Verisimilitude (and behind the scenes of Yellowstone trip)
Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:12 pm
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_rtJp6WgX4
We learned so much from our Yellowstone trip — though for awhile we weren’t sure if we’d even reach the park, as two winter storms swept through Wyoming as we were driving westward. But the skies cleared and the snow melted (mostly) so we could hike into each area that we represent in the game. Now, back in Minnesota, we’re sorting through the photos and videos we took and discussing all the things we learned during our week of research. It was so great to refresh our memories about the park’s plants, terrain, and animals so we can make WolfQuest 3 an even better game. We hope you enjoy this slideshow of the trip!
Some things we learned:
* So Many Grasses: We focused quite a bit on the grasses and other ground cover so we can make the game environments more detailed and realistic. But oh my, the diversity of grasses was astounding. For example, in just one spot on Specimen Ridge, we saw (identifications courtesy of Roy Renkin, YNP biologist): Idaho fescue rhizomatous western wheatgrass, Nelson's needlegrass, prairie junegrass, and needle-and thread....and possibly some Indian ricegrass. Whew!
* Eating Machines: Elk eat ALL THE TIME. In WolfQuest 2.7, elk will eat a bit, then look around for awhile, then eat a bit more. In reality, it’s just the opposite: elk have their heads down in the grass most of the time, and will occasionally raise up for a quick look around. Priorities!
* Moose on a Mission: While driving back to our campground one evening, we spotted a cow moose and her calf trotting across the hillside, clearly going somewhere. We pulled off to watch until they disappeared behind a slope. Then we drove onward a mile and then stopped at Floating Island Lake — and sure enough, ten minutes later the two moose showed up for their evening meal. Moose amuse me at any time, but it was especially hilarious to see those two trotting cross-country with such intent.
* I’m Looking at Youuu.Since deer don’t have human/wolf-style forward-looking stereoscopic vision, we weren’t entirely positive which way their heads would turn when looking at an approaching wolf. Would it turn sideways, like a bird? Some research a few months ago indicated that they would indeed look directly at the wolf, but we confirmed this when a passing mule deer fawn stopped repeated to stare at us with great curiosity. And wow are those ears big!
* Bear Cubs are Adorable: Well, we knew that already, but of course it never hurts to reinforce your knowledge.