A Valley Without Wind 1&2 Catch-all

I am enjoying the game/beta so far. I bought it. I love Arcen Games. Anyhoo, it feels .... weird. This is going to be an acquired taste that's for sure.

There is a lot to this game from crafting, building and meeting the needs of settlers and what not.

Actual spoiler below


And huge freakin' robots. It stretched to the top of the game screen.

I am definitely loving it so far.

Cool preview that gives you the basic ins and outs: http://www.diygamer.com/2011/09/isol...

Expect more from them in the future as that was just a part 1 preview.

New trailer for MineCon this weekend. They're giving away copies of the game (and their other titles) at MineCon, but if you pay attention to Twitter et al you can try and win a copy that way.

Blog entry about it that also has a link to the new starting guide: http://arcengames.blogspot.com/2011/...

I've been half heartedly watching the beta changelists go up over the past few months and there hasn't been a whole lot that's really excited me. Basically I've been going "okay, I'll keep waiting until they add more x, y and z, and then I'll jump back into the beta." Well, we may have reached that point. They're scrapping the health system. If you watch Chris's older gameplay videos, the very first thing he did was go out and find health potions because you needed them to stay alive. Fine. Well, when I was playing the beta/demo, that's what I had to do ... and I found it rather boring as I kept running around inside buildings looking for potions. Hardly what I'd call exciting.

Now that's gone. No health potions, no healing magic. Instead, you will be relying on killing enemies and having them drop "health restoration floaty-things." I like the sound of this a lot more. Chris goes on to say:

That's not really enough on its own, of course -- there has to be a better way to have more health stores with you on an expedition, so that you can make a more-arduous-than-average journey or prepare for a big boss fight. In Metroid games, that's usually done via the Health Tanks idea, whereas in most RPGs or adventure games it's done via healing items that you carry with you. For a lot of various reasons including HUD considerations and the extremely large inventory in this game, we went with something closer to the Metroid model -- so there still aren't any healing items that you can carry with you and use in the field.

Instead what we have now are Vitality Stones, which you can collect in the field as you explore, and use in town. Using 2 of these stones causes your maximum health to double -- kind of like adding an energy tank in Metroid. Then using 4 of the stones makes your max health 300% of the base max health. That pattern continues: 8 vitality stones make for 400%, 16 makes for 500%, 32 makes for 600%, 64 makes for 800%, and so on.

This system, at least the latter part, was suggested by a player. Got to hand it to Arcen, they really listen to their players.

They just finished a "power coding" session where they ripped the heart out of the game and replaced it with something hopefully better. I'd give it a couple more weeks before diving back in though. As it stands today, the balance is way off kilter, and there are still a lot of "holes" where old content was taken out and hasn't been replaced with new yet. It's crazy how much the game has changed in just a few weeks, and it's hard to say where it's going to end up...

The latest beta is a big one and they're closing in on phase 3 of the beta, which will be the final beta phase.

What that means is the game is still 50% off right now, though once the beta is finished the full price will be $20.

I'm sure it will be an interesting/good game when it's done, but I've decided to wait for a lot more stability before diving in again. I'm still not even really sure what kind of game this is going to end up being...

I fired up the latest beta and it feels a lot more like a real game than before. I still don't like going in and out of rooms in buildings searching for crap. It feel utterly monotonous and not at all like exploring. That's what's nice about the caves and outdoor areas, I feel like I'm exploring. buildings feel like blind luck and that f-ing door sound repeated over and over.

garion333 wrote:

I fired up the latest beta and it feels a lot more like a real game than before. I still don't like going in and out of rooms in buildings searching for crap. It feel utterly monotonous and not at all like exploring. That's what's nice about the caves and outdoor areas, I feel like I'm exploring. buildings feel like blind luck and that f-ing door sound repeated over and over.

Yeah. I hope there will eventually be some stuff in buildings worth looking for. Fortunately, the door sounds are easy to "remove".

I fired up 571 yesterday. It was the first time I had played in about a month. I was impressed by how much the game has matured. There are now missions and bosses and the game seems to have a lot more structure. I still feel kind of "lost" though. The missions are kind of explained with popup text, but I still don't know why I should do one mission over another, or what I'm really working towards. I know it has something to do beating an overlord. Should I be exploring generic locations, and if so, what should I be looking for? Should I be building up my settlement? If so, why, how?

Of course, it's still a beta. I hope that the game will get even more focus baked into it as time goes on. Other than the lack of focus, I did have a lot of fun with it and I'm looking forward to putting in some more time.

Entering the final beta stage.

Environ? Really? Blech.

God, that game looks completely lame and stupid.

Malor wrote:

Environ? Really? Blech.

God, that game looks completely lame and stupid.

Tell us what you really think.

I lost interest when they went 2D, but I hope the game is successful for them. Just not my cup of tea.

Game launches the week of April 16th. It would be sooner but they're taking some time for marketing and to give reviewers some time with the game. We shall see.

Malor wrote:

Environ? Really? Blech.

God, that game looks completely lame and stupid.

Do you like anything?

garion333 wrote:

Game launches the week of April 16th. It would be sooner but they're taking some time for marketing and to give reviewers some time with the game. We shall see.

Game now launching April 23rd as they got a booth at PAX East and 3/5 of their staff (ie. 3 people, I assume) will be going.

Do you like anything?

Stuff that's good, sure. I put a lot of hours into their first game, AI War. I'm pretty enthusiastic about indie games in general.

