We’re still chugging along with development of WolfQuest 3 and Tower Fall. This week:
- I’ve been testing some new shaders to make the ground, grasses, bushes, and trees look better than ever — and with much denser grass than we’ve had before. This video shows how Amethyst is coming along — still a lot of work to do, but definitely an improvement from before!
- Tommi is writing new code to optimize elk AI and make our larger herds flock together when they flee from wolves.
- Steve started on some tweaks to the wolf model and creating more animations for it.
And now here’s the second part of our Q&A, answering questions from players:
MATE AND PACK INTERACTIONS
How will finding a mate change?
Finding a mate will be a much bigger challenge in WQ3! Instead of three fixed Stranger Wolf zones, other wolves will roam around just as you do. Pack wolves will patrol and defend their territory, while other dispersal wolves like yourself will wander in search of a mate. You’ll be able to track both pack and dispersal wolves by scent (just as you do with prey using the new scent system). And once you find a potential mate, it won’t be quite so simple to make that wolf your mate. Look for more details in a future blog post!
Will there be new actions (like tail wag and playbow) to communicate with each other? Will howling have any sort of an effect (being able to hear other packs, etc)?
We are adding more emotes, each of which has a specific meaning (e.g. uncertain, alert, greeting, and more). Howling will still improve pack affinity and strengthens your territory. And since there will be other packs residing in their own territories, you’ll hear them howl — and you can howl back to let them know you’re here.
Will we be able to actually interact and let other wolves join our pack? Will there be other wolf territories that have dispersing wolves that can join your pack if you allow it?
It isn’t unheard of for an unrelated wolf to join a pack, but it is fairly unusual. In most cases, an unrelated wolf will join a pack only if one of the breeders/parents dies, and the remaining one needs to find a new mate. That would be cool thing to add….someday.
Will there be a hierarchy system implemented?
We already have one! A wolf pack is a family, with the breeders (parents) in charge and the pups subordinate.
Will there be any new wolf coats or will we get to choose our wolf customization a little better? Will there be an option to place scars wherever you want on your selected coat? Will there be more customization options such as having an albino variant?
You’ll be able to choose your wolf’s eye color, selecting from about half a dozen accurate colors (no blues, sorry — pups have blue eyes but those change by summertime).
The new wolf model will give you more flexibility with customizations, letting you choose multiple body mods (e.g. bent ear plus a radio collar). We aren’t planning to let you place scars anywhere you like, though. The main problem is that the fur covers most of the body so scars aren’t even visible under the fur (and it gets quite complicated to let players remove fur from an areas of the body).
Albinism is extremely rare in nature, so we will not add that option to the coats. At some point we hope to add more coats, based on Yellowstone wolves, though we don’t expect to make it into WQ3.
PACK vs PACK
How will territorial fights between packs work? Will this mode be available in all maps, or just Tower Fall?
The great challenge is that real wolf fights are just crazy — wild and intense — and that’s really hard to reproduce in the stylized way that games require. We’ve designed these pack vs. pack fights, but we haven’t implemented the design yet so the mechanics will likely evolve as we do that.
Initially, PvP will probably be only in Tower Fall. We’d like to add it to Slough Creek at some point, but perhaps not to Amethyst — pack fighting without pups to raise and protect would be too simplistic.
Will the new hydration mechanic mentioned in a prior update be added in upon WolfQuest 3's release or before?
We are only making critical bugfixes to the current game, so we can devote all our efforts to WQ3 and Tower Fall. Each new feature takes time to design, implement, test, and release, and we want to be as efficient as we can so we don’t have to delay the new versions any more than necessary.
Will eating coyotes and foxes be possible? Let's be realistic. If a wolf were starving, I am certain it would eat a coyote.
So why don’t wolves in WolfQuest eat coyotes? Here’s what our science advisor Dr. Dan MacNulty says:
“In Yellowstone, where ungulate prey are abundant, wolves will kill but not eat other carnivores — cougars, coyotes, bears — which are more competitors than sources of food. By contrast, in the High Arctic, remains of foxes around dens suggests that wolves view them as a source of food, no doubt because ungulates occur at lower densities up there than at lower latitudes.
But why DON’T wolves eat coyotes? Dan says, “Carnivore meat does not equal ungulate meat. Just ask any hunter.”
Are you guys changing the skybox and adding a daylight cycle?
Despite the issues I described in this blog post, we very much want to add a continuous day/night cycle, at least to the PC/Mac version of the game. It adds so much to immersion, and since our game levels last months, it’ll help convey that passage of time. And with the new lighting system we’re using, sunset and sunrise are just gorgeous.
But there’s a good chance it just won’t work on mobile, and that (along with other factors) may well force is to split multiplayer into separate PC and mobile lobbies.
Will there be any flooding or bush fire?
We’ve been thinking about a fire, since they are not unusual in Yellowstone. There are some technical challenges but we hope to figure those out. Flooding is less common in Yellowstone and even trickier (at least to make it look good).
Will you guys be adding mod support? Like new maps, dif skins and the likes?
We know this would be very popular and we are not opposed to it, but it’s low priority for now, since it’ll require some technical work to enable it.
Will the next episode run on older computers How much "space" do you estimate the new episode will take up on a PC?
For the PC/Mac version, our goal is any computer that can run the current game can run WQ 3. We are adding more quality levels so we can boost the visual quality much further than it is now, but we will do our very best to make the game run decently on older computers at the lowest quality levels. However, since we are adding so much to the game (bigger maps, better graphics, more animals), we can’t yet say how well we can attain this goal.
We don’t know exactly how much storage WQ3 will require, but certainly more than 2 GB.
For the mobile version, we know already that WQ and Tower Fall will not run on cheaper phones and tablets. We expect to have a minimum requirement of 2 GB of RAM memory. (That’s different than storage, which is usually at least 16 GB.) For devices with less RAM, WolfQuest 2.7 will remain available. (And if you buy either version, we think we can make your purchases unlocked on the other version, so if you buy a better device someday, you’ll have those purchases.)
Have you guys honestly thought about some of the ideas posted by the community and thought; "That's a really good idea/that would be fun to play as"?
We love hearing player ideas! Last year we set up a huge Google spreadsheet to help us track those ideas — and to see how popular they were, since we get some suggestions many, many, many times. Check out our previous blog post How We Incorporate Player Ideas Into WolfQuest.