What is WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition?
WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition will be a complete remake of the current game. The basic mission arc will be the same. However, WQ 3 will have a new codebase and much of the core gameplay will be reimagined. We’re rethinking and redesigning each system of the game, from the wolf-controller to stranger wolves (both hostile and potentially friendly) to hunting mechanics to elk herding behaviors. We’re making vastly larger and more realistic maps. There will be new and improved 3D animal models and animations living in a world of more realistic terrain and flora. In every way, it'll be a bigger and better version of the gam
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What about Tower Fall? Our original plan was to make a new map/episode, Tower Fall, then go back and revise the Amethyst and Slough Creek missions to bring them up to par with Tower Fall. But as we work on these new systems, that plan became increasingly unsatisfactory. It would be quite strange to play through the current game, then go to Tower Fall and find all-new systems that create (we think!) much better gameplay. You all who’ve been playing the game already would probably understand that, but new players would not, and it would not make a great player experience overall.
So we revised that plan, flipping the release schedule around. Now we’re going to release a major game update, WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition first. Then we will release the expansion Tower Fall. Both will be coming sometime in 2018.What new animals will be included? Will you be updating the wolf model?
* Mule deer
* Bighorn Sheep (winner of the player vote for a new animal)
* baby ungulates
* Perhaps others
We have rebuilt the wolf model. You'll be able to choose from a variety of eye colors and other customizations. What else will be new in the Anniversary Edition?
* New, more robust codebase for all gameplay
* Improved camera and wolf controller
* More naturalistic AI logic
* New animal models
* Improved hunting gameplay
* Bigger and better maps (49 square kilometers each!)
* More naturalistic animal spawning and scent system
* More naturalistic territory system
* And more!Will I have to pay to get it?
This is a free upgrade for everyone who has purchased WolfQuest 2.7!Will it be available for mobile phones and tablets?
Yes...at least some of them, and/or in some form. We are remaking the Amethyst and Slough Creek maps -- they will be much larger, with more animals, and that may be too much for mobile devices with limited RAM memory. It's been difficult to get the current game to run reliably on some devices which have only 1 GB of RAM memory, and we are not sure that this new episode will run on those devices. We'll do our best, but there's a good chance that some mobile devices won't be able to get it, and/or we will have a simpler version of it for some mobile devices.When will it be released?
When it's done
If you've been following WolfQuest for awhile, you know how bad we are at estimating release dates, so for the time being, we're not going to make any public estimates, except for "coming in 2018."Questions About HuntingWill there be a way to carry hares or tear off pieces of a carcass and carry it away? Or drag a carcass closer to the den?
Wolves will be able to carry small chunks of food, such as hares. They’ll also be able to pick up some internal parts of larger pray and carry them away. We did some work on tearing off limbs and dragging carcasses, but it’s technically quite difficult to get that to work and look good, so it’s not in the plan currently.
Fun fact: In some regions like northern Minnesota, wolves will often cache food so they can return and eat it later — even though other predators often find those caches and eat them first. But in Yellowstone, prey is so abundant that wolves don’t bother caching. So there will not be caching in the game. Questions About PupsWill we have an option to play as a pup or a yearling?
We fully understand how much players want this! And we think it would be fun too. Our new codebase will make it much easier than before to make any animal playable, so we expect to make playable pups at some point. However, pups are pretty limited in what they can do, so we know we’ll have to create some special game mechanics to make pups worth playing. So playing as pups will have to come later. Questions About Life CycleWill we see pups grow to adulthood? Will there be an extended life arc for the wolves, so you can play through year after year, raising a series of litters? Will there be an aging system?
Tower Fall will continue the story of the pack from June to November, when the pups are about seven months old. Obviously, they have a lot more growing to do before the parents would be ready to have another litter! Eventually, we would love to carry the story far enough so it would naturally begin another cycle — I imagine that would be Episode 5. And even with that, the game would portray only 18 months in the life of your wolf, so not long enough for any aging effects to appear. In some ways that’s a shame, because scientists do see significant changes over a wolf’s adult life, as they become wiser and more experienced. We hope someday to incorporate that into the game nicely, but you can see it’ll be awhile. In real life, wolf pack hierarchy changes a lot. If an alpha wolf ages and weakens, it may be edged out by a stronger, younger wolf. That former alpha may sometimes leave the pack and start a new one. Could this be possible in the new episode?
