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How to Bite an Elk

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

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How to Bite an Elk

Postby loboLoco » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:00 pm


Video link: https://youtu.be/KntTJjeI3vw

We’ve been working for quite awhile on new elk-biting actions. This requires several different systems to work together, and as you can see, there are many ways in which things can go wrong. Sometimes very wrong.

Our goal has been to make elk-biting more accurate as well as more exciting for the player — and happily, this is one place where those two goals are quite compatible. In the old game, wolves bite the elk’s rump. This generally is not accurate, but the rump did offer us (as game developers) a nice, relatively fixed target for the wolf to bite and hold onto. In reality, wolves usually bite the elk’s legs to do initial damage and slow the elk down enough so the wolves can attack more vital areas like the neck. The neck-biting in the old game is basically accurate, though the implementation is pretty simple and crude. The elk also manages to stay on its feet until it topples over dead, whereas real elk usually collapse to the ground well before the wolves administer the killing bites.

So in WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition, we’re using the IK (Inverse Kinematics) system to make these biting actions more realistic. We’ve talked in past blog posts about how we’re using IK to place the wolf’s feet more accurately on rough or sloping ground. We’re also using it for more accurate physical dynamics when the wolf bites another animal, especially bigger animals. Using it, we now have the wolf bite the elk’s legs even while the elk is galloping along at 50 kph (30 mph) — and the force that leg movement is transmitted back to the wolf as it holds on. And when the wolf leaps up to bite and squeeze the elk’s neck, the elk gives the wolf a rough time by twisting and struggling before finally shaking it off. The same will happen with other big prey animals like moose.

This is just one of many improvements to the elk hunt in WolfQuest 3, and like most of them, it requires tight integration of multiple game systems to work well and look good….so yet another reason why WQ3 is taking longer to develop than we anticipated. But we’re making steady progress are are still aiming to release it later this year.

Some caveats:
• We are still refining a few things with biting (e.g. tuning the distance travelled when leaping forward to bite the rear legs, preventing the elk from lifting the wolf off the ground during neck bites.)
• The prey animal in the first blooper is actually a mule deer, not an elk.
• The final blooper has nothing to do with elk biting. Yes, those are the eyes sitting on the tongue.

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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby Black Burn » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:09 pm

Ah this is awesome! It will add so much more dynamic to the game, and we'll all have to create new hunting strategies! And those bloopers were hilarious! Especially the last one! Gotta have your tongue out to see!

Keep up the amazing work WQ Team!
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby paperpaws » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:21 pm

Hilarious as this video is, I can imagine the issues shown have been cause for frustration and overtime. The working ones look absolutely amazing, though! I know I've said this often enough before, but it's so surreal to see how much more dynamic and realistic WolfQuest 3 will look.
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby Phasoli » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:28 pm

Woah! The new biting mechanics look so realistic when it's done right! It almost looks like stolen footage from a nature documentary, haha. Amazing work, even with the difficulties of all these bugs. Every week you guys make excellent progress. Thursdays are that much more spontaneous for me now, haha.

We ought to have a MonsterQuest for those strange, majestic beasts at the end, haha.
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby Polynesia » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:48 pm

It looks amazing! I love the wolf running and biting animations, and the health meter graphics too! I can’t wait for this game to come out. :wolf:
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby MysteryFoxSpirt » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:02 pm

I’m going to put what I wrote as a comment on this video on YouTube. I’m Wolf In Pringles on YouTube.

Mmmm. Bite spots are the hind legs. And now the neck. Smooth animations. I love how the elk Limps when you bite the leg too. Wonder what will happen if Two wolves bite at once... weird stuff will happen probably XD

Edit: I also agree with thecatmiser. Early 2019 is fine with me! Quality is what counts.

We still have a lot of 2018 left. We can only hope. You guys are getting closer and closer to the first release. I know you are. From Wolfquest 1 to WolfQuest 2.7, so much improvement has came on WolfQuest. And I was there the whole way! My sister found this game for me. And that’s why I love wolves.

10 years.... that’s a lot. So much.... I love WolfQuest so much, I will stay here. I’ve been here for the whole journey, and I will stay here for the rest of the way. 2019. Let’s get there. :wolf:
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby poncho0287 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:07 pm

Love the new elk biting action. Can't wait to try it out in WolfQuest 3 whenever it comes out.
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby LamarWolf » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:08 pm

It looks great. Can't wait to hunt in WolfQuest 3.
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby Windstrider » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:05 pm

I like that y'all show the glitches, because while they've got to be irritating after a while for the people working on the game, they're also pretty funny. The one at the end of the video was the best, oml xD

In all seriousness, the animal models are looking amazing, and I can't wait to try out some new hunting strategies, especially in multiplayer. Also agreeing with MysteryFoxSpirit: quality counts, and it'll be well worth the wait. And as a lot of people have said, the overall improvement and progress of the game is pretty amazing. It's really cool to see WQ come so far and continue to improve and thrive.
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby roguemoon » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:39 pm

Can't imagine the amount of frustration and tedious work the team had to deal with to get the biting system worked out. We all really appreciate it you guys!

I think the biting system is awesome, I didn't even imagine you guys would be refining it so much. I personally love how imposing the wolf looks when rearing up to grab the elk's neck. And wowww the movements of the new elk models are sooo good. Is that a weird compliment? :mrgreen: it's true!
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby alethe » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:10 pm

haha, i've had sooo many rigs do this stuff in animation. this makes me so happy.

also the new animations look great!
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby Gillato » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:41 pm

oh my gosh' i'm sooo glad im not the animator of (wolfquest 3) because i would get like ssooooo frustrated cuz the wolfs dancin to radioactive.
but heres wut i do if i get frustrated i take a break for a couple of mins than i throw on some music in the background and get back to work,
but Really the graphic's are AMAZING! i mean the elk was just like "Ahhh!" then the wolfs are like "CHOMP" XD

You guy's did a Awesome job tho. :pawprint:
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby 2wolf22 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:48 pm

Wow! Nice techniques. It makes the game way more fun and realistic! Great job and good luck on that glitch fix journey! :wolf:
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby Sambhur » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:00 pm

The biting mechanics always confused me a bit, so this is a very welcome change! I can't wait to try it out.
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Re: How to Bite an Elk

Postby SolitaryHowl » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:04 pm

The effort invested in the IK system is paying off, it looks fantastic despite being a WIP. Although, I can't decide if the 'wolf?' at the end is horrifying or hilarious!
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