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The Big Ideas poll for the WolfQuest 2.5 Design Contest

Archived news, updates and announcements.

Which Big Idea should be added into the next version of the game?

Poll ended at Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:51 am

Bison
45
8%
Cougars
20
4%
Multiplayer Should Be More Like Single Player
104
19%
Pup or Full Grown
154
29%
Weather and Time
212
40%
 
Total votes : 535

The Big Ideas poll for the WolfQuest 2.5 Design Contest

Postby WQ Coordinator » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:51 am

The time has finally come! This is your opportunity to help choose which great new idea will be implemented into WolfQuest 2.5. Vote for your favorite Big Idea, and don't forget also go to and vote in the Game Enhancement poll as well. Below are the summary of your options; the full descriptions are in the posts below this.

You will not be able to see the results of the poll until the poll has ended. You will only be able to vote once and cannot change your vote, so don't vote until you're sure of your choice. The winning idea, along with the creator's username, will be announced at the end of the poll. This winner will join the WolfQuest Development team in Minnesota to help discuss how to implement his/her idea into the game. All game suggestions may be edited by the Development Team for funding or accuracy reasons.

Please remember- while we typically love to see discussion about WolfQuest on these forums, there should be no discussion of these ideas, who the finalists may or may not be, etc. on these forums or elsewhere online until after the poll has ended. Thanks for your cooperation! (If you have any questions, you may contact me or any of the moderators; we will answer your question if we are able.) Do not post any questions, responses, or comments on this topic. All replies to this topic will be deleted and may result in a warning or ban.

The five Big Ideas, alphabetical by title name:

Bison
    •Add cow, calf, and bull bison to a designated territory to use as a new food source
    •Bulls could fight; the loser would make an easier meal

Cougars!
    •Add cougars as a new predator to attack pups, compete for food, and attack your wolf
    •Cougars would pose a new challenge for catching and eating elk

Multiplayer Should Be More Like Single Player
    •Missions from single player (marking territory, pups, stranger wolves, and rendezvous site) included in multiplayer
    •Multiplayer could represent an established pack family, with players representing the lead male and female and their offspring from the previous year
    •Player wolves have to work together so everyone survives

Pup or Full Grown?
    •Choose the age of your wolf in multiplayer games (pup, young adult, adult, or elder)
    •The age of your wolf affects your stamina, speed, strength, etc.

Weather and Time
    •Add rain, winds, floods, fog, and lightning to affect scent view, dens, and more
    •Add night and day to affect prey animals and/or behavior
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Re: The Big Ideas poll for the WolfQuest 2.5 Design Contest

Postby WQ Coordinator » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:08 am

Bison

Description: My basic idea is to implement a small bison herd into the new WolfQuest expansion. The functionality is that it could become another food source for players, expanding the amount of choices they have. Here are just a few basic ideas as to how it could work in the game. You would have take into consideration the time when the bison rut begins, which is around July. This means that cows, calves, and bulls would all be together at the same time if you want scientific accuracy. Cow herds usually consist of 60-100 individuals, though the number could be shrunken down if perhaps the bison are spread out through the designated herd territory. Bulls create smaller herds, but again, at this time of year they all join together to form one large breeding herd. To keep it reasonable, maybe 20 or so individuals could be added in the territory, even though this is fairly small compared to the massive number of bison that would be together in reality. ~I think it would be interesting if the bulls could fight and the weakened loser could make an easier target for a meal, though that would probably be extremely difficult to implement into the game because fighting sequences would also have to be added. It's somewhat of a small idea that branches from the main one I had, though it doesn't necessarily have to be added; it would just make gameplay more realistic and interesting all at the same time.

Adding bison would make WolfQuest much more scientifically accurate in my opinion. I’ll list some of the reasons why below: ~Bison have been the second most popular food source judging by how many kills are detected in Yellowstone each year (though elk still makes up a majority of their diet). It would make sense to add prey that the real wolves of Yellowstone can hunt and really can successfully live off of. ~Cows would have to have calves around this time since they give birth right before the summer in April or May. Players could take advantage of the weaker calves just like real wolves of Yellowstone do, with most of the bison kills being made up of calves every year. ~If bulls are added and it is during the time of the rut, it would be interesting for wolves to take advantage of weakened bulls after fighting. In one of the sources that I list below, it shows a video of bulls fighting; the loser is wounded and eventually dies due to his injuries, and this would make a great meal for wolves. This though is more of a theory due to the fact that I couldn't find a source where wolves actually did this, but it just seemed like it could be possibility because bulls have been taken down before, judging by the number of bison killed each year. Also, two wolves hunting a healthy bull is next to impossible, so a wounded one may be more appropriate. So to sum it up, another food source is what is going to make WolfQuest more accurate. The scientific accuracy would be at its highest if players can think like a wolf more, like knowing that they the calves would make an easier meal and going after wounded adults would be easier than healthy ones. That’s what really is on a wolf’s mind when they see their prey; it’s all about survival. Sources: http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/wolves.htm http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/bison.htm http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/bisonqa.htm http://www.edutube.org/video/wolves-hunting-bison http://animal.discovery.com/videos/jaws-and-claws-2-bison-clash.html
Improvement 2: The overall gameplay would improve most definitely. The main reason is that another source a food will become available to players which would aid in the survival of their pack. Players may also create new hunting techniques when it comes to hunting the different types of bison in the herd; perhaps players will chase the herd until a calf falls far enough behind to be taken down more easily, or maybe they can go after a wounded bull who has sustained injuries from the rut. A problem that may also be remedied is that players often complain about being bored on multiplayer because there is little to do, so with another rather difficult prey animal available, perhaps that would get players to work in a pack and try to take down a large bull like they do when going after a bull elk. So to conclude this, bison will make WolfQuest a much more realistic and educational world that would more accurately reflect the lives of wolves that reside in Yellowstone. Players will learn more about the prey and predator relationship of wolves and bison, and hopefully will benefit not only in gameplay, but outside of gameplay as well.
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Re: The Big Ideas poll for the WolfQuest 2.5 Design Contest

