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At World's End

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

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At World's End

Postby loboLoco » Thu May 24, 2018 2:52 pm


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

We’re making much bigger game maps for WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition, but even so, they’ve got to come to an end at some point. What’s beyond that? This is one of the complications of our 24-hour time cycle, since we can’t use simple, static skydomes for distant views. Instead, we’ve made a huge landscape to surround the game map. The game map is 7km by 7km; this larger surrounding map is 42x42. It’s very simple, low resolution mesh and textures, with just enough detail to look good at a distance. You can see it in the video, though we are still tweaking and refining it.

But of course, with these distant lands luring you on, at some point you’ll probably come near the edge of the game map. What happens then? Most games create obvious obstacles like cliffs or rivers. We can do some of that. In the Amethyst map, the steep banks on the north shore of the Lamar River will serve nicely as an obstacle, and in Slough Creek, the bluffs above the valley will definitely block players. Unfortunately, the other three sides of each map don’t have anything like that— the Lamar and Slough Creek valleys extend for many miles upstream and downstream, unobstructed. Since our maps represent the real terrain of Yellowstone National Park, so we can’t just add in convenient barriers.

The simplest solution is what we did in the old game: invisible walls. With the new wolf territory system, we now have a better justification for blocking progress, and we’ll show a warning when you hit one of those walls: “You’ve heading deeper into the Prospect Peak pack’s territory! Better turn back now.”

What we’d really like to do is have stranger wolves block your progress, but:
• We’ve built a robust naturalistic system for stranger wolf packs and forcing a stranger wolf to appear in front of you if you approach the map edge would require a separate (and rather kludgy) system.
• Even if a stranger did block your way, we’d still need to forcibly prevent you from moving forward (as with the strangers along Slough Creek during the Journey mission), so it’s still an artificial blockade.
• This doesn’t contribute to gameplay, so we don’t want to build a whole new system just for it.

But perhaps there are other ways we can finesse the issue of map edges. We’d love to hear some good ideas — post them below!
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Re: At World's End

Postby PearlyReborn » Thu May 24, 2018 2:56 pm

What an ominous title, haha.

I'm very happy to see that you're working on a nice-looking day-night cycle, especially since you insisted in the past it would be too challenging.


And wow, the surrounding terrain is HUGE!
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Re: At World's End

Postby SolitaryHowl » Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 pm

This is tricky. I agree you can only do so much with the environment, and I get it wouldn't be ideal to design a new system that will spawn a pack: I would rather those resources be put somewhere else that will actually impact gameplay.

“You’ve heading deeper into the Prospect Peak pack’s territory! Better turn back now.”


Expanding on this justification, perhaps add in scent markers alongside the invisible wall/this territory message's trigger so there is somewhat of a visual cue too. Just so the player can check for themselves, I think it would feel less forceful that way.

Other messages (for variety) can be like, "You smell lots of humans in the distance, better turn around." or "You smell smoke in the distance, better stay away!" from a distant forest fire (that the player can't actually see).

I don't mind invisible walls as much when the game gives me a logical reason to not go there (like: "You are exiting the battlefield, turn back!"), but when there is no explanation provided it is frustrating & immersion breaking.
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Re: At World's End

Postby Lebron BMT » Thu May 24, 2018 3:52 pm

I don't really mind invisible walls at all. I think we all understand the game has to end at some point. Every open world games has them. The map feature allows us to see where we are in the world so it's not a deal breaker when you run into a an invisible wall we all understand where we are.

Thinking about other open world games that try to maintain immersion like the Batman open world games, when Batman is gliding past the games limits and is nearing an invisible wall there is a seamless animation that just turns Batman around and back inward towards the game world. This way Batman isn't just lagging into an invisible wall and things stay seamless if that's the concern here with WolfQuest 3. Having pop ups about entering another pack's territory or leaving the park's boundaries or being within the view of humans at the end of the game world are viable options too, but in my opinion popups are just as immersion breaking especially since we'll have to press a button to remove them from the screen.

Maybe that helps but I wouldn't worry too much about it it's not a big deal.
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Re: At World's End

Postby Polynesia » Thu May 24, 2018 4:38 pm

I really like the batman idea. Instead of making the player stop when he runs into the wall, you can gently turn him away from the wall (so that he’s running alongside it instead of into it) without interrupting his speed.You could apply this to every animal too, because sometimes elk get chased into the edge. This way the flow of the gameplay is not interrupted, even when an entire hunt is brought to the edge of the map.

