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Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

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

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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Misaki Chan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:47 pm

FallieWolf wrote:You start as a pup scrambling to your feet as one of your pack mates have come to feed you and your siblings. (This is where you learn the basic controls for moving) You walk towards the food and take a bite. (Now you learn how to eat) After you have eaten your desired amount you sibling wants to play! (Here you can learn how to use emotes/actions) You decide to explore around your den unaware of the lurking dangers. A bear tries to take you but your pack was watching and came to your defence, scaring away the bear and taking you safely home. You lay down by your family exhausted from the days events, you sleep, (This is where you'll learn to lay down and sleep. Plus a time skip to when your around 3-4 months old)
You wake up and follow your pack mates out in a field. (Here you learn how to use your scent) Following your pack mates and the scent of elk you come across a grazing herd. The adults and you start a chase trying to pick out a weak cow or foal but you are too slow and retreat back into the bushes with some other younger wolves. When the hunt is done your pack howls trying to pin your location. (You learn how to howl) After howling back you use scent to find your pack and the carcass. (This is done your actually learning how to use scent view as it will be a vital part in the game. Once you reach the carcass and your family another time skip will happen.)
You are now a dispersal wolf near a carcass which has a pair of coyotes feeding off of it. You approach the carcass to fill your health (If your health isn't completely full it will give the player a reason to go for the carcass. This is also where you'll learn to bite.)
NOTES: if the game still has a compass and plays a critical part in the game it might be a good idea to add that in when your learning to use scents since wind direction is a big part of scent view and tracking in WQ 3.


This is a very interesting idea for an introduction and tutorial based storyline! If this was remotely implemented, hopefully we would be able to shorten it to around the 15min mark. Like say the 'flashbacks' go in a very swift tone- fade in to early pup days, fade out - fade in, early adolescent days, fade out - etc etc.
I am loving this idea, good job!
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby rene-frankie » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:45 am

here is my idea: the first 15 minutes should be welcoming the player to the game and teach them about controls, the map, and the compass, and the scent mode
all of those things should be explained to the player and then the player should be expected to follow the scent of a hare and hunt it. like it could say "let's test your hunting skills! press v to enter scent mode" and after you do that, it should show all of the colors for the other preys and say "we're going to hunt a hare, now run towards east!" this way the player will learn about the compass also. and then after running for a while the orange scent dots will come up, and the tutorial should say "that's it! follow the hare" and once the hare is close it should say "press space to attack!" oh and by the way i think hunting hares should not be that easy? i think the stamina and the speed bars of the game is inaccurate also, on full stamina a wolf should be able to run for much longer than it can currently run in the game & hares are REALLY fast https://youtu.be/gGludGaPKag
tell me both what you think of my idea about the tutorial and the hare hunting and the stamina thing! @loboloco
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Sycona » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:07 am

I think you could design it so it shows you as a yearling and you and your parents are hunting with your litter mates (the number of siblings could be randomised between 1-5) . The parents teach the player how to use the scent feature and show you how to hunt smaller game before going to larger animals. Once you succeed in taking down a full grown elk you can start the game as an adult.
As always, looking good :)
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Poa » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:58 am

I always wanted the game to start with you as like, a Tower Fall aged trainee, with a small pack, and maybe like, one sibling, teaching you how to hunt, stalk, and then howl to announce to the pack of your successful hunt, or to respond to someone else’s announcement of the kill. And maybe when you go near your sibling, a pop up encourages you to emote towards them? Then it can fade out, and fade in to your wolf taking a few steps out of your packs territory into Amethyst as a Dispersal. And from then on your not allowed to go back.

I also really like the idea of having an intense, thrown into the frey beginning too. Although I’ll have to do more thinking before I can come up with a possible scenario that might logically work for wolf behaviour.

Edit: this idea is actually very similar to Sycona’s, I hope this builds on it somewhat though! I like the idea of the randomized sibling amount.
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby loboLoco » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:19 am

Anduril wrote: earn a PhD


Hey, so it is an educational game!
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Monalisa2013 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:47 am

