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ebarstad
02-04-2011, 01:33 PM
New adventure/rpg hybrid from the developers of AI War:

http://www.arcengames.com/w/index.php/games/avww-features


What is A Valley Without Wind?

A Valley Without Wind, or AVWW for short, is an action-adventure game focusing on exploration in a post-ice-age world. It's actually set in the far future -- far enough that all recognizable landmarks and land masses have been wiped from the earth. Magic has surfaced in this ruined world, and is the sole reason that most of the scattered survivors have managed to keep themselves alive. Not only have they had to face the bitter cold and worldwide glaciers for centuries, but new terrors fill the now-wild world.

Great fissures have been rent in the earth, and quite a few unpleasant things have crept forth. Unusually hardy mutations of plants thrive despite the lingering snow at the tail end of the ice age, and many of these plants have deadly adaptations that threaten the surviving humans. As a direct result of all the monsters, most survivors are alone or in very small groups, living off their wits and their magic to survive. It is a bleak existence.

You begin the game with a character in such a situation. But your character isn't content to cower in caves and ruins. Setting out on an adventure that will span regions and even -- if you desire -- continents -- the character can bring together other survivors into settlements that have a better chance of surviving. The wilds will be explored and mapped, and the greatest evils lurking both above and below ground will eventually have to be faced.


I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

Thank goodness for indie devs! Without them, games would just be a stagnant pool of mediocrity.

caldazar
02-04-2011, 02:39 PM
thanks for the heads up, I'll be looking into this one!

Castruccio
02-20-2011, 01:34 PM
Arcen posts new video and info every Friday, it seems. There is a great new video out this week showing how they've added shadows to the art and have put in some of the basic spells.

Bluddy
02-20-2011, 02:55 PM
I'm really not crazy about the art style, and that includes the backgrounds, the perspective, and the characters. I think that might hurt them in the long run. The potential of the game itself, however, seems very good. Quite similar to DC in theory.

Interesting also how they want to make just one land that keeps on expanding.

Castruccio
02-20-2011, 03:01 PM
I kind of like the art style, myself. It's outside the box in a very indie way. It's not the same old swords and sorcery we are used to seeing. And I agree with you that the idea of a massively generated persistent single world is great.

ebarstad
02-21-2011, 04:23 AM
Really liked what I saw in that video -- the shadows really change the look. It's amazing to see how quickly they're progressing. Looking forward to this one.

Kruztee
10-18-2011, 09:40 PM
As a massive fan of AI War, I bought into the beta on the first day of release, but I've been left kind of wishing that I hadn't.

I find the gameplay to be repetitive and boring. There doesn't seem to be any meta-game goals; you just keep levelling up you civilisation ad-nauseum, fighting stronger and stronger versions of the same monsters. Granted, the game is still in very early beta, but so far my disappointment significantly outweighs any other feelings I have towards the game.

Over time, with a massive injection of new content, flavor elements, mobs, and loot, this does have the potential to be quite a fun game, but I'm going to sit things out for a couple of months before going back to judge it again.

There's definately a danger in releasing a beta so early that you turn off would be fans with a lack of content and polish - I hope that is simply what's happened here. The other option is that the whole game from concept up is just dull and repetitive, which would be devastating to me, as I've been anticipating this game for a long time. :(

ebarstad
10-18-2011, 09:51 PM
I lost a lot of interest when they went from 3d to 2d. I'm also holding off to see how it turns out, but what I've played and seen hasn't grabbed my imagination the way I'd hoped it would.

Bluddy
10-21-2011, 02:57 AM
As a massive fan of AI War, I bought into the beta on the first day of release, but I've been left kind of wishing that I hadn't.

I find the gameplay to be repetitive and boring. There doesn't seem to be any meta-game goals; you just keep levelling up you civilisation ad-nauseum, fighting stronger and stronger versions of the same monsters. Granted, the game is still in very early beta, but so far my disappointment significantly outweighs any other feelings I have towards the game.

Over time, with a massive injection of new content, flavor elements, mobs, and loot, this does have the potential to be quite a fun game, but I'm going to sit things out for a couple of months before going back to judge it again.

