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Jurassic World Evolution isn’t a particularly challenging or demanding theme park sim, but it has its quirks, and does a poor job explaining many of its systems. On any of the remote tropical islands within the Muertas Archipelago the Oooh-ing and Ahh-ing can quickly devolve into running and screaming. Or worse, you simply run out of money, whether through guests’ lawsuits or poor planning.
We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help prove that a dinosaur theme park can be a successful, and profitable, venture.
One Career, Six Islands
Jurassic World Evolution operates a bit differently than most building sims. You have a single career that carries over between islands. Your progress towards dinosaur DNA as well as all research unlocked at the Research Center carries over between each island park. Cash, however, is tied to whatever park you’re currently playing.
This means it’s a good idea to stay on an island even after hitting three stars and unlocking the next island. Since you should have a sizable cash flow by then, finish getting 100% on each dinosaur fossil you have access to as well as any research. This will make starting over again on the next island a bit easier.
You should also try and complete each of the division Missions before moving on, as you cannot complete the next island’s Mission until the previous one.
The island parks are paused while you’re not running them. You can easily return to earlier islands after unlocking better dinosaurs and research, which will make attaining the full five stars much more manageable.
The sixth island, Isla Nublar, is the infamous site of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, and also a big money-less sandbox. Build the park of your dreams!
Each island will feature multi-step Missions for each of the three divisions: Science, Entertainment, and Security, as well as smaller, randomized Contracts. You don’t have to wait for these Contracts to periodically appear.
Go to the Control Center, and the Contracts tab in the lower left. From there you can Request a New Contract to randomly generate a new one. You can even choose from the three divisions. It may not be one you can complete in a timely fashion; you can always decline them without any repercussions.
Because of the chance for high cash rewards, you should always be working on a full queue of three Contracts at all times.
Maintain Balance Between Divisions
It can be tempting to focus on increasing your reputation with only one of the three divisions in order to quickly unlock their rewards. Increasing reputation also comes with a nice cash loyalty bonus if you favor a certain division, and their building, should you build it (unlocked from the first island’s reputation), will yield more income.
However, you run the risk of sabotage from any of ignored divisions. That’s right, if you ignore their contracts and mission for too long and don’t fill up the bar, they will actively sabotage your park, including poisoning your dinosaurs and shutting down the power. This can create some devastating scenarios at inopportune times. Try to keep all three reputation bars steadily increasing to avoid any nasty sabotage.
Apply Building Upgrades
Remember that building upgrades aren’t automatically applied after you research them. You have to manually apply them to the appropriate building. If you research Improved Output 1.0, for example, go to a power station and click over to the upgrade tab to apply it.
Note that most upgrades cost a bit of power, so make sure you have a surplus.
Improved Ouput and Outage Protection are must-haves for every power station. The Ranger Station upgrades are also solid, given that you’ll be using them to do just about every task in your park.
Guests needs are important, but priority should always go to your dinosaurs. An unhappy dinosaur is a security risk and a huge financial liability. Viewing a dinosaur’s statistics will let you see their various needs and ratings for food, water, and population. The most important bar is Comfort. A distressed dinosaurs will slowly lose comfort. Once it reaches their red bar, it will attack the nearest fence and escape, wrecking havoc on nearby guests.
Some dinosaurs are much easier maintained than others. Typically more expensive, higher rated dinosaurs are more difficult to keep happy, and require very specific parameters of grass, forest, and population numbers, which is mostly discovered through trial and error (or this excellent spreadsheet).
Be especially wary of dinosaurs with a large red bar in their comfort level, like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Indominous Rex, and Velciraptor. Those dinosaurs will break out at the drop of a hat.
Social vs. Population
Each dinosaur has two separate bars for Social and Population. Social is how many of that dinosaur’s own species they like to have around them. Large carnivores, for example, typically don’t like to compete, though you can house up to three Ceratosaurus fairly peacefully.
Some dinosaurs will panic if they don’t have enough of their own kind. Torosarus and Dracrex will immediately start panicking if they don’t have a buddy nearby, and preferably at least a handful.
