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$5,027 pledged of $40,000 goal
backers
$5,027 pledged of $40,000 goal
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About

Dinosaur Island is the product of years of research on dinosaur behavior, environment and diet and the crafting of artificial intelligence (AI) routines to reproduce this behavior within a computer simulation. 

Our goal to provide a truly immersive educational experience for users of all ages.

And this is why we're on Kickstarter asking for your help:  we want to improve the graphics by licensing a top AAA 3D engine (see 'How Your Pledge Will Help', below).

Display of the artificial intelligence routines calculating the optimal prey attack for Bob. Click on image to go to Dinosaur Island blog posts about the AI.
Display of the artificial intelligence routines calculating the optimal prey attack for Bob. Click on image to go to Dinosaur Island blog posts about the AI.

New algorithms have been created and tested to simulate dinosaur hunting, foraging and water-finding behavior. Each dinosaur species is modeled in great detail and users can modify the data to simulate 'what if' situations. What if an Edmontosaurus regalis had a better sense of smell? What if it had an increased angle of vision? What if it could reproduce earlier? What if you modified its diet and it could eat different plants?

Some of the detailed information that the user can adjust for each species.
Some of the detailed information that the user can adjust for each species.

Users can interact with Dinosaur Island and its inhabitants in many ways:

  • Control individual dinosaurs.
  • Control the leader of a herd and the rest of the herd will follow.
  • Change the type and number of plant species in the habitat.
  • Change the diet of dinosaurs.
  • Change species characteristics.
  • Name and track individual dinosaurs.
  • Creating a self-sustaining ecosystem.
  • And much more!

Users also receive 'Eco-challenges' which include such tasks as:

  • Safely escorting a juvenile herbivore across the island.
  • Creating a self-sustaining ecosystem.
  • Modifying a dinosaur species to survive in a difficult ecosystem.

Upon successful completion of an Eco-challenge, the user receives the ability to 'upgrade' dinosaurs.

The T. rex, Edmontosaurus regalis, Nipa and Araucaria food chain. How much energy does the Edmontosaurus receive from eating one Nipa plant? How much energy does the T. rex receive from eating one Edmontosaurus?
The T. rex, Edmontosaurus regalis, Nipa and Araucaria food chain. How much energy does the Edmontosaurus receive from eating one Nipa plant? How much energy does the T. rex receive from eating one Edmontosaurus?

With a budget of only $500, we licensed an inexpensive 3D engine and a half-dozen 3D dinosaur models to produce the 'proof of concept' video that demonstrates our years of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research (you can see the 'AI proof of concept video' below):

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While the 3D engine that we licensed is 'good enough' to demonstrate the work that we've done, it's not good enough for the Dinosaur Island that we want to create. We've all seen great 3D in games. These 3D engines can handle more polygons, more details (even modeling individual blades of grass) and would give our team the ability to improve Dinosaur Island's graphical quality up to AAA standards. Two of the AAA 3D engines that we are looking at are Unity3D and the CryENGINE. Purchasing a full team's worth of licenses isn't cheap.

This is also true about licensing new 3D models of our dinosaurs. There are fantastic detailed 3D dinosaur models available for licensing... but they're not inexpensive, either.

All of the AI routines were written in C#; a computer language that imports seamlessly to both Unity3D and the CryENGINE. This means that - with your help - we will be able to license a AAA 3D engine, import the AI code that we've written over the last two and a half years, and be up and running very quickly.

With your help, these 3D graphics will look even better!
With your help, these 3D graphics will look even better!

We are very pleased to announce that 1% of the funds raised by this Kickstarter campaign will be contributed to the Smithsonian Institute! And, for every $10,000 we raise we will donate 10 copies of Dinosaur Island Educational Edition to a school district of your choice.

The dinosaur exhibit at the Smithsonian.
The dinosaur exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Watch the video, below, for more details:

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In the 1980s, Ezra Sidran created Designasaurus; the #1 selling game in the U. S.

