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Energetic 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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Energetic Elk

Postby loboLoco » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:47 pm


Video link: https://youtu.be/dR0QQsClMbA

To those of you who’ve asked us to livestream as we work on the game, today’s video is for you (and now we’ll see how many of you really want this). Today we take a long (too long?) look at tuning one aspect of the elk hunt: how quickly elk get tired as they run, and how much they slow down as they lose energy. We’ve gotten some requests for the elk to slow down as they tire out when being chased by wolves. While we do have that in WQ 2.7, it’s fairly subtle, so we’re looking at it more closely now for WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition to find the sweet spot where it’s noticeable but doesn’t happen too soon.

Actually, I was planning to show how we tune several different aspects of elk physiology and behavior – but after this one aspect clocked in at 12 minutes, I decided that was perhaps enough for one video. So here’s a close look, with various digressions, about how we tweak the elk’s energy.

Another digression cut for length: While it’s true that most of the big predators and prey in Yellowstone run at about the same speed (about 14-18 m/s, or 35-40 mph), since they’ve evolved to reach that balance, the pronghorn is the exception. It can run 25 m/s (55 mph), far faster than any predator in the region. Some scientists speculate that it’s being chased by “the ghosts of predators past” — that is, 10,000 years ago, it had to outrun North American cheetahs and hyenas, and even though those are now extinct, the pronghorn hasn’t slowed down yet. (See this article for more.)  

Of course, your next question is are we adding pronghorn to this update? The answer is no pronghorn, for now. Someday! For those of you just joining us, WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition, we are adding more animals you can actually catch to eat: mule deer, beavers, bighorn, and baby ungulates. And yes, bison are the top of our future wish list (the plan is that bison hunting will be coming in a future winter episode). 

https://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/24/scie ... dators.htm
 
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby DispersedHowl100 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:58 pm

This looks so cool! So exited for the new reboot!!! :wolf:
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby LamarWolf » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:09 pm

Looks great. The elk chases will be much more fun.
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby YellowstoneWolves1 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:11 pm

This was a cool video to see! I agree with your choice to give the elk more stamina. This will be a very great game in many ways, but I do have one thing that I felt was off. Now, I'm not an expert, and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I felt the mother elk should of been a bit more protective. True they were both trying to return to the herd and the mother was in flight mode, but when Dave got between her and the calf, or was fairly close, I felt the elk should of turned on him. I'm not complaining, just making an observation, and anyone is free to correct me, I'll gladly hear it. But otherwise I think it's fine and will turn out great.
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby loboLoco » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:30 pm

YellowstoneWolves1 wrote:but when Dave got between her and the calf, or was fairly close, I felt the elk should of turned on him.


Yeah, and sometimes it will, but we've watched a lot of videos of ungulates protecting their calves, and it's surprising how often the mother is just not quite as sharp or quick as you'd expect.
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby poncho0287 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:42 pm

This is so pawesome. ^^
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby Phasoli » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:32 pm

Wow! The game is coming along beautifully! I'm loving the idle animations, and the dynamics between the mother elk and her calf. This is going to make elk hunting so much more interesting! I can't wait to see what you guys do with the other animals. I'm particularly excited to see what you guys do with the Bull Elk and Spikes.
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby sophiaww » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:48 pm

I love he new sound affects!! Even though it's a little bit to loud and doesn't match with the timing of the wolf's footsteps I know it will turn out great. Also don't worry about the video being to long. When you make it long it makes me even more excited on Thursday's. I like about a 10 -15 minute video ( or maybe even 20 minutes but that might be to long ) Keep up the good work :moose:
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby Coalpawkitten3 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:06 pm

Thursday has become my favorite day of the week because of your videos ! :wolf:


I have one question , though : you said that pressing the A and D keys would make our wolf turn , but what about the W and the S ? can we also move forward/backward by using them ?


(it's probably a dumb question, but some of my computer's keys don't work and being unable to play this amazing game because of that woud be incredibly frustrating XD)
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby YellowstoneWolves1 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:37 pm

loboLoco wrote:
YellowstoneWolves1 wrote:but when Dave got between her and the calf, or was fairly close, I felt the elk should of turned on him.


Yeah, and sometimes it will, but we've watched a lot of videos of ungulates protecting their calves, and it's surprising how often the mother is just not quite as sharp or quick as you'd expect.