FallieWolf wrote:You start as a pup scrambling to your feet as one of your pack mates have come to feed you and your siblings. (This is where you learn the basic controls for moving) You walk towards the food and take a bite. (Now you learn how to eat) After you have eaten your desired amount you sibling wants to play! (Here you can learn how to use emotes/actions) You decide to explore around your den unaware of the lurking dangers. A bear tries to take you but your pack was watching and came to your defence, scaring away the bear and taking you safely home. You lay down by your family exhausted from the days events, you sleep, (This is where you'll learn to lay down and sleep. Plus a time skip to when your around 3-4 months old)
You wake up and follow your pack mates out in a field. (Here you learn how to use your scent) Following your pack mates and the scent of elk you come across a grazing herd. The adults and you start a chase trying to pick out a weak cow or foal but you are too slow and retreat back into the bushes with some other younger wolves. When the hunt is done your pack howls trying to pin your location. (You learn how to howl) After howling back you use scent to find your pack and the carcass. (This is done your actually learning how to use scent view as it will be a vital part in the game. Once you reach the carcass and your family another time skip will happen.)
You are now a dispersal wolf near a carcass which has a pair of coyotes feeding off of it. You approach the carcass to fill your health (If your health isn't completely full it will give the player a reason to go for the carcass. This is also where you'll learn to bite.)
NOTES: if the game still has a compass and plays a critical part in the game it might be a good idea to add that in when your learning to use scents since wind direction is a big part of scent view and tracking in WQ 3.


I love this idea!! However I know it could technically be time-consuming to implement it into the game....but I feel like it really helps the whole immersive-game experience bit! I'm big into the roleplays in multiplayer, but as I have always been hugely fascinated in studying wolves, I am a stickler for realism, I feel like this would really help with that, especially since so many players like to write up back stories for their wolves. Another fantastic idea that just came to me is that when you start the game, based off of real (current and/or past) packs that reside in Yellowstone, you are randomly assigned a pack to have been born into. You could even be given a very brief backstory on that particular pack, so that each time you start a new game, you could be assigned a different pack and over time you learn small facts about each pack! This could potentially tie in with Fallie Wolf's idea of starting out in a tutorial as a pup in your natal pack. :wolf:
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Lebron BMT » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:08 pm

I agree with the other suggestions of a story-driven open. For Wolfquest that could be seeing your created wolf being booted from his/her previous family and running off.

Another way to start the game could be an animated montage of the game world. The camera could zoom in and out of places on the map showing, for example, a grazing herd of elk, a cougar hunting prey, two bears fighting, some birds singing, a river flowing, stranger wolf packs running or howling etc. Cabela's African Safari has something like this to start the game you can see here: https://youtu.be/prUrYgg4FNU?t=28s
Essentially what you're doing is showing off the game world and inspiring some excitement in the player by showing that it is 'alive'.

I will say, however, the first time I played Wolfquest I was immediately impressed by the graphics and assumed right away the game world would be realistic and 'alive'. This realization immediately told me how to play this game and how to approach it. I understood that wolves in real life would not get an instruction manual but would rather have to explore, hunt, eat, survive, and figure things out and that's what I did. I never knew what could be behind the next hill or the next tree. I still remember how I froze up when I spotted my first elk herd in the forests of Amethyst Mountain without knowing or using the scent system. I was stunned by their animation and realism just as I was stunned with the rest of the game. That uncertainty and exploration made Wolfquest an awesome experience for me and I only say this to point out the downside of showing off the game world in some sort of animated intro to begin the game or with too much hand-holding tutorials to start the game. It takes away from the immersion of the game and the excitement of the unknown.

IMO, the realistic environments and graphics of Wolfquest make it clear to the player that you really are a wolf and so you should play the game as if you were a wolf. The realism tells the player that this is not a fairlytale game with pink disney wolves prancing around where the objective is to collect tokens or something like that in a smartphone game app. The game puts you in the shoes of a realistic wolf and so the player is implicitly told they should seek to do real life wolf things in this simulated real life wolf world. In that sense, the game needs minimal instruction and is better for it. Instructions really are only needed for main mission objectives and unnatural but relevant game mechanics like needing a certain amount of xp to find a mate.
Last edited by Lebron BMT on Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Windstrider » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:44 pm

I like the ideas that involve your family pack teaching you how to hunt, then it can fade or cutscene to the way WQ starts as of now, with minimal instruction, but enough to get started but not so much that it's unrealistic or too easy. Though some starter missions with basic instructions would be helpful in the new, more difficult version. Like after the pack hunt and the scene transition to your wolf as a dispersal, there could be a few missions you have to successfully complete before the game fully moves out of tutorial mode, and those missions would have some basic pointers and instructions. The missions could be find and catch a hare, find and bring down a cow elk, and find water, then the popup should say something like "You have successfully completed the tutorial missions. Happy WolfQuesting!" and you'll be on your own. But the tutorials would give you a basic idea of how to use the new scent mechanics. There should also be the option to turn the tutorials on and off; if you know how to play the new game but are simply starting out with another wolf, you can get right into the game. And overdoing it on the tutorials and help could take away some of the challenge, so there has to be a balance between too little instruction and too much unnecessary help. Heck, maybe there could be a setting that would allow players to select the 'degree' of tutorial/instruction (like after the difficulty settings selection, there could be a tutorial selection pop up as well: you select 'new player' if you just got the game and need more instruction, or 'returning player' if you've played previous versions but need a bit of instruction for the new game, and 'skip tutorial' if you've already done the tutorial and can play the game well enough on your own and you're just using another wolf or starting a new game).
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby sophiaww » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:59 pm

