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Hooves of Hurt

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

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Hooves of Hurt

Postby loboLoco » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:18 pm


Video link: https://youtu.be/8rwnoJbHX70

Who wants to take on a big bull elk like this one? Just in case our players do, we’re redesigning the Attack system in WolfQuest 3 so you’ll need both skill and luck to succeed. We’ve watched lots of videos of wolves attacking elk, and read a lot of scientific papers by our advisors Dr. Dan MacNulty, Dr. Dan Stahler, and many others, and gotten some direct guidance from Dan and Dan as well. As with any game, we’ve got to simplify and stereotype the most common actions into a few game mechanics that are learnable, playable, and of course fun.

First, some definite improvements, which apply to elk, moose, and mule deer:
* Wolves will only take damage when the prey unleashes a kick. That’s just basic realism.
* Then, to add some skill, we’re building a “Dodge” action that lets the player jumps to the left or right to avoid taking damage from those kicks — if you time it right.

So if you’re facing off against your prey, you’ll have to watch for signs of an imminent kick, dodge at just the right moment, and then make your own counterattack while your prey is taking a moment of rest. We’ve got this working now, though still refining the animations so it all looks nice.

Our next design challenge is damage. We’ve tweaked this over the years. In the old free game, you’d lose almost all your health in the course of taking down a single elk. That’s rather unrealistic (or at least unusual), so in 2.7 we tweaked it so you lose only about half your health. But that doesn’t feel completely right either — but here’s where it gets tricky. Death-by-elk or moose does happen in Yellowstone, but it’s fairly rare — and I’d guess it’s not from fighting with low health, but just having a really unlucky day. So we’ve thought about giving elk an enormous range of potential damage, with a small but real chance of dealing a killing blow to a healthy wolf. That might accurate in a simulation, but does it inject too much chance into the game?

The heart of this challenge is that wolves should approach an elk hunt with great apprehension. Sometimes it will go well, sometimes it will be grueling but ultimately successful, often it will fail, and occasionally it’ll fail with disastrous results for the wolf. But the key question is what factors determine how the hunt goes. How much is skill (comprising both thoughtful decisions by the player to find a weak elk and the manual dexterity to dodge attacks)? How much is luck (from randomized damage given by both wolf and elk)? And how much comes from a judicious evaluation of the odds?

Our goal in all this is to make the entire elk hunt more fun, so we can make it longer, which will make it more realistic! So tell us what you think would make the hunt more fun and interesting!
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Postby fairylights » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:26 pm

    the bull elk looks absolutely stunning! i really like the detail on the fur and how it's ruffled up in different places, really adds to everything. also, at the end, i was not excepting for him to make noises, so that's really awesome.

    oh man, wolf quest 3.0 is like a whole new game, truly amazing. i praise everyone for their hard work on the game, good job everyone!
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby Fifteen » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:35 pm

The new model looks absolutely stunning !! I love how much detail was put into it; the animation looks utterly flawless, and I love the little bits of torn-out fur that were added in ! Can't wait to see these guys in-game. ;o
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby ClownfishtheDJ » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:37 pm

Ah! This is something that I have been looking forward to for a while now. I love how realistic everything is and that with every little tiny detail changes the game to make it more challenging and entertaining. This will definitely add a next level to elk hunting. (Which, that next level will take me another dedicated 3-4 years to master, knowing my WQ skills, lol)
Also, the elk screeching at the end is quite spine tingling, hehe!
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Postby Silverheart98 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:44 pm

Oml this is amazing! I love how realistic the moves are and of course the desing of the bull elk!

I have one question/suggestion:

Will it be possible for the elk/deer/moose to stumble or completely fall down during chase (like if they run into something) to give you change to catch up or attack the prey? Also in reverse, will it be possible for your wolf to fall down or stumble if you run into something by accident during chase? I've seen some videos where the prey falls down or the wolf stumbles, so I just thought of it. Of course I don't know how often it happens or if it will be difficult to add in game?