Population is the total number of dinosaurs within an enclosure. While Dracorex loves having a couple of its own kind, its Population tolerance is actually low. Put more than about half a dozen dinosaurs with it and its unhappiness will lead to attacked fences, escapes, and constant headaches for you.
On the other hand, the hadorsaurus family (Corythosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Parasaurolophus) have large Social and Population thresholds – they love having lots of friendly herbivores around them. Use them along with other friendly, social herbivores like Triceratops and Brachiosaurus to fill out a large mega-herbivore enclosure in every park.
Double The Fences
Something I discovered by accident is that you can build fences on top of fences, creating a double perimeter. The new fence will automatically wrap around the old. It’s not a bad idea to double the fence line for your more ornery dinosaurs, giving you some extra time to either fix the dinosaur’s needs once they start attacking, or fire up the ACU and Ranger jeep for the inevitable break out.
If you don’t like getting up-close with your dinosaurs, you’re playing the wrong game. Manually driving a Ranger vehicle lets you take pictures of your dinosaurs. Photographing certain dinosaur actions, like hunting, fighting, and eating, can satisfy some Contracts, but it’s also a nice bit of side income when you don’t have any pressing concerns and you’re waiting for the coffers to fill.
Taking pictures doesn’t cost you anything but time and can net thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars. Try to stage as many dinosaurs as possible in a frame.
Mixing Carnivores and Herbivores
Generally meat-eaters and plant-eaters aren’t going to get along very well, even in a very large enclosure with multiple goats running around. T-Rex wants to hunt, after all. However, there are a few successful combinations.
Dinosaur size is the biggest thing to be aware of when mixing. If herbivores are significantly larger than the carnivores, the carnivores won’t be able to mess with them. Though the herbivores may feel panicked on occasion. There are some exceptions. Try putting several Velociraptors in a pen with a defenseless Corythosaurus. Maybe save your game first.
An example of a successful mixed enclosure is a handful of Deinonychus with a pair of Ankylosaurus. The Deinonychus won’t be able to touch the lumbering tank-like Anks. Just make sure the enclosure is big enough where the Anks won’t feel threatened all the time, and put their feeders on opposite ends.
In the early stages of each park every single dinosaur matters. Everything outside of the Struthiomimus is fairly expensive. You definitely don’t want them eating each other.
But once money becomes less of a concern, you can employ the dubious tactic of breeding dinosaurs for the sole purpose of feeding them to your big carnivores. These large meat-eaters, such as the early game Ceratosaurus, can attain very large star ratings by fighting and killing other dinosaurs, like Torosarus.
Modify the genes of your large predators to increase their attack and defense ratings, then breed unmodified herbivores with weaker stats, but who can still fight, such as Torosaurus. Winning battles will earn them Combat Infamy and a bonus to their star rating. It’s a particularly good tactic for islands where you don’t have space for more dinosaurs and enclosures, such as Isla Pena.
Give your star predators time to heal between bouts. You can also hop in a Ranger jeep and shoot them with medical darts, which will actually heal them during the fight!
Use the Management View
The eye icon is the Management View, and it lets you cycle through several different overlays of your park. This is important to see where you need to build your guest amenities such as gift shops. and fast food.
Guest needs are primarily built around two areas in your park – hotels, and all of your various viewing galleries, platforms, and gyrospheres. While it may make aethsetic sense to drop a row of shops and eating at your park entrance, it’s not going to make your guests happy unless they are near a hotel or a dinosaur enclosure.
Think of all these guest facilities as having a hidden radius around them, and you want that radius to touch as many of your viewing galleries as possible. Since hotels house a large number of guests, you should also surround them in food, drinks, and fun.
We Need More Burgers
Every guest building can only serve a certain number of guests, depending on how many staff members you have empoyed. It’s hidden behind the dollar sign tab on each buildling, which also lets you adjust which item is being sold and for how much.
If you see the number of guests are full (like 320/320), click on Manage Staff to to hire more staff and accomadate more people. Always do this before buying an entirely second building to fill the same needs. On an island, space is a premium!
One Big Monorail
Every park has a Transport Rating, and the only way to improve it is with a monorail. The monorail’s job is to ferry folks from your park entrance to your hotels, reducing the downtime between arrival and dinosaur viewing.
