The Big Picture

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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The Big Picture

Post by loboLoco » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:09 pm



Today we’re taking a look at our master plan for WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition, from what’s already available in the Amethyst Mountain episode, to what’s currently in development in Slough Creek episode, to our future expansion plans with the Tower Fall episode.

WolfQuest follows the life of a dispersal wolf in Yellowstone National Park, so we start at age two. You’ve just left your family pack and find yourself alone for the first time, so your first task is to learn to hunt on your own. Then, once you’ve killed a few elk, other dispersal wolves will consider you as a potential mate. This episode takes place in the fall and early winter, which lasts about three months in your wolf's life.

Coming up next is the Slough Creek episode, which runs from winter to summer, as your wolf and their mate establish a territory and then find a den. We’re going to have a lot more dens out there to choose from — over two dozen — and one will become the home for your pups. Those pups take a lot of attention in their early months, especially if you have a large litter (up to seven pups are possible!). Pup personalities will make family life richer and challenging.

Then when they're two months old, the pups have outgrown the den and it's time to choose a good place to spend the summer. This is called the rendezvous site, and it’s basically an open-air densite, where the pups frolic and continue to grow. That's where the Slough Creek episode ends -- or at least, that's where it's always ended in the past.

After that, we have a third episode planned, called Tower Fall, which will begin halfway through the summer. In our storyline, the pack has been squeezed out of Slough Creek by rival packs and forced to make another journey. Wolves actually do often move every few weeks during the summer, so this is not unusual. In our case, the pack travels to the Tower Fall area, about 10 kilometers southwest of Slough Creek. This episode will continue into the fall, which is when pups begin to join their parents on hunting trips, initially just observing, but increasing taking part — at great risk to life and limb. Those that survive are on their way to adulthood! We have some ideas about how to continue the story in Tower Fall, but it's still early in the design phase so we'll see how that evolves. Tower Fall will be an expansion available as DLC.

But right now we're focused on Slough Creek, and we have a question for you all. As I said, in the past, Slough Creek ended when you reached the rendezvous site. We did this because...well, games should have an ending, right? And also, the pups are growing and it would be inaccurate to keep playing at the rendezvous site with these tiny pups.

But over the years, we've gotten a fair number of comments saying that the ending is too abrupt -- boom you're done -- and it would be nice to have some time at the rendezvous site with your pups. So we're wondering what players today would like: A proper ending like in the old game, or ongoing play for awhile at least with your pups at the rendezvous site. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

______________
We have released the first episode of WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition (Amethyst Mountain) for PC/Mac on Steam and itch.io, as Early Access. While in Early Access, we are updating the game frequently with more features, multiplayer, and ultimately the Slough Creek episode with pups. The mobile version will come after the game is completed on PC/Mac platforms. We’ll then resume development of the next episode, Tower Fall (DLC).
Dave/loboLoco
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Re: The Big Picture

Post by elkhunter123456 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:47 pm

I see the bug where the stick pokes out of the pups nose is fixed now :lol: . That pup falling over was so cute! This is a lot of progress you guys are making. And I LOVE that huge den selection. Choosing a den will be harder due to the massive selection. And I vote for the ongoing play at the rendezvous site.

Does the rendezvous site vary depending on which den you choose? or does it stay the same? Would their be a possibility of it being in enemy territory if the stranger wolves expand their turf enough?

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by Phasoli » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:10 pm

Aww! The lovely little pups are coming along adorably. Can't wait to try my luck rearing them. I did always think that the end of the game was a little abrupt, but I'm not sure how to remedy it. Sure, a little extra time and gameplay would be nice, but if there's no new gameplay I feel like it would get boring after a while.

Maybe there could be an option? And when the player is finally ready to end the game for good, there could be a little cutscene of the family playing and hunting--little things like that--as the camera pans away.

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by Sableback » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:40 pm

Phasoli wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:10 pm
Maybe there could be an option? And when the player is finally ready to end the game for good, there could be a little cutscene of the family playing and hunting--little things like that--as the camera pans away.
I second this! I've always wanted to explore the forest area around the rendezvous a bit before ending the game. Adding an option to end the game or keep playing sounds like a good idea to me (kinda like Amethyst in 2.7 - you could keep exploring, or move onto the Slough Creek episode? except this time it's ending the game. I'm not entirely sure what kind of gameplay you would have at the rendezvous site, though.)

