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E3 2010 Interview: We get a Dino D-Day update

Several months ago, the PC game mod world got a big shock with the release of the Half-Life 2 mod Dino D-Day, a mod set in an alternate World War II where the Nazis developed a way to have dinosaurs fight for them. The mod's developers at Digital Ranch said their ultimate goal was to make Dino D-Day into a commercial title.

It's been a little while since we have gotten an update on the game so Big Download got in touch with Digital Ranch's Abe Scheuermann to find out about the progress of Dino D-Day. We also have some all new screenshots of the game to show off.

Gallery: Dino D-Day

First, Dino D-Day generated a ton of media attention when you first released the Half-Life 2 mod. Did you expect to get that kind of attention?

We expected to get a little bit of attention and believed in the appeal of the concept of course but were completely taken by surprise with the coverage. It was way beyond what we expected and was most welcome...a pleasant surprise to say the least.

Are there any plans to release any major updates to the Half-Life 2 mod version?

The single player mod version that was released back in November was, to us anyway, a prototype. It was more of a learning experience for us to get comfortable with designing games, working with the SDK and Valve's development tools. As such, we've ceased work on that version and focused all of our efforts on a new, multiplayer version of the game which will be the foundation upon which we will continue to build Dino D-Day. It's a class-based, team-oriented multiplayer game. There will be a variety of game modes in which players can choose to be on the Allied side or the Axis side. Then they can choose which class they want to be. The Axis side will include playable dinosaurs. The Allied side will have a nice selection of fun and interesting characters that we hope to develop outside the game with short films in the vein of the "Meet the..." shorts Valve does for TF2. Eventually, we hope to add more single player/co-op type of releases that fit under the Dino D-Day umbrella as well.
The plan is to release Dino D-Day as a stand alone commercial game. What can you tell us about the status of that project?

We are now testing the multiplayer version of Dino D-Day and are very excited about its progress. When its ready, we'll release it. The goal is to do that this year. Over the next few weeks we'll be slowly unveiling this new version with screenshots, some gameplay footage, and a new trailer.

What can you tell us about the new screenshots that you are releasing today?


These screenshots will give you a little taste of the multiplayer game. All dinosaurs you see are playable characters in the game. The raptor people should be familiar with, the other "dinosaur" is a Desmatosuchus...not technically a dinosaur by the way but an aetosaur which the early dinosaurs drove to extinction in the Late Triassic. Anyway, the Desmatosuchus is armed with a 20mm gun on its back which the player aims sort of like a tank turret. This character is played in third person view. In fact, there will be extensive use of third person cameras in the game, specifically in controlling dinosaurs. We're just now getting to the point where we can put ourt some screenshots that look good so there will be plenty more looks at the game coming in the near future.
As far as playable dinosaurs go, we also plan on having a larger, assault-type dinosaur that is still being worked on. Eventually, there will be playable "big" dinosaurs like the T-Rex and Triceratops from the mod. These big dinosaurs will be incorporated into a gamemode that we will unveil later on down the line that is built to incorporate big dinosaurs and big dinosaur battles in a fun and interesting way. Ultimately, we hope to have numerous playable dinosaurs in the game as well as human classes that interact/control dinosaurs in cool ways. As far as humans go, you'll see a few of the characters you can play as in the screenshots. There's Jack Hardgrave of course. Also, Nigel Blithe-Crossley, a British paleontologist who was a colleague of Hardgrave's before war broke out. Irina Vike, a Latvian partisan who hates Nazi dinosaurs even more than just regular old Nazis. As you can see, Hardgrave's band of Nazi-dinosaur killers will have an international flare. We'll have other characters as well that we'll be unveiling soon...they're not pictured yet.

What other developments can you talk about in regards to Dino D-Day?

In the near future we would like to release another mod version of the multiplayer game as a means of getting feedback on the final leg of development. I guess you could call it a demo or beta if you want. We hope that will happen very soon. Stay tuned for announcements.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Digital Ranch and Dino D-Day?

We hope to launch and continue to develop Dino D-Day with regular updates that expand the gameplay, add new game modes, new dinosaurs, new weapons, new characters and so on. We hope people that buy the game initially will be richly rewarded with a game that continues to get better and better. And beyond that, we hope to expand the world of Dino D-Day and make it a great place for people to come and have fun for a little while!

Big Download's E3 2010 coverage is sponsored by:

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