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Genes Behind the Scenes

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: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Polynesia » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:31 pm

SolitaryHowl wrote:
Pepper wrote: If anyone has ideas, we love hearing them!


Having the pup coats randomized would solve that problem.



I agree with this but, I think that the pack leader’s genes should always have a presence in the litter, since it’s their game and their litter. The rest of the genes could be randomly chosen from pack members.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Whirl-Oakpaw » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:45 pm

Pepper wrote:If anyone has ideas, we love hearing them!


I think that having half from the pack creator and half randomized would be the best way to go. That way the pack creator has at least some control over the coat color of the pups.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Phasoli » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:34 pm

Why not stay with the current system? Randomizing the pelts does seem like the most convenient thing to do, but in the current game, if I remember correctly, the host influences the colours of half of the pups and the second player to join influences the other half. A system like that couldn't hurt, could it?
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby ForeverEverest » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:15 am

One problem with that would be if someone got to the den and received the pups before anyone else joins. However, this could work if it's switched to half random if no players join the game before the pups arrive. Alternatively, the host's genes could be used twice, but my favourite of these options personally would be half host's genes, half random.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Noxeon » Tue May 01, 2018 9:59 am

I remember learning about this stuff years ago in biology class. I was actually pretty good with it, but looking back on it now I feel confused xD

Anyways, again, I am impressed with the details! So much research is going into every little feature and just wow!
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Canisauba » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:30 pm

About wolf coats and coloring for wolves, if one of my pups had a black coat, could we change the shade of black (dark black, charcoal, almost-grey-black, ect.)? And with the others, will we be able to alter the shade we want them to be? If they are naturally brown, then have only the options to change the shade of brown. I am sorry if I missed something posted that has explained this already.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby WolfDragonPlasma » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:27 pm

Oh, I just thought of something in regards to this.

Now that there's going to be a genetic distinction between grey coats and black coats, will the current coats be separated by this in the wolf creator? Like, will there be a section listing the genetically grey coats, and then a section listing the genetically black coats?
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Invar » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:52 pm

It just ain't so that being double-dominant black at K-locus is fatal. That pup would just be black. Unless it's got a recessive mutation at B-locus, and is 'chocolate' (brown), or at E, and is yellow/red, or somewhere else I don't remember which will make it the even grey they call 'blue' or 'silver' or 'lilac' or 'isabella' because dog people name their colours inconsistently. I don't think wolves have the 'chocolate' and 'blue' though.

"Dominant black" is a misnomer, it really ought to be called "Not-agouti."
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby roguemoon » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Invar wrote:It just ain't so that being double-dominant black at K-locus is fatal. That pup would just be black. Unless it's got a recessive mutation at B-locus, and is 'chocolate' (brown), or at E, and is yellow/red, or somewhere else I don't remember which will make it the even grey they call 'blue' or 'silver' or 'lilac' or 'isabella' because dog people name their colours inconsistently. I don't think wolves have the 'chocolate' and 'blue' though.

"Dominant black" is a misnomer, it really ought to be called "Not-agouti."


I believe that these genetics apply only to domestic dogs. Wolf genetics are similar, but a bit different. Also, the developers likely want genetics as simple and standard as possible for the game for the sake of ease.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Invar » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:28 pm

roguemoon wrote:
I believe that these genetics apply only to domestic dogs. Wolf genetics are similar, but a bit different. Also, the developers likely want genetics as simple and standard as possible for the game for the sake of ease.


Domestic dogs have a bunch of possoble mutations that don't exist in wolves, but naw, 'dominant black' is not fatal. (Double-dominant merle is pretty harmful and sometimes fatal, double-dominant taillessness is fatal prenatally, so it seems like reduced fertility.) It's certainly not simpler to make it fatal, nor more standard. A misunderstanding, I expect.
Last edited by paperpaws on Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: please avoid including roleplay elements in your post
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby DaniBeez » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:41 pm

I got curious about "lethal KK" after reading your comments Invar, so I went back to the Hedrick et al. paper mentioned in the first post.

