Malena

Make animals feel more "alive"

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Posted (edited)

Something that has always bothered me about Wurm is how lifeless and robotic animals are.

 

It's curious that the Wurm team has gone to great lengths to make the game mechanics and environment as immersive and realistic as possible... and yet it feels like animals were forgotten in the immersion and realism department. 

 

1. Audio

We need the animal sounds restored with more sophisticated coding this time. (only x amount of sounds heard at a time to avoid audio spam)

I will tirelessly continue to complain about how mute the animals are (cows mooing without vocal chords anyone?).

I once made a video in which I inserted animal sounds to video footage see how much more immersive Wurm would feel. You can watch it on YouTube

 

Low hanging audio fruit:

We already have a sound for when an animal dies/is branded. How about we reuse that same sound in the following instances to enhance immersion and improve usability. (just like we enjoy hearing that lovely crunchy sound upon harvesting a sprout):
- Once the breeding process has been successfully completed
- When an animal has given birth

 

2. Behavior (aka AI) 

For the purpose of making these following ideas easy for everyone to imagine, I'm going to use horses as an example, but obviously these things should work for all animals!

 

a. Babies should follow mothers until they reach the adult stage:

 

 

b. If you attack a baby that is within X tiles of the mother, the mother will start to attack you. (Hence, if you need to kill the baby off, it would be wise to lead it apart from it's mother)

 

c) Stallions attack you, if you attack any mare or baby within X tiles of it's "line of sight". (Again, if you need to kill a horse, it's probably not a good idea to do it next to a stallion whose job it is to guard over his herd)


d) Stallions will occasionally breed with a random "ripe" mare that happens to be within X tiles and in the same enclosure. (That's what would happen IRL right?)

 

e) Keeping more than one stallion in the same enclosure will have them randomly start fighting once in a while. (Don't want fights? Keep stallions separate.)  (on second thought, maybe not such a good idea after all)

 

f) Upon slaughtering and butchering a mare that was pregnant, you receive both a horse hide + foal hide in the butchering results. (It would be kind of cool and creepy that there is some "evidence" of the pregnancy this way)

 

g) Currently, mares have the chance to miscarry. Why not also have the chance to give birth to twin foals? (Logging on to the game to find that a mare has given birth is always a thrill. Why not add on to the chance of luck element)

 

h) Horses that you "care for" have a chance of walking towards you if they are in the vicinity of X tiles. If the horse is behind a fence, it will walk up to the fence, giving the impression of it being bonded to you. The horse will only do this action once and not repeatedly, as to avoid it following you around, which would be annoying if that's not what you want.

 

3. Additional Textual information

As mentioned in my earlier suggestion, it would be nice if we had some additional textual information about our animals.

 

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I'm sure you guys could come up with even more ideas. Please add on to the list!

 

 

 





 

 

 

Edited by Malena

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Nice video and solid ideas. Would love to see them make it into the game +1

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Some very nice ideas +1

I expecialy live ideas about twin chnaces and chance that animals breed alone if together.

I had idea about pigs for a long time but never posted it this thread reminded me of it. I think pigs should give birth to 6-10 piglets unlike other animals. This will make balance on them because you have to feed them instead letting them graze but would get much more meat. Still not sure of it would be enough to motivate people to keep them though but atleast it's better than current.

And ofc if they ever rewamp the whole trait/ah system and intoruduce traits specific to animals like more meat, more milk/wool that would be awesome

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1 hour ago, Malena said:

e) Keeping more than one stallion in the same enclosure will have them randomly start fighting once in a while. (Don't want fights? Keep stallions separate.)

 

Stuff like this is changing mechanics to force people to change how they keep their animals.  Many people use wide open pens, even if they still use 1x2 pens for breeding, they'll use wide open pens to hold random horses, or riding horses, hitched wagons etc.  I can't agree with anything like this that forces people to change how they play just for a cuter animal system.  The rest that don't force anyone to change how they play are fine

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They could add a sound for when an animals eats something.

