Passing the Smell Test

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

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loboLoco
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Passing the Smell Test

Post by loboLoco » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:52 pm

[youtube]Mckcny6579s[/youtube]
Video link: https://youtu.be/Mckcny6579s

A wolf lives — or dies —by its sense of smell, relying on it to find prey, whether still alive or already dead. We’ve shown the new scent system in previous devblogs, but in the past few months we’ve been overhauling that system to make it more performant (e.g. require less computing power). Our crack Unity developer Nick first tackled the floating scents and then, in March, dove in deep — a lot deeper than any of us expected — to improve the ground scents (the smelly tracks that animals leave as they move around). When playing the game, you first follow airborne scents until you find the ground scent-path that animal feet have left behind, and follow that until you encounter the animal itself. So, both airborne and ground scents are critical elements to make the game fun and playable.

However, having many thousands of these rendering at any given moment when on a scent trail (and especially when following a big herd) was having a serious performance impact, so Nick spent much of March engineering a new system to render these scent particles. What made the task so complicated is that the scents vary by color (indicating species) and alpha value, or transparency (indicating how long since the animal laid down the scent). These variations normally boost the number of draw calls (rendering hits to the graphics card) tremendously, but Nick used a new technique called GPU instancing which allows us to render many thousands of particles at minimal cost.

We think you are going to love the new and improved scent system! As always, thanks for your patience as we get closer to releasing the first episode, Amethyst Mountain, for PC/Mac on Steam and itch.io, as Early Access. That will be followed by Slough Creek some months later, followed by the mobile versions.
Dave/loboLoco
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elkhunter123456
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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by elkhunter123456 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:02 pm

The tracking in wolfquest 3 will be amazing! Those foot prints are a really good idea as that is a way for wolves to track their prey!
I have one question: How will the grizzly interact with the elk calves?

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by poncho0287 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:05 pm

This is really great and it will be kind of challengeing with all of the bushes on the ground.

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by TimberRaven » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:14 pm

If you're focusing on making some of the elk's legs move and passing smell tests, then I think this might come out sometime around... now ;D (maybe not today, but definitely in the summer if not this May :mrgreen: ) sooo excited!!! Thank you Dave and WQ Team!!

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by Moonstar05 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:16 pm

The scent particals are so cool! :wolf:

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by YellowstoneWolves1 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:36 pm

Very close. Very very close. We're almost there, I'm sure of it. I like that the tracks point in the direction the animal was heading. Very useful if you come across them in the middle of the trail. And all the models are still beautiful, even if the elk don't move their legs. Though the elk running without moving their legs is something I've seen before, I'm almost positive.

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by SnowSprite » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:03 am

The new scent system looks so interesting, I love it.
It seems the elk have learned to use roller skates as a more efficient escape method.

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by mnemonicGnu » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:30 pm

man i remember playing this game way back in 2007 or 2008. its so nostalgic for me now, and if i had found wolfquest at my current age i probably wouldnt bat an eye but im actually kinda excited for wq 3 to release! i have some fond memories and friends from those days :D you guys on the wq dev team are doing absolutely great and im happy to see yall are still working on this game. most things nostalgic to me have already died off but glad to see this still going strong, keep up the good work

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by Phasoli » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:57 pm

The old game's scent system has always been fascinating to me. To take a concept and represent it visually so that it's both fun and necessary to the game has always amazed me. The new scent system is just bringing us closer, if visually, to the world of a wolf's nose. I'm loving the new additions. Can't wait to experience it in game.

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by xxKaydxx » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:26 am

I am really looking forward to this, WQ was an important game for me growing up. I met friends (who I am still in contact with to this day) through it, I had a lot of experiences that made me the person I am through multiplayer, and it only fuelled my love for wolves more when I found out. I remember how amazed I was when I first played it back in 2009 / 10 ish. I still hop on now and then for nostalgia sake, and I always end up playing for hours, into the night.

You guys on the development team put so much love into this game, and its apparent by how happy you sound when you test this game, it really shows all of this comes from the heart and its so refreshing to see in todays climate when it comes to game developers. You made my childhood something I can never forget. Thank you so much.

I am getting sappy over a wolf game. But, its important to me and always will be. Its so close to coming out, and I am sure I'll be playing it as much as I can. god I'm shivering in my seat in anticipation, we're so close now! <3

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Re: Passing the Smell Test

Post by Starbender2000 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:39 pm

The floating scent marks look nice! Ya'll are doing great! :D

-StarBender2000 :wolf:

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