Wolfire Demonstrate Ragdoll Rabbits

But it’s ultimately more interesting than that sounds. There’s a video of Overgrowth‘s ragdoll combat posted below. It’s some serious anthropomorphic rabbit violence. The game itself is a 3D action adventure which is being meticulously blogged by its creators. There’s a second video below decks that shows some of what the Wolfire team have accomplished so far in their game creation process. What’s fun about that is that they talk about almost every aspect of it, constantly asking for feedback along the way, and opening up aspects of the game to community fiddling. Even if you’re not particularly interested in roaming rabbit ruckus this is worth following just to keep an eye on their design ruminations.


  1. Silverfish says:

    This game is going to be epic!
    I love ragdolls! :D

  2. RiptoR says:

    Bought the game in bundle with Natural Selection 2. It’s great to see the progress on the game in the weekly alpha builds the team puts out. The blog’s a good read too most of the time.

    • Brumisator says:

      So THAT’s how I know this game.

      I remember I bought it somehow and didn’t remember why or how.
      Well I guess now I ‘ll at least have to try and fake enthousiasm.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      I’ve got the package as well, I’m keen to support two very interesting indie developers and two games that come from a perspective so fresh and engines so well made that they’re both bound to be fantastic.

  3. Pemptus says:

    The first ninja-rabbit-ragdoll-o-rama game was great fun, but the combat system lacked any real depth. If adding that is all they’d do, I’ll be a very happy ninja rabbit enthusiast. The spiffy visuals are a nice bonus.

  4. SHDR says:

    They’re still at the “showing off ragdolls” stage?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah. I respect the amount of work that’s piled into the tech-base here, but there’s nothing that the CUT mod team didn’t do riding on Epic’s shoulders for ChaosUT2003/4’s melee battles.

      But then I suppose it’s supposed to be dev-blog “look, we’re a five-man indie team and we’ve caught up to where the huge professional team was seven years ago” rather than a trailer meant to impress with anything actually groundbreaking.

    • Eric says:

      It is kind of a bit disappointing. I loved Lugaru and have beat the whole thing several times, but it’s been 5 years since that came out. I’m sure I’ll perk up and buy a copy when Overgrowth actually comes out, but I’m long past the point of being excited about it on a regular basis or anything.

    • Eric says:

      Completely unrelated question – LionsPhil, are you also LionsPhil from UserFriendly? Can’t remember ever seeing that name anywhere else. If yes, hi! I was / am (though I hardly ever post anymore) Ravenlock over there.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yes, I used to be on UF. Hi.

  5. Jonathan says:

    I love the Wolfire blog. I don’t have much interest in Overgrowth, but I really enjoy witnessing a game being made.

    On that note, more Big Robot posts please Mr. Jim.

  6. Nathan Douglas says:

    What, Wolfire on RPS?
    Never seen that happenning before

  7. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    I quite liked Lugaru, the story was quite interesting. With more substance to the game Overgrowth has real potential.

  8. Zogtee says:

    The contrast between the fluid ragdolls and the stiff walking/running animations (spines and shoulder areas appears to be made out of large planks) isn’t quite like a brick to the face, but it’s close. Needs more work.

    • Simon says:

      They’re working on it. Game’s still in alpha.

    • Pinky G says:

      When the rabbit is running at the end of the 2nd vid, his arms and legs on the same side move together which is not how I run atleast. The opposite arm and leg move together when I do it.

  9. JDK says:

    This is most likely not going to be free for owners of Lugaru / THIB, is it?

    • DXN says:

      It will not. However it is available for preorder here. You may get neat supplementary stuff for doing so! As well as access to the alpha.

  10. the affront says:

    If only their stupid “oh look it’s martial arts rabbits, rabbits I tell you!” – “oh hahahah rabbits! that’s so funny/awesome/random xD” schtick wasn’t so completely meaningless. If you HAVE to go with a “look, it’s your children’s book characters just violent!” gimmick to garner more attention (which at least this game doesn’t really seem to need judging by the videos) at least make it have a real impact on the gameplay.

    Animals that move exactly like humans would and a story that could just as well be ONLY about humans (from what little I could read on wikipedia) only tell me that the devs aren’t confident that their gameplay alone will be enough incentive for people to buy the game. Which doesn’t inspire much confidence.

    • KingCathcart says:

      Actually there does seems to be an interesting story to this. Check out their comic.

    • DeepSleeper says:

      I’m guessing a rabbit killed your father.

    • the affront says:

      I didn’t say it couldn’t have a decent story yet still animals in it.

      What I do say is that if you use an immediately visible gimmick that has only superficial impact (if any at all) on gameplay and story it makes one (me, at least) think that you’re trying to divert attention away from the meat of things. So – don’t.

      That comic has a story in which it’s completely unnecessary for the characters to be animals, by the way.

      Also note that I’m not saying anything about the quality of the game itself. Especially the second video actually looked quite interesting.

    • LionsPhil says:

      They’re probably rabbits because Wolfire are a bunch of furries. This really doesn’t seem to be going for the “cute and happy LOL SUDDENLY BLOOD” angle.

