By Spencer . February 17, 2013 . 12:39pm
Primal Carnage has a concept for a game that grabbed my attention, it’s a team vs. team shooter where you can either play as a dinosaur. You can terrorize trappers as a Tyrannosaurs Rex or swoop down and grab players as a Pteranodon.
Dinosaurs vs. humans? Neat, but why did you want to make a game based on this concept?
Ashton Anderson, Lead Designer: We all share a common affection for dinosaurs. We felt that we could give a unique spin on the dinosaur genre with a multiplayer game. Besides, no one had made a truly great dinosaur game yet.
Did you do any research about the dinosaurs? What sources inspired the way the T-rex attacks or the way the Dilophosaurus looks?
We watched a lot of Discovery Channel shows and read a lot of books based around dinosaurs. A lot of the dinosaur movement and attacks were inspired from various forms of media, and of course, careful studying of dinosaur anatomy. We’ve also looked at various patterns from a bunch of different species of animals to find inspiration.
And how did you keep the setting from being more than a gimmick?
We tried vary the environments and overall feel of the levels as different as possible. Most of our levels have very few shared assets between them, save for a few vehicles and some foliage. We had a lot of unique man made structures in most of the maps. We wanted to avoid the feeling of only being in a jungle which is what pop culture dictates.
How many people were working on the game at Lukewarm Media? When did development start and what was the hardest hurdle to leap over?
We have a floating number of around 15-20 people on the development team at any given time. The development of Primal Carnage started probably around mid to late 2009. If I had to pick one hurdle to be the hardest, it would probably be coordinating multiple people to work together both on site and remote, also factoring in time zones for the remote people as a few of our team members are from Europe.
How did you balance the game so dinosaurs and people armed with guns can fight… somewhat fairly. Since dinosaurs don’t have lasers or whatever they have to run up to attack?
A lot of the balance comes from the level design actually. We had to create a lot of large, open areas for the larger dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Carnotaurus to be able to run around in without feeling claustrophobic, while still giving smaller more sheltered areas for humans to maneuver around in. We also gave the dinosaurs a lot of utilities, such as the ability to pounce or blind the humans. We also used the Carnotaurus as a guerrilla style freight train to run into human players and get out of the combat area quick.
Which dinosaur is your favorite to play? How about from the human side?
We’re really proud of the Pteranodon. It’s so much fun to fly around in a multiplayer title because it creates a lot of unique gameplay opportunities. Besides, dropping your friends from hundreds of feet in the air to their death is too much fun.
As for humans, we think that the Trapper is really cool. He has a net gun that can immobilize and capture smaller dinosaurs, allowing for an easy kill with the swift stab of a knife. He can also handicap the larger dinosaurs with his net, but due to their size, they cannot be fully contained within the net.
What do you plan on doing to improve Primal Carnage in the future?
We just added a new game mode called “Get To The Chopper” which is currently in open beta. We’re busy polishing up that game mode but we plan to release some additional maps and skins for Primal Carnage in the future.