After rounding out the best of 2007, we're ready to present the results.
2008-2009 mod for CryEngine 2 based on Jurassic Park. Rebooted and continuing in the future as an Indie, stay tuned.
You have logged into ModDB and you check your updates, and suddenly there is an update from a mod from 2009 that you thought was dead? What is going on? Well, I shall tell you :)
Firstly, lets start with good news. The project is rebooted and will be made.
Some questions you may have before we discuss that.
Q: Why was it shut down in the first place?
A: At the time of the mod, I had no desire to mod anymore. I wanted to get into the indie scene, but the only option for Jurassic Park in 2008 was a custom engine. The programming muscle required would make the project 4-5 times more work. Licensing was also an issue, which I had no plan at the time on how to handle. CryEngine 2 wasn't the great modding tool that people thought it would be, it fell short to keep it simple.
Q: So why now, after almost 5 years?
A: Technology is better suited for my vision, and I have greater experience. I could barely make 3D models in 2008; what took months then, now takes me only a few hours. Sad, but true lol.
We didn't have CryEngine stand-alone, UDK or Unity back then. Graphics hardware was only beginning to support the kind of things Jurassic Park fans expect. As far as licensing goes, I do have a plan now that is realistic and possible. I will be able to raise the funding myself to meet Jurassic Park's legal requirements.
With that settled, where do we go from here?
Well, the reboot will focus on a single-player storyline.
Singleplayer was the original intention of the mod, but was revised to be a simple multiplayer cooperative survival game at the time because it was seen to simplify development time. In hindsight it probably didn't simplify it that much, given all the additional work required with networking, server security, optimisations.
I am leaving a small window open to examine engine options, but I've been using Unity for other projects and believe it is probably the best option. CryEngine looks nice, but I'm skeptical of whether CE is actually a good dev tool, or just a pretty renderer only.
What kind of storyline can you expect?
The setting will be Isla Nublar in 1993. There are two debates raging at the moment, both in my head and as conceptual discussion with the team.
-Firstly, should it take place during the events of the film/novel, or should it take place after (such as the direction of the project "Aftermath"). Would seem stupid to have two projects telling the Aftermath story, might as well just work together at that point :P
-Secondly, if the story is set during the events, how much liberty should be taken?
The novel (as well as early film concept art) shows a much bigger Jurassic Park, with more action and detail. Not following the film 100% would not only allow us to expand the story, but would provide a better game, especially if set during the initial events.
Ultimately the film is different from the novel, because it has be condensed into a 2 hour story for the masses. Stories are altered for the platforms they are told on, to best suit them. For a video game, it too would need its own take, and thus some freedom to alter things in the name of good gameplay, but also so its fresh. Nostalgia is good, but a game without surprises would be pretty dull.
Great, now what?
We will be announcing the new IndieDB game page shortly so you can begin to follow the project again.
The dev team will be known as InGen -> Indiedb.com
We will be using the websites - Ingen.xyz - and - Jurassicpark.xyz - as our official promotional websites.
The InGen website is being designed as a mock 1993 early internet page (hence the low-fi line browser look); with a link to the company intranet, which will instead be as if you're inside the HQ using one of the computers.
The Jurassic Park website is being designed as the control room systems as seen in the film, which will feature links to information about the game that are themed accordingly (programs and documents) on the virtual desktop. Right now the systems haven't been fully restored, so the page has a very fitting "System Ready" teaser for you ;)
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