time, I played around a little with some modeling, and created the typical Jurassic Park sign post (to the docks for example), the sign post that can be found at every cage with the dinosaur name, the main entrance gate, a set of 24ft high fences (with straight pieces and curves), a set of 6ft fences (like the Dilophosaurus cage), the outside structure of the visitor center, a basic structure of the raptor pen, a basic height map of the whole island... I'm not claiming to be a very educated modeler (the opposite is true), but when I looked at my work, I couldn't help but thinking that if I can do this in such a short time span, someone who is actually a talented modeler could probably do a much better job in a much shorter time.

[EDIT:] Some screenshots I posted on my profile:

Jurassic Park velociraptor concept
Jurassic Park visitor center structure
Jurassic Park raptor pen structure
Jurassic Park 24ft fence
Jurassic Park gate
Jurassic Park dock sign model

So to get to the finale of this long post, I am looking for two things. In the first place, I am in search of skilled, motivated people, who are interested in joining me in the development of what could be a very great game. And second, not unimportant, I am asking people for their opinion on, and ideas for this project.

Thank you for your time and interest!

Edited by: Vanmeert

Mar 29 2013, 11:28am Anchor

- Jurassic Park is a fantastic world, I'll give you that. I actually cried at end of 1st movie cause I wanted to see more of it.
- Your park ranger mixed gta gameplay idea is good. Have other rangers radio you with mission beacon, drive to it, and do the mission together. :thumbup:
- You could do episodes DLC, once you complete one fenced area you get promoted to a new area/DLC.
- This is a huge project which will require lot of people, not possible for small team.
- Overall I like your project but where it fails hard is that you dont own the rights to Jurassic Park. Meaning you can't sell anything, you risk getting shut down and it's unoriginal. 3 things that will scary off most skilled indie devs, so good luck finding a team.

Mar 31 2013, 9:41pm Anchor

I always wanted to make a Jurassic Park type game in the style of a Theme Hospital, Rollercoaster Tycoon kinda thing. You could have dinosaur cages that need to be maintained by engineers/electricians, scientists to discover new dinosaurs for the park, cleaners to clean out cages and paths, someone to bring in and drop off food for the dinosaurs and rangers equipped to take out dinosaurs that escape.

Other systems include generator rooms that need to be maintained to keep electricity running through the park, possibly currency system with shops, museum, toilets, guided tour etc. As an example if the park starts running out of money and can't keep the power up then the dinosaurs would escape due to the lack of electric fences or if cages aren't maintained correctly and become broken then the dinosaurs can break through and escape. All represented by lovely health bars.  You could even have a mission mode where random events occur in the park and you have to deal with it.

That's just an idea I had though haha. I like your idea, I don't mind helping you make it if you decide to go for something like UDK. I don't think you should use Jurassic Park though, why not just generic 'dinosaurs' to avoid any copyright nonsense. As MurDoc said above this sounds like it would be a big project too so I'm not sure how it would counter your original plan of avoiding too high a scope, too large a team and lots of effort and long hours.  

Edited by: plinkie

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Apr 1 2013, 3:47pm Anchor

There were several Jurrasic Park mods in the past. They had great models of some characters and the jeeps and raptor hold and lot of other stuff. It seems like a waste to do them all over again. Why don't you contact some of the other Jurrassic Park game/mod developers and try to get as many models from them as possible?

To me, the most intersting version was one planned for Armed Assault, where you have dynamic dynosaur behavior and raptors hunting groups of prey as they came across their tracks. That sounded really impressive, but unfortunately was never put into practice. Trespasser may have been one of the more bearable games that deal with dinos, but seeing how old the games of that kind are, I'd really like to see something that uses more recent technology.

Of course, there is Primal Carnage, which looks great, but it's not the kind of Dino game that has an adventure feeling to it. I'm sure you can find lots of dino models and probably most of the content from the movies (for free) and start building the game, instead of creating assets all over. Also, making high quality assets takes a lot of time. If you just blockout buildings, I'm not surprised you think modeling is a fast thing.

Here is one example of such a mod, which sounds similar to your take on it. To my surprise it actually is still active and being worked on. PErhaps try and help those guys? Or, if you just search "jurassic" in mods you find lots more:

Moddb.com

Edited by: SinKing

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User Posted Image

Apr 2 2013, 6:09pm Anchor

Thank you all for your input. I did know about the Jurassic Life mod, and for being made on the source engine, it looks good. They have a lot of models, scenes, etc. done, but as it seems the gameplay is linear, whereas I would prefer a free roaming game, allowing the player to do everything at their own pace, discover every little part of the island, recreating a 'visitable' Jurassic Park. This also benefits replayability and extendability of the game. Also, it's source engine, which is ancient in terms of software. I think currently, there are far better alternatives, more suited to this type of environment, like CryEngine3. Since it allows to generate exterior scenes partially automatically, it also decreases workload. One of my major concerns with Jurassic Life, is that it has been in development for almost a decade, and the last "playable" thing released from it was from 2005. Releasing content incrementally wouldn't leave the community so empty-handed. What good is it, making a game, if when you release it, no-one's following it anymore, and it uses technology almost 10 years old?