If you go to the Management View you can also see that monorails act as mobile viewing galleries. Build them so they weave their way around and through your dinosaur enclosures to improve your Dinosaur Visibility rating.
A single monorail track should be able to cover your entire park. Stick a a few stations near hotels and hotspot locations, and your Transport Rating should remain solid all the way to five stars.
Fans of the movies will recognize the Velociraptor as being particularly dangerous. It’s no different in Jurassic World Evolution. Their Comfort threshold is exceedingly low, meaning they’ll get upset and attack the fences at the slightest provocation, whether it’s too many trees, too few of their own kind, or adverse weather conditions. This makes raptors rarely worth the headache of breeding them compared to other dinosaurs – but you’ll need them to complete several Island Missions.
To avoid instant Social concerns breed multiple raptors at a time and release them one after the other. What could possibly go wrong?
Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Fifteen years ago I fell in love with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. It was the original dinosaur park sim that let me prove that breeding dinosaurs for consumer entertainment is a totally valid business strategy.
Now from the makers of Planet Coaster comes Jurassic World Evolution. Like the current era of Jurassic World films it’s not quite as good as the original. But Evolution does feature all the joy and danger of breeding and housing dinosaurs for entertainment that makes the concept so richly compelling.
The basic Pokémon tenet of trading Pokémon has been noticeably absent from Pokémon GO. Now, nearly two years after launch, Niantic Inc has finally announced that trading, gifting, and an actual friends list are being added to Pokémon GO later this week.
To add friends you’ll need to exchange Trainer Codes, not unlike how Nintendo operates their friends lists. Plug in the code and you can send a friend request and add them to your new friends list.
To trade Pokémon you must be physically near someone you’ve added to your friends list, both Trainers must be at least level 10. Trading Pokémon requires Stardust, but the traded Pokémon earns Candy in the process. The amount of Candy depends on how far away the two Pokémon were caught from each other. You can lower the Stardust trading requirements by building your friendship level.
Each friend has a friendship level that can be increased through gifting or cooperative battles. Gifts are received through PokéStops, and can’t be opened normally. Instead you have to trade them to friends, which they can open for a showering of loot, and a postcard of the PokéStop location.
Rare Pokémon such as Legendaries require a Special Trade. A Special Trade is limited to once per day, and only between a Great or Best Friend with high enough friendship level. It’ll also cost a bunch of Stardust.
Trading has been a highly requested feature for Pokémon GO since launch. Niantic had promised it was a forthcoming feature. Pokémon GO originally launched in Summer 2016 and went on to become a global phenomena, and introducing much of the world to the magic of an AR mobile game.
The trading and friends update should hit later this week.
Four years ago at E3 2014, Ubisoft blundered into a PR nightmare by weakly defending why both Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 lacked playable women characters in their multiplayer modes – they would require too much time and resources to animate.
Female representation in big, blockbuster games has been sporadic at best. Yes we can point to the same franchises like Metroid and Tomb Raider over and over again, but that just proves the point even more.
But there is good news. In recent years diversity and inclusion has become a major focus for many game developers and publishers. The fruits of those labors are beginning to show. We could call it the Overwatch or Wonder Woman Effect, or just a sign of many game companies hoping to avoid stagnation and seek out progressive voices and audiences.
At E3 2018 we were impressed with the number of women characters, both old and new, showcasing AAA games. In case you missed it, let’s run through the new era of leading ladies from E3 2018.
Technically Battlefield V was announced ahead of E3. The reveal trailer featured a female soldier who had the best lines and most badass moments. EA even went so far as to feature a female soldier on their cover art.
At EA Play 2018 they teased a single player campaign that also starred a woman fighter’s story of revenge and survival during World War II.
Battlefield V is a great example of the struggles a big studio and franchise can face for daring to include diversity in their games. That reveal trailer currently has more dislikes than likes, with both numbering in the hundreds of thousands. It’s sparked numerous outrages and debates about the game’s historical authenticity versus political virtue-signaling.
It’s endlessly disappointing that including diverse characters has become a political, hot-button issue, and the main reason why many big game companies steer clear. For what it’s worth, EA and DICE have committed to inclusion in their games.
