The lights are on
Lukewarm Media is following up last year's multiplayer-only
action game Primal Carnage with a single-player, episodic prequel that reveals
how the series' doomed island ended up in the claws of reptilian inhabitants.
In addition to being single-player only, Primal Carnage:
Genesis will introduce a wider variety of gameplay experiences, including
stealth, exploration, and puzzle-solving sequences. Each episode will introduce
new environments and dinosaurs, as well as new features.
So far Lukewarm Media has only released a few teaser trailers and screenshots of the game, but the positive reception of Primal Carnage and
our own unabashed love of Jurassic Park
have us eager to see more of the project.
In the meantime, we spoke with Lukewarm Media founder Ashton
Andersen to find out how the small indie studio is achieving such impressive visuals,
what games and movies the team is inspired by, and how they plan to use the
PlayStation 4's unique hardware features.
Can you give our
readers some background information on the game?
Primal Carnage: Genesis could be described as a
survival-FPS, with a mix of action and suspense. While there will be many
scenarios through the course of the episodic series where the player will have to
shoot down hordes of dinosaurs, this will not be a "run and gun" game where
ammo and weapons abound anywhere you look. Stealth and puzzle solving will be
required to get past many scenarios where an arsenal of weapons will either be
unavailable or ineffective.
You also describe the
game as being story-driven. Can you tell us a little more about the premise of
the game? Who does the player play as?
Effectively, Primal Carnage: Genesis serves as a prequel to
the multiplayer game Lukewarm Media released last October, and the story of how
dinosaurs were brought to life on the island and how they broke free. The
episodic series will begin with the player being brought to the island, as a
staff member, before the chaos has begun and will immerse them into these
events as they are happening. They won't have a specific identity, nor will
they enter the game with a specific understanding of their objectives. Rather
than "telling" the story to the player through long cinematics, the player will
have to pay attention to changes they see in the environment, such as a
destroyed electric fence that previously stood between them and a raptor.
Instead of clear expository dialogue with NPC humans that direct them through
the story, short NPC interactions may offer them some useful information, but
much will be left to the player to figure out. So in short, both the story and
the player's objective will unfold through the course of the episodic series.
going to be a T-Rex in the game. What other creatures can dinosaur fans expect?
Are you going for a realistic depiction of dinosaurs, or more of a summer
The T-rex will definitely make a dramatic entrance into the
game and an epic boss battle can definitely be expected. With each episode we
plan to introduce an increasing amount of dinosaurs, which the player will
encounter in new areas (swamps, valleys, jungles etc.) that they explore in new
episodes. Players can expect to see raptors, triceratops, and other dinosaurs
traditionally seen, as well as non-traditional dinosaurs like the Kaprosuchus.
Genesis is going to be episodic. Why did you choose that format? What advantage
does it provide for you over releasing a full game at once?
There are a lot of advantages to the episodic model. It
allows the story to be broken up into pieces and for each piece to end with satisfying
cliffhanger events. With every episode we plan to introduce 2-3 major new
features that define that each episode, which will make the series feel very
dynamic with respect to gameplay. Players won't just feel like they're buying a
piece of an unfinished game.
Additionally, by going episodic, we're able to reduce the
cost that consumers have pay at any one time and the risk of them regretting
paying $60 for a game they got bored with or didn't get around to finishing. We
hope this will encourage more players to experience the game for the first time
and those consumers who continue on through the series are more likely to be
dedicated players. We also plan to take player feedback into account as we
develop subsequent episodes. The model gives us the flexibility to make certain
changes, such as a mechanic players want to see more or less of, or if there's
a dinosaur that the fan base is really clamoring for.
Tell us a bit about
how you got involved with Sony. Who approached who? When did you start working
on development for the PS4?
Our initial involvement with Sony began with discussion
about bringing the initial Primal Carnage multiplayer to PS3. Ultimately with
news [of] the PS4, we felt the timing was wrong and that we would be better off
trying to get onto the next-gen console. We worked hard to create the UE4 T-Rex
laboratory trailer to demonstrate the direction that we hoped to take the
Primal Carnage brand in, and we approached Sony about the DICE Convention in Las
Vegas (where we are based). From the amount of support we have received since
that presentation, getting approval to be a Sony developer and the tools to
start developing, we know that Sony is excited about bringing Primal Carnage:
Genesis to the PS4.
