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Ark: Survival Evolved lets you domesticate dinosaurs, if you can stay alive long enough

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The Turok games let you hunt dinosaurs, but haven't you ever dreamed of riding them and other prehistoric creatures, too?

Indie developer Studio Wildcard is promising all that and more with its new project, Ark: Survival Evolved, which the company bills as an "open-world dinosaur survival game." As a human man or woman, you awaken naked on an island along with a group of other players. You must forage for food in the schizophrenic weather, where the days are blazing hot and the nights are freezing. You'll need to harvest resources to craft shelters and other items in order to eke out a meager existence. And you'll have to learn how to hunt the dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, megalodons and other now-extinct beasts — and eventually, tame them — if you want to truly survive.

Studio Wildcard is developing Ark in Unreal Engine 4 for Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One, and said in a press release that it will bring the PC versions to Steam Early Access on June 2. The company is planning for a year of Early Access development, with a release on all platforms set for June 2016.

"Ark is a huge game, in terms of geographical space, scope of content, features, technology, and just about every other metric," said Studio Wildcard in Ark's Steam Early Access listing. "We're a veteran team with some major hits behind our leads, and much of the core challenge is already met, but this is still an ambitious one for us."

The version of Ark that Studio Wildcard is launching on Early Access will include 30 creatures that can be tamed; food, water, temperature and weather systems; the ability to build and paint structures with architectural integrity; crops that you can plant, grow and harvest; mythical monsters; and mod support.

Studio Wildcard's grand plans for the full version of Ark include procedurally generated landmasses; more than 70 different creatures; technology spanning the Stone Age to modern electricity; support for the Oculus Rift; and more.

For further details on Ark, check out its Steam Early Access page and the announcement trailer above.

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