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Dinosaur based games


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#1    Ravinar

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 05:05 AM

There is a huge lack of dinosaur based games for the current generation consoles. ya know what? scratch that! There is a huge lack of dinosaur based games in general! it is a horribly untapped market that has produced very few gems like dino crisis 1/2, carnivores 1/2 and JPOG and... you know what? thats it! ya thats right only five good games based on dinosaurs have been made since the inception of gaming! WTF?!

it can not possibly be that hard to come up with a good dinosaur game! here are two great ideas to get a game developer started:

1. based on Jurassic Park this game would be a mix of open world adventure (like skyrim) and survival horror. you arrive on isla sorna (weather it be through ship/plane crash or an illegal dinosaur retrieval mission gone wrong) you are now trapped on this island with your first priority being to find food,water,shelter and something to defend yourself from the horrors of the island. once you have found a base camp and gathered supplies and weapons your next step is to try and find a way off this island. along the way you will uncover secrets of the islands past and fellow survivors from whatever disaster brought you to the island that you must now choose whether to help,hurt or simply leave them to their fate.

weapons, equipment and upgrades are scattered around the the island. some of them requiring you solve a puzzle, find the code to unlock from a safe or fight/sneak passed a big mean dinosaur to get. as for game play and combat your best bet is to try and be as clever, sneaky and stealthy as possible for you will not last long in a strait out fight. remember you are up against creatures who are faster, stronger and much bigger then you. your wit, cunning and inventiveness is your only real advantage. i could go on but ya get the idea.

2. based on the bbc's Prehistoric Park.



think about it! you play as Nigel Marven and your objective is to step back in time and capture prehistoric animals (not just dinosaurs) to bring back to the present. you also must build and maintain the park making sure that each resident is in good health and wont break lose and go on a rampage. you could fill enclosures with many different animals or try and go more realistic and fill them with only animals and plants of that time period. this game would be one half park builder and one half action adventure!

there plenty of stories you could weave with dinosaurs and there are loads of dino fans out there like me just starving for a good dinosaur game. but the market for this type of game still remains thee most untapped idea in gaming and it makes no sense what so ever!

Edited by Ravinar, 29 January 2012 - 05:11 AM.

the human race is at an end and and my soul grows weary. the one thing that could revive it is almost gone and is in no condition to heal me. yet i shall not despair for the light of hope shines even in the greatest darkness. i shall continue to hope.... hope for the days of green and ever lasting love of all things. for those whom think them selfs better shall realize they are not all that is. nor are they in any way better for all life is equal.

#2    DigitalDreamer

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 08:02 PM

I know what you mean,It feels like no developer wants to risk making a game with dinos because frankly they don't know what the hell to make it about!

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#3    Paranoid Android

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:06 AM

 Ravinar, on 29 January 2012 - 05:05 AM, said:

as for game play and combat your best bet is to try and be as clever, sneaky and stealthy as possible for you will not last long in a strait out fight. remember you are up against creatures who are faster, stronger and much bigger then you. your wit, cunning and inventiveness is your only real advantage. i could go on but ya get the idea.
I think you've hit the nail on the head as to why developers aren't making dinosaur games.  Some of the smaller dinosaurs might make for a couple of sniper shots or a flame thrower or something, but the larger dino's simply can't realistically be defeated so easily.  Computer games need variety, and in a dino game I can see that the majority of the time you are either sneaking past a dino, or you're in a "boss level" mode struggling to even survive.  Very few easy kills.  In Skyrim, for example, there are dragons.  They take a while to kill and some are quite tough.  Now imagine if I didn't have any trolls to take down or even mudcrabs or foxes or bandits, but right from the start of the game I was almost exclusively battling giant creatures that could squish me with one foot.    

For most gamers that just won't be that interesting.  I remember an old game on PS1 about a ninja assassin (can't recall its name) where sneaking was your primary skill because if any guard saw you they came in waves and you had to either fight unending numbers of foes, or you ran away until you were beyond radar and then you could try sneaking again.  But there were always payoffs for sneaking when you got to put a blade in their ribs or use a smoke bomb to confuse people.  I can't see payoffs happen so easily in a dinosaur game because you can't exactly sneak behind a T-Rex and shove a knife in its throat.  

I agree that it could work if done correctly, but I'm thinking that it would be quite tough to create a playable game that has enough variety.  So it appears most don't bother trying.

Just my thoughts,

~ PA

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#4    Ravinar

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:15 AM

 Paranoid Android, on 30 January 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

I think you've hit the nail on the head as to why developers aren't making dinosaur games.  Some of the smaller dinosaurs might make for a couple of sniper shots or a flame thrower or something, but the larger dino's simply can't realistically be defeated so easily.  Computer games need variety, and in a dino game I can see that the majority of the time you are either sneaking past a dino, or you're in a "boss level" mode struggling to even survive.  Very few easy kills.  In Skyrim, for example, there are dragons.  They take a while to kill and some are quite tough.  Now imagine if I didn't have any trolls to take down or even mudcrabs or foxes or bandits, but right from the start of the game I was almost exclusively battling giant creatures that could squish me with one foot.    

