The DNA of Juras­sic World Evo­lu­tion

Fron­tier opens the doors to its stun­ning Juras­sic Park

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - THE BIG 10 -

It re­ally shouldn’t come as a sur­prise that Fron­tier, de­vel­oper of Elite Dan­ger­ous, has been cho­sen to cre­ate Juras­sic World Evo­lu­tion. The dev has a pedi­gree for cre­at­ing re­al­is­tic animal an­i­ma­tion and ad­vanced AI sys­tems – its PC hit Planet Coaster has gar­nered over a mil­lion play­ers in a year – so a game in which you cre­ate and man­age your own Juras­sic Park is a nat­u­ral fit.

On a per­sonal level it’s about work­ing on projects the dev loves. “At Fron­tier we’re known for mak­ing games about space­ships, roller coast­ers, and di­nosaurs; it’s my toy box,” says chief cre­ative of­fi­cer Jonny Watts.

It’s a throw­away com­ment that over­shad­ows the stu­dio’s com­mit­ment to re­al­ism, de­tail, and depth of con­tent. “I be­lieve in au­then­tic­ity and Fron­tier games do too. Ev­ery­thing we do is based in sci­ence fact,” con­tin­ues Watts, who as a zo­ol­ogy grad­u­ate knows a thing or two about animal sci­ence.

“We’re go­ing to recre­ate Juras­sic World in a game,” states Watts boldly.

Part of achiev­ing this is tap­ping into Univer­sal and In­dus­trial Light & Magic’s wealth of art and re­search. For ex­am­ple, the di­nosaurs in the game are based on the same mod­els cre­ated for the films. “When they came through we had them laid out in a scene and we were all geek­ing out over it, and scru­ti­n­is­ing them,” says an ex­cited Nick Rodgers, head of an­i­ma­tion.

Vis­ual ac­cu­racy is im­por­tant to bring­ing Juras­sic Park to con­soles – af­ter all, man­age­ment sims aren’t big news on PlaySta­tion 4, so we need a rea­son to be in­vested.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for me that the game re­vives how peo­ple thought and felt when they watched the film. There’s a real emo­tional in­vest­ment peo­ple found in the films; to get those key mo­ments across, to get peo­ple feel­ing how they did about the film is im­por­tant,” says Rodgers.

TO GET PEO­PLE FEEL­ING HOW THEY DID ABOUT THE FILM IS IM­POR­TANT.

LORE OF NA­TURE

Your en­joy­ment of Juras­sic World Evo­lu­tion will de­pend on how im­mersed in the film’s lore Fron­tier can make you feel. This will come from be­ing in the hot seat and

cre­at­ing a park that fits your per­son­al­ity. There will be three el­e­ments that un­der­pin your park: sci­ence, en­ter­tain­ment, and se­cu­rity. Do you go full John Ham­mond and cre­ate pure en­ter­tain­ment, or opt for a sci­ence-fo­cused park, or take your guid­ance from the new ‘World’ films and make pure killing ma­chines? Or a lit­tle of ev­ery­thing?

To do this you’ll first need to send out re­search par­ties across the world to dig sites, find­ing fos­sils and bones to draw DNA from. Back in the lab your teams can splice-and-dice to cre­ate di­nosaurs for the park. As you make progress you’ll un­lock InGen Data­base en­tries and ‘clas­sic’ Juras­sic Park mo­ments.

This is the core idea, but lay­ered through­out are nu­ances and de­ci­sions to be made, from how to treat the di­nosaurs to how to build and main­tain a func­tion­ing, prof­itable theme park. You can build it and they will come, and mak­ing money from vis­i­tors will mean more funds for re­search and more di­nos.

ECO DIS­AS­TER

There’s a com­plex ecosys­tem at work too. Di­nosaurs will re­act dif­fer­ently to dif­fer­ent ‘species’; flora and fauna can poison or pro­mote healthy beasts; and herd AI will de­ter­mine how they move about the is­lands. There will be six is­lands in to­tal, in­clud­ing the film’s Isla Nubla, and each will have a unique habi­tat, weather sys­tem, and chal­lenges. You’ll even­tu­ally man­age all six as a go­ing con­cern, en­sur­ing scope for plenty of cri­sis man­age­ment… which is, of course, re­ally why we all want a Juras­sic Park game.

Watts says: “Life finds a way and calamity strikes. There is an im­por­tant mes­sage in there even go­ing back to the Michael Crich­ton book – na­ture is a force and al­ways finds a way. So how will you deal with it?” No doubt with a lot of fren­zied menu surf­ing, cou­pled with beau­ti­ful shots of ram­pag­ing di­nosaurs and ter­ri­fied cus­tomers run­ning for their lives. We can’t wait. Juras­sic World Evo­lu­tion will re­lease sum­mer 2018, just in time for the film.

The di­nosaurs will re­act to their en­vi­ron­ment, mov­ing in herds or at­tack­ing ri­vals.

Storms and ran­dom events will cause havoc at your smoothly run park.

The T-rex will fea­ture in the game. But will you fid­dle with its DNA?

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