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Biota
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 12:03 am Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Feb 2008 Posts: 91
If you've downloaded the Deer Hunter 2005 demo, you'd see that there's a wildlife function, it's where you get to watch the wild animals do their daily activites, which I do watch instead of actually hunting the deer, only time I go in is when I want to ride the horse, chase the deer with the horse, follow the hawks with the horse, and just watch the deer in hiding. If you've played Endless Ocean, you'll see that they've got a bunch of different animals in there doing their own thing. In Zoo Tycoon 2, it's basically the same story. So this is my question: if they've got time to put in a bunch of different animals, have them do "their own thing" (only to be watched, hunted, shot, ECT), then why can't they just make it so that you can actually play the animals? Let me guess, because it would be boring and nobody would play it unless it were animals that actually fought? That's basically just like WolfQuest. You can't really do anything in WolfQuest except fight other wolves, and hunt. Then later in the series you just raise the pups up and make a pack, sure, that can be fun, but you still have to hunt of course, but then you'll have to go back to having to hunt and do nothing more. Why can't they make a game where you can play a whole variety of animals, a game where you can actually choose what you want to do and/or where you want to go. For instance, instead of being a wolf and having to wander around just in one part of yellowstone or just yellowstone, and having to just fight other wolves, hunt, and raise a pack, how about where you actually get to choose that you DON'T want a pack, but you actually want to just explore the whole of Yellowstone, and beyond even that, where you can actually choose to do more than hunt, raise a pack, and fight other wolves. I think it would be awesome if you could be a rat or raven and explore wherever your nose/beak takes you, and that you choose not to just go out, mate, fight your own species, and just hunt, but you actually get to DO something more. If you played a raven, you could go sliding down a snowy hill on your back, and that's not unrealistic, because ravens have actually been seen doing that. The only game like that is The Endless Forest, sure you just play a magical deer, but there's no goals, you can go wherever you want (within the game, of course), and do whatever you want (whatever actions limits you). I often think of The Endless Forest as something more than just being a deer and interacting with other deer, you're actually allowed to do that, and it's pretty easy. Something such as WolfQuest on the other hand is not. You don't have that many actions to do (not to mention it's pretty glitchy, especially online). You're restricted to a single area of yellowstone (they might open up more, maybe). All that you're allowed to do is hunt, fight, mate, and, later in the game, raise pups, make a pack, and establish a territory. I try to pretend that i'm herding the elk, but they all scatter in different directions, so it's kind of hard, and you can't even do any movements/communications outside of running, walking, biting, eating, jumping, and probably a few other things, unless you're communicating with another, and, even when you are, you can't run around or anything, it doesn't even look like real wolves fighting when you do (that's not the point, of course), and I bet if you don't have a mate and pups, you can't go to other parts of Yellowstone. I'm fond of games like The Endless Forest, because there's no rules/restrictions to what you can and cannot do (unless you can't actually do it in the game, like fly into space, for instance), and you don't have to do certain things before being allowed to go somewhere / do something. In The Endless Forest, it's easy to imagine that you're more than just some deer in some forest with other deer. In goal-oriented games it's hard, very hard. You can't gain anything in Deer Hunting without having to shoot a deer. Some goal-oriented games are fun, and actually have a good story behind them. Endless Ocean (not that goal-oriented actually xD), Zoo Tycoon (it's not that goal-oriented, actually xD), Okami (same here, but you do need to finish stuff to move on), and a few others like those are actually fun. This brings us back to the original question (sort of): Why can't they just make a game where you can play various species of animals, instead of just the regular bears, wolves, lions, and tigers? A game where you can actually choose where to go and what to do, how you acutally want to live out your life as that animal. The Endless Forest is just one of the few games I know that are like this. They make too many goal-oriented games, why not something more?
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Trinket
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 3:46 am Reply with quote
Joined: 15 Mar 2008 Posts: 1795 Location: Your bathtub.
Oi, that was a long post.

First off, WolfQuest is supported by the International Wolf Center, which is an organization committed to teaching the public about wolves in an effort to save the canines. So, predictably, since they pay to have WolfQuest developed, they have a large amount of power over it; they want it to be as realistic as possible (I personally think it's not too realistic but meh, it's still pretty new). A real wolf would not have the option of not belonging to a pack or family, would need to hunt, and would protect it's territory.