Well...that's a tough question, I think that it would be great if you started out as a teenager wolf and it's your first hunt. Some of the pack helps you kill the elk and others watch you hunt. ( is where you learn how to track down animals) As you and your pack slowly creeps up on a injured elk, grazing on a tuff of grass, the elk suddenly lefts its head up and calls a alarm call as it dashes away. Your pack dashes after the elk trying to separate the elk as you slowly close in the middle of the herd, right behind the injured elk.(this is where you learn how to attack) As you start to get closer to the injured elk, the elk starts to get tired then, you grab on to the elks back right leg. (because the elks right leg is injured) as you lose grip the elk turns around to fight for its life. (this is where you learn where the elks weak spots are) You attack the elk,then the elk dies. As the rest of the pack catches up you and your pack eat. (That's when you learn how to eat) Then you and your pack lifts there heads up and howl. (this is where you learn how to howl and communicate and how to do emotes with other wolves) As you trot back to your territory you see a coyote in the distance. (then you learn about coyotes,bears,cougars and other animals) Then you catch up to your pack and sleep. (that's how you learn how to sleep/rest) And then you're in amethyst mountain as a young adult wolf and you start your journey for a mate. I'm so excited for WolfQuest 3 keep up the good work! :wolf:
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby SheWolf17 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:40 pm

Maybe, a little "pup life" in the beginning. In other words, a mini-game telling a little about your history and your pack, this would give the player more interest and fun!
For example, after choosing a wolf, the player could learn to hunt with the parents and sibling, and survive from predators. And after a while, he would grow up and leave the family (as in the game Shelter 2).


This not only attracts the interest of the player, but would also be educational for everyone (what a wolf does in nature)! :pawprint:
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Gillato » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:32 pm

I think it would be cool if you added a gesture button like the wolfs body movements just saying..
OH annd!! what a lot of players have wanted furever! is to actually be inside the den like real wolfs. because we have to pretend were in the den.. when rlly were not..ok well im just saying that wouldbe really fun!
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby SamueWolfSword » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:59 pm

I kinda hope we`ll be able to skip the tutorial.

Maybe there could be a "How To Play" or "Tutorial" button added to the home screen.

Maybe the player could learn through exploring and pressing different buttons rather than being told what to do step-by-step. Sort of like the current game there can be tips/hints that appear during certain events. Maybe they shouldn`t be as intrusive as pausing the game and forcing the player to press ok. They could be transparent boxes/shapes that go away when the player presses Y. The first box could tell the player to remove the box by pressing Y. All other boxes could have a Y in the corner reminding the player of this. Maybe make the boxes have an interesting voice (I mean, "Go do that." vs "Hey, why don`t you go do that?"), although this could be harmful to those who can`t read well.
---Problems: If there are more than one box on screen then both of them might close if the player presses Y.

You can first create a wolf or choose a saved wolf then the tutorial will begin:
---Everything looks normal, maybe like it`s not even a tutorial. There is a carcass in front of the player and the player is low on health. A box (see the above paragraph) appears telling the player how to eat. There is an arrow pointing to the carcass. There are also the movement keys shown on the screen.
---After the player finishes eating and starts moving away another, more intrusive box pauses the game and tells the player how to enter scent view.
---Once the player enters scent view they are told to notice scent particles that are coming off the carcass, being pushed by the wind. If the player moves around they may notice a coyote nearby. The player may see scent particles coming off the coyote. A non-intrusive box appears telling the player how to exit scent view. Once the player exits scent view or if the player moves toward the coyote and a few seconds pass then another box appears telling the player how to switch between crouching, walking, and running.
---Maybe the coyote could start eating the carcass if the player gets far enough away and the player could try sneaking up on the coyote, a box appearing to tell the player to make sure they`re downwind so the coyote can`t smell them.
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Keyyva » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:05 am

The Design

My design concept is very similar to sophiaww's idea.
The camera does a fly-through (or a neat cutscene of pack life). The player would then start as about an 1-year old wolf, still in the pack. The main objective of the tutorial is to successfully hunt an elk with the other pack members helping. The player would use the map, scent view and any other navigation features to find the elk herd.
When the elk herd has been found, the user would then pick out the weakest elk and proceed with the other pack members to take it down.

