Dinosorcery: Surviving In The Stomping Land

By Nathan Grayson on May 30th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

Good group photo, tribe. I'm def putting this one on instagram lol

Prehistoric survive-’em-up The Stomping Land proposes an exceedingly fascinating, nuanced thesis: dinosaurs were really mean. Contrary to commonly held modern beliefs, they were neither purple nor prone to incessant sing-alongs, instead opting to pretty much just eat things and kill each other. Introduce a few succulent humans into the mix (note: this is something else that probably never happened), and you’ve got a recipe for a belly-bulging feast – not a fight. Stomping Land’s solution? Craftiness. Build shelters, mount the heads of slain foes on sticks, erect mystical totems that make your tribe stronger for some reason. Maybe the dinosaurs get jealous because they too are craftsmen at heart, but their colossal claws – rattling with death and inevitability – can only destroy. What a sad fate that would be. There’s a video of Stomping Land’s survival elements after the break. Watch for single, lonesome dinosaur tears.

Early graphics aside, it’s looking really impressive! Setting up a campground might not be the most exciting thing ever, but I like all the little details – from berry-based body paint to warding off foes with their own kind’s remains. It’s a hostile eat-and-be-eaten-anyway world, a playable postcard from a time when carnivorous lizards were bigger than they have any right to be. And also there weren’t postcards yet.

But if you ask me, multiple-stories-tall totems communicate just as quickly and effectively as any postcard. Stomping Land’s creators explained their role in the game:

“The totem is the tribe’s icon of power, it starts at zero and is upgraded by sacrificing dinosaur meat to the totem. Each totem tier gives the tribe increased abilities. There can only be one totem per tribe (if there are 3 players in a server, and they each make a totem, they establish 3 separate tribes). The totem creator is considered the leader of the tribe, and invites other hunters into his tribe through their teepee. Each totem tier requires larger amounts of meat and from more difficult dinosaurs. Every time a hunter dies, an entire tier from his tribe’s totem is lost. So only keep the best hunters.”

So basically, totems represent stats and status. It’s definitely an interesting combination of setting, social functionality, and game mechanics. Color me interested.

The Stomping Land is currently on Kickstarter, and it’s already stomped miles past its initial goal. It’s still got another week left before time runs out, though, so there’s still time to chip in if you’re feeling so inclined. And hey, it’s even for a good cause: a dinosaur game that actually, finally, mercifully looks pretty good. Be still, my freshly thawed caveman heart.

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40 Comments »

  1. Spakkenkhrist says:

    Looks like it could be fun, shame about the awful name.

  2. StickyNavels says:

    My ten-year-old self would’ve pissed his pants over this.

    Modern self thinks it looks interesting, but very, very drab.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Well, I do hope the brown and dark will be replaced a bit with finalized art, but I have to say I’m very piqued by this video. Before I’ve watched it I paid almost no attention to this game, but now it seems to be offering lots of stuff I like in games.
      This is multiplayer, right? Any PvP?

  3. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    And so it came to pass that the reason for the fall and eventual extinction of the mighty dinosaurs was finally discovered: Someone gave gamers weapons and bonus stats for killing them.

    I’ve occasionally thought Al Qaeda’s days would be short indeed if someone were to give out MMO character buffs, or perhaps TF2 hats, in exchange for confirmed kills.

    We are prehistory’s greatest monsters.

  4. Cinek says:

    Multiplayer only :( Would be epic as a single-player squad-based survival game.

    • ColdSpiral says:

      I’d also like to play this, and don’t care for multiplayer.
      Two answers in the game’s FAQ thread give me some tenative hope, though:

      Q: Will you be able to play the game alone and offline?
      A: Short answer yes, but it will be much harder to survive without the help of other hunters.

      So I’d assume you can run a local server and connect to that.
      And then they say:

      Q: Will there by supports for mods?
      A: There has been no clear confirmation but it seems the devs want to add mod support.

      I wouldn’t mind playing SP without an AI tribe if I could have some modded-in gear to level the field a bit.

    • DestructibleEnvironments says:

      Never forget. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U_Q6XX9dE8

      I’m not a bot penis penis.

  5. Okami says:

    No feathered dinosaurs, no sale!

    EDIT: This was the first time I ever made one of these annoying “No X, no sale!” posts. I have to admit that it felt surprisingly good.

    • Boothie says:

      Well there actually will be feathered dinosaurs, the featheriness of said dinosaurs is yet to be determined ^^

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      I would like a “no feathers” option.

    • Ovno says:

      @ Ninja Dodo: me too, feathered dinos are not as cool, they’re just not….

      Also it is only the Theropod line of dinos (bi-pedal,including T-Rex, Raptors and Allosaurs,, but not all bi-pedal dinos) that are thought to have been feathered the other groups (including but not limited to Sauropods and Ornithopods eg stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, diplodocus) are thought not to have been feathered as they seems to have evolved on the Theropod line…

      So all feathered dinos, not happy, some ok as would be historically accurate, but less cool, T-Rex as giant lizard very cool, T-Rex as giant chicken, much less cool!