Now, I would be in heaven if there were more games like the Endless Forest. But, unfortunately, games like this have a smaller audience then a game with pre-made goals. Knowing this, naturally most game developers would lean toward the larger audience.

Perhaps a louder/larger audience for creative and somewhat abstract games like this would cause more goal-less games to be developed...?
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Michael
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 8:41 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Trinket wrote:
Now, I would be in heaven if there were more games like the Endless Forest. But, unfortunately, games like this have a smaller audience then a game with pre-made goals. Knowing this, naturally most game developers would lean toward the larger audience.

Considering that most people in the world do not play computer games, this remains unproven. It is perfectly possible that the 95% (or whataver) of the human race who is currently not interested in playing games, would prefer these goal-less adventures (the exceptional success of more freeform games like GTA and The Sims points in this direction, to some extent)
The preference of the developers is simply conservative. Not necessarily rational.
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Trinket
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 9:17 am Reply with quote
Joined: 15 Mar 2008 Posts: 1795 Location: Your bathtub.
Didn't think of that...

You know what, Michael? You're quite right. Very Happy

I'm now inspired to create a draft for a freeform game. <3
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D-devil
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 11:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 08 May 2008 Posts: 42
I completely agree with you Biota!
I've always dreamed of a game where you can just play animals in the wildlife. For example I love the old DOS game Wolf, because it's a very good animal life simulator with several options to diversify every play.
WolfQuest it's at the beginning now, but I hope in the project for the future even if the game will follow some rules to be suitable for children and mostly instructive than entertaining.
As of The Endless Forest (wich I found in a topic of WolfQuest forum! Razz) I really love the game exactly because it's a wildlife goal-less game plus in a magical fantasy world!!! And I love fantasy all the way!
I think this is really the game for me, and for all of you here Smile

PS: Even if I'm not really sure of this, I go on hoping that the PS3 game Afrika will be also an animal life simulator more than just a photograph game Embarassed
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Biota
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Feb 2008 Posts: 91
Erm...well, actually xD. My main question was this: If they have enough time to put in a variety of animals in a single game where they do their own thing - such as eating, mating, fighting, ECT - then why can't they just make it so that you can actually play the animals?
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Wildbluesun
Posted: Sat May 24, 2008 12:36 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Dec 2006 Posts: 4266 Location: London, Land of Tea and Top Hats
Paragraphs saywha?

But playing an avatar's a lot harder, programming-wise, than just having some background fur, isn't it? There's an interface, for one thing, and to give the game some depth you'd have to have different foods and interactions for every single animal. If they're just scenery you don't need to have full depth; you can cut corners.

Also, my opinion on the new incarnation of WolfQuest:
- The bears scare me (OK, that's a bit subjective).
- I find the meeting a wolf from every territory before gaining a mate a completely arbitrary and unnecessary, not to mention dull, "challenge".
- Why can't I interact with my mate once they're my mate? I have no real relationship with this random wolf that follows me around and has ridiculously bad AI.
- Why on EARTH do the other wolves not attack me for howling in their territories?
- I STILL CAN'T EAT THE COYOTES.

But the camera works properly, which is a blessing. ^^
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Biota
Posted: Sat May 24, 2008 1:14 am Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Feb 2008 Posts: 91
...Wildbluesun, the games I was talking about already had all that stuff (deer eating grass, the bark of trees, tigers eating meat, ECT), so it really wouldn't have much to do with programming, because it's already there! I don't think you can eat coyotes because it's considered cannibalism, you can't eat wolves that you've killed either. The reason why wolves don't attack you is because they don't interact with you that way, they won't come running to you (unless their your mate, which really just follows you around) or even try to bite you if you around them in circles and jump over them.



Edit - And yes wolves do have the option to be rogues, loners, ECT. They might not be as succesive as wolves in a pack, they might be more succesive then wolves in a pack, but they do choose to be rogues/loners/whatever. There's a wild lioness who takes cares of oryx calves, without eating them, and without a pride. There's a wild bear who cuddles a kitten!
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