Werewolf Simulation

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Werewolf Simulation

Post by Morkulv » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:51 pm

I went on one of my brainstorming sessions again, after thinking about the werewolves we see in games nowadays. Mainly, the werewolf in Skyrim.

If you think about it, playing as a werewolf in Skyrim (or any other game that implements it well) is great, but as werewolf fans this is not nearly as close as we want it to be. At least, this is how I feel.
It doesn't even need to be a 'playable' game with a story or huge gameplay-implementation. I think it would be very interesting to see an experiment in getting as close to a 'werewolf simulation' as possible (in first person ofcourse, to enhance the realism).

With advanced game-engines and other technology, its possible to create huge worlds with amazing quality, and games that set new standards for interactive art. So in that sense, why shouldn't this be possible? Ofcourse it needs a dedicated group of werewolf fans to pull it off though. :D

A good set up would be to create a simple scenario in where you, the player are (ofcourse) a werewolf. Now, if I would be to judge, I wouldn't include any kind of indication that you ARE the werewolf in the game. Because if you do, it would ruin the atmosphere and you as the player would be dragged out of the experience, which ruins the whole point of a 'simulation' right?
Maybe a good set up would be where you as the player wake up in the middle of the night, with a full moon outside. From that moment on, you have to cope with the change into a werewolf, which happens as a slow process. Now ofcourse, this being the kind of experiment that it is, it would require an insane amount of animation from what I can see, and the game would also have to include other things to make the simulation more realistic, like for example a change in vision (but nothing too wild or optically disturbing / flashing).

I don't see this kind of experiment taking off any time soon, but what do you guys think of something like this? Did you ever think about something simular?

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Uniform Two Six » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:32 pm

Y'know, that's actually a sort of interesting idea. A game in which the story includes the old Hollywood trope of the character getting bitten, and having progressively more and more indications that he's going to turn into a werewolf, but as part of an overarching plot. Then have the first few shifts also be a nod to the old Hollywood trope of the werewolf blacking out and waking up later and having to work out what happened (i.e. who he ate). This could be even cooler if the plot includes another werewolf antagonist, so it's not immediately clear who's really eviscerating all the extras between scenes. Then as the story progresses, the character gains greater control and the shifted werewolf becomes player-controllable, eventually culminating in the player having the option to do voluntary changes for combat scenes.

It'll never happen though. Too expensive to produce. Too few werewolf fans.

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Morkulv » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:57 pm

Well, I didn't really think of this as a "detective game" sorta thing. Just a simulation of the transformation into what we think a werewolf should be and feel like (and transforming into one), the scenario could be anything really.

Anyone who had a 'werewolf dream' knows what you kind of want to see in a simulation like that. The general idea of what makes it so interesting to me, is that you could perhaps pull off a good 'virtual reality' feel with a convincing enough transformation and animation. If its in first person, that makes it all the more real.

I watched some documentaries where they treat war-victims with some sort of relaxing virtual reality program, where they put the person in a relaxing envirement. I've also seen this virtual reality thing done in a more 'exciting' setting, and I've also seen a docu about the paranormal where they recreated a infamous dungeon in England on a computer in complete 3D, and made it into a virtual reality experience you can walk around in. The responses from the people who played it were stunning, because every single one of those people really did feel some sort of precense of a spirit. Which ofcourse, is silly because its just a program, but it makes me think what kind of werewolf transformation scenarios would be cool to undergo in such a experience. No doubt it would be terrifying the first time, especially for those who aren't aware of it, but I do think it would be something awesome. :D

I'm kinda rambling now though, so I'll stop. X3

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by LunarCarnivore » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:06 pm

The problem being though, you can't "feel" anything through a screen. All it would be is seeing something. The Skyrim werewolf experience is about as good as it gets in that regard. The only thing I miss on that is the sneak option, it would be cool to prowl on all fours. But yeah, a transformation simulator from the first person POV would just be a change in vision etc. You can't experience a physical sensation of change just from a videogame, sadly. Those virtual reality games you mentioned only work because they simulate environmental visual stimuli, not personal physical stimuli, which is what a transformation would need, and which is not possible on the level required (not yet anyway).
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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Morkulv » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:14 pm

You're right; but I do believe that with modern 3D technology you can simulate a good portion of the 'feeling' with the right combination of visuals.

