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$1,085 pledged of $5,000 goal
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By CapriByte Studios
$1,085 pledged of $5,000 goal
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About

The best way you can help DinoSystem development, aside Kickstarter, is by VOTING it for STEAM! Click on the banner below to access the Greenlight page:

DinoSystem is a survival game set in a simulated ecosystem. 

Every element of the world is emergent and evolves according to physical and biological rules: plants grow with sunlight and fertility, animals need for food, water, sleep and mate. Weather, temperature and day length depend on seasons. Lakes form or evaporate, and terrain become fertile or arid depending on a miriad of simulated variables.

In God mode you have complete control over the ecosystem, while in Survival mode you join the ecosystem and fight for your life.

The setting is the Hell Creek Formation (North America) during the late Cretaceous period. The game features the possibility of a massive disaster, marking the end of the age of Dinosaurs: will you survive the neverending winter?

DinoSystem will be released for PC, Mac and Linux, and, if the stretch goal is reached, it will be also ported to smartphone.

"The ability to take on the role of a human trying to survive amongst and against dinosaurs is an interesting concept – especially measured against the realism of the game world where weather, health, body temperature and physical activity will affect the growth of your character.

     - OneAngryGamer

 

FEATURES:

  • Simulated ecology: the game tracks everything from plants, animals and weather, to seasons and day/night cycle. All living things, and even the soil, change over time. Nothing "spawns" from nothing: kill all animals or plants of a given species, and it will become extinct. 

  • God mode: introduce new animals, alter the weather, create barriers to isolate a species or lay destruction with calamities. See how the world adapts to your godly whishes, or set the starting rules and just watch how things evolve.

  • Human Survival mode: join the ecosystem as a survivor; you require to eat, drink, sleep, stay warm and protect from predators. Build a shelter, gather fruits, farm or hunt: how you survive is up to you. You'll see long-term changes to your body and skills depending on your virtual life-style, even your metabolism, body muscles and fat will adapt!

  • Dinosaur Survival mode (STRETCH GOAL): if the stretch goal is met, an animal mode will be implemented, with the same depth of the aforementioned survival mode, but without any technology and human activity (of course)! You'll be able to mate and pass on your genes in order to continue playing as your offspring.

  • Realistic temperature: the character temperature model is very realistic as everything is taken into account; from proximity to fire, being soaked, wind chill, sun exposure, and even physical activity and being idle/sleeping. Air temperature is influenced by season, time of day, weather and humidity.

  • Stats and skills: a dynamic, rewarding and unique skill system that allows to adapt to the things you need to do on a daily basis. Stats like strength and athletics depending on character muscle and fat mass, metabolism, weight and general condition.

  • Breed dinosaurs: get familiarity with the ancient beasts, learn how to handle them, steal an egg and raise your own triceratops! There is a genetic pool that each animal inherits from its parents: this generates a principle of natural selection (and thus small-scale evolution), and gives you a reason to breed a particular animal.

  • Open-ended gameplay: the game has no fixed purpose to fulfill. Play as long as you like, experiment, see how far you can go and how fat you can get, survive the asteroid and its aftermath, or die of dysentery and starvation! The world keeps changing and you with it.

  • Archivements: non-linear, open-ended gameplay doesn't mean you won't get rewarded: the game tracks your archivements as you bring your ecosystem to glory or successfully survive as part of it.

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In DinoSystem the world is not fixed: every element on (and off) screen has its own life cycle and respond to the environment.

Watch how the world changes troughout 3 years of simulation: 

 
Some examples:
  • Lakes form and evaporate according to rain, humidity and temperature.
  • Soil becomes fertile if certain conditions are met like the presence of water, organic materials, and mild temperatures.
  • Aridity expands into huge deserts separating islands of lush forests and oases.
  • Ice forms and melts according to temperature and snow.
Seasons do not start all of a sudden, but change in a gradual fashion. Even day/night length shifts troughout the year, with the longest day in mid summer and the longest night in mid winter.

This is what happens when aridity has the upper hand.
This is what happens when aridity has the upper hand.
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Weather is not regulated by pre-determined events, but emerges from real variables like air humiditypressure and temperature

Weather generated by those variables are unpredictable, and its emergent nature contributes toward making the world feel real and producing different scenarios. 

Same place, different weather. Click here to see it in HD.
Same place, different weather. Click here to see it in HD.
The harsh sandstorm doesn't seem to stop the feast: cannibalism was common among dinosaurs.
The harsh sandstorm doesn't seem to stop the feast: cannibalism was common among dinosaurs.
Thunderstorms can ruin a dino's afternoon nap.
Thunderstorms can ruin a dino's afternoon nap.
Weather elements:
  • Rain & snow
  • Wind
  • Fog
  • Sand/snowstorm
  • Thunderstorm
Fog and sand/snowstorms can happen in an isolated part of the map depending on the conditions thereby. Lightning bolts always happened somewhere when you hear the thunder from distance, and can spark wild fires!
Air temperature is calculated from a base seasonal value plus time of day, weather, humidity, sun exposure and a small random coefficient. 
  