But that one? It looks laaaaaame. The main character looks totally like he was cut out of frames of cardboard and pasted into the scenes. He barely looks connected to the terrain at all.

There's a sense of completeness you get from some games, like Orcs Must Die or Space Pirates and Zombies, a smooth integration of physics and gameplay into the graphic engine. I'm very, very much not seeing it in this game.

Maybe the gameplay will make up for the graphics and what looks like a pretty lousy engine, but I'm sure not expecting much from the plot. Calling the world Environ? Really?

Well, I think PAX East was a good thing for this game. They got a ton of feedback and watched people play their game, which has lead to a bunch of changes/additions. That free, cold testing has already had a bunch of changes implemented, mostly on the helping-the-player-understand-the-game front.

Arcen's blog has a list of some of the coverage from PAX.

I updated the game on Monday and put about an hour into it. I gotta say it feels much, much more like the game they want to deliver. Obviously an hour isn't long enough to dive into the deep end of their mechanics, but it definitely feels like releasing as 1.0 next week is deserved. In fact, I liked what I played so much that I'm looking forward to the release, while I was definitely hesitant before due to my prior experiences with the game.

The game is still too dense for it's own good, but they've got more tooltips in there than before and those certainly help out a TON. Animation continues to be a weak point and I don't know how much it'll improve, but I can live with it. It's the mechanics that are important and those work. Inventory management is a chore, but considering the scope of the game, inventory is always going to be an issue (see: Minecraft).

Oh, and I still don't entirely grasp their map system, but I'm sure that too is just a time thing. AI War is not an easy game to get into with its hours of tutorials, but the learning curve isn't steep, it's just long. I think that's true here also.

Barring any bugs between now and Monday the devs say the latest update makes AVWW 1.0 (release candidate).

Every update after will be considered post-release content/patches.

Game on.

James Allen had quite a few nice things to say about the game in his review.

A Valley Without Wind is a very solid platform game with role-playing and strategy mixed in for a unique feel. The game features a fairly standard assortment of spells, with ranged and melee options, that can be upgraded by completing missions and gathering resources. You can also unlock randomized enchants to buff your attack damage, walking speed, defense, or spell cooldown (among many other things). The various enemies in the game are vulnerable (or immune) to specific spell types, which makes combat more tactically interesting than your typical action role-playing game. The world of Environ (or whatever you chose to name it at the world creation screen) is full of other characters that can be rescued, upgraded (increasing health, mana, or attack), swapped places with, or given buildings so they can cast worldwide spells. There are many (infinite, really) procedurally generated places to explore: buildings, caverns, and lands filled with resources and enemies. People who like stories in their role-playing will be disappointed by A Valley Without Wind, which takes a more free-form approach, supported by its procedurally generated content. There is also a wide variety of missions to undertake, from platform-heavy tasks to boss battles to arcade-like defense, gradually increasing your experience until you are strong enough to defeat the continent’s overlord and his minions. Then, it’s time to save the next world. While the procedurally generated content does give A Valley Without Wind significantly more replay value than traditional platform of action role-playing games, you are still going to approach each new continent in the same way. The 2-D graphics are detailed in places, and the music is excellent. Finally, persistent multiplayer is a really neat feature, allowing users to explore and team-up online. As someone who usually avoids both platform games and action RPGs, the fact that I’ve spend a significant amount of time playing the beta of A Valley Without Wind should speak volumes of its unique blend, and the importance of procedurally generated content for unpredictability. It is a monstrous game with features you usually don’t see combined, but as you ease into the mechanics, A Valley Without Wind delivers a great mixture of platforming, role playing, and strategy.

I played the latest version last night after playing the beta months ago and not getting it. Last night I had a ton of fun, and was kind of overwhelmed at all there was to do! Looks like they put a lot of work into it.

I really want to like this game.

But I don't.

Yeah this looks exactly like something I'd love but it just seems to fall short for me. Castlevania style exploration doesn't seem to work really well with random level generators compared to crafted levels. It also seems very obtuse for something that seems like it should be relatively simple. Still it interesting and ambitious so I wish them the best.

In a few weeks, Valve/Arcen will make keys available to unlock this game on Steam, where it is on sale right now.

1.000 - Game has gone-gold-game-gold. Game. Gold.

Just picked it up on Steam, pretty excited. Played a few minutes but that's all I have time for tonight.

I'm shocked that this game is not being discussed more on here after being released. I tinkered around with it last night and realized if I did not turn it off soon there would be dire consequences when trying to open my eyes in the morning. There is a fun game here.

I almost posted in here yesterday as I stared at the Steam page debating whether to buy this or not. Well...I know I'm going to buy it eventually but it's a question of what I'll pay for it.

I really like the devs and the way they communicate with their community. The support shown for AI leads me to think that this is a game that will only get more refined over time.

I've looked over the reviews and they've been pretty positive. 7/8 on Out of Eight (I really like his reviews) The concept of the game appeals to me and I like the village building aspects of it.

The thing that is getting me is the actual gameplay. It seems really twitchy in every video I've see. The animations seem a bit stilted and it looked like it might be a bit awkward in demanding a level of control (it is a bit bullet helly after all) that is hard to achieve.

I think I'm probably going to pick this up when I get home regardless of enabling because I want to support the devs. I'm just hoping that the gameplay isn't as rough as some of the videos make it appear to be. I'm completely sold on the concept of the game already.

Someone in this thread get to enabling!

Play the demo? Wait a while for more patches/more opinions/a better price?