Postby WQ Coordinator » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:32 pm

Cougars!

Description: Adding a cougar to the game would add a new challenge for the players. Cougars would attack the pups, compete for food by stealing fresh elk carcasses and hunting the weakest elk in a herd, and attacking you if you get too close. Cougars would have to be chased off to defend your pups. They would be challenging to chase off because they are fast, and could injure a wolf with low health very badly, or kill him. A wolf would be able to chase off a cougar by chasing him away from the pups, and biting him three times when the cougar is far enough away from the pups. If the cougar is not far enough away from the pups when you chase it off, it would return, and you would have to chase it away again. Cougars would also just roam around and look for fresh carcasses to eat or elk to kill, making an encounter with a roaming cougar dangerous. It would attack you if you got too close because it was hungry. You would have to run away from the cougar for a certain distance to escape or fight back and bite the cougar 3 times. Or your wolf could howl to scare off a roaming cougar before it attacks. Fighting would be more dangerous for weak wolves, and running would be more dangerous for slow wolves. If a wolf that is running away is caught by a cougar, the wolf must fight the cougar or the cougar will kill the wolf. If a cougar took over an unguarded elk carcass, you would only have to bite it three times before it would run away. The cougar would not leave the carcass even if you tried to chase it away by running at it. It would claw you, and then continue eating. If a cougar attacked the weakest elk in the herd, it would kill the elk, and you would have the option of chasing another elk, or challenging the cougar for its kill. Cougars would also climb trees to guard their kills, making it dangerous to approach some carcasses. If a cougar was hiding in a tree and you approached a guarded carcass, the cougar would jump down and attack you.

Cougars would make WolfQuest more educational because wolves would encounter cougars in the wild, and cougars would attack wolf pups. On Globio.org’s article on wolves (http://www.globio.org/glossopedia/article.aspx?art_id=66) it states the following: “Wolves will not put up with coyotes or cougars in their territory. Coyotes and cougars are a danger to wolf pups. To protect their young and their territory, wolves will attack and kill cougar cubs and even adult cougars.” Cougars would compete for carcasses in the wild. On page 92 of the book Cougar! by Harold P. Danz, we find the following encounter documented by Thomas Nuttall in 1819 between a wolf and a cougar: “Panthers (meaning cougars) are said to be abundant in the woods of the Red river, nor are they uncommon on the banks of the Arkansas. A somewhat curious anecdote of one of these animals was related to me by my guide. A party of hunters in the morning missed one of their dogs from the encampment, and after a fruitless search were proceeding on their route, when one of the other dogs obtaining a scent, discovered to the hunters, dead beneath a tree, the dog which had strayed, together with a deer and a wolf in the same condition. It appeared that the panther, having killed a deer, and eaten its fill, got into a tree to watch the remainder, and had, in its own defense, successively fallen upon the wolf and the dog as intruders on his provision.” The same book also states on pages 88-89: “An adult cougar is physically superior to any wild or domestic member of the dog family in America, yet it will usually flee from a single barking dog nearly as quickly as it would from an obstreperous pack. One theory, often expressed, is that cougars flee from a barking dog because of an instinctive, ancestral fear of voracious wolf packs… Perhaps it is because the cougar operates in such a surreptitious manner that it dislikes the clamoring pronouncements the wolves make of their presence. Whatever the reason, if the dog doesn’t bark the cougar is not inclined to flee, and is likely to dispose of the dog quickly.” This fear of wolves mentioned in the book would make it legitimate that wolves could chase off cougars. This would provide an opportunity to show how wolves would react to a cougar, reinforcing WolfQuest’s goal of teaching wolf behavior and ecology.

