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Let It Snow!

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

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Let It Snow!

Postby loboLoco » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:31 pm


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

One of the great pleasures of working on WolfQuest 3 and Tower Fall is how far the game authoring tools have advanced since we developed the original game in 2006-2010. Not only has Unity itself has grown tremendously in its capabilities, but a whole ecosystem of supporting tools have grown around it (as I described in my Power Tools post a few weeks ago).

For example: snow!

While we did add rain and snow effects in WolfQuest 2.5, they were pretty basic. Now, however, we can make it snow — and that snow can accumulate on the ground! And it can accumulate in realistic ways (faster on flat areas than on slopes, faster at higher elevations than lower). And then…it can melt! So exciting. I must give a shout out to Jason Booth and his MicroSplat terrain shader, which enables all these features with very little impact on game performance. It’s lots of fun to experiment with his tools to get just the effects we want.

These won’t just be aesthetic effects, either. The first level of the game, Amethyst Mountain, begins in October. And until now, it stays in October, no matter how much time you spend there. But in reality, wolves often don’t find a mate until December or January, so with both days and seasons progressing automatically in WQ 3, we can create more realistic simulation of a wolf’s life. In Amethyst Mountain, you’ll likely see an October snowstorm, which will probably melt quickly — but then, going into November, snow will accumulate and stay on the ground. And then in Slough Creek, as winter fades, the snow will gradually melt (though it’s likely to return briefly in an early spring blizzard — perhaps providing some extra excitement for the pups!).

Of course, as is always the case, once we add a nice, small new feature, we realize that it’s not so small. If snow accumulates on the ground, then it really should accumulate on tree branches as well. And then wouldn’t it be cool if snow also accumulated on the backs of wolves and other animals? (Until they shake it off, naturally.) These open up new and technically tricky challenges, since terrain, trees, and furry animals all use very different rendering techniques. Even trickier will be making tracks in deep snow (though we may not tackle that until Episode 4). We’ll see what we can do about those in the coming months — but for now, let it snow!
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby roguemoon » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:41 pm

My jaw dropped. This is incredible! I have always wanted to see some snow in AM, but this absolutely blew my expectations.

And new animations for wolves laying down? Even more amazing. I am loving the new models.
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby Brinnadaze » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:47 pm

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Let it snow, indeed! Words cannot capture how happy these updates make me. This game has been steadily improving and I am dying to get into WQ3 to experience the changes for myself! And look at those new resting animations/positions! Ah, my roleplaying heart is thriving! :D
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby ClownfishtheDJ » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:51 pm

This is an amazing update! It'll add so much to the realism, too! The snow looks amazing, and the wolves do too, and who couldn't notice the new "lay" animations? Brilliant! I do have a suggestion/question: could/will there be an option for the host in multiplayer for there to be weather options? I think that would be a cool idea.

Every time y'all post an update, I get so excited and inspired about all the work you all do. Wolves have always been a large part of my life, and WQ is by far the best real wolf simulator out there! Thank you for doing these updates and sticking with it. I'll be here for more! :D
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby C0rgi » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:01 pm

    Ayy, lookin good, love the new lay position ! cx
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby Windstrider » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:09 pm

Looks amazing! I'm loving the new snow and new wolves!
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby SolitaryHowl » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:19 pm

Wow, that looks amazing.

I'm pumped there will be dynamic seasons. That is so cool!
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby wolfadore » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:36 pm

I honestly didn't notice the snow at first. I was amazed at the new wolf models for laying down! And the ground textures and such are just incredible. Then, when I did notice the snow, I was just so excited! I can't believe we are going to have snow in Amethyst, either! You guys are amazing! :wolf:
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby IceaPlayzPC » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:02 pm

Oooooo i'm so excited for seasons! the snow looks so nice!!
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby Weylenn » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:39 pm

This is looking amazing so far.
One of my favourite things about you guys as developers is that you're always willing to listen to critiques and openly ask for new ideas. I love it and how involved this community is!
The artists did a great job on the wolf models, elk models, and wildlife in general, looks clean and fresh. And thank you for the consistent updates as well, it's what I look forward to on my Fridays and Thursdays.

Could you maybe upload a picture/turntable of the new coyote model as well? O:
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby Phasoli » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:12 pm

This is absolutely brilliant! New snowfall patterns? Wow, this will be one amazing game when it comes out.

And the laying positions! Oh, my goodness, this is wonderful. Excellent, excellent work. I even caught the blink of the first wolf! Amazing.
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby Nor-easter Forecast » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:09 pm

OH my goodness; this has to be my absolute favorite out of all the new features you have shared. It was always my dream to see snow on AM. I’m very excited. I hope you get the deep snow tracks figured out, but if not I am still thrilled to see some freshly fallen snow in the game!
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby NoyaTusk » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:50 pm

Oh my gosh I can't breath! The new 'snow fall' patterns are brilliant and don't even get me started on those new laying down positions for the wolves you got there, it's amazing I'm already in love with the new updates :wolf:
It's very exciting to see Amethyst Mountain finally being struck with a long awaited snow fall.
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby Neamara » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:58 pm

First came the end of the Decade-Long Drought of Yellowstone, and now at long last we see the end of the gray wolf's decade-long staring contest. Progress! Huzzah! (Now our only contest comes from NPCs...?)

In all seriousness, these improvements are nothing short of perfection. All I see with each new teaser is proof that Unity 3D can be a truly awesome game engine if the proper care and attention are given by the developer regardless of the reputation earned from certain crappy games. Eduweb, you have truly outdone yourselves. :) Many of us never would have imagined that WolfQuest would reach this point, yet here we are... It is amazing to think that this old project just keeps getting better and better as time goes on. The improved wolf model looks stunning, the animations teased so far are very welcome, and I am certainly looking forward to this more dynamic/interactive weather system!

Again, thank you Eduweb for continuing the project, and thank you for continuing to improve it. Can't wait. ^^ Here's hoping that WolfQuest will be around for many years to come~
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Re: Let It Snow!

Postby KotiKkRotikK » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:52 am

It's all clear, but what, you mention at the expense of 4 episode, you say that all the same the game will get better and even better, it's wonderful :)
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