Hard time in the Cretaceous – Dinosaur game made in Unity

The game “Hard times in the Cretaceous” is a 3D game made in Unity in which you control a dinosaur that has to protect its egg from the attack of ferocious carnivores. The prototype of this game was developed in 48 hours for the “Patagonia Game Jam” and then polished in the following 5 days.

Game Objective

Help Neuquensaurus to protect its egg so that the species will endure

In Patagonia, during the Cretaceous period, there was a legendary struggle for the survival of the species, the Neuquensaurus, a noble herbivore species, had to withstand constant attacks by the Overoraptors, carnivores of small stature but that, attacking in groups, were a great threat. Feed on what your environment provides, scare or step on the Overoraptors and make your offspring survive.

Controls

Move with the arrow keys, you can sprint with “SHIFT” and also roar with “SPACE“, but be careful, the Neuquensaurus will consume more energy in both cases.

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About the Patagonia Game Jam

Patagonia is a region of southern Argentina and is the region where I live, this jam was organized here and the theme was the dinosaurs in Patagonia, which had a strong presence in this region. For the event they created a discord server in which we had channels for each team and we could also talk to paleontologists to learn about the topic or ask questions and that our games have some correlation with the history of dinosaurs.

Music

The music for this game was composed by one of the members of the team, I really liked the result, especially the gameplay battle music, you can visit the “Trepen el Paredón’s” channel to see more works.

Technical Details

Next we are going to review some information about the inner workings of this game and its mechanics, first of all it is a 3D project developed with the Unity engine.

Scene Structure

This game is set up in two scenes, the first scene is the main menu that has some buttons, one to start the game, one for the credits window where you see our faces and links to our networks, we have another button to close the game and there is also a button to continue a game, but this only appears when we have already played at least once and passed the first round, which means that this information is stored in memory and then retrieve it and decide whether to show the button or not.

Dinosaur controlled by the player

The player controls the dinosaur using the directional arrows or the WASD keys, can sprint by holding down the SHIFT key and roar by pressing SPACE. The dinosaur has an associated hunger level that decreases passively but depletes faster if the dinosaur walks, even faster if it runs, and each roar costs a certain level of hunger to produce.

If the hunger bar reaches zero our dinosaur dies of starvation so we must be sure to consume the food that appears on the stage, for this just go over the bushes, also the dinosaur has an indicator that all the time points to the nearest food source.

Dinosaur egg

At the beginning of the game there is a dinosaur egg located in the nest, this egg has an associated incubation time and health level, both values are reflected in the bars in the upper left corner of the screen. The incubation time increases steadily and the health of the egg decreases if it is attacked by an enemy dinosaur. When the incubation time is up, the egg hatches and a miniature dinosaur emerges from inside.

The carnivorous dinosaurs will try to attack the egg, if we allow them to get close enough they will do some damage that will be subtracted from the health level of the egg, it can be seen in the indicator bar of the graphical interface. When the egg is completely damaged the game is over as no new dinosaurs will be born.

The egg appears again when the small dinosaur is fully developed.

Dinosaur baby

The new little dinosaur emerges when the game finishes hatching, at that moment the indicator bars change to show the dinosaur’s health and state of growth, in the hatching state the carnivorous dinosaurs will attack it in the same way as they did with the egg.

Initially I wanted to make the dinosaur hatchling have an artificial intelligence that would allow it to move around the stage independently and feed itself, for that reason there is a 3D model that looks like little colored balls, the idea was that the hatchling would look for those food sources to develop, but in the end there wasn’t enough time.

The stage

The 3D models of the scenery are models we made using Blender, the textures were made with Substance Painter.

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