Open-world dinomonster survive 'em up Ark: Survival Evolved [official sites] is still storming Steam in Early Access. It's sitting sixth on the playercount charts as I write this, and what we played seemed a bit of a lark. Still, its makers aren't resting on their prehistoric laurels, and are working hard to avoid extinction.
They've launched the full the Ark Dev Kit, a simplified version of the Unreal Engine 4 editor which lets folks make their own maps and mods. That'll certainly help avoid catastrophe, or at the very least ennui. It's got Steam Workshop support to make installing them easier too.
Developers Studio Wildcard explain :
"While the ARK Dev Kit does not provide access to the ARK C++ game source code, it does contain all of our editable source art for the game, as well as our editable maps and blueprint classes. Thanks to the power of Unreal Engine 4's Blueprint system, even without C++ you can modify and extend quite a lot of the game functionality, including new items, weapons, AI Behavior Trees, structures, and all kinds of gameplay classes & game logic. You can focus on creating a beautiful new environment for the game, or extend the core game classes via Blueprint to add a whole new game mode and new mechanics."
Mod support would also help if - and I don't want to jinx this - its path through Steam Early Access slows. It wouldn't be the first survive game to lose momentum, though it's doing so well right now and Studio Wildcard do seem committed. Still, less reliance on the developers is perhaps a comfort when chancing buying an Early Access game.
A small discount for the next few hours brings Ark to £19.08 on Steam Early Access. Studio Wildcard plan to launch it properly in June 2016.