Good Mate Hunting
Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:08 pm
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e8EjK7WwY4
We’ve been making good progress with the new hunting mechanics — not only the chase that we’ve shown before, but also now in the showdown when elk stand their ground and defend themselves. The player attack mechanics aren’t quite done yet, but here’s a peek at the mate’s attack AI. It’s so much more active than in the old game. Tommi Horttana, our lead Unity developer, created these behaviors, so I’ll let him explain more:
The mate's AI uses a few simple actions: approaching, circling, attacking, and sprinting away. It tries to get behind the elk, though in this one-on-one case it's pretty hard. Every now and then it'll try to attack, but might be scared off mid-way by the elk's counter-attack (with or without getting kicked).
The tricky part is building the AI calculations ("scorers" in Utility AI terms) around when exactly to do each of these things. How often should the mate try to attack, and how much risk should it take? What should it take to scare it away? Should it always keep circling in one direction or frequently change the direction? How far should it circle? If it does land a bite, how long should it keep it?
And how does personality (mainly "Cautious - Bold" but also the other axes) influence this? We decided to give both ends of the "Cautious - Bold" spectrum their own pros and cons. A Bold wolf will waste less time fiddling around while a Cautious one will be smarter about timing and target selection. We also want to use uniform mechanics for other fights, so we can use the same / similar AI."
I’m so excited about how the wolf and elk are in constant motion, circling and turning. It really captures the dynamism of a wolf-elk encounter so much better than we were able to do in the old game. In fact, there’s so much movement that it’s difficult to get all the animation transitions to work smoothly, but we’ll get there.
You can also see some of the gorgeous clouds in our new dynamic skybox, drifting across the sky at sunset. (These are maximum quality; we’ll have simpler clouds for less powerful computers and mobile.)
___When will WolfQuest 3 and Tower Fall be released?
We are aiming to release the first episode, Amethyst Mountain, by the end of 2018 for PC/Mac on Steam and itch.io, as Early Access, followed by Slough Creek in early 2019, then followed by the mobile versions.We’ll then resume development of the next episode, Tower Fall.
___How much will WQ3 cost?
WolfQuest 3 will be a free update to players who own WolfQuest 2.7. If you are buying WQ 3 for the first time, the cost will likely be more than than the current game 2.7 (so it's cheaper to purchase it now and get WQ 3 as a free update). The Tower Fall expansion will be an in-game purchase (DLC).
___Will WQ3 be available on mobile?
WolfQuest is available for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android & Kindle. So yes, WolfQuest 3 will be available for mobile phones and tablets...at least some of them, and/or in some form. Bigger maps and more animals may be too much for mobile devices with limited RAM memory. We'll do our best, but there's a good chance that some mobile devices won't be able to get it, and/or we will have a simpler version of it for some mobile devices.
___Will WQ3 be a new game?
For PC/Mac, we plan to release WolfQuest 3 as a new app on your computer, so you can keep WQ 2.7 and play either version of the game at any time. (On mobile, we are still working on the plan, since app stores are more restrictive about app upgrades.)
__Will my wolves import?
WQ3 will use the same player accounts as 2.7. You’ll be able to log into WQ3 and import your existing wolves and they will remain available in 2.7 as well (though you won’t be able to import a wolf from WQ3 back into 2.7). We are still deciding about how ranks and achievements will integrate into WQ 3.