Jurassic World Evolution 2 dev reveals secret to making dinosaurs look so realistic

A dinosaur in Jurassic World Evolution 2

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the closest most of us will ever get to creating and running our own dinosaur park, but how do they make those dinosaurs so lifelike? We spoke to Frontier’s Game Director Richard Newbold to find out.

There are more than a hundred epic dinosaurs available to discover in Jurassic World Evolution 2 right now, from the classic Tyrannosaurus Rex to the flying Pteranodon and the underwater Attenborosaurus (yes, named after the David Attenborough).

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The design for these creatures is where the game really shines, as each species has its own movement style, visual flares, ways of interacting with other dinosaurs, and sounds that help bring them to life.

A screenshot of a dinosaur in Jurassic World Evolution 2Frontier

According to Frontier’s Game Director, Richard Newbold, this realism is achieved by combining scientific research about each dinosaur with references to modern animals that share their characteristics.

“Our incredible art, animation, and audio teams work really hard to research the science behind each dinosaur, taking the scientific data available and bringing it into the wider Jurassic World franchise,” he tells Dexerto.

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“They’ll even pull real-world references from present-day animals to add further realism. Whether that’s observing how the patterns look on certain sized species, how they move and walk, or using sounds from real animals.

“For example, sauropods are gigantic quadrupeds, so we’ll use equivalents such as elephants, rhinos, or giraffes to ensure their movement looks natural when animated.”

Getting each dinosaur looking and sounding right is a “challenge”, says Newbold, but it’s one that the team “love to tackle” using the wide range of sources they have access to.

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Dinosaurs in the Jurassic World Evolution 2 Malta ExpansionFrontier

“There are lots of amazing paleo-artists and scientists around the world who interpret how skeletal remains could look if [these dinosaurs] were alive today. Although these can be open to certain interpretation, our goal is to balance these interpretations with ensuring our dinosaurs fit the aesthetic of existing Jurassic World.

“Ultimately, we’re really lucky to spend our days within the franchise and bringing all these amazing species to players in the game and through our DLCs.”

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With multiple DLC expansions now available, the roster of dinosaurs to choose from in Jurassic World Evolution 2 is bigger than ever. But how do Newbold and the team at Frontier Developments decide on which creatures appear in the game?

“For both of our film-inspired expansions, we wanted to bring a balanced selection of the amazing new species and variants you see in the movie to players, from the amazing new feathered species to herbivores and carnivores you’ll see on screen,” he explains.

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“For a Dinosaur Pack, we take inspiration from a prehistoric era or dinosaur type that our community are particularly interested in seeing, as well as species that the team feel would be great additions to our already large roster.”

jurassice world evolution 2 dlc Quetzalcoatlus

The latest DLC for Jurassic World Evolution 2, the Dominion Malta Expansion, takes players to the Mediterranean where dinosaurs are traded on an illegal market – a location that fans of the franchise will recognize from the latest movie, Jurassic World Dominion.

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It gives players an extra way to obtain rare creatures for their park, but one that also makes them question their moral compass and take risks with shady dealers.

“The Mediterranean setting of Malta allowed us to explore some of the ambiguity to the activities involved in running dinosaur parks,” Newbold says.

“We wanted to encourage players to consider which source within the Exchange was best – one that may be trustworthy but may not have the ideal dinosaur, or one with low trust that had the perfect dinosaur.

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“There are some great moments that can naturally unfold, as an untrustworthy seller can deliver a very different set of dinosaurs to what you ordered, sometimes that’s a good surprise, but sometimes it’s much more than the player bargained for!”

Jurassic World Evolution 2 and the Dominion Malta Expansion DLC are out now.