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Idea Discussion: Dinosaurs


Would you like to see prehistoric animals in 0 A.D., and how? (Separately from in-game historicity.)  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you like to see prehistoric animals in 0 A.D., and how? (Separately from in-game historicity.)

    • Yes, as fauna only.
      4
    • Yes, as controllable units.
      4
    • No, not as controllable units.
      0
    • No, not even as fauna.
      0
    • No dinosaurs, etc., at all.
      0
    • Other. (Make your case.)
      0
  2. 2. What kinds of prehistoric animals?

    • "Assigned" to factions based on what used to live where they lived. (Excludes everything outside the Mediterranean, western Europe, Middle East, and India.)
      1
    • Chosen based on where random maps are set. (Belgian to Ardennes Forest, Iranian to Hyrcanian Shores, Egyptian to The Nile, etc.)
      3
    • Generic list. (Stock dinosaurs and some others like Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl, Woolly Mammoth, )
      0
    • Based on mythology. (Species are proxies for legendary creatures known to each faction, disregarding geography; ex: Centrosaurus in place of unicorn)
      0
    • Homage. (Species are based on fiction, such as The Lost World, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and King Kong.)
      0
    • Skull Island only. (Based exclusively on King Kong and its adaptations, all fictional species are given proxies based on actual fossil animals.)
      1
    • Other. (Discuss what species you'd like to see based on whatever you like.)
      1


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Based on a discussion in this thread, I thought I'd open discussion as to what people think about if dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals were included in the game, ideally as a default feature. This would be just for fun, entirely separately from the historicity of the game, and wouldn't even necessarily be present in the main part of the game--they could be editor-only units for custom maps that deliberately evoke a lost world feel. As mentioned in the eyecandy thread, they'd ideally be as close to current knowledge as possible, with most (but not all) of them being feathered and function the same as wild animals already in the game, so it'd really just be a matter of deciding which species would be included if people want them in.

 

I've included most of my personal suggestions in the poll (and the one I'm most enthusiastic about is basing it on Skull Island--I want to try making a scale model of that island someday as a custom map) but one other idea I have is to base the species list on a book that I got in the past year, very outdated but with a good cross-section of dinosaurs in it, including both stock and obscure dinosaurs known from over twenty years ago. Another option would be to make the species list an homage to Jurassic Park, combining species from the films and novels for a decent variety, and then combining them with some Cenozoic animals. Yet another possibility could be to base them on dinosaur documentaries such as the Walking with... series.

 

Separately from prehistoric fauna, another element of this in a similar vein could be to include Neanderthals, complete with some buildings where, if you capture them, you can train Neanderthal soldiers. Just a little fantasy-esque idea. ;) 

 

Even if prehistoric animals don't make it in, some extinct animals wouldn't be out of place. Ones that went extinct during the Holocene like the dodo or aurochs would be nice, the former being exclusive to a random map of an island based on Mauritius--it's not too out-there that the ancient civilizations represented could end up there considering one of the random maps already included is set at the North Pole.

Edited by oshron
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i heard about Paraworld waay back when it first came out (the first online community i was really a part of was Jurassic Park Legacy, now closed down, so alot of the people there were paleo-nerds like me). never played it, but heard it wasn't exceptionally good--that was the impression i got from others, at least. probably what most people would think of in terms of dinosaurs in video games right now would be ARK: Survival Evolved, a Minecraft-esque game (in that you collect resources and build and craft things in the same way, but the graphics are "more realistic" rather than deliberately retro) where arguably the main feature is taming and riding dinosaurs, which itself provides a pretty good cross-section of prehistoric life mainly using just stock animals with some expansions that most people with a more than passing knowledge of fossil animals would at least vaguely recognize--ones like Diplocaulus, that boomerang-headed salamander, or Dunkleosteus, the armored fish with guillotine-like jaws, or the generic Terror Bird, a Cenozoic proxy for theropods. ARK also at least tries to be more accurate, taking current knowledge into account before stylizing their animals for the cool factor, but a more accurate one would probably be an indie game called Saurian, which iirc is being made specifically for accuracy. all three of those games would be a good example for what a 0ad prehistoric species list could include, but as much as i want to see dinosaurs in the game, let's not go completely crazy with it if it ever goes ahead ;)

my first thought when i hear "dinosaurs" and "RTS" in the same breath, though, is a JP game that came out to coincide with The Lost World: Jurassic Park called Chaos Island. in addition to all the protagonists from the movie (voiced by the original actors! :D ) you could also collect dinosaur eggs and hatch them into eight different species, all of which were featured in the movie it was loosely based on (plus Dilophosaurus, the spitting carnivore from the first movie). i'd love to try and recreate Chaos Island in 0ad if i could, and having even just those eight species would be a major boon to that.

though for 0ad in particular, my hope is just to see dinosaurs included in general, ideally accurate to current scientific knowledge and not delving into stereotypes or using only stock dinosaurs: no spitting dilophosaurs, no six-foot-tall velociraptors (Achillobator instead--it even sorta fits with the theme of the game by being named after Achilles). failing that, recently-extinct non-dinosaur animals: dodos, giant Malagasy tortoises, moas, aurochs, thylacines, great auks (even Ubisoft got in on this one in Assassin's Creed Rogue), tarpans--which would probably be the species used for wild horses as fauna anyway--and, getting more out-there, (read: still-prehistoric but human-contemporary extinctions) megalanias, saber-toothed cats, mammoths, giant swans, and glyptodonts

Edited by oshron
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We desperately need a (feathered, because we do value accuracy) velociraptor that is then player controlled and can be spawned by a cheatcode ("It's a UNIX system! I know this!"). I might have been asking people to make that for years, maybe someday someone actually will do that[*].

For other animals we should (or do already) include at least an extinct elephant species, and I guess woolly rhinoceroses and mammoths would be nice to have for some mods. Also a great RTS did feature time travel and dinosaurs in its campaign, and a few strange units might be nice for mods or maps (invasion, tower defense, ...).

[*] Bribes possibly available.

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yeah, if nothing else some extinct proxies for the modern animals included already could probably be done pretty easily--the models could reuse the animations for the regular animals. going on that by itself, there could be short-faced bears, entelodonts, giant camels, MacraucheniaDeinosuchus, mammoths and mastodons, Sivatherium, horse ancestors, American lions, horned gophers, woolly rhinos (Coelodonta or Elasmotherium, or both), saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves. they'd probably fit better with the whole setting than most dinosaurs, too, since while all of these would be extinct by the time 0ad is supposed to take place, they're still pretty recent (except for Deinosuchus, which is from the Cretaceous)

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of course, it would still be even cooler--and probably alot more popular--to include some true dinosaurs ;) just using Chaos Island that i mentioned earlier for inspiration would dole out ParasaurolophusCompsognathus (or perhaps a larger but similar animal in its place--Coelophysis comes to mind), Pachycephalosaurus, Dilophosaurus (ideally at its full size and non-venomous), Stegosaurus, some large dromaeosaur in place of Velociraptor (i recommend Achillobator, personally, but other options for actual fossil species similarly-sized to the JP raptors are Dakotadon and Utahraptor, though the smaller Deinonychus might be good, too, as an expy of wolves for size and numbers), Triceratops, and of course Tyrannosaurus--the main expansion of that i'd recommend would be at least one sauropod

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