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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ConsterDon't 'beauty rags' already get plenty of criticism?02/27/2015 - 9:02am
ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
 

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