|Jurassic World Evolution|
Long time readers will know that I am a huge fan of the Jurassic Park franchise and of dinosaurs as a whole. For years I have played Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. For those who don't know JPOG is a game where you have to build your own Jurassic Park and open it to the public. Despite being released in 2003 this game still has a massive fanbase and I personally play it with mods. Unfortunately it never got a sequel as the company which made it went bust in 2011. Luckily a group of fans started making a spiritual successor a couple of years ago and just last week they dropped the pre-alpha demo for Prehistoric Kingdom. So far this demo has drastically exceeded expectations and made everyone hopeful for the full game. However, just a few days after Prehistoric Kingdom released its demo we received this trailer:
Yes to coincide with the new Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom we'll be getting the long awaited sequel to JPOG. After over a decade of waiting I've got many ideas for what I would want in a sequel. Today we'll look at ten things which I would like in Jurassic World: Evolution (JWE).
10- Creative Exhibit Designs
Above I've linked a video to one of my favorite YouTubers, Best in Slot, to show how creative exhibit design can be. He used one of my all time favorite games, Zoo Tycoon 2, to make that exhibit. Although I love JPOG exhibit design is incredibly limited, especially compared to ZT2. One of the reasons for this is that ZT2 was solely on PC while JPOG was on both. JWE will be for both as well so I am worried that this will hamper creative design. When ZT2 finally got a sequel it was only on X-Box One and although it looked beautiful it was extremely limiting, (you couldn't make your own exhibits only dragging and dropping pre-made ones). I'll give X-Box Zoo Tycoon the benefit of the doubt as it was a launch title for the X-Box One so likely the team were cautious. As both consoles have been released for several years now, and how much more powerful the PS4 and X-Box One are compared to the PS2 we should hopefully see the ability to make unique exhibits.
9- A wide range of Dinosaurs
JPOG could only handle a maximum of 40 species of dinosaurs in the game at one time and base game (without mods) only had 25 dinosaurs. Game engines have phenomenally improved since 2003 so now it is impossible to have so many animals in game. Possibly even an infinite amount judging by the number of modded animals you can have in ZT2 which came out just a year after JPOG. JWE could have lots of animals in the game and not just ones shown in Jurassic World. JPOG had dinosaurs from all three movies as well as many other dinosaurs not shown even in the franchise before. JPOG introduced me to many obscure dinosaurs such as Ouranosaurus and Acrocanthosaurus so JWE could do the same. Bizarre dinosaurs like Therizinosaurus and Oviraptor could fit perfectly in the game. Also, since 2003 many new dinosaur species have been discovered which could be good additions to the roster like the Chinese tyrannosaur ancestor Guanlong or even the feathered tyrannosaurus Yutyrannus.
8- Some Scientifically Accurate Dinosaurs
|The actual size of velociraptor|
Jurassic Park is full of scientifically inaccurate dinosaurs. They've even mentioned this fact in the novel which started the franchise, by Michael Crichton, and Jurassic World. JWE could change that. Of course dinosaurs which have already appeared in the series like Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus should remain inaccurate through continuity. However new additions could possibly be accurate. We now know that theropods, (bipedal, carnivorous dinosaurs), were feathered so newly introduced theropods could be feathered. Prehistoric Kingdom has sort of implemented this mechanic. It primarily has accurate models but it has a few, optional, scaly ones. For JWE having some accurate dinosaurs, or alternate accurate skins for dinosaurs like T-Rex, could be a novel gameplay mechanic.
7- Animals that aren't Dinosaurs
|Mosasaurus in Jurassic World|
Jurassic World featured three extinct animals that aren't dinosaurs: Mosasaurus, Pteranodon and Dimorphodon. At the end of JWE's trailer you can see the Mosasaur tank from the movie. Hopefully that means we can have a Mosasaurus in JWE but it would be better if we could have more types of extinct animals in the game. We could have an aviary filled with a wide variety of pterosaurs including the weird looking Dsungaripterus or the giant Quetzalcoatlus, or we could have an aquatic area full of the Loch Ness Monster like Plesiosaurs. We don't have to to just limit it to flying and aquatic life. We could have animals from before the time of the dinosaurs or after the dinosaurs went extinct. During the Triassic, when dinosaurs first appeared, there were many big animals which the young dinosaurs lived in the shadow of. During the Cretaceous, the last period which the dinosaurs lived in, there was a crocodile called Deinosuchus which could eat dinosaurs. A Deinosuchus could be perfect for JWE.