I am so excited for the 24 hour cycle. :)
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Re: At World's End

Postby Nevara » Thu May 24, 2018 4:44 pm

SolitaryHowl wrote:Other messages (for variety) can be like, "You smell lots of humans in the distance, better turn around." or "You smell smoke in the distance, better stay away!" from a distant forest fire (that the player can't actually see).


I disagree with this tbh =0 In my opinion I think messages like these would only make a player curious and want to continue on even more, thus making it more frustrating when they find out they can't

I think WQ should just stick with the invisible walls. They're simple and I'm sure they don't bother many people~
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Re: At World's End

Postby Windstrider » Thu May 24, 2018 4:55 pm

I also agree with the Batman idea. It would definitely be nice for hunts to simply turn around seamlessly instead of running into a wall and having to re-orient and go back after the elk (or whatever animal).
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Re: At World's End

Postby TimberRaven » Thu May 24, 2018 5:20 pm

Dis sooooooo cool!!! Yeah, I like the Batman idea as well! Thank you so much, Dave and the WQ Team!!
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Re: At World's End

Postby Phasoli » Thu May 24, 2018 7:27 pm

Wowwee! Look at that environment! It's so realistic looking, even without the cycle. Boy am I pumped for that day and night cycle!

In some cases, I agree with the Batman idea. This would work more for exploration in my opinion. As far as hunting goes, I think that it would be clever to have the NPC's avoid the invisible walls, so that, in turn, the player doesn't have to run into them.

Aside from an automatic turn-system, perhaps thick patches of bushes or grass, large rocks and boulders, or even some of the animal NPC's can help lead players away from the edge by either blocking them, or leading them away by prompting a chase.
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Re: At World's End

Postby DaniBeez » Thu May 24, 2018 8:48 pm

As long as the textual warning doesn't make you teleport somewhere (like the enemy territory in Slough Creek used to do) or interrupt the flow of a pursuit, I'm okay with pop-up messages. And I didn't mind the invisible walls. Perhaps natural obstacles, like rock piles and dense tree cover, could help make this boundary more obvious to the player without interrupting immersion too much? May have to deviate from the real landscape to do this though.
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Re: At World's End

Postby ForeverEverest » Fri May 25, 2018 4:10 am

I also like the Batman idea.

Here's one of the ideas that came to my head, though it isn't 100% on the side of realism.
The invisible walls could stay, but there could be a line of rocks around the edge of the map, just in front of the invisible wall. The rocks would serve as the first barrier marking a clear edge, and the invisible walls would be a backup to stop any players who may find a way past the rocks. I would have to recommend a curved edge for this though, just in case players use the corner for easy hunting. Although the strange rock placements wouldn't be the most realistic, players would probably be able to see them from a distance and know exactly where the edge of the landscape is before they get there.
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Re: At World's End

Postby Black Burn » Fri May 25, 2018 1:03 pm

I've always liked the current map walls, unlike other games I've played, there see-through and more realistic. As you said, the stranger blocking the way would seem like a hassle, plus any player who thinks the can take on this stranger would still approach. The warning system sounds good, though as I said, some would still go on into the territory. The only suggestion I have right now is to keep the walls the way they are, it would be easier on the WQ team as well I think!

The map is looking amazing! And the day and night system looks so realistic! The WQ team has definitely outdone themselves! But we all really appreciate all you've done! Thank you Dave and all the WolfQuest Team! Keep it going!
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Re: At World's End

Postby Rustic » Fri May 25, 2018 1:15 pm

I really like the batman idea. Instead of making the player stop when he runs into the wall, you can gently turn him away from the wall (so that he’s running alongside it instead of into it) without interrupting his speed.You could apply this to every animal too, because sometimes elk get chased into the edge. This way the flow of the gameplay is not interrupted, even when an entire hunt is brought to the edge of the map.


What an EXCELLENT idea !!!

I'm all for this as a nice, in-game immersive way to 'block' the player's path.
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Re: At World's End

Postby Windstrider » Fri May 25, 2018 1:45 pm

Also, I agree about the invisible walls and keeping them. Most people seem to like them. A pop-up might be ok as long as it doesn't interrupt a hunt. Maybe there could be a pop-up the first time or so you run into the border, and after that there could be some sort of non-interrupting, slightly more subtle, but still noticeable message/signal/etc, but I'm not sure what that would be. Something on the map or mini-map? Or maybe a sound (not the same as the chat sound since that would get confusing, but maybe a sound? but maybe not since that might kinda break the immersion? idk).
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Re: At World's End

Postby el wolfo » Fri May 25, 2018 5:55 pm

You should have an OP wolf pack that's impossible to beat that will kill you if you stay out of the map for too long
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