I agree that it could work if done correctly, but I'm thinking that it would be quite tough to create a playable game that has enough variety.  So it appears most don't bother trying.

Just my thoughts,

~ PA

actually you brought up one of the biggest gripes i have with pretty much every single dinosaur shooter game. the fact is dinosaurs do offer that verity its just developers never implement it! its always ALWAYS the raptor and T.rex dynamic aka the midsize hordes and big bosses.

using skyrim as a parallel your foxes and rabbits would be stuff like micro raptors and compsognathus. for your mudcrabs, goats, wolfs and deer you would have things like troodon, Dryosaurus, coelophysis and protoceratops. for your bandits, horkers and ice wolfs you would have stuff like deinonychus, pachycephalosaurus, styracosaurus and Dilophosaurus. for your bears and saber cats you would have things like carnotaurus and utahraptor. for your giants and mammoths you would have albertosaurus, allosaurus, triceratops and stegosaurus. finally for your dragons you would have T.rex, spinosaurus, brachiosaurus, Argentinosaurus and that is just to name but a very few! point is there is almost endless verity in dinosaurs if one only look at the dam fossil record!

Edited by Ravinar, 30 January 2012 - 10:18 AM.

the human race is at an end and and my soul grows weary. the one thing that could revive it is almost gone and is in no condition to heal me. yet i shall not despair for the light of hope shines even in the greatest darkness. i shall continue to hope.... hope for the days of green and ever lasting love of all things. for those whom think them selfs better shall realize they are not all that is. nor are they in any way better for all life is equal.

#5    Ravinar

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:10 AM

 Paranoid Android, on 30 January 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

For most gamers that just won't be that interesting.  I remember an old game on PS1 about a ninja assassin (can't recall its name) where sneaking was your primary skill because if any guard saw you they came in waves and you had to either fight unending numbers of foes, or you ran away until you were beyond radar and then you could try sneaking again.  But there were always payoffs for sneaking when you got to put a blade in their ribs or use a smoke bomb to confuse people.  I can't see payoffs happen so easily in a dinosaur game because you can't exactly sneak behind a T-Rex and shove a knife in its throat.  


~ PA

another thing that grinds my gears about all dinosaur shooter games is that the dinosaurs don't act like animals! they act more like mindless zombies. picture this if you will:

your out in the jungle making your way to the ruins of the old ingen docking port on the island hoping that maybe you can salvage a boat and get off the island. all of a sudden you hear a low growling noise you know all to well at this point. you stop cold! adrenalin fills your body as the realization that your being hunted washes over you. you make a run for it! you hear the pounding of feet and crackling of sticks and branches coming ever closer. finally you come up to a sheer rock wall and break fast. dead end! you spin around to find three raptors closing in on you. however you lift your shotgun and score a killing blow on one of the raptors. they stop and look at their fallen friend. you c*** your shotgun threateningly and the two remaining raptors turn tail and run off into the brush.

now why did the raptors run away? because they are living animals and their first priority is survival. no animal is dumb enough to keep mindlessly attacking when they know they are at a severe disadvantage. well except some homo sapiens. :P

hhhmmm. ya know actually i think i hit on a core realism issue with most games. like i said that would hold true for any animal and not just dinosaurs.

the human race is at an end and and my soul grows weary. the one thing that could revive it is almost gone and is in no condition to heal me. yet i shall not despair for the light of hope shines even in the greatest darkness. i shall continue to hope.... hope for the days of green and ever lasting love of all things. for those whom think them selfs better shall realize they are not all that is. nor are they in any way better for all life is equal.

#6    Timonthy

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:36 AM

I like the Skyrim idea.

Lots of people. Lots of smaller creatures. Realistic amount of dinosaurs.

The reality is that the larger the dinosaurs, the smaller the density. Different habitats, different species.

You won't run into big (or dangerous) dinosaurs all the time, you'll learn the territories and avoid the bigger fights until you have a means to win them.

Also a possibility would be an evolved intelligent reptilian species. They could serve as an ally to your character in the game, fighting against a greater threat, or they could be the threat trying to wipe you and your species from the planet.

I don't think it would work if it was just you vs the dinosaurs.

Truth is there isn't enough dinosaur fiction out there. A few movies and books, some average games - but definitely a niche which has a lot of potential if done right.

Edit: Because I can.

Edited by Timonthy, 30 January 2012 - 11:47 AM.

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#7    Grey14

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:54 PM

It's because dinosaurs aren't that big anymore. You just can't throw dinosaurs into something and expect a 35 year old xbox player to become engrossed in the game. It might work for my 6 yearold nephew but not me. I mean look at TerraNova (TV) and see how well that did (not). :geek:

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#8    SameerPrehistorica

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:16 AM

 Ravinar, on 29 January 2012 - 05:05 AM, said:

There is a huge lack of dinosaur based games for the current generation consoles.
there plenty of stories you could weave with dinosaurs and there are loads of dino fans out there like me just starving for a good dinosaur game. but the market for this type of game still remains thee most untapped idea in gaming and it makes no sense what so ever!

