Wolf Down Latest Game Update

February 2, 2010 -

The Minnesota Zoo and Eduweb have released the latest installment in their downloadable game designed to teach the public more about ecology and the lives of wolves.

The original WolfQuest game was released about two years ago for the PC and Mac. Episode 1, entitled Amethyst Mountain, was set in the Northern Region of Yellowstone and allowed players to hunt elk, find a mate and “harass” grizzly bears and coyotes.

The just-released Episode 2, named Slough Creek, introduces an additional four square miles of Yellowstone and lets users select a den site, raise pups and mark their territory with “raised-leg urination and howling.”

A multiplayer aspect further allows players to form online packs containing up to 5 player wolves and to work as a team to hunt humongous bull elks.

The newly released version combines both episodes and was developed for “tween-agers” aged nine-thirteen.

The game’s development was assisted by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Minnesota Zoo is home to a pair of Gray Wolves and four Mexican gray Wolves.

The game does not contain a mode for hunting wolves from a helicopter however.


Comments

Re: Wolf Down Latest Game Update

This is pretty cool. Wolves are beautiful creatures. & now there is a dog out there called "The Native American Wolf Dog". It is of course bred between wolves & dogs & that is the reason why they named these "Wolf dogs" their names. But I want one so bad. I want a puppy.

 

 

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Re: Wolf Down Latest Game Update

I've played this. My daughter (aged 6) likes it, but I can't see it holding the attention of their target demographic (around age 10) long enough for it to be more than a quick distraction, and only then for kids who are obsessed with wolves. The graphics are about ten years old and gameplay is simple to say the least. The new version brings in some more simple gameplay elements, but there's nothing for real gamers here, unless they're really committed to learning that wolves wander around endlessly, mate, chase/hunt prey, mark territory by peeing and look after their puppies by carrying them around in their mouths. I learned that by watching a 30 minute nature show about 35 years ago, and children can learn it faster (and in a more entertaining way) by watching TV (kinda sad, but true). They won't spend more than a couple of hours with this game - and they'll only spend that long with it if they REALLY like watching the arse end of a wolf running through forest 99% of the time. The game is tedious, and it has no pack dynamics beyond the basic male and female roles, which are very basic indeed. There are simple tasks here - but there's no challenge and very little in the way of fun.

All-in-all, WolfQuest is a wolf simulator with a desperate need for some complexity. There is a kernel here that could be developed into a complex and interesting simulation, but since it takes the developers months to add the simple act of peeing (marking territory) to the game (and even then in a simplistic form - it has no effect on gameplay), I expect the game to be playable and enjoyable with useful features, real gameplay and interesting pack dynamics in around 2075AD, long after I'm dead. Of course the game won't be around that long - I suspect its minimal funding will probably be cut in about a year - if it lasts that long.

It's not a bad effort, considering the extreme low budget that's being forced on the developers, but all I keep thinking is that a game like this should be so much more. When a wolf marks territory, it should have some effect on other wolves; when a wolf encounters other wolves, there should be more to do than fight or try to mate. There is just no game here, and the simulation is on  such a simple level that only a 5 or 6 year-old will find it interesting. There's a vast untapped market for quality simulation games, but if the money isn't there to fund them, they're not going to get made, no matter how committed the people behind them are.

It's sad that great simulations can't come from people who know their field of study intimately, but it's a fact of life. The only way, at present, to make a truly complex and useful simulation, is to take a mainstream arcade game that approaches the subject, and mod it to be more of a simulation. This game shows what happens when you attempt to do it from scratch.

Re: Wolf Down Latest Game Update

Hunting down a humongous elk in pack multiplayer sounds pretty sweet

 

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Re: Wolf Down Latest Game Update

A friend of mine would love this game. She's... ah, a fan of wolves.

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KronoSure none of those are reviews, but it is positive exposure, which as illustrated by The Fine Young Capitalists, is pretty damn important for getting people to check out your work.10/02/2014 - 10:32am
Krono@Midnight and of course the article most people mention and insist was no way influenced by him being romantically involved only days later, and her friend beforehand here: http://goo.gl/xCzivK10/02/2014 - 10:29am
Papa MidnightThe term "lovers" might be pushing it given the apparent time frame, but I understand what you're saying. Even if they were friends at the time, then that may present impropiety. However, that calls for a Magic-8-Ball level of speculation.10/02/2014 - 10:26am
Krono@Midnight She was a guest on an RPS show he cohosted here: http://goo.gl/QxljSG10/02/2014 - 10:24am
prh99Personally I'd say her original piece on Bronies was far more ethically questionable. Though for different reasons.10/02/2014 - 10:20am
Krono@Midnight On the Grayson relationship? For starters it depends on how long they were friends before they were lovers. Nathan gave Depression Quest top billing back in this article: http://goo.gl/tqGsnW10/02/2014 - 10:20am
Papa MidnightIf said journalist, however, is placed into a position where they have to write about matters dealing with DICE, then yes, a COI is present and should be declared.10/02/2014 - 10:18am
Papa MidnightHypothetically, if a developer from DICE starts dating a tech journalist from CNN tomorrow, so long as said CNN journalist is not (in)directly involved in any editorial process regarding matters dealing with DICE, there's no need to declare a COI.10/02/2014 - 10:18am
Papa MidnightThere's no need for it. A declaration of a Conflict of Interest is only necessary in the event that the parties may be placed into a situation where the conflict may become a factor.10/02/2014 - 10:16am
Krono@prh99 It was after #gamergate. There was a post on r/games that called out the lack of disclosure.10/02/2014 - 10:12am
Papa MidnightKrono: If the purpose of such was to expose some conflict of interest, I am not sure what the purpose or end objective was. Specifically, said relationship had not produced any works positive or otherwise. Where's the beef?10/02/2014 - 10:09am
prh99I don't know, the update isn't dated. Also, actual attempt at deception or absent mindedness? "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"10/02/2014 - 10:06am
Krono@prh99 disclosed in an update after #gamergate noticed and called it out.10/02/2014 - 10:04am
Papa MidnightDriving people from their homes. e-Letter bombing (for all practical intents and purposes) advertisers like they're the FCC after a certain Superbowl half-time show to pull advertising from a media outlet for the crime of having an opinion?10/02/2014 - 10:00am
Papa MidnightIt's hard to drape yourself in the glory of your righteous campaign when you're exposing the personal information of a person, and following up with a campaign of harassment (organised or ortherwise). 12 year olds calling your personal cell for Five Guys?10/02/2014 - 9:58am
prh99http://kotaku.com/anna-anthropy-designer-behind-dys4ia-and-triad-and-au-1448084641 <--relationship disclosed10/02/2014 - 9:57am
Papa MidnightEven to this day, that remains the primary citation of those embarking in it. That said, the whole "it's not about harrassment" thing is comparable to making an extremely racist statement, then following up by saying "but I'm not a racist."10/02/2014 - 9:56am
Papa MidnightI think EZK is more spot-on. This may have carried on far beyond it's genesis, but the true driving force of this whole astroturfing campaign was the angst of an ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn's.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
KronoAnd that's off the top of my head, specific to Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, yet no one can actually point at any "positive reviews" or otehr press given Quinn by Grayson.10/02/2014 - 9:53am
 

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