    • DXN says:

      All sorts of things in storytelling are “unnecessary”. I think the look they’ve chosen is neat, helps the game be less generic, more memorable and more likely to be talked about (essential for an indie game), lends more credibility to the flippity-jumpy-toughness of the characters, and provides hooks to build a story around (which would not be nearly as resonant with human characters, IMO). It takes advantage of the possibilities of the make-believe spaces videogames provide us with. Why strip out something interesting and more-or-less unique? Boring!

    • Eric says:

      Well, it actually does have an impact on the gameplay, going by the first game (Lugaru). In that game, your character could jump crazy high and extremely long distances, while some of your non-rabbit enemies could not. You could also sprint on all fours to traverse ground very quickly, and do a leaping tackle from that stance.

      You were, however, extremely weak to stronger enemies (wolves), and could get one-hit killed by them easily if you weren’t careful / nimble. I thought the whole animal theme worked quite well.

      Do you have a reason to believe they won’t implement similar elements of gameplay in this title? Or did you just not know how it did or didn’t impact gameplay in the last game when you criticized it? ;)

    • Taillefer says:

      It’s also a useful indication of a characters relative strength and personality, which will be immediately recognisable with a quick glance. A wolf is probably going to be tougher than a rabbit, more vicious. An elephant will be immensely strong but relatively slow. A cat will be agile and sneaky, and so on (these animals may not be in the game). There’s a long tradition of that sort of thing.

  11. noobnob says:

    One of the few games using OpenGL in an era dominated by DirectX. It has my attention.

    • LionsPhil says:

      That’s a…strange reason? OpenGL is kind of the only choice given they also target OS X (and Linux, hahaha).

    • noobnob says:

      And that’s what is interesting, given that every game out there decides to use DirectX and lock games into Windows OSs. There are some cases where there are DirectX and OpenGL versions (like Valve’s recent porting of their Source library of games) but that’s rare.

  12. Artist says:

    Cant wait till release! Unfortunatly this ragdoll stuff looks horribly unrealistic. When an opponent gets kicked, punched, stabbed, whatever he just does not behave like a muscle-less ragdoll. He will try to do the best out of this situation – e.g. fall/roll softly. Everything to get back into balance. Hope that will be seen in the game, instead of merely “unopposed doll-kicking”.
    Anyway, cant await to play ninja-rabbits, again! =)

    • LionsPhil says:

      It will also be interesting to see what they can do with the get-up animation, which is currently way too fast presumably to mask that it’s not very good. I’m trying to think the best I’ve seen that (tough) problem ever dealt with…ISTR Oblivion takes a moderate stab at it.

    • disperse says:


      Wolfire wrote on their blog that they didn’t intend every strike to result in the opponent going completely limp, only strikes that rendered the opponent dead or unconscious. Also, it won’t go into slow motion during every attack animation.

  13. K says:

    The anthropomorphic animals still creep me out. if they could just use something like humans (or robots or aliens or whathaveyou) instead, I’d be really happy. I have a hard time identifying with such characters, because they are perfectly human, except they don’t look like humans, for some unexplained reason.

  14. Artist says:

    Unexplained? Excuse me, but fantasy, mythology and science-fiction cultures are full of such examples! The minotaurus, the mighty Horus and his fellows, the Beaty and the Beast, Ninja Turtles and lots of others! One could say its a very rich part of our mythological sub-conciousness!

    • the affront says:

      They (at least the good ones) usually explain why a race evolved how it did that makes sense and have it impact the story in some way, though.

    • K says:

      The difference being that the story of the Greek Minotaurus was essentially about him being half-beast. He didn’t behave nor get treated like a human, and therefore him him/it being half-beast added to the drama, or rather: that fact was the essential conflict in this story.

      With anthros, they are anthros because… well… just because. Mickey Mouse in his current incarnations is essentially a human (and even uses human expressions, speech and expressions, hell, he’s even properly clothed!) and is only barely recognizable as a mouse. If you make a game about minotaurs, I’m in. If you make a game about humans that superficially look like cows or rabbits, I’m out.

    • Artist says:

      uhm, lets see… Mickey Mouse… Tail – check, ears – check, nose – check! If its not recognisable as mouse Im not sure about what Mickey Mouse youre talking….
      The Minotaurus on the other hand is not a story its rather a myth and that also means that it depends on the version. So Minotaurus is not half-man/half-beast in every interpretation.
      But I think I misunderstood that you just wanted to say that you dont like the chars in Overgrowth.. must have overread that in the first place…

    • pipman3000 says:

      i guess you could say the difference between furries and standard sci-fi/fantasy humanoid animals is extremely arbitrary and usually up to personal opinion.

    • Nick says:


    • steve.p says:


  15. Ozymandias says:

    I’ve semi-followed these guys for the 2 years since they started working on this. (5 if you count the years they never could get anything done because of school, and the game was still named “Lugaru 2”)

    I was talking to the devs yesterday. You have to keep mind that even though the the team is made up of 5 people, only one or two of them ever really work on the code. Aubrey just does the (awesome) textures and such for the game, and John is the guy that deals with the public and has the awesome beard (for now).

    You also have to keep mind that they created this game engine from the ground up, and that the same engine is going to be used in their future games (I imagine) so when they decide to work on those they won’t have to spend all that time building the engine all over again.

    As for the running animations, I imagine David just went into the animation creator and made a quick running, jumping, climbing, and rolling animation just for the purposes of them not just being stiff dolls that just slide around everywhere. He told me that they were placeholders, and the video description says “Animations are placeholder,” so…