Take Me to the River?

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loboLoco
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Take Me to the River?

Post by loboLoco » Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:38 pm


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

This week, our Unity programmer Tommi started working on stranger wolf AI, which is looking pretty cool already. Our wolf artist Steve has been making some refinements to that model. Susan’s been working on a top-secret enhancement — small but delightful. And I started setting up the Lamar River in the new Amethyst map — as you can see, it’s still a work in progress (as is the entire map), but it’s coming along. This will be one of the few areas in Amethyst where you’ll be able to use the new drinking ability in WolfQuest 3, finally sating your decade-long thirst.

A thirst meter was among the ideas coming in after last week’s blog post (and thanks for all those ideas, some good food for thought). Many people also proposed adding a hunger meter. However, I’m wary of adding more meters. We already have four (plus the pup and mate health indicators), which is quite a lot to keep track of in the busier missions. Adding more meters may make the game more realistic in certain ways, but at a significant cost to usability and playability — both in practical ways (trotting halfway across the map to find water every 15 minutes) and deeper experiential ways (is thirst anywhere near to equal importance as health and pups?). Not to mention the ripple effects: Does your mate need to drink? How about the pups? Design is as often about simplifying as about adding. (“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, that’s creativity.” — Charles Mingus)

But we definitely want to incorporate hunger and thirst in ways that capture essential aspects of wolf life while also improving the gameplay. Drinking water, for example, will give you a modest health boost, which makes it helpful but not required. That creates a nice decision: Is it worth seeking out water for that health boost? Hunger is trickier, and we’ve been thinking hard about it. While severe hunger certainly should degrade health, normally hunger is simply information—it’s how your body tells you that it’s time to eat. We’re working on embodying that in the gameplay, and conversely creating disincentives to hunt again so soon after eating your fill. We hope that this new system of health, energy, hunger, and thirst will make the game more interesting and fun without unduly increasing the player’s cognitive load.
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Fifteen
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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Fifteen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:15 pm

It looks absolutely brilliant so far !! The amount of realism put into the new map is absolutely gorgeous,
and the detail put into the water is phenomenal. I can't wait to see what hunger and thirst will be like in-game. ;o

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Phasoli » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:28 pm

The drinking mechanism and the wolf model is coming along beautifully! I can't wait to hear more about stranger wolf AI (and the top secret enhancement). I love how the team is quick to consider player ideas. It's amazing that, as a community, we can contribute in little ways to develop the game as well!

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Nayoxii » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:52 pm

  • Ahh looking good!! can't wait ! cx

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Ecliptic » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:58 pm

Wow, that's stunning! I'm interested to see what will happen to these meters.

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by NoyaTusk » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:02 pm

The river is looking beautiful, I can't wait until it's added as part of the map extension. I'm really looking forwards to how you will be adding hunger and thirst, it will be a little problematic trying to keep track of both hunger and thirst whilst trying to raise the pups though. I'm sure you guys will figure it out.

Keep up the great work ! 8)

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by SnowSprite » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:10 am

I'm happy that the water finally gets to do something useful instead of just being an obstacle! :)

I don't really like having too many things to keep track of, on top of playing the game itself. I like the idea of keeping the four bars we have already and just drinking to get a little energy/health back. It could come in useful while hunting and chasing prey, maybe?

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by TimberRaven » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:26 am

SnowSprite wrote:I'm happy that the water finally gets to do something useful instead of just being an obstacle! :)

I don't really like having too many things to keep track of, on top of playing the game itself. I like the idea of keeping the four bars we have already and just drinking to get a little energy/health back. It could come in useful while hunting and chasing prey, maybe?
No, I really want the health split from the hunger bar. At LEAST that. And that was gorgeous. And I suggested an energy bar, and now I think I just read it was being added. Hmm...................... :? :|

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by duskypack » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:53 am

TimberRaven wrote:
SnowSprite wrote:I'm happy that the water finally gets to do something useful instead of just being an obstacle! :)

I don't really like having too many things to keep track of, on top of playing the game itself. I like the idea of keeping the four bars we have already and just drinking to get a little energy/health back. It could come in useful while hunting and chasing prey, maybe?
No, I really want the health split from the hunger bar. At LEAST that. And that was gorgeous. And I suggested an energy bar, and now I think I just read it was being added. Hmm...................... :? :|
There’s already an energy bar: the green stamina one that can, among other things, be replenished by eating.

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by SolitaryHowl » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:15 pm

Looks great!

I'm of the opinion that too many bars is a bad thing & distracts from the experience (and makes it too 'game-y'). 4 bars is already enough to handle; we don't want this turning into 'BarManagementQuest', do we?

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Kitsuma » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:36 pm

That makes a lot of sense, and I can't wait to see the discentives to eating/hunting more than needed. However, I still want hunger to be a thing and not something associated with health, which it sounds like it'll be changing that as well, so excited to see what comes up!

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Isela » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:49 pm

drop me in the water


It's amazing how such a little thing can make you so excited. This should boost immersion within the game to have this aesthetic, and potentially new use? I like the idea of drinking water as a means to boost your health just a fraction. I think food should remain as the main source of health/energy to look for (not to mention it's also a source for obtaining water, albeit less concentrated).


Thank you for the update, Dave! Looking forward to the next one! :]

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Frodo1 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:29 pm

Whoa, that's looking good! And stranger wolf AI sounds really cool-- I can't wait to see it in action!
The more updates you guys put out, the more excited I get for this update, heh. I really can't wait to experience this all in-game for myself!

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by Polynesia » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:30 pm

Personally, I don't think having more bars would be difficult to keep track of, as long as they decrease quite slowly, otherwise you'll be swamped trying to maintain each one. (After all, you want to have time to enjoy the gameplay.) In fact, the current bars are quite easy to maintain; stamina recovers on its own, health decreases very slowly, and pack affinity/territory can be raised substantially by a howl.

I am definitely in favour of hunger being distinct from health. It's illogical for you to be injured - leaving you susceptible to death by prey and predator attacks - just because you haven't eaten. Hunger should decrease first, and then health. An empty hunger bar would indicate the beginning of starvation, which is when your health should start to decline.

As it is, starvation isn't really a threat in the game, because your health bar decreases at a glacial pace. A separate hunger bar would introduce a new incentive for hunting, which presently doesn't exist in the Pack Life mode. The only real hunting incentive exists in the Raise Pups mode.

I'm not sure about a bar for thirst - again, it'll only work if it decreases slowly, otherwise you'll spend your time trekking up and down the map. However, if your thirst bar can be boosted by the water obtained from eating, then having a bar for thirst would be more manageable and probably quite fun.

If you are in fact going to add new bars, you'll probably want to remodel the HUD as well. The essential bars, health/hunger/thirst, should be the clearest and brightly colour-coded so as to easily distinguish them from one another. In many video games, a stamina indicator only appears while you're running (in the bottom of the screen), which makes everything a lot less cluttered and easier to keep track of, especially for younger players.
Last edited by Polynesia on Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Take Me to the River?

Post by TimberRaven » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:57 pm

Can you guys do the next update as a wolf fight? I really want to see a wolf fight. Not in real life, though. That would be sad. :wolf:
I love how the wolf drinks so slowly, as if taking a minute to enjoy finally being able to drink after 10 years of thirst.
Also, what if you're color-blind, and you're trying to play? Let's say you couldn't tell which was the hunger and which was the stamina. :?

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