Hello, my name is Kamil and I’m wearing hats of a designer and a programmer. I’m going to talk about smells today.
Hunting is a basic premise of our game and we wanted to base it on common senses. Sight and hearing were obvious, but I wanted to also include the sense of smell. This is not something many games have, but it seems an integral part of hunting (more so on the animals’ side).
- Sadly I do not, I try though!
I’ve decided to boost the effects of diffusion, so the smell will try to even out it’s volume over it’s surrounding hexes much faster, and to simulate wind in a variable direction over the entire map (so sadly no localized Venturi effects or vortexes). I’ve also added a dissipation effect for the smell, so that it will loose some of it’s volume over time. Some parameters later, we can now easily simulate most environments, like a calm windless night, where a smell slowly engulfs the whole map, a rainy night where a smell is quickly suppressed by the falling water, or a windy pass at night, where a smell is mostly forced in one direction. And yes, the world is in perpetual darkness, hence the nights 🙂
And that gets us to the detection part of the smell sense. Wolves have a pretty awesome sense of smell, they can detect just a few particles and that is their primary sense when hunting. Our werewolves are based on them, so they will track our hunters primarily using their sense of smell, only from a very close distance their vision will take over.
What a great transition into a smell producing system. We can specify how many particles any object generates per turn and we can specify additional smell generated when spending stamina or just moving around, just to make sure that hunters always leave a tasty trail for the werewolves to follow. The smells of hunters will sum up and be treated as a faction smell, so putting all of your hunters together in one place for some time will create a large pocket of their smell that should lure nearby werewolves to it. Spreading around will decrease the total amount of faction particles per hex, but an unlucky hunter could still be detected and be left without immediate support. We will definitely tweak this system a lot during development as it gives us room to implement many fun abilities like baits, smell suppressing gear or traps.
Unfortunately this can only work like that for enemies, we wouldn’t like to allow players to cheat the same way :). Like I’ve said before, smell cannot be detected remotely, so the player won’t be aware of the smells outside of his hunters’ immediate areas. We’ve added a sort of smell-map for the smells of the player’s faction, so that we would know, where they can be detected or what path the creatures will mostly follow. Doing that for the enemies would make the player know the exact position of every enemy on the map, and limiting it to only the immediate area of the hunters won’t be very useful. That is something we are still working on, but we might have to leave it as it is. If you have an idea that you would like to share, please don’t hesitate, I’ll gladly hear you out 🙂