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Rolling, rolling, rolling

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

Moderators: paperpaws, Koa

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby loboLoco » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:03 pm



Video link: https://youtu.be/hu3DQaaHSmc

We are rolling along with development — and trying not to be the elk in this bug blooper video. I’m indefatigably optimistic about the pace of development, but once again reality has intruded. We’re making steady progress, but each new feature is slower to build and refine than I’d imagined. So alas, we are not going to release WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition in 2017. We’re aiming for early 2018 now, and I’m optimistic about that, of course. Tower Fall will then follow that in a few months, we think. We can hear your collective sigh (or primal scream) but remember, the wait will be worth it!

We’ve making progress on many aspects of the game, and accordingly, you all have questions about a lot of aspects of the game. So we’ve picked some of the most common and interesting questions we’ve received for today’s blog post. We will answer more of them next week.

HUNTING
Will 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.


PUPS
Will 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.


LIFE CYCLE
Will 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.


MAPS
Are 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.


TECH
Will 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.)


THE FUTURE
After 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!

If you'd curious to read more about the game, it's history, and its developers, check out this interview that forum user Dj SheepWolf conducted! viewtopic.php?f=3&t=83288
Dave/loboLoco
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby duskypack » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:18 pm

Awesome Q&A, it's so great to know that Wolfquest will receive so much continued development in the long run! And I love the glitch video because of the overlook it is situated on - the map looks so big and sprawling! I can't wait to see the terrain.

As always, thank you for the update ^_^
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby Phasoli » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:21 pm

Behold the wolf: a creature who uses its brute strength to knock down and pursue its prey.

In all seriousness, this made my day, ahaha. It's so exciting to read these Q&A's. I'd love the idea of answering a few questions every week (if/when time permits, of course)! I wouldn't mind waiting until 2018 for the new game. It'll be worth the wait, I'm sure!
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby Neamara » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:30 pm

"It is standard elk practice for the adults to teach their young to escape predators by rolling away at high velocity to the sound of Benny Hill." ...? I knew it! After all this time,
wildlife documentaries have got it wrong! :D


The More You Know~


...no but seriously, this is the next best thing next to dear old MotL. :')
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby Sunset-Light » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:32 pm

Oh no, it's Floppy's counterpart... hmmm.. what shall we call this one? Spinny elk? xD

Anyway, I'm pretty excited for these updates! I really hope that the Anniversary Edition and Tower Fall do well. But coming from you guys, I'll automatically say that they will. I know it.
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby roguemoon » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:44 pm

Thanks for the update Dave!
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby Ecliptic » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:57 pm

Thanks for answering a few of our questions! It seems progress is coming along nicely. Will this go into the wolfquest 3 FAQs?
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby PearlyReborn » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:58 pm

That really made my day! How does this stuff even happen?
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby NoyaTusk » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:49 am

Reading this is probably the best thing that's happened to me all day, it's so exciting thinking about what could happen in the future of WQ, especially the fact one day there could possibly be an episode 5! Thanks for the update Dave! :wolf:

Elk:Oh it's that wolf again...
Wolf: Muahah, this time imma get ya
Elk: Nope, cya!
Last edited by NoyaTusk on Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby Koa » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:39 pm

Great blog post, Dave. I'd recommend adding these questions to the general FAQ for Episode 3 and Tower Fall if you haven't done so already. (Really, just the questions about playing as pups/if the pups will grow up, the map question, the tech question and the future question).
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby Skittish17 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:52 pm

I just laughed myself into a coughing fit! I needed it so bad; thanks for the update!
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby paperpaws » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:22 am

Neamara wrote:"It is standard elk practice to teach their young to escape predators by rolling away at high velocity to the sound of Benny Hill."

WolfQuest continues to teach me valuable information.

Lots of great and promising content in this blog post! Thank you for taking the time to answer those questions (and for your never-ending wit, of course, hahaha).
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby PepperPiper11 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:16 pm

.I have another question

So are you going to add more strangers wolves that will be able to join your pack? Or maybe add stranger wolves that run around on Bring it On! Mode and try to steal your carcass.
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby PearlyReborn » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:07 pm

PepperPiper11 wrote:.I have another question

So are you going to add more strangers wolves that will be able to join your pack? Or maybe add stranger wolves that run around on Bring it On! Mode and try to steal your carcass.

Usually wolves don't let strangers join their packs. Packs are families.
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Re: Rolling, rolling, rolling

Postby Rustic » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:45 pm

ooooh my that was too funny!!! :)

Thanks for the update and answers to some questions....one comment though in regards to this:
“We do have ideas for other games, so we probably won’t work on WQ non-stop,”

I have to say if one of those games is a FoxQuest...totally sign me up ;)
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