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Community and Competition

Find out what we're doing and thinking as we develop WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition and the Tower Fall expansion!

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Community and Competition

Postby loboLoco » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:00 pm

I attended the Game Developer Conference a few weeks ago — a huge, annual meet-up where 27,000 developers from around the world come together to talk about game design, production, marketing, and anything else related to game development. As usual, most of the sessions were fascinating, and you’ll probably see ideas from those sessions popping up in more blog entries here in the future.

One of the most interesting sessions was by Nick Yee, a game researcher at Quantic Foundry, which conducted a massive survey (over 250,000 respondents) about gamer motivation. (Help them out by taking their survey! and see the presentation slides.) I’m a sucker for this kind of research, and their results didn’t disappoint. One of the most striking insights was, in terms of player motivations, that competition isn’t the opposite of community, as you might think, and as earlier models of player motivation (like Bartle’s classic typology of Player Types) had said. In reality, they’re two aspects of the “Social” motivation and often (as in World of Warcraft) are prominent features within a game.

How will we apply this research to Episode 3? The game currently focuses on intra-pack cooperation, with inter-pack competition limited to glancing encounters in Slough Creek. But wolves do live in a competitive world. Wolf fights are the most common cause of death for a Yellowstone wolf, typically occurring when pack come into conflict over territory. So, to bring more accuracy and realism to the game, we’ve been sketching out a new two-pack multiplayer mode, and this research gives us encouragement and guidance as we design it. In this mode, players will form two packs, occupying the northern and southern halves of the Tower Fall map, and must communicate and cooperate within the pack while competing with the other pack. We’re expanding the Emotes palette to give players more wolf-like ways to communicate within their pack. And we’re designing new fighting mechanics that will allow players to engage in fierce territorial struggles with other packs.

A critical challenge is designing these new features so they expand and enhance the social aspects of WolfQuest rather than damaging them. While both competition and community are part of the larger “social” motivation, Quantic Foundry’s research found that some players do strongly prefer one or the other — and we know that many WolfQuest players like the non-competitive nature of the game. So PvP will be available only in a new, additional multiplayer mode. Players who don’t like competition can choose the standard “player-pack vs NPC pack” modes, and then engage in PvC fighting to whatever extent they like.

Of course, we also see plenty of anti-social behavior in abuse reports, so we want to ensure that the new fighting mechanics don’t simply give new tools to obnoxious players. Any fighting within a pack will automatically be play-fighting, with no damage taken, and we expect to add more options for dealing with such players in-game.

We know that people play WolfQuest with many different playing styles and goals. We hope that players will welcome this new gameplay and the increased realism it brings — but there will still be options for low-key, cooperative pack play for players who favor that style. WolfQuest will continue to be a game about wolf ecology, always striving to balance realism with fun gameplay. We hope Episode 3 brings us a big step closer to achieving those goals.
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby SolitaryHowl » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:40 pm

Wow, the PvP or PvC option in WQ sounds really fun! :D
I especially like how it will seem to add to the realism rather than subtract from it, with interpack fighting.

Though, I have a question, will it be available in Singleplayer too?

(Oh, and I completed that survey. Very interesting...)
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby loboLoco » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:48 pm

Yes, the rival packs will be present in single-player.
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby Lebron BMT » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:33 pm

Wonderful news! Complex wolf on wolf/pack vs pack interactions are precisely what Wolfquest needs the most. Adding more ambient animals and new maps are only superficial means of advancing this game.
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby 7KodaWolf7 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:43 pm

Wow, this is going to be one amazing addition! I'm so looking forward to it, Dave. This game just keeps getting better and better, and you and the other developers/beta testers are working so hard on making it the fullest it can possibly be. Thank you! :D :wolf:
Also, that Quantic Foundry site is really great. I took the survey and ended up making an account and am enjoying it thus far.
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby paperpaws » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:02 am

That's exciting news, and I'm happy to read that it'll be an option rather than a new standard. I'm enjoying the Quantic Foundry's website as well, so cheers for linking that. Best of luck with this!
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby Phasoli » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:32 pm

I am quite literally shivering with excitement! This is amazing! I can't wait to explore this new feature with Episode 3. I can forsee a future where Wolfquest will blow up heartily in terms of popularity in the future. For now, I'm on my toes! Its such a struggle to retain my fingernails by the time I finish reading every new update! I cannot thank the team enough for the time and effort they are spending on this project!
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby Koa » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:40 pm

I know many players have been wanting added complexity in in-game wolf interactions and social dynamics in both singleplayer and multiplayer for a long time. Sounds like a wonderful addition, Dave.
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby xLizx » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:04 pm

Super excited for these more in-depth social dynamics! I would love to see the social arena get fleshed out a bit more. I can easily see this idea for a pack vs pack multiplayer mode become extremely popular really fast!! :D Hyped!!
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby 7KodaWolf7 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:08 pm

xLizx wrote:I can easily see this idea for a pack vs pack multiplayer mode become extremely popular really fast!! :D Hyped!!

Definitely. I see a lot of "Pack vs. Pack" roleplay servers. Having the multiplayer do this for you automatically will be very popular with all of the users. And I, too, am feeling very hyped. :lol:
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby PearlyReborn » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:34 pm

WHOA! This was exactly what I was hoping for- I even suggested something similar on the "Ideas for New Epsiodes V2" topic! Episode 3 looks like it's gonna be really good. AND THANK YOU FOR BETTER FIGHTING MECHANICS! I know a lot of roleplayers would be happy to spruce up their RP with playfighting as well rather than just using the jump button. This is possibly my favorite announcement yet, excluding the announcement that there'd be an episode 3 in the first place. Thank you so much!
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby duskypack » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:56 pm

How will the fighting work? Will it be like fighting a cougar or bear, or will it be more complex?
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby Aaka2013 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:49 pm

when will these new updates be ready? when can we expect them?
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby SolitaryHowl » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:52 pm

Aaka2013 wrote:when will these new updates be ready? when can we expect them?


According to Dave, not until the end of this year. But keep in mind Eduweb's release dates have been inaccurate in the past so it may take longer.
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Re: Community and Competition

Postby Kitsuma » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:19 am

[quote="SolitaryHowl"][quote="Aaka2013"]when will these new updates be ready? when can we expect them?[/quote]

According to Dave, not until the end of this year. But keep in mind Eduweb's release dates have been inaccurate in the past so it may take longer.[/quote]

Just like SolitaryHowl said. Just to keep my hopes from getting up, I would say next year. Not because of hating on the team, but because this is a highly ambitious new episode coming out, and to make sure that it has quality and good performance may take a while to program and to get the bugs out.

I would rather wait until next year, then get an addition that is poorly constructed and doesn't work well.
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