“Saurian is a video game focused on providing the most captivating prehistoric experience ever developed for commercial gaming: living like a true dinosaur in a dynamic open world through intense, survival based gameplay. Players will have the opportunity to take control of several different species of dinosaur in their natural environment. You will attempt to survive from hatchling to adult, managing physical needs, while avoiding predators and environmental hazards in a dynamic landscape reflecting cutting-edge knowledge of the Hell Creek ecosystem 66 million years ago.”
Can video games be educational? If they portray ancient life accurately, could they even be considered palaeoart? We put such questions and more to Saurian project lead, Nick Turinetti.
Saurian is a computer game simulation of the Late Cretaceous Hell Creek formation, USA.
The purpose of the game is to simply survive as a dinosaur.
This may necessitate fleeing from larger predators,
providing yourself with enough food and water,
and eventually finding yourself a mate.
There are currently four playable dinosaurs to choose from: Tyrannosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Dakotaraptor and Triceratops. Each has its own palaeoecology and so therefore present different experiences of playing the game.
Furthermore, you’ll need to survive from a hatchling to a fully-grown adult, thus presenting even more dynamism to the gameplay.
The models are created in much the same way as conventional palaeoart, drawing on scientific literature to draw their models as accurately as possible.
The Saurian team even consulted professional palaeontologists to verify not just their appearance, but also how they moved.
Even the plants in the game have been reconstructed as accurately as possible.
Ultimately, all good things must come to an end and Saurian will also challenge you to last as long as you can in the K/Pg mass extinction event.
The Saurian crowdfunding campaign runs until 23rd June 2016, so show some support and grab yourself a copy of the game!