Ooooohhhh ok. Thanks for correcting me, Dave.
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby TimberRaven » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:04 pm

Wooooooot!!! These elk have got me pumped!
And no dude, I love looking at behind-the-scenes stuff, (I also technically used to be a programmer working with both Scratch and Javascript) and the elk look amazing. I also really like the pitter-patter of the wolf's pawsteps. X3
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby SolitaryHowl » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:18 pm

This was really cool and well done. I love the technical behind-the-scenes aspect. :)
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby local dreamer » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:04 pm

(the plan is that bison hunting will be coming in a future winter episode).

eXCUSE ME WHAT---
i'm really excited for wq3! thank you for the regular updates! everything's looking good!
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby NoyaTusk » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:17 am

Pretty sure I've said this same thing, but ima say it again. The game is looking awesome- in the thumbnail :p
Really excited to hear be confirmed that bison will be added in future.
Thanks for updating us on this again, Dave!
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Re: Energetic Elk

Postby Bushmeat » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:54 am

Gosh, there's a lot of great stuff to unpack in this video. As always, I truly appreciate the effort to give us glimpses into how the game is coming along and all the building, testing, tinkering, and retesting that goes into making the game look good and play well. Your narration is pretty great, too- chuckling at an elk running the wrong direction and looping around before seeing a calf emerge from the dust and suddenly understanding felt very 'real', for lack of a better word, both from the perspective of someone playing the game and being surprised by its mechanics and as a reflection on the game's dedication to realism. (Also, I'm personally a fan of the blips and bloopers in recording. Oops, there's accidental game audio- we're working on tuning that! Oh, we're talking about elk but there's a seam in the terrain- we're not done polishing that either! Or a little farther back, whoops, the wolf's eyes are a strange color because a shader broke, but we replaced it with something better! They're unintentional and surely frustrating at times, but it definitely makes the videos feel honest. Thank you for sharing them with us.)

Let's see, how about that terrain and the atmosphere? This area's landscape looks very similar to my home, so perhaps I am biased, but I'm loving it! The contrast between shades of blue- and yellow-green in the vegetation really makes the world feel vibrant and lively, in the humble sort of way I see when I look out at the prairie pastures from my window. And, of course, the dry ground being kicked up into a dusty mess is pretty spot on too!

I'm excited to play with the finalised tiring mechanics! I think, with how improved the hunting will be, with the larger herds and better AI and all, the slowing down will be more noticable even if it isn't as dramatic and does take a little longer. After all, I doubt it's very common for a single wolf or pair to chase and harass an entire herd so long and hard that said herd becomes exhausted while the wolves are still running circles around them :^) But since they are persistence, stamina based predators, they're following, looking for an opportunity, an unlucky one who's just a little slower, a startled calf, etc, and when persuing that single animal, that part of the chase is also important and should feel like a true aspect of hunting- testing and tiring your target, rather than just following and feeling like you can't catch up at all to these dang gazelles in elk's clothing. Of course, that isn't too much of a problem in the current game unless you go crazy with your stat spread, and I'm sure you guys already know all about this, I'm just really excited to see it being shaped in this video, especially the sort of preview of the culmination of all that work with the little nip to the elk calf, hahaha.

You mention skipping the programming talk in the video and the length in the description, so let me say that I personally didn't find it too long, nor boring at all. I don't know about anyone else, but my attention was held fast for 12 minutes.. but maybe I'm a dork :P

Oh yeah, also thanks for coming back to the blog posts/threads and responding to us occasionally, whether showing us you've done your homework re:research or just answering questions, it's really nice to see.

Speaking of... I know you sounded pretty pleased with the new controls for the camera and movement (and they must be working well, as the video proves), but I'm curious if there will be a way to lock the camera behind our wolf and have it follow by rotating as we run and turn using the keys rather than mouse, kinda like the current game. I understand it can be a little clunky and restricting in regards to looking around and having finer control, but personally I'm willing to accept that in exchange for having less fine hand movements to coordinate to keep the camera and wolf moving and pointing where I want them. This is purely a personal issue/preference, though, and I have played similar games pretty well without it, so don't expect to deter me if the answer is no!

Sorry for the long rambling post, everyone! I just needed to express my enthusiasm, I suppose! :wolf:
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