Anyway, keep up the amazing work!
Last edited by Silverheart98 on Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby C0rgi » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:03 pm

    At least we're getting some kind of dodge but dang those bulls are extreme, what a challenge !!
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Re:

Postby Brinnadaze » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Silverheart98 wrote:Oml this is amazing! I love how realistic the moves are and of course the desing of the bull elk!

I have one question/suggestion:

Will it be possible for the elk/deer/moose to stumble or sompletely fall down during chase (like if they run into something) to give you change to catch up or attack the prey? Also in reverse, will it be possible for your wolf to fall down or stumble if you run into something by accident during chase? I've seen some videos where the prey falls down or the wolf stumbles, so I just thought of it. Of course I don't know how often it happens or if it will be difficult to add in game?

Anyway, keep up the amazing work!


Oh, I really like that idea! Frustrating when your wolf stumbles, of course, but good if the elk does. :wink:
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby SheWolf17 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:54 pm

My reactions
Beginning of the video: It seems to me when I'm dancing.
Elk's fight: OMG! :0

I see that you are evolving very much, congratulations! :D :moose:
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby Arcturus221B » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:08 pm

Oh my gods O.O That looks absolutely amazing! And sounds terrifying. I think I'll be spending a lot of time practicing on cow elk before I even think about attempting to take on a bull (or just take advantage of other people when they're trying to kill one, because I'm evil). This makes me wonder though, just how challenging will a bull moose become? I really love the sound of the new mechanics. It sounds a lot more engaging than "run at elk and bite till it dies".

Keep up the great work!
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby Sunset-Light » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:15 pm

Dumb ways to die #9999- Stomped on by a bull elk.


I'm looking forward to discovering how not to get poked to death by those hooves.
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby SolitaryHowl » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:24 pm

Wow. How spectacular, it looks real!


Dave wrote: So we’ve thought about giving elk an enormous range of potential damage, with a small but real chance of dealing a killing blow to a healthy wolf. That might accurate in a simulation, but does it inject too much chance into the game?


I really like that idea. How about a 5-7% chance a kick will kill your wolf instantly? That range isn't too high, but its not too low to be insignificant either.

With the damage range, would it be possible to add in different 'hitboxes' to the player wolf? IE: the player will take varying damage depending on where the hooves actually hit your wolf, instead of it being up to RNG? This can be done vice versa, too...the prey species can TAKE more damage if you bite them in one area than if you bite them in another.

I know I've said this before, but 'dodging' should take up stamina, so there can be skill involved on HOW OFTEN you choose to dodge as well. Maybe you can only dodge an attack ~10 times on a full stamina bar (exact amount can be determined in playtesting), and then after you need to wait for you to gain more stamina so you can dodge again? Or you just take a hit or back off until you regain enough stamina. I think that'll add some more depth to hunting, and it will also give players a reason to invest in the 'Stamina' stat when creating their wolf. :)
Last edited by SolitaryHowl on Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby Wolvencall » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:27 pm

This is amazing the animation looks so fluid and beautiful! Can't wait to hear those elk bugles in AM during the fall!!!
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby loboLoco » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:45 pm

SolitaryHowl wrote:With the damage range, would it be possible to add in different 'hitboxes' to the player wolf? IE: the player will take varying damage depending on where the hooves actually hit your wolf, instead of it being up to RNG? This can be done vice versa, too...the prey species can TAKE more damage if you bite them in one area than if you bite them in another.


We've talked about that, but decided it's not plausible to have that level of fine-grained targeting (or dodging) when facing off against prey. (But on a larger scale, yes -- biting the rear leg inflicts less damage than biting the neck.)
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby Weylenn » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:14 pm

Hehe. Dave and Dave... Dan and Dan. :> The other Dave being Mech lol.
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Re: Hooves of Hurt

Postby Phasoli » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:10 pm

What has been done so far to enhance hunting is absolutely stunning! I don't think that I can dream of any more future enhancements, of of course, the team never ceases to surprise me. The elk animations are as smooth and beautiful as the models. Simply amazing.

The elk bugle at the end was also a pleasant surprise!
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