ADG took time out to talk to Dr. Steve Brusatte a developer behind the PS3’s latest Wonderbook game , Walking With Dinosaurs. The game of the latest film which releases in theatres today, December 20, 2013. Dr. Steve Brusatte is a renowned paleontologist who advised the developters on the scripts and storylines that the producers put together. For the game, Steve helped flesh out the stories of the different dinosaur ecosytems, gave feedback on renders, dinosaur movement, dinosaur appearance and more.
ADG: Can you give the readers a quick overview of the game’s story? Does it tie in with the movie or is a direct telling of the movie in wonderbook and Playstation form?
Dr. Steve Brusatte: The game ties in well with the film. But, it isn’t a rehash of the film, but rather expands on the film by allowing the players to experience several different dinosaur environments. The film only focuses on one environment: the latest Cretaceous of North America. The game has many others. And it doesn’t just follow the film.
ADG: Can you tell us a little insight on the main characters from the story?
Dr. Steve Brusatte: The game has several story lines, but, for one example: the Late Jurassic of North America. This was a time around 150 million years ago when huge long-necked plant-eating sauropods like Brachiosaurus were prevalent in North America. They were hunted by enormous theropods like Allosaurus, and lived alongside many other smaller plant-eating dinosaurs. The game takes you into this world. And several other dinosaur worlds, from different time periods, with different species. The virtual reality aspect of the game is really cool. It feels like you are interacting with these dinosaurs, inhabiting their environments. You’re seeing them move, interact, feed.
ADG: What kind of features can we expect in this game?
Dr. Steve Brusatte: It is largely a game for kids. It gives kids the chance to really interact with dinosaurs. When I first saw the prototype of the game, I was blown away. It felt like you were observing these dinosaurs in the wild. You saw them move, feed, interact with their environments. It is a fun game, but also educational. You learn a lot about dinosaurs while playing it. You learn about different species, what they would have behaved like, how they fit into their ecosystems. Kids will love it, but parents will love it too, because it is educational. But in a trojan horse type of way. Most kids probably won’t notice that they are learning about science!
ADG: What makes this game the one to pick up this holiday season?
Dr. Steve Brusatte: Does it get any better than dinosaurs? Than feeling like you are part of the world of dinosaurs, living in a world hundreds of millions of years old, alongside giant beats from the prehistoric past? I don’t think so. And I think a lot of kids would agree!
ADG: How much time went into the development of this game?
Dr. Steve Brusatte: A large amount. I can’t really speak for everything that the game designers and artists did. But, for me, it was my task to make sure the dinosaurs were realistic. That they looked right. That they moved correctly. That they were feeding on the right foods, interacting in the right way. Basically, that the portrayal of the dinosaurs was in line with modern scientific evidence. The game designers were great to work with. They listened to everything I had to say, took my advice,and as a result, these dinosaurs are very realistic. I venture to say that they are the most realistic portrayals of dinosaurs in any video game, ever, at least that I know of!
I want to thank Dr. Steve Brusatte for this interview. My only regret is that I didn’t make it to talk to him on call as planned. This interview was very insightful into not only the game but the movie which is out now in theaters as well as the game.