“Alpha” is actually an outdated concept. Dr. David Mech developed the concept early in his career, after watching captive wolf behavior. But as the more he studied wild wolves, he realized that the pack leaders were simply the parents (or breeders, to use the technical term), and they generally remain so for several years at minimum. Dr. Mech has found it challenging, to say the least, to undo the popularity of the “alpha” concept, and as one of our advisors in the original game project, he saw WolfQuest as one way to get the word out.
So in the wild, hierarchies actually don’t change that often. For example, the breeding pair led the Lamar Canyon pack for nine years (until, sadly, the female was shot and killed just outside the park boundary). That’s an especially long tenure, but there definitely is not a lot of turnover of pack leadership, any more than there’s frequent change of parents within a family. In fact, if one of the breeders dies, the pack is likely to break up, with each wolf heading out to find a mate and start a new pack. Will their be an option so that if our mate dies he/she will stay dead to make the game harder?
We’ve thought about allowing mates to be killed permanently, but it would definitely affect the difficulty of the remaining game. And of course, the follow-up question will then be: If my mate is killed, I should be able to get a new mate by finding another dispersal. Which would be accurate to real wolf behavior! But which means adding all that functionality, and integrating it nicely. That’s what always happens with game design — something sounds so simple, but it creates a cascading series of new issues that have to be dealt with.Questions About the MapsAre you enlarging all the maps? Will the bigger maps be replacing the old maps? Will we have the option to choose which version of the maps to play on?
We are making new, bigger and better maps for Amethyst Mountain and Slough Creek. Maybe someday we’ll do the same for Lost River, but it’s low priority for now. WQ 3 will only have the new maps, but WQ 2.7 will be available as a separate app so you can keep both versions on your computer or device. Questions About Mate and Pack Interactions How will finding a mate change?
Finding a mate will be a much bigger challenge in WQ3! Instead of three fixed Stranger Wolf zones, other wolves will roam around just as you do. Pack wolves will patrol and defend their territory, while other dispersal wolves like yourself will wander in search of a mate. You’ll be able to track both pack and dispersal wolves by scent (just as you do with prey using the new scent system). And once you find a potential mate, it won’t be quite so simple to make that wolf your mate. Look for more details in a future blog post!Will there be new actions (like tail wag and playbow) to communicate with each other? Will howling have any sort of an effect (being able to hear other packs, etc)?
We are adding more emotes, each of which has a specific meaning (e.g. uncertain, alert, greeting, and more). Howling will still improve pack affinity and strengthens your territory. And since there will be other packs residing in their own territories, you’ll hear them howl — and you can howl back to let them know you’re here. Will we be able to actually interact and let other wolves join our pack? Will there be other wolf territories that have dispersing wolves that can join your pack if you allow it?
It isn’t unheard of for an unrelated wolf to join a pack, but it is fairly unusual. In most cases, an unrelated wolf will join a pack only if one of the breeders/parents dies, and the remaining one needs to find a new mate. That would be cool thing to add….someday. Will there be a hierarchy system implemented?
We already have one! A wolf pack is a family, with the breeders (parents) in charge and the pups subordinate. Questions About Wolf Customization Will there be any new wolf coats or will we get to choose our wolf customization a little better? Will there be an option to place scars wherever you want on your selected coat? Will there be more customization options such as having an albino variant?
You’ll be able to choose your wolf’s eye color, selecting from about half a dozen accurate colors (no blues, sorry — pups have blue eyes but those change by summertime).
The new wolf model will give you more flexibility with customizations, letting you choose multiple body mods (e.g. bent ear plus a radio collar). We aren’t planning to let you place scars anywhere you like, though. The main problem is that the fur covers most of the body so scars aren’t even visible under the fur (and it gets quite complicated to let players remove fur from an areas of the body).