I agree with you...I always wanted to see something like that as being a huge Dinosaur fan..

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#9    DigitalDreamer

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:43 PM

Another cool feature would to be to disguise your scent,The wind would also play a factor if this were to be implemented in the game.While we are on the subject of air,I would love to see some Pteranodon's incorporated into the experience as well.

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#10    Timonthy

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:58 PM

 Grey14, on 30 January 2012 - 05:54 PM, said:

It's because dinosaurs aren't that big anymore. You just can't throw dinosaurs into something and expect a 35 year old xbox player to become engrossed in the game. It might work for my 6 yearold nephew but not me. I mean look at TerraNova (TV) and see how well that did (not). :geek:
Terra Nova's first season was just terrible, don't blame the poor Dino's! They could have used any kind of species, whether of Earth or alien, and it still would have sucked the proverbial penis.
It doesnt matter what the hook is, as long as you implement it effectively. I'm 24 and love a good dose of Dino. ;)

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#11    Ravinar

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:53 AM

 DigitalDreamer, on 31 January 2012 - 08:43 PM, said:

Another cool feature would to be to disguise your scent,The wind would also play a factor if this were to be implemented in the game.While we are on the subject of air,I would love to see some Pteranodon's incorporated into the experience as well.

this reminds me of another point. actually looking into what the scientists know about each species you implement in the game. for instance the tyrannosaurus family all seem to have had an incredible sense of smell. so if say your playing the game and your character is bleeding or has blood on him it mite attract some unwanted attention from predators. every predator would have a range and time delay at which it could detect the smell of blood. but if you have any tyrannosaurs lurking about then you know that they are going to be on your trail soon and you need to ether patch your self up or wash off quick. on the flip side though a can of tear gas or bear mace will send a tyrannosaur running off in the other direction real fast.

the human race is at an end and and my soul grows weary. the one thing that could revive it is almost gone and is in no condition to heal me. yet i shall not despair for the light of hope shines even in the greatest darkness. i shall continue to hope.... hope for the days of green and ever lasting love of all things. for those whom think them selfs better shall realize they are not all that is. nor are they in any way better for all life is equal.

#12    Grey14

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:03 PM

 Timonthy, on 31 January 2012 - 08:58 PM, said:

Terra Nova's first season was just terrible, don't blame the poor Dino's! They could have used any kind of species, whether of Earth or alien, and it still would have sucked the proverbial penis.
It doesnt matter what the hook is, as long as you implement it effectively. I'm 24 and love a good dose of Dino. ;)


Yeah i know it wasnt the Dino's fault. I just love bashing that show.  :devil:

Edited by Grey14, 01 February 2012 - 06:03 PM.

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#13    Taun

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:23 PM

If you mixed a Skyrim type perspective/game with something like SimFarm you could have a character who has gone back in time to the age of dino's (variable selection as to Cretaceuos (sp), jurassic, etc) And have a 'Dino Ranch...  You have to raise herds of various 'veggiesaurs' and plan protection from carnivores... (fences, noise, lights, wpns etc)... Various levels would unlock progressively larger (presumeably more dangerous) dinos or greater 'pack numbers' for raptors etc...

Somehat similar to the OP's 'Option 2'...

Edited by Taun, 03 February 2012 - 08:24 PM.


#14    faith113

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:34 PM

Some awesome ideas here, I think you guys might be interested project crynosaurs.

http://www.kickstart...ject-crynosaurs


#15    The Metal

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:01 PM

Hi, im a game design student at the moment and i agree with you in some respects, having grown up with Jurassic park and dinosaurs i too would love some more dinosaur games.

There is a problem with that, some that have been highlighted in the rest of the topics comments; The main issue i always see is the game mechanics...

Skyrim with dinosaurs instead of fantasy creatures would fail, enormously, for the reason people have already stated: dinosaurs are not mindless killers, they would either run away from you, ignore you or hunt you via stalking or ambush. what would be the narrative? gamers are a lot more critical of the games they play than most think.

Jurassic park like simulators are always fun but RTS games don't make big on the market without there being explosive elements like war included in the main mechanics. if you still have a PS2 or can find a PC copy "Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis" was okay if all you wanted to do was to build Jurassic park or Zoo Tycoon: Dinosaur Digs (both quite old at this point) if you only want dinosaurs and not a JP theme.

Several FPS projects including dinosaurs as enemies have tanked majorly: the price and effort of making games puts a serious limit on the types of games that make it to the player.

My ideal dinosaur game would be an open world where i am a documentary photographer: in the game you would never have a weapon, never kill anything, your primary goal would be to document and survive. Avoiding being hunted, employing techniques to get closer to the animals and securing safe locations to set up camp.

Those guys above (crynosaurs) are trying to do what has been tried so many times, they are trying to use the gimic of the cry engine but with the same tired old game mechanics: "psychotic human with weapon slays millions of evil creatures". i have serious doubts that project will get anywhere.

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