One important thing Jurassic Life shows us though, is that in its long existance, it has not been shut down due to copyright infringement. I do think that people would be interested in playing a good dinosaur game, but when they are immersed in the world of Jurassic Park, the experience would be much more intense, since you recognize the place you love from the movie.

I am also with you, that it is a large project, needing many people to succeed. But with all the existing models lying around (yes, it would be nice to get some of them), I think some small demo project could be realised fairly soon with few people. This would hopefully stir the community, finding more interested helping hands. For example, if a single recognizable scene from the movie was recreated, in which the player can roam free, with in it just one type of dinosaur and one mission the player can activate, people have a sense of what the game could be. After that, more parts of the island could be added piece by piece, and more missions, dinosaurs, characters, ... could be added arbitrarily as well.

Finally I'm glad that there is still interest in the project. I hope to find some motivated people to work with.

For the record: I think the people at Jurassic Life are doing a great job, even more so since they are using the good old source engine, and still achieve what they have now. I just think it's a different kind of project in many aspects, and try to show why my idea is viable, regardless of the existance of their project.

Edited by: Vanmeert

Apr 3 2013, 9:01am Anchor

It sounds like you're talking about creating a demo of a game that could exist but would actually require a hell of a lot of work to exist. I wouldn't mind helping but there doesn't seem to be a clear direction in which this is going. A sandbox Jurassic Park game is going to require more than one programmer as well as level designers, character artists, animators, gameplay scripters, asset modellers, testers and I guess an audio guy. Just the demo you talk about which relates to a scene from the movie is probably going to require all of these roles to be filled and even then I'm not sure that would give a clear representation of a game where the player is free to roam around. Also recreating scenes from the movie is going to bring about so many licensing and copyright issues.

Jun 18 2013, 12:21pm Anchor

JURASSIC park game is a good idea, games out there really suck, there is only a problem there are dinossaur HUNTER games out there suported by million dollar companies about to be released

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Jun 18 2013, 2:24pm Anchor

Oh, somebody warmed this thread back up ^^

Something I would really love to see is an open world game, losely based on JP. Which means you have real swarm AI and predator and prey routines for hunter and hunted. It would be awesome to be put into this world and just try to survive, maybe get to the next island, which ups the difficulty by having different species. You could have safe zones in a JP style with big fences or bunkers.

Encounters of Dinosaurs would usually be for studying their behavior and bringing the results to scientists. Then you could find out their weaknesses or protective habits and figure out ways to evade them - or engage them. I imagine you should play stealthy most of the time. So slow movement and only occasional sprints between cover would make the game. Most of your weapons should be silent, too; probably some melee. 

This is - of course - a huge endeavor, because it is an open world game. However, it could start with just a few AI routines to determine how hunter and prey act and what it needs to distract them (e.g. fire) or to figure out when the player draws attention to himself. It could be really interesting to actually live with Dinosaurs as a silent witness, collecting as much info as possible, before moving on. Start with a small island. It can be a couple of decades past JP and the dinos have spread across the archipelago, if you need some explanation. Or maybe someone build a Dino Arch and it crashed into an uninhabited island. I don't know - but I'd like this game :)

Edited by: SinKing

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User Posted Image

Jun 18 2013, 2:26pm Anchor

Making all that from scratch is going to be extremely hard for a indie company. Still I support this idea.

Jun 18 2013, 7:21pm Anchor

I still want to make my dinosaur park type game : P

SinKing
SinKing bumps me thread
Jun 19 2013, 11:09am Anchor
plinkie wrote:I still want to make my dinosaur park type game : P

Ain't it great though, how many different things different people can make out of one idea ^^ ?!

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User Posted Image

Jun 20 2013, 9:15am Anchor
SinKing wrote:
plinkie wrote:I still want to make my dinosaur park type game : P

Ain't it great though, how many different things different people can make out of one idea ^^ ?!


Yes! This thread should be longer with people suggesting ways of creating a decent game by implementing themes/ideas from Jurassic Park.
OP hasn't been online since he posted so doubt he will be coming back for more ideas. He COULD be away making his sandbox dinosaur game though, will require a lot of hours.

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