 

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Sound design in Wurm is really lacking its something I've complained about often. They could even go as far as to add sounds for opening/closing new items, casting certain spells which everyone around you can hear, new combat sounds etc. The game becomes technical and very less immersive every update. Think it's time development team focuses on sound design along with UI improvements.

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It all looks great except, as Gary (DON'TBANME!) stated,  having the stallions fight each other ... Though with penned male aggro it might be fun.

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The audio stuff has been raised, the farmers with a hundred animals on their deed may have issues though, we'll keep looking at that

 

breedable animals on the same tile have a chance to breed for the record.

 

11 hours ago, Niki said:

Sound design in Wurm is really lacking its something I've complained about often. They could even go as far as to add sounds for opening/closing new items, casting certain spells which everyone around you can hear, new combat sounds etc. The game becomes technical and very less immersive every update. Think it's time development team focuses on sound design along with UI improvements.

to be fair, you complain about everything often.

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+1

..but want a way to mute sounds for specific or all animals, all the random sounds and event sounds could be irritating after a while if there are few or more creatures in local - that's all

 

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14 hours ago, MrGARY said:

 

Stuff like this is changing mechanics to force people to change how they keep their animals.  Many people use wide open pens, even if they still use 1x2 pens for breeding, they'll use wide open pens to hold random horses, or riding horses, hitched wagons etc.  I can't agree with anything like this that forces people to change how they play just for a cuter animal system.  The rest that don't force anyone to change how they play are fine

 

Yeah I keep my horses in open pens myself because I was never a fan of how unnatural it felt when animals horses and cows were organized into little fenced 1x2 blocks. So for sure this would impact me as well and force me to reorganize things - something I don't mind for the sake of a more immersive experience.

 

However you got me thinking more deeply about the consequences. While I wouldn't have minded separating stallions, I realized that one would actually end up in a situation where there are simply not enough places to separate all the stallions to. So even if it's for a different reason than you presented, I do agree with you that this idea should be scrapped.

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24 minutes ago, Retrograde said:

The audio stuff has been raised, the farmers with a hundred animals on their deed may have issues though, we'll keep looking at that

 

breedable animals on the same tile have a chance to breed for the record.

 

"The audio stuff has been raised "

 

Oh my god, this is the bestest news ever! 

 

I think a good reference for how to make this work is Ultima Online. I never once remember animal sounds annoying me in the least, and I think they did a great job at how they designed it.

 

I decided to log on to UO to do some timing tests and from what I could tell:

  • Each animal let out a sound at random intervals which seemed to be between 20-120 seconds. For Wurm, I would honestly be happy if I could even hear a single cow moo even once an HOUR. 
  • In an area with many animals, only 2 or 3 animal sounds were allowed to be played at a time. So you never heard a constant spam of sounds. I guess they coded it so there were say 3 "audio slots" and it was randomized which animal got a turn at filling in one of those slots.
  • Animals far away could not be heard. Animals nearby but not "in sight" could be "heard "off in the distance" and animals close by could heard at their full volume
  • When approaching an animal that was in the area but not yet visible, there was a higher likelihood of their sound being triggered.

I know that for the Wurm team, one of the main headaches is how it all works with the animal's animations and getting that synced up. In my personal opinion, this has little importance. Obviously it would be nice if they were synced to animations, HOWEVER the bigger thing for me is the ambiance experience.

 

  • If you're on a farm and that farm has cows, chickens and pigs, you should be hearing a cow mooing, a chicken clucking or a pig oinking in the distance once in a while.
  • Or if you're exploring a forest and there is a bear nearby, you should hear a bear give a growl so you would know to either head towards the sound or run away from it.

Ambiance, that's the main thing I care about personally.

 

"breedable animals on the same tile have a chance to breed for the record."

 

Never knew that! That's so cool! 

 

 

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As always Malena, huge +1! I'd love for animals to actually behave like living things rather than nearly static objects! :D

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On 7/7/2019 at 4:52 AM, Retrograde said:

to be fair, you complain about everything often.

someone's has to 😓

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 alive animals do manure .theres a new industry

 

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