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New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

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

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New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby loboLoco » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:33 pm


Video link: https://youtu.be/o17JEpzcQuE

Multiplayer has been central to our idea of WolfQuest from the very beginning. In the early days, we only managed to make a basic “hunt and explore” mode for multiplayer, but we began to rectify that in WQ 2.7, with a multiplayer version of the complete Slough Creek mission arc, along with secondary features like friends lists and packs. WolfQuest 3 and Tower Fall will carry this effort further, in two ways: Improving core multiplayer functionality and adding new modes. Pack vs. pack will a new multiplayer mode in Tower Fall. (Why not in Slough Creek? Honestly, wolves with younger pups just don’t have time for much pack vs. pack competition). We also have some ideas for other modes that could offer more gameplay variety while still representing wolf life accurately, and we hope to investigate those more after releasing Tower Fall.

But our first task is to improve the core functionality for all modes of multiplayer games. We’re rebuilding the multiplayer system from scratch for WolfQuest 3, so we shouldn’t have any of the old bugs that occur in the current game. (New bugs? Sure!) We’ve already got some nice improvements in mind, such as:

* Players can write a short bio of their wolf, which other players can see (along with that wolf’s stats) in the Pack Stats panel.
* The multiplayer lobby will show more information about each game, including difficulty, the current mission, and latency.
* The Chat panel will be collapsible (so you can hide all but the title bar) and draggable, so you can place it where you like onscreen.
* Players can chat with a single other player in the game by typing /wolfname before the message, so only that player sees the text.
* Eventually, when we have pack vs. pack mode, the Chat panel will have two tabs: Your Pack and Everyone (perhaps with text coloring to differentiate between your pack and others in the “Everyone” tab).

But we know that there are more ways that we can improve multiplayer. So we’d like to hear your ideas for how to improve the core multiplayer experience. What could we do to make it more usable, more interesting, and more fun? What kinds of multiplayer functionality have you seen in other games that we should add to WolfQuest? Post your ideas below!
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Weylenn » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:39 pm

What will the tick rate of the server be? For example, Splatoon 2 is 16hz, overwatch is 60hz. Ect.

Are they dedicated instances like Overwatch or are they P2P?

Once I know this I can offer some ideas.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Zikura22 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:26 pm

Ive been thinking about having two families instead of one in raising pups mode, where the players could group in one of the two packs they choose and probably compete who raises/keeps all the pups alive/gets to the redenzvous side first? But I admit that would be complicated
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby SheWolf17 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:31 pm

Some simple ideas:


*The MP could have more than 8 players, for example, 12 | 15 | or 20 wolves on a single server (this is the idea I most want)

*Being able to go to the ranch with the whole group

*At some point in the game (it would not be Raise Pups) there could be a big drought, and the elk would migrate to other places, forcing the wolves and other predators, to follow the herd



These are my most desired ideas, I hope they add this to MultiPlayer :wolf:
Last edited by SheWolf17 on Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Frodo1 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:37 pm

Ooooh, all of those sound like great ideas-- I can't wait to see them in action!

Maybe there could be a way to hide chat completely? That'd be nice for screencaps/whatever without turning off the HUD entirely...

Personally, I think it'd be fun to have minigames of some sort, though I'm not sure how possible it'd be to keep them within the bounds of realism. But if you're open to having some stuff "just for funsies" (maybe it could be clearly stated as such prior to playing), it could be kind of cool. Maybe there could be something like...

Some sort of tag game? You could do predators vs. prey or something-- possibly people could choose to be different types of prey animals or something (i.e. elk have a lot of health and can fight back, hares can't fight back but they're quick and hard to spot, etc.) and the goal is to hunt all the prey before time runs out. When all the prey have been caught, the game ends and predators win, but if the predators can't catch them in time then the prey win. Of course, this would involve people playing as animals other than wolves, but it's still a decently realistic option in many respects.

A scavenger hunt of some kind? Some sort of object could drop and you'd have to compete to see who could get there and find it first (drop locations could be randomized for each region so people couldn't predict it too easily), and players could accumulate points for each successful find. That's a bit more on the unrealistic side, but I think it'd be pretty fun, heh.

A pup-based minigame similar to the "grow your pups" mission where the goal is to feed your puppy to x weight before everyone else (but you also have to defend it from predators!)? Again, not the most realistic, but still kind of in the realm of possibility...

One time I tried coming up with a more complicated minigame called Infection that I aired a few episodes of on my YouTube channel... that was definitely more on the unrealistic side, but it was a ton of fun. It was extremely difficult to run without it being actually integrated into the game, though, but if a mode like this was ever added I bet it could be a blast. [link]

So yeah, minigames could be fun, but they might veer a bit away from the realistic side of things in some respects.