Lil side note - its incredible to see how the map has expanded! And so many dens :shock:

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by GoldenBeauty » Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:05 pm

Thanks for the summary!


I personally think Slough creek should receive a proper ending. In my opinion, I'm not sure what you would do with an entire litter of hungry puppies who walk a few feet. I'm assuming the predator wave and weight gaining would not be missions when you arrive at the rendezvous site... which might limit the fun in that, and it's not like you can explore Slough creek with demanding pups either! I think that Slough Creek going on indefinitely isn't practical like in AM, and with Towerfall coming soonish there's a lot more things to anticipate and it would help with continuity.
A good compromise would be to make it optional, maybe?

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by Neamara » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:59 am

Safe to say I'm torn... on the one hand, it would be nice to have the option of extended freeplay when all objectives have been cleared. On the other hand, I've always found raising the litter to be a dull, repetitive chore and something of a nightmare due to how needy they are in the classic versions... if I were to answer based solely on older pup AI, I'd be more inclined to vote proper ending and be done with the episode. However, I'm not opposed to freeplay in Anniversary Edition's Slough Creek if the pups' needs are better balanced. i haven't been keeping up with the devblogs so i'm sorry if that has been covered previously!

Perhaps an "ending" for the episode could still exist in some form and trigger when the migration to Tower Fall has been activated?

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by Nek0chan » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:31 am

While I really liked the original ending, I think it would be nice if Slough Creek had a more open ending so it could tie-in with Tower Fall better.

Also, I'm so glad the pups can swim now!! :mrgreen:

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by BlackMetal » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:02 am

I choose the first option because after walking to the rendezvous-site, the hunger bar will may be empty. I don't want my pups to die after that.

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by Starbender2000 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:01 am

Honestly I can see no point to continuing game play after you reach rendezvous site. Something I mentioned on the community board in steam though, I really recommend placing checkpoints to the rendezvous site. Whenever one would reach the rendezvous site the pups are well almost past starvation and nearly dead or have died, mostly due to lack of food rather than predators. I recommend you make it optional to stop at another den site that is along the way to stop and get food. As pups are already familiar to how to stay in den while parents are away. Players or the player(if in single player) could choose to stop at this den if they are running low on food as a checkpoint so the pups are safe and players can leave to go get food. I mean the map is way bigger than the original which is going to make it 10x worse. Normally in games I would see wolves just leave long trails of elk carcasses in the original game! xD I cannot imagine this working now at all. Checkpoints would allow players or player to stop take a breather and hunt while the pups are protected, this could also turn into a really good time to save the game quickly if needed. Also as you know your mate just follows you around when you go anywhere so this may become complicated, as if you just left the pups your mate would just follow you. You can't just stop mid-trail leave your pups and not expect them to get eaten by a coyote after all. Now that I put this down I really want this in-game. ^^^^^ But again as for the rendezvous it would be really pointless to continue. It's game end, at least for that episode. Checkpoints...something to keep in mind.

-StarBender2000 :wolf:

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by aftherion » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:27 pm

I'd definitely love to keep playing, even if it's for just a little bit. It could work like WQ 2.7 where it says that you can stay at den and play with pups or leave for journey, only at rendezvous site. That could work as compromise ensuring both the proper ending and more playtime.

Also, while I'm at it, is there any way to get the WQ AE wolf controls to be the same as they were in 2.7? Maybe as an optional switch on/off button? I used to love playing WQ, I would play the old versions all day, but as beautiful and fun the AE version looks, I haven't played it much, because the controls ruin the game experience for me. I just want the same viewpoint, wolf + camera movements and wolf controls while in scent view that were default in the old games.