Have you considered
bringing Primal Carnage: Genesis to other current-gen or next-gen consoles? If
so, what made you choose the PS4?
We're still soaking in the fact that we have the opportunity
to build a game for one next-gen console, using a next-gen engine (UE4) and at
this point our priority is making sure we deliver a product worthy of these
opportunities. Sony's hardware advances with the PS4 and their clear commitment
to work closer with indie teams were both major factors in our decision to
pursue development on the PS4 and our confidence that we'll be able to deliver
an amazing launch title.
Will Primal Carnage:
Genesis use any of the PS4's unique hardware features or functionality?
The PS4 has a lot of hardware [that allows developers] to
think outside the box and develop gameplay that would have been impossible on
older consoles. For example, we're interested in using the PS4 controller's
touchpad to develop a mechanic where the player would hack a security panel
through a mini-game sequence using the touchpad.
What's it been like
working with Sony? Have you collaborated with any of their first-party
developers? What kind of support have they provided?
It's been great working with Sony. It's the first time we've
had a chance to work with a first-party developer and it feels incredibly
validating as an indie team to get the opportunity to do so.
The PS4 provides a
lot of built-in social and streaming functionalities. Are you planning to use
these capabilities in interesting ways?
We'd love for players to be able to capture video clips of
the terrifying encounters they have and share them immediately over social
feeds. We're going to try to put as much [effort] as we can to support many of
the new PS4 features for the first episode. But as we're just starting to work
with the PS4, some of the new features may not be seen until later episodes in
Genesis has some very impressive visuals. How big is your team? How do you
achieve such high graphic quality as an indie developer?
Thinking machine super computers and gene sequencers! Just
kidding. First, we have a passionate team of about 20
developer/dinosaur-enthusiasts, dedicated to making the next-gen single-player
dinosaur game that gamers have been waiting for. Though our team is lean, the
next-gen software that we have access to (Unreal Engine 4, Enlightened, Bink 2,
Simplygon) definitely helps in achieving high-quality graphics. And our
hardware sponsors (EVGA, Nvidia, Logitech) have helped provide the team with
the equipment it will take to get the job done.
What games and media
has your team been inspired by? Is it safe to say that Jurassic Park fans will enjoy the game?
Primal Carnage: Genesis
has been inspired by a range of games including Amnesia (atmosphere and
suspense), Dear Escher (visual storytelling, immersive experience, and
attention to detail), Far Cry 3 (sandbox style of exploration and action), and
Jurassic Park: Trespasser (a great dinosaur title, ahead of its time). Jurassic
Park fans and anyone that likes these elements of the above games will
definitely enjoy PC: Genesis.
Is there anything
else gamers should know about Primal Carnage: Genesis?
"Hold on to your butts" X2!!!
For more on indie
games heading to Sony's platforms, check out our previews of Hohokum, Counterspy, Doki-Doki Universe, and Blacklight: Retribution.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
I CAN'T WAIT TO START KILLING DINOSAURS.
This graphics look amazing for console, can´t imagine how better will it look on pc
Wow. Just. Wow.
Nice. Still liking what it looks like so far.
I LIKE DINOSAURS!!!
Too bad dinosaurs aren't reptiles...
I wonder will peta have a problem will killing dinosaurs?
what can go wrong by cloning dinosaurs. oviously these people haven't seen Jurassic Park!
Because nothing screams next gen unique like using a touch pad to play mini games ffs give me a break.
Sounds and looks very promising, but after diving into Jurassic Park Trespasser recently (thanks a lot Dan, for igniting my curiosity regarding that game. It was incredibly ambitious. Anyone interested should DEFINITELY look at this unbelievably well done "Let's Play": www.youtube.com/watch), I really hope these guys focus on dinosaur AI and some great environmental puzzles instead of just visuals and by-the-numbers shooting.
On the other hand, being a fan of Turok, I also hope they shy away from by-the-numbers assault rifles, pistols and shotguns. I'd love to see a shooter developer make some original guns and weapons again...
Sounds like my kind of game!
I just wish they would have brought the original to PS3 like they planned :'(
Not really a fan of episodic games, I'll probably wait for the series to finish before getting it
That T certainly Wrecks. (T-Wrecks). C'mon, it's funny.
Aww, look at these beautiful, majestic creatures... Kill them all.
Dear Esther isn't a game
The dinos look AMAZING.