 

Fauna & flora:

Plants and animals have complex life cycles. They grow, spread seeds or mate, compete, hunt, lay eggs, protect their youngs, get old, die, decompose or become food. Nothing "spawns", but everything comes from a (virtual) seed, egg, or womb.
 
Being armored is a huge advantage.
Being armored is a huge advantage.

Time to run buddies!
Time to run buddies!
Being a youngster is a major cause of death in this ruthless world.
Being a youngster is a major cause of death in this ruthless world.

Animals in the game represent the late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation fauna. Most of the species are dinosaurs, but there are also mammals lurking in the shadows, pterosaurs ruling the skies and anfibians ambushing underwater.

We are planning to have a total of at least 6 species in the base finished game; each with its AI specific to male, female and youngster. Other species to include will be decided through feedback from the community after the official release.
 
Animal species already in the game are:
  • Triceratops  
  • Tyrannosaurus  
  • Ankylosaurus  
Some of the animal species currently planned are:
  • Deinosuchus (crocodile)
  • Didelphodon (mammal)  
  • Azhdarchid (pterosaur)  
Marine wildlife is also planned, this will allow for some interesting mechanics, like fishing having an actual impact on the marine ecosystem. Insects will be simulated as swarms and will have unique mechanics.

Animals, as well as plants, don't magically spawn from nothing: they actually reproduce.
Animals, as well as plants, don't magically spawn from nothing: they actually reproduce.
Vegetation is represented by two generic species: ferns and conifers. More species will be added in future.
Plants get energy from sunlight, water, terrain fertility and temperature. Depending on the species, they spread seeds or fruits. They are the first ring of the chain of life, because without them no animal could survive. It would be terrible to have the sun obscured for years... Hopefully that won’t happen, will it?
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In God mode, you have direct control over the ecosystem. You can "create" the kind of world you want to live in (in Survival mode), or you can use it as a learning tool and see how predator-prey interactions work in a simulated ecosystem.

You can manipulate nearly every aspect of the ecosystem.
You can manipulate nearly every aspect of the ecosystem.
Lay destruction at will!
Lay destruction at will!

Things you can do in God mode:

  • Insert, move and destroy animals, plants, water and map obstacles.
  • Alter fertility/aridity of the soil (and thus its appearence).
  • Alter air temperature, humidity and pressure.
  • Directly alter the weather elements (rain, snow, wind etc).
  • Inspect animals and watch how they survive.
  • Trigger devastating calamities (hint: 12 km wide rock).

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DinoSystem offers an uncompromising survival experience where every little detail matters.

You join the ecosystem as a human, stranded in this ancient world, and try to survive as long as you can in the best possible way. An editor will allow to decide the sex and appearance of the playing character, as well as its initial attributes and skills. Also Dinosaurs may be playable in a future expansion of the game! Check the stretch goals for more info.

NOTE: this concept does not support the idea that humans coexisted with dinosaurs as seen in The Flintstones or the Creation Museum. We are still working on a story that legitimizes this fictional scenario. 

Fighting while moving backwards is not always the best option, because you can stumble.
Fighting while moving backwards is not always the best option, because you can stumble.

Survival needs:

  • Nutrition: calories are needed to keep you alive and active, excess calories can increase your stored fat and help you survive starvation, the process is amplified by resting/sleeping. Check this video for more info.
  • Proteins: proteins are obtained from certain foods and allow to build muscle mass, if some physical work has been performed and calories intake is sufficient. The process is amplified by resting/sleeping.
  • Water: keep your body regularly hydrated! You'll waste water in a myriad of ways, also by sweating...
  • Fullness: how full your stomach is; you can be full and malnutrished at the same time, so what you eat is important, nutrient density/filling ratio plays an important role.
  • Stamina: there are several factors that influence the rate at which you get tired, and several actions affected by your stamina level.
  • Breath: capacity to run, jump, sprint, attack and generally perform physical work. Maximum breath is connected with stamina and the overall condition and body statuses.
  • Health: player "life bar", which also relates to wounds and illness. The maximum health is dynamic: a healthy character not only has a full health bar, but his/her health cap is higher.
Your character's body changes over time based on your virtual lifestyle.
Your character's body changes over time based on your virtual lifestyle.

