Animal Related RP Games.
This is a brief overview of three Role Playing Games I found yesterday. All three are free games, and downloadable at links I will provide when discussing each game. I was mainly looking for a Wolf RP Game out of boredom. I always figured that a Wolf MMORPG or an Animal MMORPG might be quite fun, and offer challenges as seemingly vast as famous MMORPG's like World of Warcraft. One could start off as a base creature of their choosing, and as they quest and gain XP, they can choose which path to take. i.e. People who enjoy RPing as Demons, can choose a dark magical path perhaps, while people who enjoy feral RPing, can choose a more natural, druid style path. Their character grows and evolves as they play the game.
1. The Endless Forest
In some sense, this is what is being done with our first game, The Endless Forest. While the game only features Deer, it is still the most pure example of such a game I can find. You start off as a male fawn, if you name your Deer. The male fawn will eventually grow up to become an adult Stag. This takes about a month in real time apparently. I haven't been playing for that long, so I can't say if this is accurate or not.
None the less, this game has the feel of something which could be very successful. While RPing as a Deer isn't really my choice of things to do, one can't really avoid being taken in by this game and playing along. Some things I believe would make this game perfect are as follows: More animal choices, gender choices, and some sort of quest system in order to speed up growth and allow some sort of customization to occur using gained experience points. I am not sure if PvP combat would be a good idea or not. I could see it possibly making things more interesting, especially if attacks caused great risk to the attacker. But I could also see it being abused and ruining the peaceful setting of the game.
I believe that the communication system using body language, and grunting and nuzzling and sniffing, all to be excellent forms of communication. The lack of a chat box I believe in this sense makes the game feel much more realistic. All in all, for a free game, this game is worth a try. You can find its download page here: http://tale-of-tales.com/TheEndlessForest/
2. Wolf Quest
Wolf Quest is a Wolf only RP game. It has a single player mode, as well as online multiplayer. The game has a decent look to it, graphics wise, and has some interesting features for those who may want to RP as a wolf. It has a scent view, which allows the player to see the world in black and white, with colored scent trails displayed as dots on the ground. Standing over the scent trail tells you how old the scent is and what made the scent. The game also features territory control schemes, and allows the wolves to mark their territory with urination and by howling.
The downsides of this game are however fairly numerous in my eyes. For one, while you are allowed to hunt and eat prey, the whole process is glitched. You can only pounce and attach an animal you are chasing at a very specific distance. If you are too close it won't work. Which is silly, as many times I was hunting Coyotes and was right beside them, literally running with my side pressing against its side, and I couldn't attack it. There is a very narrow margin for which attacks will work, and this is also the case for eating killed prey.
Another downside, is the chat system and the censorship. I understand that this game is given to kids as a teaching aide, and therefore some censorship should be built in. But there should be an option to disable it, ether when creating a multiplayer server, or in your own settings. That way you can still say things, but if the other person has their censorship option enabled, they just wont see it. The reason that this is annoying is not because I was trying to initiate any adult behavior over this game, but simply having a normal conversation is highly censored. Words like, male, female, numbers, names and even state designations are all censored. Not to mention some descriptive words which a literate Roleplayer may decide to use in normal roleplay, are also censored. The game encourages roleplaying, but at the same time, the censorship discourages it. Also, you are not allowed to have a mate in multiplayer, or even make any suggestions of a mate, or alpha or whatever.
It also limits multiplayer games to 5 people maximum. Which I would think is a bare minimum for any effective wolf pack. The game would be quite cool if they managed to maybe split it off into two separate directions. Keep the educational version for kids, with all its censorship and lack of sexual activity. Then make a truly natural version where nature is allowed to take its course, and roleplayers can enjoy some more freedom in larger multiplayer games.
Wolf Quest can be obtained here: http://www.wolfquest.org/downloads.php And remember to sign up for a forum account here in order to log into multiplayer games. I will likely give this game a chance and take it for what its worth. You may see me on there as Mahihkan.
And our final game, Feral-Heart. This was actually the first game I found and downloaded. It offers RP as a Wolf / Dog, or a Cat / Lion. It also offers customization which includes wings and other interesting features. The game has a nice set of built in emotes and actions, as well as a very MMORPG like chat system, with a General Chat, Local Chat, Whispers, and Group chat. The world is fairly expansive, but also very barren. The game is strictly designed around Role Playing and is fairly empty leaving much to the imagination. Apparently people can create their own maps using a in game tool, and use these maps to invite friends or pack members to them, to host on their own private server. On these maps the game rules do not apply, and anything pretty much goes. On the public maps however, there are some rules about what you can and can't do role-playing wise.
The games empty feeling is made up for the fact that this is a true MMORPG. Like Endless Forest, this game is populated by many players at any time of the day. Its extensive Chat window takes up a large portion of the screen, however that is where much of your interaction will take place. This is mostly a chat room, for text based RPing, with the additional added support of some 3D roleplaying as well.
Feral-Heart is currently my favorite out of the three of them for Wolf RP-ing and I may try to develop my own map based on Roady's Valley. You can find me on there as Roady or Mahihkan, as someone stole my Roadwolf name :P
Feral-Heart can be downloaded here: http://feral-heart.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23&Itemid=40 And don't forget to register an account.
5. Cereal Soup
Cereal Soup is a newer game. It probably provides the best Wolf or Cat based RP out there. It is located at the following website: http://www.cerealsoupgame.com/