New Ark Update Adds Dung Beetle and Beer Kegs

Plus, $63,000 modding contest announced.


Dinosaur game Ark: Survival Evolved expands today with a new update that introduces the first new prehistoric creatures of 2016, while a $63,000 modding contest has also been announced.

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First, the new creatures are the excrement-eating dung beetle and the Dimetrodon, described as a "protective" creature. The dung beetle eats poop and "other useless waste" and then turns it into oil that can power generators and fertilize crops. The Dimetrodon, meanwhile, has a "massive insulating sail" that runs down its back. Players can use this for shade in the heat or as shelter from the cold.

You can check out the video above to see these new beasts in action.

In other Ark news, you can finally get drunk in the game, if that's what you've been waiting for. Today's update also introduces craftable beer kegs you can use "for making tasty brew, with various status enhancing effects." Developer Studio Wildcard warns, "But watch out for the subsequent 'hangover.'"

Additionally, Studio Wildcard has announced a new modding contest for Ark that features a $63,000 prize purse. As part of the contest, the developer is challenging the community to create and submit entries across three categories: Mods, Maps, and Total Conversions. It is recommended that you use the free "Ark Dev Kit," which is a modified version of Epic's Unreal Engine 4 Editor, and all entries must be submitted before March 15.

The winners for each category will be announced on April 15. Winning entries will be decided by a mixture of public voting (40 percent) and assessments from the development team (60 percent).

A total of 15 prizes will be handed out; here is how the prizing breaks down:

Mod Contest Prizing

  • 1st Place: $10,000 in each category
  • 2nd Place: $5,000 in each category
  • 3rd Place: $3,000 in each category
  • 4th Place: $2,000 in each category
  • 5th Place: $1,000 in each category

Full contest rules are available here.

Ark's new update and the modding contest are only available for the PC version, not the recently released Xbox One edition that's attracted 1 million players.

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Avatar image for sepsis216

I hear this game is completely overrun with hackers. Anyone confirm?

Avatar image for yellowsanchez

Wish they fix the optimization rather than add content. Fix the game to near perfection then add more features.

Avatar image for iceball91

Dung beetles are dumb, all they do is crap and....roll crap.....yay.

Avatar image for hystavito

@iceball91: I posted on the video that it seemed like another joke addition, but now that I read here what it does I guess it serves a pretty good function?

Avatar image for Saidrex

@iceball91: some people do that too.

Avatar image for metalhead9806

I want them to stop adding content for like 3-6 months and completely focus on optimizations of the engine on both PC and XBO. Once the game looks like those gameplay trailers and runs on medium spec PCs at 60fps then you can start to dump features into it.

Avatar image for hystavito

@metalhead9806: This often happens when an early access game takes off having good success. It becomes perpetually early access-ish as the focus is to drive more sales, or perhaps make players excited, rather than complete the game.

Avatar image for adro191

@metalhead9806: Right!? Right!? FFS I have quite a decent PC and still struggle with good fps