      • jonahcutter says:

        Yeah, I don’t think the devs should be real sticklers for “historically accurate”, considering the core conceit of the game.

        This is definitely a situation where what’s cool basically defenestrates historically accurate.

      • Matt_W says:

        T-Rexes and other large therapods were probably not feathered. There have been skin imprints found with no evidence of proto-feathers. There’s speculation that maybe they were only partially feathered, or that only juveniles had feathers. Adults were likely too large, would have overheated with feather insulation. However, they did almost certainly evolve from feathered ancestors, and then lost them (possibly due to gigantism.)

        • The_Mess says:

          @Matt_W

          Sort of right, the smaller ones were likely covered with feathers similar to kiwi’s, + display feathers and land-races and species found in colder regions would likely be feathered irrespective of size. Also, many of the medium sized therapods have strong evidence for display feathers on the arms, as we’ve found small holes and bumps on the surface of the radius (not sure, ‘Mess’s memory impacted by depression) that match those found on modern birds, which serve as anchoring and control of flight feathers. And in the case of therapods, probably correspond to uniform feathers used for display.

          You’ve also got to consider that our fossil evidence is pretty patchy, so while we do have fairly good general info, enough to reconstruct phylogenetic trees with a good degree of accuracy, usually soft tissue isn’t preserved. So we have to use evolutionary relationships + climactic conditions to try and work out which species had feathers (or protofeathers).

          *cough*

          Anyhow – There’s a blog called tetrapod zoology, Nash has covered quite a bit to do with feather evolution and feathered archosaurs + archosaur respiration (uniflow lungs likely present in all based off evolutionary relationships).

    • Matt_W says:

      I note that there is a 12 page forum thread on The Stomping Land forums on this exact topic:

      http://www.thestompingland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=54&hilit=creation%2A

    • The_Mess says:

      THIS

      And with what we know about feathered therapods, there’s plenty of art-space to explore with colouring and behavioural displays as most had large feathers on their arms ;)

      Also – T.Rex’s probably didn’t need feathers due to their large size (see the wiki stuff on body temperatures), but iirc probably had some neat skin colours /science

  6. varangian says:

    Humans riding dinosaurs, as depicted in creationist ‘museums’. Finally a videogame that Texas School Boards can totally get behind, it’ll be on the history curriculum before you know it.

    • vivlo says:

      My thoughts exactly !

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      Just because a few fundamentalists think this actually happened doesn’t mean it can’t be used in fiction. I assume you’re joking, but since people who seriously believe this do exist it’s hard to be sure… [edit: ie if you are seriously saying this game encourages ignorance or if you are just poking fun at creationists]

    • trinka00 says:

      ninja dodo – no. it’s pretty easy to tell.

      read the post over again.

      see how there is a lack of telltale delusional rhetoric and circular reasoning?
      the second element is really the kicker. if something doesn’t contain at least one loop of circular reasoning, then it’s about 99.559% not gonna be the expression of a religious nutjob.

      • Berzee says:

        From Ninja Dodo’s post I thought the available options were more like Internet Jokes or Anti-religious Comment; not sure where Religious Nutjob comes in as a possibility (unless you consider an Anti-religious Comment to be a kind of Religion I guess, which could be fair ^_^).

      • Ninja Dodo says:

        You’re right. I think I left my sarcasm detector at home. Carry on.

  7. mickygor says:

    I must have this!

  8. vivlo says:

    “Every time a hunter dies, an entire tier from his tribe’s totem is lost. So only keep the best hunters.”

    Eeeehhm… looks like it could give ground to a not-so-friendly online community.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      That does sound like a potentially disastrous part in a multiplayer game. Alternatively, they can make it easy for players to survive but then the challenge of the game decreases a lot.

    • Kektain says:

      Maybe it’s a secret experiment to make an online community worse than MOBA players. Combine angry nerds with being picked last for dodgeball!

  9. Didden says:

    Oh crap, the creationists will love this…

  10. bitserum says:

    Gathering and shelter building is increasingly popular lately. This looks like a cool setting to place that, never mind the anachronisms. Can’t wait to see their final graphical iteration.

  11. jonahcutter says:

    The inventory and crafting interface seems jarringly out of place, considering the setting.

  12. SuicideKing says:

    BARNEYFACE

    Wonder if there’ll be female characters? Something tells me it’s unlikely, considering the setting, but at the same time, considering the setting it shouldn’t be a reason in the first place.

  13. David Bliff says:

    I really, really like the look of this but something that’s not clear from the video or the kickstarter is what the scale of the multiplayer will be. There’s mention of fights between tribes, but are those tribes always player-controlled or can the AI manage them? This sounds like a really cool co-op game for me to play with my friends at our own speed, so if we can set up private servers and play on our own I’d be very interested.

  14. The Random One says:

    An entire people of Turoks. I like this.

  15. hotmaildidntwork says:

    “Come into my teepee and I’ll ‘invite you into my tribe’!” >_>

  16. The_Mess says:

    Looks fun, I just have no money to back it ;-;

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