If you've seen some of the latest computer animated movies, you know that they have no problem triggering an emotional reaction from us as an audience, so why should you not be able to get an emotional response from watching a transformation? I think that, as long as we as the viewer are given the means to connect to a character, and the presented conditions are realistic, we could have a pretty accurate werewolf simulation. Ofcourse, like with movies, or watching a piece of art, it also depends on the person and how far he or she can suspend his or her disbelief in the experience. It would be an interesting experiment nonetheless.

:)

I have to add as well, that I've never even seen a transformation from a first person perspective. So I guess I'm basing this idea largely of how I picture it to be in my mind.

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by LunarCarnivore » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:20 am

I do see where you're coming from, but I think that a transformation is a lot more then an emotional response. In order for someone to believe it was actually happening to them, it needs physical sensation as well: the feel of growing new hair, bones moving and contorting, etc. Otherwise it would just be like seeing a movie of a TF done in first-person, which would still be awesome and evoke an emotional response, but people wouldn't think of it as happening to them, they would think of it as happening to someone else.
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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Scott Gardener » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:53 pm

Interesting idea. I'm not sure how you would simulate having your brain squeezed into a third it's regular space while having your skin turned inside out, but that aside, it sounds like a fun program.

If the character passes by mirrors, one can certainly see the changed features. Here in the real world, I've got a werewolf costume commissioned by talented artist Shadowsaber, and a second werewolf costume I made myself. I've found it just slightly unsettling, but pleasantly so, to look in the mirror and see a creature looking back. I would imagine that feeling would be even more dramatic if it weren't an outfit. Still, the game or simulation would have to be very immersive in order to get the impact.

Aside from color changes, one could also change the sounds; one could simulate enhanced hearing by adding additional subtle high-pitched background sounds, as well as raising the high end trebble of sounds overall--not the shrilly 5-10 kHz, but the upper end 10-20 kHz. One needs a good audio system for this to work. It's a bit expensive to have the computer user switch from built-in laptop speakers to a Klipsch surround sound system or to sit in the back seat of a Lexus with a Mark Levinson audio upgrade. But, some audio changes can at least get part of the feel.

Emulating smell, however, would be tricky. Maybe brief flashes of images whenever one looks at objects--look at a coat on the floor, and you flash an image of the person wearing it. Look at a person, and images hover of cigarettes, food, kissing another person, or that person's medical chart showing diabetes, coupled with a bag of sugar. Look at the floor, and flash to a person, and then footprints appear, showing the scent of wherever that person has been. I suspect it's really fun to find another person who looks at you a little funny, and then flash to show that person shifting... another werewolf.
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by LunarCarnivore » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:26 am

I think something like this, but with the Skyrim werewolf (in first person, you can get a mod for that), would be exceptionally fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg8Bh5iI ... re=related
Watch that video and tell me you wouldn't love to go werewolf dragonborn on everyone's a** in that thing.
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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Morkulv » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:42 am

You're right, we are still missing alot of elements and dimensions that would make this a proper experience.

Alot of videogames, especially action and adventure oriented ones, make use of the rumble-system in the controller to intensify situations and actions by the player. This doesn't always work out well, but in a horror-setting, the sensation of a heart-beat like pulse in the controller does enhance the experience a bit. Ofcourse, this wouldn't be enough for a werewolf simulation like I think we imagine it, but I'm just looking at current gen technology that could enhance the experience as much as possible.

I'm not sure how far virtual reality technology has come nowadays. Ofcourse there's motioncontrol which is popular on consoles nowadays, but you would have to wear some kind of special glasses to replace the screen, so that you only see your body in the game.