Designasaurus was also named Educational Game of the Year in 1988 by the Software Publishers' Association. Part of its success can be attributed to a good marketing campaign.

The original award winning (Computer Educational Game of the Year, #1 best selling in the US) Designasaurus.
The original award winning (Computer Educational Game of the Year, #1 best selling in the US) Designasaurus.

However, times have changed since the days of brick and mortar stores and physical game magazine publications. Today for a game to be successful it needs the grassroots support of fans like you! The viral surge of a game on Facebook, Twitter and forums all happens because of people like you. So whether you're backing us for $1 or $10,000, you can help us just a little bit more by simply talking to others about the game and spreading the word.

Millions of people love dinosaurs. I love dinosaurs; that's why I wrote Dinosaur Island and Designasaurus. You probably love dinosaurs, too, because you're looking at this page.

If you know somebody else that loves dinosaurs, please forward this page to them.

We're confident that Dinosaur Island will be a success if we can just get enough people to the very page that you're looking at now.

Data display includes animated heart rate. Click on image to go to Dinosaur-Island.com.
Data display includes animated heart rate. Click on image to go to Dinosaur-Island.com.

Dinosaur Island is the product of years of research by computer scientists and paleontologists to create the most accurate, detailed, 3D simulation of the plants and animals in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. But, without YOUR help, to spread the word, this campaign may very well not get funded.

Please forward this page to friends, family and colleagues that are interested in dinosaurs or have children or grandchildren that are fascinated by paleontology. You can make a difference.

This product is proudly participating in Brian Fargo's Kicking it Forward program, where 5% of this project's profit will be used as pledges for other Kickstarter projects.
This product is proudly participating in Brian Fargo's Kicking it Forward program, where 5% of this project's profit will be used as pledges for other Kickstarter projects.

We anticipate offering many new islands (all over 975 acres!) inhabited with historically accurate dinosaurs. Each island will include an apex predator and two herbivores and appropriate vegetation. The first three islands / eras are:

  • Cretaceous (Comes with Dinosaur Island Standard Edition) - T. Rex (apex predator), Triceratops, Stegosaurus
  • Jurassic - Allosaurus (apex predator), Stegosaurus armatus, Brachiosaurus
  • Triassic - Herrerasaurus (a carnivore), Pisanosaurus (an herbivore), and Panphagia (an omnivore).

Look at these great T-shirts that all the cool paleontologists will be wearing this year!
Look at these great T-shirts that all the cool paleontologists will be wearing this year!

Risks and challenges

The greatest asset in the creation of Dinosaur Island also presents the greatest risk. Dr. Ezra Sidran is the game designer, lead programmer, lead AI designer and lead researcher. However, any project that is largely dependent on the efforts of one key individual may suffer if that person becomes ill or unable to complete the project.

We do not anticipate problems integrating Dinosaur Island with a new 3D engine (either Unity3D or the CryENGINE, see above) as all use C# as a common programming language.

We do not anticipate problems acquiring new, and superior, 3D dinosaur models.

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Support

  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Be one of our first backers and at this tier, you'll receive: A DIGITAL COPY OF DINOSAUR ISLAND, PLUS our Digital Wallpaper Set and Bronze Supporter Credits (size 8 font thank on website and in-game credits).

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    SUPPORTOSAURUS // Thank you for your pledge! Even at this tier, you're helping grow our donation to the Smithsonian and to in-need schools, so thank you! As an additional thank you, at this tier you'll receive: OFFICIAL DINOSAUR ISLAND WALLPAPER SET (with various resolutions great for PC desktop backgrounds and also for smart phone backgrounds), PLUS a public thank you on our website as a BRONZE SUPPORTER!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    This is a limited, early backer reward! At this tier, you'll receive: A DIGITAL COPY OF DINOSAUR ISLAND, PLUS our Digital Wallpaper Set and Bronze Supporter Credits.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    This is a limited, early backer reward! At this tier, you'll receive: A DIGITAL COPY OF DINOSAUR ISLAND, PLUS our Digital Wallpaper Set and Bronze Supporter Credits.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Tier 1.0 - DINOSAUR ISLAND // At this tier, you'll receive: a DIGITAL COPY of Dinosaur Island, PLUS our Digital Wallpaper Set and Bronze Supporter Credits.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Tier 1.1 - BETA ACCESS // Gain access into a private beta test of Dinosaur Island and get an chance to influence the final game! PLUS all receive tier 1.0 rewards.

