Dinoverse Design Diary - Game Concept
How did game designer, Steve Ng came up with the game concept of Dinoverse and how does he design the dinosaur traits? We find out from him!
Q1: Explain on the setting of the game and what does Dinoverse mean. Why does there seem to be a sci-fic take on the dinosaur?
Dinoverse is set in a simulated environment of the Mesozoic era, where dinosaurs from different periods can coexist and interact. Due to the different dinosaurs that we wished to feature in the game, there was the unavoidable question if they existed in the same period. As such, we decided to position the game such that it is a simulation of certain dinosaurs, possibly from different periods, hence the sci-fi and holographic feel of the game.
Q2: How do you design the mechanics to fit each dinosaur’s traits and behavior. Illustrate with an example.
To do so, I had to conduct research into each dinosaur’s biology and behavior. Not only did the dinosaur had to feel realistic, but it also had to feel balanced within the game. This was especially difficult as there were some dinosaurs that were so to speak “better” than others. One example would be the Tyrannosaurus Rex, reputable for being an apex predator in its time. With that, I decided to give it the ability to eat anything around it upon its arrival, and for it to score based on how much of the Herd has been eaten by predators.
Q3: What is the hardest dinosaur to design? Why?
The toughest dinosaurs to design are the smart ones. One such dinosaur is the Velociraptor. The Velociraptor was clever, quick, and opportunistic. It was difficult to represent those traits while keeping its abilities simple and scoring fair. The Velociraptor is the dinosaur that has gone through the most iterations, managing to bring fresh and interesting tactics to each version, and I very much enjoy conceptualizing and testing it.
Q4: There is an educational element to the game, why did you decide to add that to the game?
Throughout the multiple discussions of how we wanted to position Dinoverse, we decided that Dinoverse was a little too complicated to be a Mercat game. Thus, we decided to place it under Capital Gains Studio and add an educational aspect to it. Dinoverse was focused on placing the behaviours of each dinosaur and the possible interactions in the limelight, which lent itself well to being an educational game that allowed for learning through experiencing the game rather than a game that simply had an educational booklet accompanying it.
Steve is the designer of Cryptocurrency, Check Out!, Hotpot Havoc and Combo Cone Paradise! Find out more about the games he designed at www.capitalgainsgroup.com