By Andrew Dodson on February 4, 2014 at 9:23am
As a writer for a (currently) small video game website, I often find myself browsing the "Games" section of Kickstarter in the middle of the night, searching for what might be the next big thing. Jurassic Genetics was somewhere near the bottom of the list - a brand new Kickstarter - and I was instantly excited about it. To use a very recent quote by Chris Pratt: "Jurassic Park was kinda my "Star Wars." I remember being six years old in a dark theater and seeing my toys and books come to life on the screen in front of me. When I got a hold of the game "Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis" almost exactly 10 years later, I didn't stop playing it until the disc (remember when we had to use CDs to play games?) damaged. The idea of building a zoo filled with prehistoric creatures is just a fantastic premise.
"Jurassic Genetics," 11 years later, is the next jump forward in the dino-park game genre. Utilizing a talented team of fans and the best that today's technology has to offer (they want to use CryEngine!), "Jurassic Genetics" has potential to be a phenomenal indie game. Their website and Kickstarter page are fairly bare-bones right now, but checking out some of their 3D modeling screenshots, concept art, and ideas, I was already enthusiastic about the game. I contacted the JG team for an interview to hopefully shed some more light about the project.
Player Theory: Right off the bat, I have to say that I was a huge fan of "Operation Genesis," and I am very excited about the potential of your game: "Jurassic Genetics" - especially with today's technology. You've released a lot of cool screenshots and videos of dinosaur models, but there hasn't been a lot of talk about the actual gameplay. Right now, what will the final version of the game play like? How different or similar to "Operation Genesis" will it be?
Jurassic Genetics: The main element of gameplay will be very similar to Operation Genesis. However, we are also planning to implement a guest/staff view like in "Zoo Tycoon 2," so players can immerse themselves in the parks they create.
PT: I feel like a big choice for your team is to go with either the more "fun" and known Jurassic Park dinosaurs (big velociraptors, spitting dilophosauruses, etc.) or strive for more "realistic" approach when creating dinosaurs and their behaviors. What direction is "Jurassic Genetics" leaning in this respect?
JG: We are initially designing the dinosaurs to ones in the JP franchise as much as possible, since we are all JP nuts, but we will be releasing more scientifically accurate models and skins later on as DLCs.
PT: I saw that you had some [dinosaurs] already listed on your website (and you don't have to share all of it with us right now), but I have to ask: Do you have a full set list of the dinosaurs that are going to be in the game? Any hints about species that you haven't revealed to the public yet?
JG: We are pretty open with the development of the game, so we have announced all the dinosaurs currently in development, However, rest assured we will continuously expand our dino roster. In addition to that, I can neither confirm nor deny the development of non-dino/non-reptilian animals.
PT: You have a huge team of people working on this game. What is the story behind assembling the "Jurassic Genetics" team?
JG: We started out as a small team, but as popularity grew, more and more talented artists joined our team. I’m proud to say that we have developers from all over the globe, all extremely talented at what they do.
PT: Your Kickstarter is just a few days old, and you already have over $1,000. Were you expecting that much of a reaction from the start? How has your experience been so far working with Kickstarter to fund your game?
JG: We were also surprised by the reaction to our Kickstarter campaign. Working with Kickstarter has been a joy, but there are some major changes coming your way in terms of the Kickstarter campaign, so stay tuned.
PT: You've already said that Jurassic Genetics is going to be a free game. What platforms do you plan on releasing to? Should we expect to pay for DLC down the line or will "Jurassic Genetics" remain a free game funded by fan donations?
JG: We will try our best to remain completely free, and even if we do, charge for DLCs it will be the bare minimum just to cover our expenses ($0 profit).
PT: "Jurassic Genetics" obviously shares a lot in common with "Jurassic Park" and "Operational Genesis." Are you worried at all about any legal issues that may arise because of those similarities? Or is this something you've already dealt with?
JG: We are constantly trying to avert copyright issues, but these things happen, and when they do, we will try our very best to resolve them. We have made some major overhauls to the game design due to minimize any conflicts.
The Kickstarter is still new, so there is plenty of time to get involved either through donations or offering input either through the JG Facebook page or becoming a member of the active community on the JG forums. As of Feb. 4, the "Jurassic Genetics" is sitting just short of $1,800 of its $10,000 goal. The last day to donate is March 24, and the game is expected to be available by April 2014. If you're into dinosaurs or building/simulation games - or both - then Jurassic Genetics is definitely something that you should not ignore.
Extinction isn't forever.
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