I thought that last week’s video might have been too long and technical and boring, but we got some enthusiastic comments, so here you go — part two!
This week we’ve been working on the interactions with the elk during the final phase of the hunt — what we call the Showdown. At this point, you’ve worn down an elk by chasing and biting it, finally separating it from the herd. The elk turns to defend itself from your attacks (though it may still seize an opportunity to run away from you). Now you (and your mate or packmates) can circle the elk and choose where to bite your prey. As with the wolf fights, these attacks involve tight contact and interaction between wolf and elk, using a combination of animations and our inverse kinematics system, tied together with a lot of clever coding. (Read more about that in last week’s blog post: Bite Club: Refining the wolf fight https://youtu.be/B0PNQDS48_I)
These were complicated enough before we made matters worse by adding a “collapse to knees” state for the elk, as its energy drops even lower. This created a new batch of visual glitches, since the normal bitepoints were now too close to the ground for the wolf’s animations and IK to deal with nicely. That’s the focus of today’s video (but there are a number of other rough spots that we’re also refining, even if they’re not mentioned in this video.)
This weekend, I (Dave/loboLoco) and my partner Susan/Pepper are very excited to be attending the International Wolf Symposium hosted here in Minnesota by the International Wolf Center. There will be lots of speakers and sessions featuring some of our favorite topics! Can’t wait to hear Dave Mech’s talk about “How Much and How Often do Wolves Eat?” or Dan Stahler present “Rise of the Black Wolf: Evolutionary History and Selection for the Black Coat Color Gene in North American Wolves.” And we know you all want to know “Where and How Are Wolves Ambushing Beavers?” We will share what we learn on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I absolutely love the more technical videos, so thanks for posting another one! I haven't actually watched yet, so maybe this was already answered in the video, but I was wondering... when you guys release the game for early access, will it be single player only, or multiplayer too? I'm crossing my fingers for multiplayer but understandable if it'll only be single player in the beginning.
Thanks so much for all the amazing work you guys have been doing on the new game!
This is looking so awesome!! I have been playing this game since 2008 and it’s so cool to see how much you guys are improving it! I was wondering, though you don’t have to answer if you’re not sure, but what percentage would you say you have completed of the update? Do you have much left to do until it’s ready for its initial release? And there will always be little improvements to be added, so that’s fine, I’m just super curious! Thanks!
WOW. I have no words for how well this is turning out! DANG!
I found myself actually flinching when the elk struck back at the wolves! Those kicks look SO much more powerful then the ones in the current game-- ouch!! Also, the way the elk actually comes after your wolf now is really scary, and I imagine very accurate too! So much comes down to intimidation in the wild, so it's great to see the elk fighting back in such a way as to try and show itself to be too tough of a meal for our wolves after it realizes that running away probably isn't going to work.
Having the elk fall to its knees is a really great touch! I was actually ruminating on that this week while recording the winter hunting for our current WolfQuest game-- in most of the wolf documentaries I've seen, the wolves do grab on to the elk like that and drag it to the ground, and that makes a lot more sense in my mind then having the elk continue to kick back at you in those final moments. But I imagine actually getting that death grip in the first place will be pretty tricky!
You guys are seriously doing an incredible job with this game, and I know it's going to be well worth the wait. You've truly taken this to next-level WolfQuest and I cannot wait to finally try it out for myself. There's so much depth to the new version just from what we've seen, and I'm sure there's so much more than what you've shown us! This is honestly the game I've always hoped WolfQuest could become, and I'm pretty sure kid me would have just keeled over from sheer joy to see this XD
Thursdays have become one of the highlights of my week, honestly, simply because there's so much to look forward to when we see what you've been doing! Your work here is groundbreaking-- I've never seen anything this advanced in a game before! And it's honestly mindblowing to see how far WolfQuest has come. As someone who's had the privilege of seeing this game grow up right alongside me, I couldn't be more proud. The first demo was already a huge leap in an era where 3D gaming was honestly still just kicking off, and it may well have been the first realistic animal simulator to ever hit 3D. Over 10 years later, as the tools to create games and the power of the systems running them has increased, you've really upped the ante when it comes to balancing realism with engaging gameplay. Fantastic job, you guys!
Also, have fun at that wolf conference! It sounds amazing, and I can't wait to hear what you guys learn!
This is awesome!! I love how smoove the animations are! Can you please do more bite club videos I find them a lot more interesting and fun to see you interacting more with hunting. Maybe you could do a video of you hunting an elk herd or defending against coyotes and stranger wolves. Maybe you could show us what happens when you see a bear or some bear animations we haven't really seen the bears progress or maybe a cougar. (if it has been worked on enough to be tested ) keep up the good work!!
Location: Photosynthesizing with the beans in the backyard
Name: Call me Tsuri!
Re: Bite Club 2: The Elk Kicks Back
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:35 pm
I'm in love with the new fighting mechanisms! The way that the elk doubles over during its final moments is just--wow! I'm loving everything about this update so far. I hope that some gameplay will ultimately remain a mystery until release, too. It's be such a surprise to toy around with some hidden new elements added to the game as well. I can't wait for the release of the Early Access. This is going to be such a revolutionary update!
(Also, am I dreaming, or did I just see that mate howl while raising its tail towards the beginning??)
I'm curious about the bighorn sheep and other prey options, too. Can't wait to see how we'll be sparring with them!
This is awesome. The elk hunts will be much better than before and the showdown will be much harder than than in WolfQuest currently. With the first bite club I was excited, but when you made a second that was something I didn't expect, I hope you make a third. Keep up the good work.
This is turning out better than expected --a new stage for elk! Wow! The elk are so much smarter! And they're prettier and fluffier too! XD And by the way, when you were pausing the testing to point out the wolf's head in the ground because of low bite points, what was that weirdly-shaped white crescent sticking out of the horizon? Was that the moon or something? I really like how the wolf's legs adapt when the body moves, like when the elk yanks the wolf lower, the legs collapse a little to hold it up --rather than staying stiff and straight so when the wolf lowers the shoulders don't turn into wings. And I like the shape of the wolf's hind legs for some reason XD Dave. You are awesome. So is your awesome team of awesomeness and awesome animals that are AWESOME!
Wow, I'm astounded by how awesome the new hunting is turning out! I'm also really loving these more technical videos, I like seeing how things are put together, so I look forward to any new technical videos that you may have for us in the future. Also exciting to hear you guys are going to the wolf symposium, can't wait to hear what you guys learn there!
No Way! this is Spectacular!!! Wow, that elk looked like it was really trying to stay alive! and the way it dropped to its knees was a reaally Good idea! OH and is it just me or did anyone notice the notches and the bite marks on the elk's pelt? Really nice touch! it would always bother me when me and my pack would attack an elk its pelt would always look like we never touched it. So when I saw that I was like Yes!! Thank's Guys ~ Be a Blessing' Good Day