Cougars would present more of a challenge to players because they would attack wolves. Unlike the bears, which don’t attack you until you attack them, a roaming cougar would attack wolves looking for food, moving their pups, or just traveling around the game world. Players would have to watch out for cougars that were roaming because the cougars would attack them, unlike the bears.
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Re: The Big Ideas poll for the WolfQuest 2.5 Design Contest

Postby WQ Coordinator » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:34 pm

Multiplayer Should Be More Like Single Player

Description: I think that WolfQuest has the potential be at its most realistic and educational in Multiplayer mode. While single player follows the first year of a new pack, Multiplayer can show how an established pack lives. In short, allow Multiplayer to have the option to go through the same tasks as single player. The whole pack could be involved with territory marking, and the territory window could appear on all player windows. Parentage and gender of the pups can remain unspecified, as per usual, names can be randomly generated (Sort of like a name generator, people could submit names to a pool, and the names could be distributed to games with pups present.) or names can be left out entirely (or players can play as the pups the adults would try to defend). The weight and health of the pups doesn't necessarily need to be exactly known, but allowing all players to access a modified version of the pack stats would be an excellent addition. All stages can be extended to help make them more challenging and to force the pack to work together, and having so many wolves should allow Multiplayer packs to defend bigger territories. I think that including a social arena would be a nice, realistic touch (only the player that encounters the wolf would enter the social arena; other packmates can observe the behaviors as they happen), but not needed. However, the player pack should always get chased out of the other territories. During the journey to the rendezvous site, if a player runs into another pack's territory, only that player and pup should be teleported out. When pups are brought to the rendezvous site, the pack can continue to care and play with them indefinitely.

What summer wolf pack has no pups to care for? What elk-rich habitat has no competitors? In the wild, wolves tend to function in packs of four to seven, depending on region and other factors. This means that a pack has the parents, occasionally a relative of on of the parents, but most likely last year's pups. They all work together to raise the new pups. The single player mode reflects fairly well how hard it is for a starting pack to keep their pups alive. However, it has thus far been unable to show how an established pack functions. This could be the realm of the Multiplayer mode. Retaining both care of pups and stranger territories would actually make Multiplayer as immersive - or perhaps even more so - as single player. It would certainly become far more accurate than it currently is.

One of the reasons for why World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs are so popular is because they have quests that people have to work together to do. This is a spot where WolfQuest could really shine, but has been sadly lacking. Like wild wolves, players would have to work together to insure the survival of everyone involved. And, just like wolves, people are social and like to work together. This suggestion, especially if more behaviors can be added, could exponentially increase the education of this game through teamwork alone. Not only could players see what it is like for a new pack to get its start in single player, but they could also experience how a more established pack functions in multiplayer. Even more so, they could potentially have the most realistic roleplaying experience ever provided by any game, using mostly real wolf body language and accompanying vocalizations.
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Re: The Big Ideas poll for the WolfQuest 2.5 Design Contest

Postby WQ Coordinator » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:35 pm

Pup or Full Grown?

Description: In multiplayer games you can choose the age of your wolf a. 4-8 months (a pup) b. 1-2 years (young adult) c. older than 2 years (a full grown adult) d. an elder (way older, weaker wolf)

Wolves don't just come in one shape and size; they are of all varieties and shapes! This would improve the game greatly, and I am sure many people would enjoy playing as a pup. Pups can be carried and need to be fed and have the most stamina. (Because in the wild, pups need to be able to hide from predators) Young adults have more speed points. Full Grown Adult Wolves have more strength points.

This idea would improve role-playing as real wolves and make WolfQuest a lot more fun!
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Re: The Big Ideas poll for the WolfQuest 2.5 Design Contest

Postby WQ Coordinator » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:36 pm

Weather and Time

Description: I'd like to suggest adding weather effects and time. By doing this it would not only make the game more realistic and beautiful, but make it more fun. Weather - When it rains scents could get weaker, as they are being washed away. Maybe more intense weather like overflowing of rivers and strong winds could also be added, just more rare. The winds could make it harder or easier to walk, depending on if you are facing it or not, and also blow away scents. Maybe you could make the dens accessible so that players could get out of certain, more dangerous, weather, like lightingstorms. If it rains too much maybe the den could flood, making the player either have to find another den, or somehow keep their pups safe until the water drains out. Fog could make it harder to see, and make the player more reliant on other senses. Some people say that animals can sense a change in weather, maybe there could be another 'sense' that warns the player of big coming changes in weather. Also, maybe lightning could start fires, making it more exciting and difficult. Of course, fires might be a bit rare. Time - A wolf's behavior changes depending on what time it is. You could add a night and day, and certain things may become easier during the night than it would be in the day. For example: at night it makes it harder to see things, but prey animals also can't see. The herds could fall asleep with a single sentry, and if the player evades the sentry's detection, get an easy meal.

Weather - It happens constantly in real life, and it always affects the animals. It could help to educate players on what the wolves would do in certain situations. Not only that, but it would make it more realistically accurate. Time - What is there to explain? It seems very simple and yet would make the game so much more fun and educationally correct as well as realistically accurate.

Weather - One thing about Wolfquest is that once you finish the quest it becomes rather boring, weather would give the players something more to do, give them something to overcome, all the while educating them, much like the game in general, only more long-lasting. Time - This would give the players searching for difficulty some sense of accomplishment, and also make certain things easier for the players hoping for something simple. An example: During the day hunting might become harder, but during the night hunting might become easier.
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