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by Inarjion » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:16 pm

aftherion wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:27 pm
Also, while I'm at it, is there any way to get the WQ AE wolf controls to be the same as they were in 2.7? Maybe as an optional switch on/off button? I used to love playing WQ, I would play the old versions all day, but as beautiful and fun the AE version looks, I haven't played it much, because the controls ruin the game experience for me. I just want the same viewpoint, wolf + camera movements and wolf controls while in scent view that were default in the old games.
This!! I love everything else about the new game but the controls are impractical. The viewpoint doesn't turn when the wolf turns and it's so hard to look around or see where you're going. Please do something about this, it's really sad how it ruins the experience I would otherwise love so much :(

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by OtakuKisu » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:26 am

Hi! Love what you have done with the game so far, seems to be much better than the early games.

How I'd like to see the ending, there should be an option if you want to keep feeding the hungry pups in the rendezvous site and playing around infinitely. However, if this option is not chosen, I would love to start a new pack as one of my own pups, all grown up and ready to start again from Amethyst mountain or Lost river. This would give the game an ending, while still allowing replayability with familiar faces. With this option, you could not alter the appearance or stats of your new game wolf, since those are from it's parents. I think that would add some refinement possibilities, making picking the right mate more meaningful since your next gameplay would be partly dependant of that ^-^

If chosen to stay in the rendezvous site for a while, this option could be still available somewhere in the game, like walking to a certain site on the map etc.

This to me would be the perfect ending for the game and I really hope you would really consider that :)

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by loboLoco » Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:12 pm

aftherion wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:27 pm
Also, while I'm at it, is there any way to get the WQ AE wolf controls to be the same as they were in 2.7? Maybe as an optional switch on/off button? I used to love playing WQ, I would play the old versions all day, but as beautiful and fun the AE version looks, I haven't played it much, because the controls ruin the game experience for me. I just want the same viewpoint, wolf + camera movements and wolf controls while in scent view that were default in the old games.
Sounds like you're using keyboard (WASD or arrow keys) only to steer? You really need to use the mouse and then the controls are more similar to 2.7 (using mouse and keyboard together), but much superior because you do have a way to orbit the camera around your wolf to look in any direction without affecting your direction of travel.

The control system is pretty tightly woven into the game, so we can't really offer an alternate scheme, but if you try using the mouse for steering, I hope that you'll find it to be intuitive. (I honestly can't stand the 2.7 controls now.)
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Re: The Big Picture

Post by aftherion » Fri Sep 25, 2020 3:53 am

loboLoco wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:12 pm
aftherion wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:27 pm
Also, while I'm at it, is there any way to get the WQ AE wolf controls to be the same as they were in 2.7? Maybe as an optional switch on/off button? I used to love playing WQ, I would play the old versions all day, but as beautiful and fun the AE version looks, I haven't played it much, because the controls ruin the game experience for me. I just want the same viewpoint, wolf + camera movements and wolf controls while in scent view that were default in the old games.
Sounds like you're using keyboard (WASD or arrow keys) only to steer? You really need to use the mouse and then the controls are more similar to 2.7 (using mouse and keyboard together), but much superior because you do have a way to orbit the camera around your wolf to look in any direction without affecting your direction of travel.

The control system is pretty tightly woven into the game, so we can't really offer an alternate scheme, but if you try using the mouse for steering, I hope that you'll find it to be intuitive. (I honestly can't stand the 2.7 controls now.)
Sadly using the mouse is not an option for me, as I use a gaming laptop. No mouse. And touchpad doesn't work the same way as mouse does.

Not sure about other players, but I've talked with friends of mine, and we all agreed that we rarely feel the need to orbit around the wolf while running. This option was possible in 2.7 too I believe, by pressing some of the keys above keyboard (I don't remember which ones, as I wouldn't use that feature much). Now this feature
is being forced on me when I play AE, even through I never wanted to use it, and it's very bothersome.

I understand, but is there any way that the option to turn on/off 2.7 controls (or maybe just similar) can be looked into, maybe later, when the game is complete, if it's too much to do it currently?

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Re: The Big Picture

Post by loboLoco » Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:35 pm

Sorry, the control system is pretty tightly woven into the game, so we can't really offer an alternate scheme. Some gameplay also would be much more difficult. It's all designed as a single system.
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