There's definately a danger in releasing a beta so early that you turn off would be fans with a lack of content and polish - I hope that is simply what's happened here. The other option is that the whole game from concept up is just dull and repetitive, which would be devastating to me, as I've been anticipating this game for a long time. :(

Kruztee, I couldn't agree with you more. I was in the exact same position. I started following this game and getting really excited about it. Then they switched to 2d, and like ebarstad I lost some interest, but regained it eventually. Then they released the beta, and I was sorely disappointed.

I think this game suffers from many basic design problems, among them:
1. No stats. A large game like this needs goodies to give you, but there's almost nothing to give because all you have is magic attack, mana and health. They might bring in elemental resistance but even that won't be enough. All you have to do is find 1 or 2 effective spells, then keep upgrading them with new gems.
2. Infinite length. This means the repetition gets really bad, fast. Every stat is relative to your current level since you can't have absolute numbers in an infinite game. It just means more and more upgrading of your spells to kill stronger and stronger enemies. There's no way to make an infinite game interesting -- it'll only be interesting up to the point you made content for.
3. Areas are designed for space games, not for a planetary world. In a space game you expect many lifeless areas that you have to scan through to find interesting, mineral rich planets. This is not the proper way to generate a world to explore in a game. If there are 50 rooms per area, and most of those rooms are boring to the point that exploring is a chore (and the dev admits as much), something is wrong. They give you 'scouting' ability, which is like a scanner in a space game, and it does work -- scanning for the special rooms reduces the tedium. But the tedium shouldn't be there in the first place.
4. No spatial challenges. The best part of 2d platformers is the spatial challenges -- the things you couldn't reach until you got power X (double jump, roll into a ball), or figured out to jump on the enemy's head etc. Arcen doesn't really believe in these things as can be evidenced by the fact that they give you double jump and bat form right away.

I'm not saying AVWW can't recover from these issues, but I don't think it'll be easy. I do think the strategy portion will get better and better though (this is what they do best after all) and that fights with enemies will get more varied. While I keep checking up on the game once in a while to see what the latest changes are, as of right now I don't see myself buying it.

all_zebest
10-25-2011, 04:02 AM
It reminds me of Terraria, but with a more mature design and managements (simulation) aspects. Hope the gameplay will not be too complicated.

Kruztee
10-30-2011, 06:16 PM
It reminds me of Terraria, but with a more mature design and managements (simulation) aspects. Hope the gameplay will not be too complicated.

I can't possibly imagine why it reminds you of Terraria except that its a scrolling 2-d platformer that's played on a randomly generated world. There are no other similarities at all!

I'm not judging your call one way or the other, but I would say that if you are a fan of Terraria (I'm a massive one), then it's certainly not a given that you'd like AVWW at all.

all_zebest
12-04-2011, 06:48 PM
I just bought the beta version, and all I can say is that it is quite difficult, but esthetically very successful. It is a mix of a platformer and an adventure-action game with quite a lot of craft, randomly generated environments and some interactions with other characters.
I confirm it reminds ME of Terraria (of which I am not a massive fan, but a player), but without the mining aspect and with a completely different art.
Therefore I can say this game has its own identity. It is not complete yet, but it is fully playable and enjoyable, and quite old school.
Il like it and would give it a 6/10.

Bluddy
02-09-2012, 02:44 PM
I was waiting until AVWW got to a state where I could really recommend it to people, and I think it's there. It's not an RPG, but it's a really fun metroidvania+sandbox game with some character advancement. The sandbox is not really the world-crafting Terraria/Minecraft style, but more along the lines of GTA3+. And it's very easy on the eyes. I was a heavy critic of the early versions, but Arcen have really taken feedback and fan suggestions to heart and created what is a pretty sweet game.

UPDATE: I forgot one of my favorite things about the game is the music. It's really awesome.

Castruccio
02-09-2012, 03:20 PM
I completely agree with what Bluddy has said. I bought the beta back in September and wasn't impressed at all, but things are really shaping up and I expect that they're going to get even better before the game officially releases in late March. If you've been looking at getting the game, I'd buy it before the end of the month to take advantage of the current $9.99 price point (it will increase once the game is out of beta). The game isn't finished yet, but it's getting huge chunks of content every week.

Castruccio
04-22-2012, 07:15 PM
The game is now officially complete and is MUCH improved from the early versions. Here is the first review:

http://www.outofeight.info/2012/04/valley-without-wind-review.html