6- Not too many hybrids
The main plot point of Jurassic World was the hybrid dinosaur Indominus Rex. Technically every dinosaur in the franchise is a hybrid so when I say 'not too many hybrids' I mean 'not too many Indominus-style hybrids'. The movie emphasizes how important the Indominus is being the first hybrid dinosaur so having too many hybrid dinosaurs will dilute this aspect to it. The series already has a few good hybrids that aren't Indominus, (shown in games and comics etc.). Stegoceratops in particular is my favorite hybrid. Hybrids should be something that you get when you have the best park instead of a principal game mechanic.
5- Better Dinosaur AI
For what JPOG was the dinosaur AI was good. Except that was in 2003. For 2018 we need something far better. The AI for all carnivores largely were the same and the same could be said for the herbivores. If the X-Box 360 and PS3 could handle the intense amount of AI for Skyrim and if their successors can handle the intense AI of Witcher 3 they should be able to handle unique AI for JWE. Each animal could have their own behavior and more intelligent animals could have more complex AI. Velociraptors could test the fences for weaknesses, as mentioned in Jurassic Park, and could be extremely aggressive until tamed by Owen Grady. Furthermore, raptors could form packs and form plans to catch prey. Small dinosaurs like Dryosaurus could hide under the legs of large ones like Stegosaurus where they act as the eyes for the larger dinosaurs. The Parasaurolophus could have different honks for different things: a long one for sighting a predator, a series of short ones for being friendly etc. Dilophosaurs could be shy dinosaurs in contrast to the bolder raptors. Finally the Indominus could set traps and communicate with the raptors as what happened in Jurassic World.
4- A First Person View
ZT2 had a very fun and unique game mode where you go into 'Zookeeper Mode' where you walk about in your zoo and do jobs. Primarily people, (including myself), used this to experience their zoo as a guest and so far no other zoo/park builder has managed to capture this mode. A simple guest mode would be fantastic for JWE. With modern graphics a first person view would be fantastic. You could start off in the center of Jurassic World seeing the futuristic and glitz of the park. You could go see the Mosasaur Feeding Show or take a trip in a Gyrosphere. Except when things go wrong. There's a thunderstorm and your Gyrosphere breaks down. You here something breaking. Then a Tyrannosaurus steps out from the trees. Seeing that through a first person mode would make JWE exceptional.
3- Animal Buildings
|Concept image from Prehistoric Kingdom|
The above image is from a Prehistoric Kingdom concept art. It also exemplifies this idea of animal buildings. Wildlife parks and zoos often have special buildings for smaller or animals with special needs. In the original JPOG they wanted to have the tiny Compsognathus but they thought it would be too small to be shot at from the helicopter. Having a building for smaller dinosaurs could solve this issue. This idea was almost implemented in the movie itself. There was going to be a scene featuring an almost Microceratus petting area. Also, this doesn't have to be limited to dinosaurs. There could be a bug house for the giant bugs of the past. An aviary would work perfectly and was actually shown in the movie. Despite the many flaws Telltale's Jurassic Park: The Game made a very good design for Jurassic Park and had a good idea. It featured an almost underground area for an aquarium for giant creatures like mosasaurs. This could be perfect for JWE.
2- Fix the Guests
|Guests in JPOG|
In JPOG, and ZT2, the guests drove me to insanity. Always complaining, complaining that there was nothing which my park had an abundance of, and not actually seeing the park the guests accurately represented the real life general public but it's not good for enjoying a game. I was never happier deleting the fences and letting my T-Rex eat the b*******. The only way for guests to explore the entire park was either to build a small guest area and have the rest of the park being a safari, or put in lots of visitor centers. Actually giving the guests AI would make, I think, everyone's lives a whole lot easier. Another point with the guests is the matter of nationality. JPOG stated where your guests were from and it was a neat concept although I never managed to see the practical side of it. Possibly for JWE where your guests are from represents your fame: lower fame only gives you guests from one place but as your fame increases your guests come from a wider area.
|The iconic scene|
The trailer for JWE shows a T-Rex breakout and the most famous scene in Jurassic Park is when the T-Rex breaks out. In JPOG when your dinosaurs escaped, except when you let them do that, it wasn't overly tense. It was only a matter of having your helicopter tranquilize it. Only when it broke out near guests did it become tense. The trailer gives us an idea that a dinosaur breakout is something extremely stressful and dangerous. This will add another thing for you to manage. You would have to make sure that your fences are up to scratch, (especially if being tested by raptors), and make sure that dinosaurs cannot damage the fences. Have you used the correct fencing to keep a dinosaur in? Can you use the same fencing for a Triceratops as you do a T-Rex? If a dinosaur breaks out what do you do? Do you just have it shot or can you tranquilize it? This level of thought can make JWE truly immersive.
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