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Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 3:15 pm
by loboLoco


Anyone who has visited Yellowstone and played WolfQuest has one question: Where are the bison? We did not include bison in the original game, back in 2007, because historically bison have not been very numerous in Yellowstone, and represented a small portion of a wolf’s diet. That has changed in recent decades, though. While elk still outnumber bison in Yellowstone, bison are extremely visible to visitors since they like to graze in the broad Lamar and Hayden valleys, where they are easily seen (and often hard to avoid). And since wolves were reintroduced to the park in the 1990s, they have been learning how to hunt bison. Wolves still prefer elk, which are much easier to kill, but bison now make up about 13% of a wolf’s diet, on average.

We’ve been planning to add bison to the game for quite a long time. (In fact, we had hoped to do it in 2010, but we asked players to vote on several new features and bison lost out.) The large herds consisting of a hundred or more bison pose significant game-performance issues currently, and while we hope to overcome those someday, we don’t want to wait that long to add this important species to the game. So we are adding small groups of elderly bull bison, who typically congregate together after they’ve grown too old to be active members of the big herds. They’re huge and cranky and extremely dangerous — more dangerous than any other animal in the game! It’ll be best to admire them from a distance…but players can use their own judgment.

We’ve been setting up bison in the game with the beautiful animal model and animations created by our partner GIM. There's still some work still to do so it’ll be a few weeks before they are ready to release, but we thought you might like this sneak peak.

Bison are the largest land-dwelling mammal in North America. Learn more! https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/bison.htm

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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).

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 3:50 pm
by GoldenBeauty
This was such a surprise! I've always wanted Bison in WQ, even if it's only small bull herds for now. I can't believe they will be here in a few weeks! I can't wait to start hunting them. :D

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 6:33 pm
by kagewan
Oh the bison look amazing,, I can't wait to see them in game ! I adore the detail with their tails showing their mood that's being added!~ WQ 3 is going to be wonderful on release ! keep up the good work, devs !

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:27 pm
by TimberRaven
Woah! I did not expect this, haha!
When multiplayer comes out, these big grumpy bison will be a fun challenge to hunt! :P Looking awesome, Dave! Thank youuu!

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:57 am
by elkhunter123456
YESSSSSSSSSSS BISON OMG!!! i thought they were only coming if a 4th wolfquest episode came out. But instead your going to release them in a few weeks :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Im going to look forward to trying to hunt these bulls. I wonder how much health they take away with one charge on accurate. I think wolfopedia was hinting bison to us on their page about bison. And by the way the bison model is beautiful. This devlog is definitely in my top 10 faverate devlogs. Edit: Are bison able to kick using their rear legs?

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:15 am
by loboLoco
elkhunter123456 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:57 am
Are bison able to kick using their rear legs?
Tbey certainly are!

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:12 pm
by DinoDogDude209
Wow, this is just... amazing. I never would have expected that the team would implement something like bison so soon! Bison are such an iconic and common animal in Yellowstone that it's about time that they get some representation in WolfQuest, and these Bison models look great! I believe that these old bull Bison will be a great addition to the wildlife of WolfQuest, and a new species in the game is always a great thing to see! While I do think it's a bit of a shame that there's currently no way to represent the massive Bison herds that are so iconic in Yellowstone, it's great that the team at least found a way to include the species in the game, and I hope that the team can find a way to implement larger huntable Bison herds in a future update. At the end of the day, Bison are so iconic in Yellowstone that it's kind of appalling that the team never included them in any way before now, but better late than never eh? It will definitely be great to finally be able to see these massive Yellowstone megafauna roaming in the game, and it will certainly be fun to try to take them down with a pack in multiplayer.

With all that being said, there are a few things I'd like to point out about the Bison that can be seen in this video, as well as a few things I'd like to see implemented at some point with them. First of all, I noticed the deep, guttural growl-like bellowing sound they make when confronted by the wolf, something that is definitely accurate, as seen in the real video clip of a Bison at the end of the video. I have seen this implemented with Bison in other games as well, most notably theHunter Classic, where Bison make this deep guttural sound when preparing to charge the player. This is a very iconic feature of Bison, and I'm glad that the team made sure to include this authentically. I'm also glad that the team took the time to implement the tail positions with these Bison, that's such a nice little detail and you can tell that the team put a lot of time and effort into those animations.

However, there are a few things I'd like to see implemented or improved with the Bison. First of all, I'd like to see Bison carcasses spawn more often in the game than they currently do, because currently it seems like they almost never spawn (I've personally never found a Bison carcass in-game, and I have over 100 hours in the game). With actual real Bison roaming the game world soon, I'd like to also see their carcasses spawn more often to show that they are actually out there and that other predators are hunting them. Which brings me to my second idea: I'd like to see these Bison interact with other animals in the game, maybe in a future update. It would be great to be able to watch another pack of wolves attempting to kill a weak bull, and it would also be great to see Bison carcasses spawn more often within wolf pack territories, to show that the larger wolf packs are actually preying on them (I'm not sure how easy that would be to program into the game though). I also think it would be great to occasionally see boar Grizzly Bears actively hunting and fighting these bull Bison when the two species come into contact with one another, because in Yellowstone Grizzly Bears are the only other species other than wolves that actively prey on Bison, so it would be great to be able to see that occasionally happen in the game as a rare event. I'm not sure what the best way to implement a random event like that would be, maybe through a cutscene of some sort, but it would just be great to be able to see that in the game. It would also be nice to add more signs of Bison throughout the game world, like locations with Bison wallows or maybe even Bison skeletons, to add some worldbuilding and also act as a teaser for the future addition of larger Bison herds.

All in all, it's great to see a new species being added to the game, and it makes me hopeful for the future of WolfQuest. There are many more animals planned for the game, like the Bighorn Sheep and Beavers (I hope those ones will get their own full-length development blog posts in the future as well) and even once those are completed and implemented in the game, there are still plenty of other iconic species found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem which could also be included, like Black Bears or Pronghorn, which would further add to the game's depiction of Yellowstone's biodiversity. And the amount of care and time that clearly went into adding these Bison bulls is outstanding, a true testament to how great this game is, and how much the developers of the game care about creating a realistic and immersive simulation of a Yellowstone wolf's life.

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 1:36 pm
by loboLoco
Yes, once we have living bison in the game, then bison carcasses will be more common.
DinoDogDude209 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:12 pm
it makes me hopeful for the future of WolfQuest.
You weren't before!? :shock:

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 3:29 am
by BlackMetal
I am surprised that bison will be in the game in the future. Definitely a positive surprise! :D

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Mon May 25, 2020 4:37 pm
by Lunamoon543
loboLoco wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:36 pm
Yes, once we have living bison in the game, then bison carcasses will be more common.
DinoDogDude209 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:12 pm
it makes me hopeful for the future of WolfQuest.
You weren't before!? :shock:
Haha.. I am so excited for Bison! i have been here for every post and when I saw this I was almost smiling but my sis gave me a look. (I will never understand her) and the devs are doing great with the animation and stuff, Be safe!

Re: Big Bad Bull Bison

Posted: Tue May 26, 2020 11:01 pm
by Rain_Swift-River
The animation and models for the bison look phenominal! And the fluff texture is incredibly detailed! Bison have always been a favourite animal of mine. We don't have many here in Australia, so it's hard to see one up close.