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Variables influencing the character: 

  • Temperature: see the "player temperature" section below.
  • Cover and isolation: being surrounded by roof and walls (or boulders). Player will be able to build shelters to be safer.
  • Wind and sun exposure: directly related to the above status, alters temperature perceived. Being exposed to sun and wind also allows to get dry faster.
  • Wetness: being under rain, into water or sweating. Reduces temperature perceived, expecially if you're exposed to wind.
  • Muscle Soreness: certain physical actions increase muscle soreness, which along with resting, proteins and calories, increases the muscle mass. It also makes any physical work harder and decreases overall strength, so regular resting is essential either to be efficient and to build muscles, just like in real life.

Dynamic body features: 

  • Body Muscle: player muscle mass changes according to workout performed, calories intake and proteins. It affects mainly strength, weight and body shape, and helps to survive starvation by converting muscles into calories when starving (catabolism).
  • Body Fat: player can get or lose fat depending on calories intake/outake and physical activity. It also affects a variety of other variables, like the body weight, shape and strength, and helps to survive starvation by converting fats into calories when starving.
Get too fat, and you won't even be able to run.
Get too fat, and you won't even be able to run.
  • Body Weight: player has a dynamic body weight which depends on body composition; fat, muscles and stomach fullness. It affects mainly running speed, jump height and the breath consumed when moving.
  • Strength: Strength determines the effectivness of some actions and the power of melee and ranged attacks. As already mentioned, it depends mainly on muscles, but it's also largely affected by your general condition. 
Wind power and direction influence the trajectory of the arrow. Asses the wind direction in order to deliver a good shot!
Wind power and direction influence the trajectory of the arrow. Asses the wind direction in order to deliver a good shot!

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Skill system: 

Skills work in this way: every skill has a cap of 100 and is increased by performing the related action. The higher it is, the harder it gets to level it up. 100 is virtually impossible to reach, because the formula involved in calculating the amount to add to the skill is 100-skill
In addition to the cap, there is a skill decay mechanic; this doesn't mean that you will unlearn your abilities, it merely implies that the more you neglect a particular action, the less proficient you'll be at it, just like in real life.

What's the result? A dynamic, rewarding and unique skill system that allows to adapt to the things you need to do on a daily basis. Add to this the metabolism, fat and muscle mechanics and you get a pretty unique and deep character building system.

Butchering skill determines your ability to dismember dinosaurs into pieces... but first you need to kill them.
Butchering skill determines your ability to dismember dinosaurs into pieces... but first you need to kill them.
Lighting a fire is not as easy as in other games, but your character will get more skilled as you practice it.
Lighting a fire is not as easy as in other games, but your character will get more skilled as you practice it.
Skills currently implemented or planned (more skill will be added troughout the development):

  • Gathering: the ability gather resources from plants and stone deposits.
  • Butchering: the ability to collect meat, pelt and tendon from animal carcasses.
  • Firemaking: the ability to light a fire.
  • Crafting: the ability to craft tools or build structures.
  • Zoology: the ability to assess animal stats (age, health, stamina, etc).
  • Melee: the strength of melee attacks, pushback inflicted and the chance to cause bloodloss with cutting weapons.
  • Ranged: the strength and accuracy of ranged attacks.
  • Athletics: the character moving speed when running or sprinting, jump height and the chance to stumble when walking backwards.
  • (planned) Toughness: the proficiency to endure extreme conditions and physical damage.
  • (planned) Medicine: the ability to heal wounds by applying bendages or using medical herbs.
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Equip any item by dragging it on the proper character slot.
Equip any item by dragging it on the proper character slot.

Player Temperature:

This is the temperature felt by the character, not its body temperature, so it can drop below 0°C without instantly killing you. It is related to the air temperature, but it also depends on several other factors:

  • Sunlight exposure: determines the level of sunlight the character is exposed to, can be reduced by seeking cover under a roof/tree, or even better inside a shelter.
  • Wetness: as already mentioned, reduces character temperature, is caused by being in water, sweating or under rain.
  • Wind: as already mentioned, amplifies the decrease in temperature from Wetness, can be reduced by seeking protection near walls/boulders, or better inside a shelter.
  • Physical actions: running, fighting or performing work raise your temperature. Being idle or sleeping reduces it.
  • Proximity to fire: this one is a given!
  • Clothes & shelters: increase temperature depending on their type and quality.
Check the bottom-left text: many variables influence the temperature perceived by the character.
Check the bottom-left text: many variables influence the temperature perceived by the character.

The music in DinoSystem is dynamic: there are different tracks for different situations: when the last track is ended, the game picks a track best suited for the current situation (a thunderstorm, a rainy afternoon, a quiet night, etc). 