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Morkulv » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:58 am

We could just work with a werewolf that keeps the regular human brainsize and head size, without it looking like some retarded ape. :D

As for the skin turning inside out... That sounds really nasty. :|
I always imagined my perfect werewolf to grow fur from the hairs on the body. Every human being still has the 'fur' encoded into their DNA (I've read a few scientific articles that confirm this), so I imagine that when the change begins, the hairs on the body change from 'passive' to 'active' and turn into fur from that point on. Just like when people are balding (especially males) the hairs on the head change from active to passive hairs (so you're never 'completely' bald, just like you're body will always have hair, albeit small ones), so in my werewolf example this would be a sort of reverse case of that. This is ofcourse still largely impossible in any realistic scenario, but I think its the most realistic explanation for a werewolf's fur.
I like your ideas! Audio and visually everything should be able to be pulled off by a competend design team. I've seen a few video's that demonstrate smell in computer programs, so it is possible for computers to be programmed to provide the audience with a certain smell, although it would still be tricky to simulate the enhanced smell that a werewolf should have.

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Morkulv » Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:15 am

Haha! That looks amazing! I would love to see a proper werewolf simulator on something like that!

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Morkulv » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:09 pm

I hoped this topic would spark more ideas and stuff.

To get the discussion rolling a bit, what kind of game engine or technology would you imagine a game / simulation like this on?

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by GOREHOUNDS » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:48 pm

If your making it yourself, try using Unity3D... its hella robust and can now compete with most other 3D Triple AAA Engines.

A Werewolf Sim would be bad a**.
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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Meeper » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:41 am

Can I be evil please? I can? ok then.

I've been thinking of making a werewolf themed video game, now before you get too excited I must disclaim the chances of that happening is almost nill, so don't be getting on my case. That said I've been chewing over ideas that in part spawned from the video game industry in round about ways, and figured I'll run some ideas through this thread. Back in the original Underworld movie they solved the problem of the werewolf actors being blinded by a giant costume with a video feed, a video feed from one camera with no stereoscopic output and thus precious little depth perception. Fast forward about 14 years and we have virtual reality headsets with great stereoscopy coming on hot and heavy. No prizes for guessing where I'm going with that.

That's not all. Again harking back to the examples brought to us by way of the Underworld franchise, as we all know the costumes were impressive, whether or not you like their look there's no denying that's one hell of a costume they put together. The problem is with the biomechanics, the guys in the suits were severely physically limited, they can't run, all they can do is lumbar around looking like they're trying not to trip on stuff. While I may not be a game programmer, I am a bit of a dab hand with mechanical engineering, and the agility problem is one I've a good feeling I can solve. So while this isn't exactly a CGI simulation, what it could do is take care of some of the direct physical feedback because rather than sitting down and passively watching, you can move around and interact with the real world, looking through the eyes of your werewolf costume, and bouncing around like a maniac on the illegitimate child of a pair of crutches and an over powered pogo stick strapped to each leg. How does that grab you as a simulation?

Or maybe I'm just crazy :) .

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Uniform Two Six » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:01 pm

Not exactly on-topic, but... The thing that I would have liked to have seen with regards to the Underworld costumes is if the leg extensions had been full blown jump stilts. That would have been uber-awesome.

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Re: Werewolf Simulation

Post by Meeper » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:06 pm

Sadly that's probably the special-case solution mindset that led to "Too expensive. Too risky. Too special case with our available techniques. We should use CGI instead". If we really want it in practical effects, we need to stop thinking of it as a creature costume with bolt on special maneuver tricks like jump stilts, and start thinking of it as a full blown vehicle. Thinking about it that way, what you could do is take something akin to a bicycle seating arrangement, replace the wheels with legs hooked directly into a super bouncy suspension, and have the suspension springs directly assists the leg muscles for all basic standing, squatting, walking and running movements on a per foot fall basis via a pressure actuated clutch, rather than reacting to them with a dumb po-go stick bounce with limited range of movement. That's what it needs, I think then we'll get practical effects based werewolves that can move well.

There is of course more to it than that, and I can get my geek on for several paragraphs about exact design, ergonomics, how to get the leverages if springs aren't powerful enough per given size restriction, comfort features, adding secondary jump boosters on top of a basic body weight counterbalanced suspension system, safety features, realistic muscle simulation based on rubber elastic springs shaped like muscle groups that respond appropriately to the foot-fall clutch control, and so on. Suffice to say that a commercial recreational product like that could be integrated into a virtual/augmented reality game/simulation and have a lot of fun, or go free roam terrorizing the neighbourhood on halloween (and make movie monsters better too! Wheee!).

Alas, I don't have access to a workshop. Phooey!

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