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    Tier 1.2 - EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION // At this tier, you'll receive: EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION PACK, plus all tier 1.0 rewards.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Tier 1.3 - BETA + EXPANSION // At this tier you'll receive: BETA ACCESS and the EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION PACK, plus all tier 1.0 rewards.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Tier 1.4 - SHARING IS CARING // At this tier you'll receive: THREE DIGITAL COPIES of Dinosaur Island, plus the wallpaper set and bronze supporter credits. (This tier does NOT include the educational expansion or beta access. This is a 'buy two, get one free' for tier 1.0.)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    TIER 2.0, PHYSICAL GAME DISC //
    At this tier you'll receive: PHYSICAL GAME DISC of Dinosaur Island, plus the wallpaper set and SILVER SUPPORTER CREDIT (Does not include a digital copy of the game).

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Tier 2.1 PHYSICAL GAME DISC + EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION // At this tier you'll receive: PHYSICAL GAME DISC of Dinosaur Island and the EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION PACK, plus the wallpaper set and SILVER SUPPORTER CREDIT.

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    TIER 2.2, PICK ONE // At this tier you get to choose any ONE T-SHIRT design (Dinosaur Island 'T-Rex' t-shirt, Dinosaur Island 'Triceratops' t-shirt, Dinosaur Island 'Sauropod' t-shirt), PLUS all tier 1.3 rewards and a jump to the SILVER SUPPORTER CREDIT.

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    Tier 2.3 PICK TWO! // At this tier you get to choose any TWO T-SHIRTS design (Dinosaur Island 'T-Rex' t-shirt, Dinosaur Island 'Triceratops' t-shirt, Dinosaur Island 'Sauropod' t-shirt), PLUS all tier 1.3 rewards and a jump to the SILVER SUPPORTER CREDIT.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Tier 2.4 - PICK THREE! // At this tier you get to choose any THREE T-SHIRT design (Dinosaur Island 'T-Rex' t-shirt, Dinosaur Island 'Triceratops' t-shirt, Dinosaur Island 'Sauropod' t-shirt), PLUS all tier 1.3 rewards and a jump to the SILVER SUPPORTER CREDIT.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Tier 3.0 - LESSON MASTER // At this tier you get to INFLUENCE IN-GAME CONTENT! Join our development team via an online video chat, and we will sit down with you to develop an educational lesson plan for in the Educational Expansion Pack of Dinosaur Island! Plus, make the jump to GOLD SUPPORTER CREDIT and receive tier 1.3 rewards.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Tier 4.0 - ADOPT A LIBRARY // By donating at this tier, we'll DONATE PHYSICAL DISC COPIES OF DINOSAUR ISLAND AND THE EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION PACK to a public institute of your choice (10 copies). Plus, you'll receive all tier 1.3 rewards for yourself at home! Finally, you'll make a jump to our PLATINUM SUPPORTER CREDIT.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Tier 4.1 - ADOPT A SCHOOL // By donating at this tier, we'll DONATE PHYSICAL DISC COPIES OF DINOSAUR ISLAND AND THE EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION PACK to a public institute of your choice (25 copies). Plus, you'll receive all tier 1.3 rewards for yourself at home! Finally, you'll make a jump to our PLATINUM SUPPORTER CREDIT.

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Funding period

- (38 days)