Not long after wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone, researchers witnessed — for the first time ever — a lone dispersal wolf joining a pack to become a breeder and pack leader. This encounter lasted many hours and involved a great deal of howling, tail wagging, playbowing, and other social interactions before the lone wolf was accepted into the pack. While that encounter involved a dispersal joining an existing pack, it provides a good guide to how dispersal wolves likely meet and interact when deciding whether to form a pack. So we drew on this knowledge when crafting the “social arena” in WolfQuest back in 2007, which we designed as a stylized turn-based encounter that emphasizes the communicative aspects of certain social behaviors.
We’re drawing again on that seminal 2002 paper about the Yellowstone wolves, but as with every aspect of WolfQuest 3: Anniversary Edition, we’re going bigger with the new social arena. We wanted to make this new courtship gameplay more naturalistic, giving every wolf freedom of movement to create a more dynamic situation. We also wanted to let each wolf’s personality shine through. But the biggest fundamental decision was to discard the quiz-structure of the old social arena. Instead of requiring a correct sequence of emotes, many different emotes (from a subset appropriate for courtship) can boost a potential mate’s level of interest. But then what’s the gameplay? Aha — it’s not IF you can persuade another wolf to be your mate, it’s if you can successfully persuade the wolf you WANT to be your mate.
So instead of the old stylized 2D turn-based encounter, courtship in WQ3 will involve the free-roaming player and one — or more — other wolves who might become your mate. Yes, our science advisors tell us that it’s common for dispersal wolves to roam with siblings, so you’re just as likely to meet a pair of wolves, or perhaps even three — each of whom might be interested in finding a mate for themselves. (Not all wolves you encounter will be so friendly, of course, but we’ll talk about that in another blog post.) Some of these wolves will respond more readily to your courting. So as you interact with them, you can get a sense of their personality from their actions, to help you decide which (if any) you’d like to have as a mate. Furthermore, you should also evaluate their genetic diversity to avoid picking a mate that is too closely related to you or would make a bad genetic combination with you (see our Genetics video: https://youtu.be/wV-Dd_ror8g).
Once you do persuade another wolf by filling their heart-meter, you and your potential mate can proceed into the second phase of courtship, to further evaluate each other before making your final decision. We’ll talk about that a future blog post.
A couple notes:
- We’re still polishing the wolf movement — it’s pretty good but not as smooth as we are aiming for in the final game.
- Currently the potential mates do not do any contact emotes (chin rest, lick muzzle, sniff noses) — we hope to add that, but it’s a bit tricky.
- Though you can meet many more potential mates than before, wolves are monogamous so you have to choose just one.
- We do hope to add the possibility of your mate dying — so you then need to find a new mate — but most likely will add it in an update next year.
FAQS We are thrilled to have so many new subscribers! Thank you for spreading the word about WolfQuest 3! Now that we are getting over 1000 comments each week, we can’t answer everyone’s questions, so here are some FAQs. (And feel free to answer other people’s questions by copying and pasting these!)
___When will WolfQuest 3 and Tower Fall be released? We are still aiming for later this year to begin releasing WQ3 but we still don’t have a release date. We will release the Mac/PC version first and then Kindle, iOS and Android versions. Once WQ3 is released, we will return to working on 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 in 2018, the cost will likely be more than than the current game 2.7 (so 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.
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.
Answers to more FAQs can be found at WolfQuest.org/blog
Appears on these pages
Courtship is an upcoming game mechanic intended to replace social arena encounters. In its...
Personalities are a new multiple trait-based feature set to be introduced in the Anniversary...
Teasers refer to in-development sneak previews of upcoming content and changes. These tend to be...