Here is an important snip from that paper:

Hedrick et al. 2014 wrote: Coulson et al. (2011) estimated the difference in annual survival rate, annual recruitment rate, generation length, and lifetime reproductive success for the 3 different color genotypes: gray homozygotes (kk), black heterozygotes (Kk), and black homozygotes (KK) in a large sample (280) of wolves from Yellowstone National Park. For all these fitness measures, the black homozygote had the lowest value and the black heterozygotes had slightly higher values than the gray homozygote.

So another group, Coulson's, found that for each of these aspects of genotype fitness mentioned above, homozygous black always had the lowest estimate.

KK had the lowest average fitness estimate of 0.013. For comparison, gray coat kk has 0.779 and black hetero had 1.0. That's quite a difference in fitness for homozygous black! (1.0 is the highest fitness value possible here).

As to why KK has the lowest fitness for this sample of Yellowstone wolves...

Hedrick et al. 2011 wrote:The low fitness of KK homozygotes is particularly striking. For the 280 wolves sampled for Coulson et al. (2011), only 12 (4.3%) were KK. Of these only 3 (2 females, 1 male) were breeders. Out of these 3 KK breeders, 1 female produced no surviving pups in her tenure, the other female produced only 1 surviving pup, and the male produced only 1 surviving pup. These facts support the greatly reduced lifetime reproductive success of KK individuals estimated by Coulson et al. (2011) and the very low relative fitness value of KK in Table 1.

So, based on this paper alone, it looks like you are right Invar in that KK wolves are not lethal/dying in utero. But, they do not reproduce successfully, so it is not the best genotype to have if you want to have pups. Without reading more into it, I have a hunch that Dave chose to make KK lethal because not having any pups would really clash with the current storyline of the game :lol:!

And for fun, I found this paragraph in the discussion:

Hedrick et al. 2014 wrote:In addition, it appears that there might be nonrandom mating among different color phenotypes in the Yellowstone population. For 172 known breeding pairs, there was a 27% excess of black–gray pairs and a complement deficiency of gray–gray and black–black pairs. [...] The impact of this factor is now under investigation.

Very interesting to think wolf mate choice is possible significantly influenced by coat color!
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby Invar » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:20 pm

That's really interesting stuff, Beez.

I wonder how heterozygous KK wolves are for other stuff. If dominant-black at K is a mutation that occurred in domestic dogs and was passed to wolves (seems pretty well proven that it is) and this happened only a couple of times (hmmmm...) then a KK wolf probably has a much higher coefficient of inbreeding than another wolf.

We wants a bigger sample size. And an otherwise identical study except on coyotes.
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby loboLoco » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:46 am

DaniBeez wrote: I have a hunch that Dave chose to make KK lethal because not having any pups would really clash with the current storyline of the game


No, we decided that because that's what our geneticist advisor told us after he read all these papers, which matched some suggestions that Dan MacNulty gave us about the K locus and KK low survival rates. Re-reading all this stuff makes my head hurt so I just depend on what the experts tell me...
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby CapriciousCeilican » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:13 am

loboLoco wrote:
DaniBeez wrote: I have a hunch that Dave chose to make KK lethal because not having any pups would really clash with the current storyline of the game


No, we decided that because that's what our geneticist advisor told us after he read all these papers, which matched some suggestions that Dan MacNulty gave us about the K locus and KK low survival rates. Re-reading all this stuff makes my head hurt so I just depend on what the experts tell me...


What would happen if, by some chance, all of our pups died through lethal genetics and/or disease? Would we have to start over from our last save, or will we be able to play through the rest of the episodes pupless?
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Re: Genes Behind the Scenes

Postby roguemoon » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:00 pm

CapriciousCeilican wrote:
loboLoco wrote:
DaniBeez wrote: I have a hunch that Dave chose to make KK lethal because not having any pups would really clash with the current storyline of the game


No, we decided that because that's what our geneticist advisor told us after he read all these papers, which matched some suggestions that Dan MacNulty gave us about the K locus and KK low survival rates. Re-reading all this stuff makes my head hurt so I just depend on what the experts tell me...


What would happen if, by some chance, all of our pups died through lethal genetics and/or disease? Would we have to start over from our last save, or will we be able to play through the rest of the episodes pupless?


I imagine you would just restart from a previous save, as you do in the current version when all your pups are killed.

I don't think any lethal genetics will cause your pups to be killed at the start of the Raise Your Pups mission if that's what you're thinking.
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