This is an excellent question, and I think I'll have to brainstorm a bit more... I may be back with more ideas later :P
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Hallavaturkki » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:39 pm

To make the game more realistic it would be nice if you could have the hierarchy stats; alpha pair, beta wolves, basic, youngsters and omega. This would be really useful for example when roleplaying realistically. And in generally too, like the point of this game is to make people more aware about wolves' life, and pack hierarchy is the most important thing in my opinion since it affects their everyday life.
With raising pups it could be seen with that who will be the ones teaching and defending the pups (beta wolves, since they are closest to alpa pair and thus would be allowed to have more responsibility), when the others would be off hunting food for the pups.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Brinnadaze » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:47 pm

1. Maybe adding a server search/exclude option. Want to find a challengeing game? Type in “BIO” and search away! Want to exclude the keyword “RP” from the search? Type it on in (this could definitely help parents who don't want their kids on any age-inappropriate roleplays or servers)!

2. Adding an optional mini-description that pops up when you select a server. Could be helpful for RPs that have a plot, or give in-game server rules specified by the host.

3. Being able to switch POVs? Say, your packmate is across the map and wants to show you some tracks or a funny bug. You could click a button and bam! (This one is a little far-fetched but I thought it could be cool.)

4. Maybe some mini-games? Like tag, or capture the flag, hide n’ go seek-esque games.

:dragonfly: xoxo
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby SolitaryHowl » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:56 pm

I really like Frodo's idea with a Predator vs Prey mode. Maybe it can just be Elk vs Wolves at first, and then expanded to include other prey animals in the future?

But then you might run into problems other games have with 'aggressive herbivores': elk players might end up chasing the wolves across the map and that's not very realistic.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Weylenn » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:57 pm

Hallavaturkki wrote:To make the game more realistic it would be nice if you could have the hierarchy stats; alpha pair, beta wolves, basic, youngsters and omega. This would be really useful for example when roleplaying realistically. And in generally too, like the point of this game is to make people more aware about wolves' life, and pack hierarchy is the most important thing in my opinion since it affects their everyday life.
With raising pups it could be seen with that who will be the ones teaching and defending the pups (beta wolves, since they are closest to alpa pair and thus would be allowed to have more responsibility), when the others would be off hunting food for the pups.


Wolves do not have "alphas" or "omegas". This is very outdated information, and David Mech has rescinded and reworked his theory. Though age as a stat could work if not just in the bio. (Senior, adult, yearling, ect).
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby loboLoco » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:09 pm

Remember, we are asking for ideas about improving multiplayer FUNCTIONALITY, as in the improvements listed in the blog post. New game modes, minigames, etc., are a topic for another time.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby KasaiHope » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:49 pm

The ideas listed are really nice! I was thinking, perhaps, muting players? So, if you went to pack stats, you could in-game block the player, so you cannot see their messages anymore on that server. Or a no chat mode, where there is no chat in the game.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby synk » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:00 pm

Brinnadaze wrote:2. Adding an optional mini-description that pops up when you select a server. Could be helpful for RPs that have a plot, or give in-game server rules specified by the host.


Something like this would be perfect for me since I play on mobile devices and my iPad in particular tends to crash or disconnect when I host. I always try to warn people that my game may go down spontaneously, but it would be really helpful to have a pop-up when people enter my servers that warns them about that instead of me having to tell everyone who joins.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Alakaru_1 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:27 pm

I'd love more room to type, the number of characters allowed in-chat is kinda limiting when it comes to RP servers. :,) Just curious, was it made that way to prevent spam?

loboLoco wrote:* Players can write a short bio of their wolf, which other players can see (along with that wolf’s stats) in the Pack Stats panel.

Yes please, oh gosh. Trying to get through everyone's descriptions before a roleplay takes forever; this would make it much easier! ^^
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby airbones » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:35 pm

Pack vs. Pack mode is an absolute dream of mine, and I'm so happy it's happening. Having a filtering/search system for when you're on the joining screen would be amazing. That way if you were looking for a specific map or gamemode you wouldn't have to scroll around to find them.
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Re: New Tricks for the Pack: Improving MP functionality

Postby Echodextrous » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:20 pm

I'm going to make a little list here so bear with me. :P
Something that I am hoping can be added is to extend both the amount of characters in the chat box, and when naming your wolf. (I wanted to name a wolf "Laughinggirl" after a story I heard in my child hood but it had too many characters so I ended up called her "Laughingshe" and it just wasn't the same. This isn't a huge deal but it would be an awesome feature to see! :D )
Can we PLEASE fix the steering when hosting in MP? It becomes really stiff and hard to turn no matter how sensitive turning is set to.
Is there anyway we can make xp more visible after each kill?
It would be awesome if we could add in more player spaces. Such as, instead of 8 as a maximum per server, you could have up to 12 or 15?
It would also be really cool to have the cattle ranch available in multiplayer.
One more idea then I'm done; in pup servers, it would be cool if the "spawn amount" of the pups was randomized. For example, lets say the average wild wolf has about 4 pups, that doesn't mean that a wild wolf will have 4 pups every time. (If there was a way to make it happen), it would be cool to make the "amount of pups" randomized, so that there is a chance to have anywhere from 1 - 4 pups per litter, instead of a set number of pups every time. Or if it is easier to code, perhaps the amount of pups you get is dependent on your difficulty level? I hope that made sense. :P
Last edited by Echodextrous on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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