Albinism is extremely rare in nature, so we will not add that option to the coats. At some point we hope to add more coats, based on Yellowstone wolves, though we don’t expect to make it into WQ3. Questions about Pack vs. Pack Mode How will territorial fights between packs work? Will this mode be available in all maps, or just Tower Fall?
The great challenge is that real wolf fights are just crazy — wild and intense — and that’s really hard to reproduce in the stylized way that games require. We’ve designed these pack vs. pack fights, but we haven’t implemented the design yet so the mechanics will likely evolve as we do that.
Initially, PvP will probably be only in Tower Fall. We’d like to add it to Slough Creek at some point, but perhaps not to Amethyst — pack fighting without pups to raise and protect would be too simplistic. Questions About Other Player Actions? Will the new hydration mechanic mentioned in a prior update be added in upon WolfQuest 3's release or before?
We are only making critical bugfixes to the current game, so we can devote all our efforts to WQ3 and Tower Fall. Each new feature takes time to design, implement, test, and release, and we want to be as efficient as we can so we don’t have to delay the new versions any more than necessary.Questions About Other Animals Will eating coyotes and foxes be possible? Let's be realistic. If a wolf were starving, I am certain it would eat a coyote.
So why don’t wolves in WolfQuest eat coyotes? Here’s what our science advisor Dr. Dan MacNulty says:
“In Yellowstone, where ungulate prey are abundant, wolves will kill but not eat other carnivores — cougars, coyotes, bears — which are more competitors than sources of food. By contrast, in the High Arctic, remains of foxes around dens suggests that wolves view them as a source of food, no doubt because ungulates occur at lower densities up there than at lower latitudes.
But why DON’T wolves eat coyotes? Dan says, “Carnivore meat does not equal ungulate meat. Just ask any hunter.”Questions About Other EnhancementsAre you guys changing the skybox and adding a daylight cycle?
Despite the issues I described in this blog post,
we very much want to add a continuous day/night cycle, at least to the PC/Mac version of the game. It adds so much to immersion, and since our game levels last months, it’ll help convey that passage of time. And with the new lighting system we’re using, sunset and sunrise are just gorgeous.
But there’s a good chance it just won’t work on mobile, and that (along with other factors) may well force is to split multiplayer into separate PC and mobile lobbies. Will there be any flooding or bush fire?
We’ve been thinking about a fire, since they are not unusual in Yellowstone. There are some technical challenges but we hope to figure those out. Flooding is less common in Yellowstone and even trickier (at least to make it look good). Questions About Game Mods Will you guys be adding mod support? Like new maps, dif skins and the likes?
We know this would be very popular and we are not opposed to it, but it’s low priority for now, since it’ll require some technical work to enable it. Tech QuestionsWill the next episode run on older computers How much "space" do you estimate the new episode will take up on a PC?
For the PC/Mac version, our goal is any computer that can run the current game can run WQ 3. We are adding more quality levels so we can boost the visual quality much further than it is now, but we will do our very best to make the game run decently on older computers. However, since we are adding so much to the game (bigger maps, better graphics, more animals), we can’t yet say how well we can attain this goal. We don’t know exactly how much storage WQ 3 will require, but certainly more than 2 GB.
For the mobile version, we know already that WQ 3 and Tower Fall will not run on cheaper phones and tablets. We expect to have a minimum requirement of 2 GB of RAM memory. (That’s different than storage, which is usually at least 16 GB.) For devices with less RAM, WolfQuest 2.7 will remain available. (And if you buy either version, we think we can make your purchases unlocked on the other version, so if you buy a better device someday, you’ll have those purchases.Questions About the FutureAfter WQ 3 and Tower Fall are released are there any plans on what else will happen to WQ? (Continued updates, new content, or even taking a break)
One reason we created the new codebase for WQ 3 and Tower Fall is to have a solid foundation for further development in the future. We’re in this for the long run, and we absolutely hope to make more episodes and more maps. (I really want a map with lots of geysers and geothermal areas — those are all further south in Yellowstone so they don’t fit into our main scenario of a wolf pack in Yellowstone’s northern range.) We do have ideas for other games, so we probably won’t work on WQ non-stop but we do not imagine abandoning it. Of course, we can only continue if people keep buying the game — so tell your friends!