Saurian is an upcoming video game made by Urvogel Games that focuses on being the most realistic dinosaur game yet developed. It is based on the latest research and our current knowledge of the prehistoric world. It simulates the Hell Creek environment in an interactive format. Will be released to Steam Early Access in Q1 2017 with the game initially being released for Windows PC and Mac OS, though Linux and other options will be pursued when the game is complete.



Players will attempt to survive through several life stages as male or female,[1] fulfilling physical needs while avoiding predators and environmental hazards in a dynamic landscape that will reflect current knowledge of the game's setting. The playable dinosaur (Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Dakotaraptor, Pachycephalosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Anzu) will provide unique gameplay. The Hell Creek will challenge the player's survival skills with unpredictable environmental hazards such as floods, fires, storms, dramatic seasonal changes, and hurricanes.

[2] It is planned for the player dinosaurs to modifiable with traits such as body styles and features, birth marks, hues, and pattern variations as well as genetic variations such as albino, melanistic, and piebald,

[3] but there will be no option to make feathered dinosaurs featherless.[1] The game's modes will be singleplayer, multiplayer,[4] and spectator.

[3] Another singleplayer option will be Post Impact Survival Mode.[5]



Project leader Nick Turinetti as stated that the two games that directly featured dinosaurs that had real influence on the game were the Big Al Game, an online tie-in game for the BBC Walking with Dinosaurs special The Ballad of Big Al, and Be The Dinosaur, a game developed in part of a museum exhibit of the same name.

[6] Non-dinosaur games that have been cited as being influential on Saurian are the Far Cry series (particularly 3 and 4), Red Dead Redenption, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Project Zomboid, The Forest, and Dark Souls.[6][7]




During his time as forum moderator and quality assurance tester for Primal Carnage, project leader Nick Turnetti met researcher Tom Parker, 3D artist Jake Baardse, and tech artist Erin Summer.[8] These future members of the developer team gave suggestions to the developers of Primal Carnage, most notable more scientifically up to date dinosaurs, but the Primal Carnage developers were uninterested in their suggestions.[9] The four became dissatisfied by how Primal Carnage was turning out and together started exploring what it would take to make game consisting of real dinosaurs in their actual habitat, which was what they were interested in.[7]

Project CrynosaursEdit

The would-be development team of Saurian then became a part of Project Crynosaurs.[10] Initially, Crynosaurs was not supposed to feature just Hell Creek fauna. Parker recalled in 2017 regarding his early experience on the project "Way back when I joined Saurian in 2013, the team already had an extensive animal list for this then unnamed project. This list was an absolute mess of Campanian, Maastrictian, and even Paleocene fauna from all over America."

[11] Indeed, Crynosaurs was supposed to feature an anatomically correct, yet featherless, Velociraptor.

[12] Parker would later narrow the fauna down to only Hell Creek animals from the upper third of the formation

[11] and by May-June 2013 approx. Crynosaurs' setting had become the Hell Creek Formation 66MYA.[13][14] Parker has said that Hell Creek was partially chosen because of Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops.

[8] As the team began to explore substantial development with the game and as they did, they began sharing the idea in any place where there were like-minded people.

[8] In June 2013, Crynosaurs announced that future Saurian animator Bryan Phillips had joined the team.[15] In August 2013, a 47 second long promotional film was released featuring a herd of Triceratops ambushed by a lone Tyrannosaurus.

The SplitEdit

On October 22, 2013, the team that would develop Saurian announced that they would be splitting from Crynosaurs.

[16] They explained:

"While we had some ups and downs, we feel as we've accomplished our stated goal for the most part. During development however, its become clear that Project Crynosaurs as we originally envisioned it, combining Human and Dinosaur gameplay in an open world setting, would be a very tall order for us as a small, unfunded Indie team to bring to fruition. We have come to the realization that attempting to mend both styles of gameplay together would significantly delay our ability to deliver a game to you, the public, and would require compromises that face Indie developers like ourselves."[16]

In the same post, the separated team announced that they would be combing forces with Dinosaur Battlegrounds to develop their new game with a new engine while development of Crynosaurs would still continue.

[16] The new project now being titled Saurian and now utilizing the Unity 3D Engine, the team made another post a month later announcing their new title and game engine. They also announced that they would not be collaborating with Dinosaur Battlegrounds as previously stated the month before. The team explained that after "considerable internal discussion" they did not feel that the collaboration would be the best interest for either project.[17]

Pre-Kickstarter CampaignEdit

Kickstarter CampaignEdit

Post-Kickstarter CampaignEdit

Soundtrack Edit

see Soundtrack


The Duluth News Tribune has reported that if Saurian reaches an audience as fervent as its early supporters, future versions of the game would feature different settings, such as the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation.

[18] But the devs have stated they sadly can't do certain formations due to their lack of material like the Kem Kem formation.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 FAQ. Saurian Website. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  2. (May 27, 2016) Update #7 - Dynamic Environment Events Unlocked and over 2,000 Backers!. Kickstarter.
  3. 3.0 3.1 (May 27, 2016) New Backer Tiers, Stretch Goal Breakdown, and Smashing our way through Character Customization!. Kickstarter.
  4. (June 12, 2016) Update #14 - Multiplayer Unlocked!. Kickstarter.
  5. (June 2, 2016) Update #9 - Post Impact Survival Unlocked: Putting the 'hell' in Hell Creek and other updates. Kickstarter.
  6. 6.0 6.1 (December 23, 2014) Interview: The Saurian Development Team. Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Marrazzo, Joey. (July 7, 2016) Dino Talk with Saurian Devs Urvogel Studios. GameSkinny
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 McIntee, Joe. (June 7, 2016) Saurian: A New Breed of Dinosaur Game. The Grid Daily.
  9. Switek, Brian. (December 14, 2014) Behind the Scenes of ‘Saurian’, a Dinosaur Simulator. Dinologue. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  10. (September 2013) Interview: Project Crynosaurs. Cunzy1 1's Dinosaurs in Games Blog.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Tomozasaurus. (January 19, 2017) Saurian DevLog #12 – Maastrichtian Lurker Shark. Saurian Website.
  12. Monthly Archives: June 2012. Archived from the [ original].
  13. Monthly Archives: May 2013. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015.
  14. About Archived June 27, 2013.
  15. Monthly Archives: June 2013 Archived from the original on January 1, 2015.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Monthly Archives: October 2013. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015.
  17. Monthly Archives: November 2013. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015.
  18. Slater, Brady. (June 24, 2016) Dino-themed video game soaring: Duluth man part of development team that raised $220K online. Duluth News Tribune.