Our composer, Marty Meinerz, is extremely talented: here some samples of his current work on the DinoSystem soundtrack:

Daniele Ferraro (game designer, programmer)

Daniel is a biology student and science enthusiast. He lives in the beautiful island of Capri (Italy). He is the founder of a well-known modding guide for Skyrim called "Skyrim Total Enhancement Project", which has expanded into a huge community of passionate modders, where Daniel is known as "TheCompiler".  


Giulio Cangiano (2D artist, webmaster)  

Giulio is a true action man. If someone asked him to excavate the Sahara Desert for a sample, he would do it. He loves bikes, rifles, and airplanes. He is the type of man who maintains a positive attitude at all times; even in the face of death.  


Daniele Monnanni (producer, scientific adviser)  

Monnanni lives in Tuscany, Italy, and studies antropology. He's very knowledgeable in many scientific fields, and loves to talk science. He's so deeply interested in his genealogical roots, that he managed to track his family tree back to 1500 AD!  


Jon Calvo  (game promoter, localization manager) 
                          
Jon became famous on the web for an inspirational video showing his amazing weight loss titled: "The Man Who Never Gave Up (175 Pound Transformation)." He is of Chamorro descent and lives in Wichita: the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas.  


Marty Meinerz (composer)

Marty is a composer, sound designer, and amateur wizard based out of Chicago. For the past few years he has been using his knowledge of sound in a variety of different mediums, and has a list of clients that includes everything from toy companies to game studios, and from webisodes to Walt Disney. 

Why Kickstarter?

There are two main reasons we have decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign:
  • To hire a professional artist, to make DinoSystem as visually awesome as possible.
  • To continue developing the game full time until its completion. Although we'll continue to expand and improve it even after the official release.

Project costs are relatively low, because we don't need money to create fancy gadgets or tons of content: one good thing about emergent gameplay is that the game mechanics themselves produce variety, not necessary additional levels, monsters and weapons.

Risks and challenges

We've reached this point with very little money, and we are extremely committed to bring this game to the highest possible level even without funding, but imagine what we can do with proper funding!

The game is already here, although not in a complete state, and some people are already having fun with it. Also, even if the team consists of few members, all the essential work (programming, design) is made by Daniel, who would NEVER quit the project, since it is his childhood dream.

Completing DinoSystem is a matter of time and quality, not a matter of "if".

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    SURVIVOR (EARLY BIRD)

    - Receive a digital copy of the finished game when it is released in late 2015. If the game gets on Steam, you will also receive a Steam key. If the smartphone stretch goal is reached, you'll also receive the smartphone version when it is completed.

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    SURVIVOR

    - Receive a digital copy of the finished game when it is released in late 2015. If the game gets on Steam, you will also receive a Steam key. If the smartphone stretch goal is reached, you'll also receive the smartphone version when it is completed.

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    PALEONTOLOGIST (EARLY BIRD)

    - Get Alpha access as soon as the Kickstarter ends; including all updates up to the release of the game, and exclusive access to the private testing forum, so you'll be able influence the game development!

    - Be listed in the website and game credits as Alpha tester.

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    - Get Alpha access as soon as the Kickstarter ends; including all updates up to the release of the game, and exclusive access to the private testing forum, so you'll be able influence the game development!

    - Be listed in the website and game credits as Alpha tester.

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    ACADEMIC

    - Receive all the EARLY DinoSystem prototype and pre-alpha builds (when it was not even called DinoSystem!), some true pieces of (pre)history.

    - Alpha access as the Kickstarter ends + all future updates.

    - Be listed in the website and game credits as Alpha tester.

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    DINO BREEDER

    - Name your own Dinosaur! The game will pick your choosen nickname to name a random animal at its birth. Name must be within reason.

    - Get all the early DinoSystem prototypes for your fossil record!

    - Alpha access as the Kickstarter ends + all future updates.

    - Be listed in the website and game credits as Alpha tester.

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    PRODUCER

    - You're a fellow gamedev or have a company? Show everybody that you're part of this project! This reward allows you to have your company/game logo in the DinoSystem website and game credits.

    - Name a Dinosaur!

    - Get all the early DinoSystem prototypes for your fossil record!

    - Alpha access as the Kickstarter ends + all future updates.

    - Be listed in the website and game credits as a special contributor.

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    DINO ENGINEER

    - This reward gives you the power to pick a Dinosaur to implement in the game (as long as it is consistent with the game setting, aka Cretaceous period / Hells Creek).

    - Have your company/game logo in the game credits!

    - Name a Dinosaur!

    - Get all the early DinoSystem prototypes for your fossil record!

    - Alpha access as the Kickstarter ends + all future updates.

    - Be listed in the website and game credits as a game designer.

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Funding period

- (33 days)