When the player has won the hunt and a carcass is available, this is when the information about other creatures would be introduced. This would teach the player about bears, coyotes and how to protect their carcass from such animals.
Soon afterwards, the tutorial would end and the main game would start.

I believe only info on basic controls, hunting and info on other creatures are needed to get a player started. Perhaps info about finding a mate and how other wolf territories work could be mentioned at the beginning of the main game. [Any other important game mechanics that will be added to WQ3 may need to be included in the tutorial.]


The information would be given to the user through two different popups:
    Minor popups: In Grand Theft Auto IV and V, popup boxes will show up on the top left of the screen and wont stop your gameplay. These boxes would display info such as how to walk, run, jump and other controls. [Don't know how well this would work for mobile-if you even plan on releasing WQ3 on mobile].
    Major popups: For bigger explanations about the game, a popup like the ones currently present in WQ could show up - stopping the gameplay so the player can actually take their time to read and understand. These boxes would contain info about how to hunt, the weak spots on the elk and other features of the game that require more detail.



Basic Suggestions

Optional Tutorials
A few posts have already touched on this. When an experienced player goes to start a new game, the tutorial can be an annoying part to go through. A check box in the character creator scene should allow players to opt-out of the beginning tutorial.

Manual/Help Menu
A menu should be accessible (probably from the pause menu) that will give more in-depth information about the mechanics and gameplay which the player can read about if they wish. This is useful since if a player feels stuck in the game, wants to learn more about exactly how to do something, or simply hasn't played in a long time and forgets how to play - the user can bring up the help menu and read about what they are having trouble with.

My Thoughts on Pups
As cool as playing as a pup would be (and I like FallieWolf's idea), I don't think it would work well as a tutorial in Wolf Quest. The reason being is the main goal of WQ is to live the life as an adult wolf. This means starting the game as a pup may give the player a wrong idea of WQ; they may feel WQ is more of a story based game rather than an open world.
Also, if playing as pups ever does make an appearance, if the user has played as a pup before in the tutorial, than it will be less of a surprise.
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby Brinnadaze » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:41 am

I personally like the idea of having a few spawn-in points where your wolf first starts out on the map -- or having it completely randomized! Like, down in the Lamar Valley, or up near the peak of Amethyst Mountain, or where The Burn used to be... and with these random spawn-points you could get a prompt to check scent view for any tracks. You could essentially walk the player through their very first hunt, or show them how to scare coyotes away from a kill and defend it. This would be helpful for first-time players, kind of get them into the groove of how to play the game. Having a toggle option for tutorials... and have a little pop-up-style tutorial for interacting with dispersal wolves. Idk. Something like that would work for me, but I can't speak for all players. :dragonfly:
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Re: Design Challenge! The First 15 Minutes

Postby paperpaws » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:07 pm

loboLoco wrote:
Anduril wrote: earn a PhD


Hey, so it is an educational game!

I owe my academic accomplishments to you <3

--

A lot of the current suggestions seem to steer towards a scenario-based kind of tutorial. I've already voiced my support for that idea, but that does leave me wondering whether it would still be as engaging after the first few times. I do think that such a scenario should be left optional, so that it does not become a chore during replays. For example, if you were to go with the hunting-with-birth-pack idea, it would be neat to have the choice to join the hunt or to go ahead and disperse and figure things out on your own.

That does leave me to wonder what would make the first part of gameplay engaging without such a tutorial. I like the idea of more varied spawn points, whether they're randomised or an option out of several. We currently have a system in place where the player has to rack up experience points before pursuing a mate, which gives some incentive to go exploring through territories with new wolves, but that is again something that wouldn't apply to replays with older wolves. I'm not sure if you're looking to tailor the first 15 minutes to replay value as well, though - I can imagine you shouldn't need to pull in returning players anymore. Some food for thought, I suppose?

--


Gillato wrote:I think it would be cool if you added a gesture button like the wolfs body movements just saying..
OH annd!! what a lot of players have wanted furever! is to actually be inside the den like real wolfs. because we have to pretend were in the den.. when rlly were not..ok well im just saying that wouldbe really fun!

Ideas unrelated to the design challenge can be posted in Ideas For New Episodes. Going inside the den has been highly requested and the developer team did consider the idea at some point, but eventually decided against it.
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