Our commitment as a studio is to do everything we can to create games that are inclusive and diverse. We always set out to push boundaries and deliver unexpected experiences. But above all, our games must be fun!
— Oskar Gabrielson (@ogabrielson) May 25, 2018
I confess I’m not familiar with the Gears of War franchise beyond playing the first game nearly a decade ago. Kait Diaz was apparently a major player in 2016’s Gears of War 4, but in Gears 5 she takes center stage as the primary playable character.
The trailer, shown at the Xbox E3 2018 conference, featured both a cinematic cutscene with Kait, Marcus, and the rest of the team, as well as gameplay starring the young heroine.
Sea of Solitude
Sea of Solitude isn’t a AAA game, but it is being published through EA’s EA Originals brand. An announcement trailer was shown during the EA Play conference, revealing the personal story of loneliness and depression from game designer Cornelia Geppert.
Geppert was one of the few women game designers to take the stage at any of the press conferences. The game stars Kay, a young woman whose emotional issues have transformed her into a literal monster. She has to save both herself and her fellow monsters amidst a ruined, flooded world.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
One of the biggest female-led series has been riding high in the last few years thanks to a successful reboot by Crystal Dynamics. The third game in the rebooted Tomb Raider series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, features an even darker, more brutal story as Lara must prevent a Mayan apocalypse, which she herself helped set into motion.
In the gameplay trailer we see Lara go full-on Predator, stealthy hunting foes with bow and blade in a new outfit that proves high-stakes action-adventure makes for a solid work-out regiment.
One of the most surprising announcements from the Bethesda E3 2018 conference was a spin-off co-op sequel to Wolfenstein II. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is set in 1980s Paris, far after the events of Woflenstein II.
The bad news is that the alt-history Nazis are apparently still in control (in France at least). The good news is that BJ’s grown twin daughters are ready to fight the good fight.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
With BioWare making Anthem, the torch of romancing NPCs in a gender inclusive universe has apparently fallen to Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series. Newly announced Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks absolutely gorgeous, taking place in Ancient Greece and featuring the same great series improvements found in last year’s Origins.
But the real talked about feature is choosing to play the entire game as either male character Alexios or female character Kassandra. Both are fully voiced and remain the stars of their stories. And yes, apparently you can romance multiple characters no matter whom you choose to play as.
Beyond Good & Evil 2
The original 2003 Beyond Good & Evil is still one of the most mentioned games when talking about female-led games. That’s pretty sad, yet Beyond Good & Evil has also become a cult favorite. Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been in development hell forever, eventually turning into this big AAA prequel starring a new female character as the leader of her own motley space crew.
The prequel has astonishingly great animated cinematics, but we also got our first look at some pre-alpha gameplay, which lets you fly to different planets and explore in third-person action-adventure. It looks incredibly ambitious. Unfortunately we still don’t have a release date.
As revealed at the PlayStation E3 press conference, Control is a brand new game by Remedy, developers of Quantum Break and Alan Wake. Jesse assumes the role of Director of the Bureau of Control, giving her supernatural powers and a fancy shifting gun.
We don’t know much more about it, but it definitely looks a lot like Quantum Break.
The Last of Us Part II
The Last of Us Part II may be the single most anticipated sequel of the year, though we still don’t have a firm release date. The new trailer showed off the most memorable scene from all of E3, an older teenage Ellie passionately kissing her new love, Dina. Not only is it a sweet moment, it’s also incredibly well animated. How far we’ve come in four years!
The gameplay portion showcased the familiar brutality of The Last of Us, confirming that Ellie is the main protagonist in the sequel, and that human enemies are just as harrowing as the Clickers.
Playing mostly as Joel shepherding Ellie in the original 2013 game while switching to Ellie for the sequel is a great metaphor for the progress gaming has made over the years. Gaming is for everyone, and it’s nice to see women get more seats at the grown-ups’ table.
As always, Nintendo eschewed a live press conference in favor of their pre-recorded Nintendo Direct videos. Obviously the Nintendo Switch remains the primary focus. As expected, Super Smash Bros. was…