Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: BlazerFM on May 14, 2012, 08:21:18 PM

Title: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: BlazerFM on May 14, 2012, 08:21:18 PM
Ok, Valley without Wind is a great game, and nobody can take that away from it. A great example that the future of gaming still has hope, just like Fez.

On a fan level, it's beloved, but on a critical level, it's not as well loved.

The primary problem reviewers have with this game is how repetitive the game feels. Some people have managed to acknowledge that the tasks you perform are of your own choices, but those same people still acknowledge that actually DOING it is still mind numbingly boring.

The REAL main problem with all this is that a completely non-linear game has the disadvantage of not benefiting from linearity.

In a linear game, you are able to design the game to accommodate conditions that would otherwise not happen. Like escaping a building being destroyed, while dodging enemy fire while attempting to board an enemy aircraft. Linear gameplay allows developers to let loose and give the players a genuine and memorable experience.

So the question is... why can't we implement this into AVWW?

Well the answer is... WE CAN!

Make the missions we currently have and turn them into side quests, and then make linear levels that focus on story elements. Each continent would have it's own story to tell, each one randomly chosen. For example, the first continent would have the possibility to randomly pick from 3 different stories, and as more and more continents come up, unlocking new regions to explore, more and more story opportunities would be unlocked, allowing up to 10 different stories to be able to play out, with the 9th and 10th stories always being the final stories involving saving what's left of reality, or something equally epic, the 9th and 10th stories is never random, and it's always chosen for only the 9th and 10th continent. (Ok, I'm done insulting your intelligence, sorry about that. =P)

I know by the time you reach continent 11, there's no more stories to experience, but maybe other players can use the map editor to make their own stories too, and add them to the stories you could experience after "Episode 10".

I could use some input, because I KNOW there are a few things wrong with this system, so I would appreciate it if we got some constructive conversation going here. =)
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: Misery on May 14, 2012, 08:45:45 PM
I can see some players liking this, I guess.   Though if something like this were in place, I'd want it to remain totally optional.

I'm not much for storylines, myself.    I always say, if I want a story, I'll read a book.   When I'm gaming, I'm pretty much never in it for the storyline, and chances are, regardless of the game, I havent the foggiest idea what the story is, and I probably also dont actually care.

I dont really see how this changes up any of the gameplay though.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: KingIsaacLinksr on May 14, 2012, 08:48:55 PM
I'm just going to say that this idea isn't really in the scope of the general idea of the game. Simply adding a story isn't going to "fix" the issues that people view with this game.

King
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: keith.lamothe on May 14, 2012, 09:08:37 PM
Frankly, as long as our customers enjoy the game, and we have enough customers to keep doing what we're doing, then we aren't going to make big changes to the game for the sole purpose of pleasing the reviewers.

A lot of people really like the game, and it's selling really well.  It's a pity about some of the reviews being the way they are (particularly some of the big-name ones) but... does that hurt the service our customers are getting?  Not really.

Far preferable to the situation Tidalis had: people liked it, most reviewers loved it, and it only grossed about, maybe, 80k in nearly 2 years now.  Not peanuts, and I'm glad we made the game (I know my kids will enjoy it, for instance), but nowhere enough to cover the costs of making it.

AVWW is doing rather better than that :)
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: Vinraith on May 14, 2012, 10:03:34 PM
Linear authorially-driven story is literally the last thing I'd want from this game. I don't think I'm alone in that.


On a separate note, I'm glad to hear the game is doing well. I think it's fantastic, and have been a bit concerned that some of the reviews might be killing sales.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: BlazerFM on May 14, 2012, 10:16:02 PM
Ugh, I now realize from the responses I've gotten (Even from the developers, how bout that! =D) that I said this completely wrong.

The point I was making was that a storyline would allow "set-pieces" to happen. Things that you normally can't experience in the normal game.

The stories should definitely be entirely Optional (Mostly because I think the stories should never have anything to do with overthrowing an Overlord; that would make possibilities WAY too limited)

I'm just saying that stories would add flavor to the game. It's just a little seasoning on an already delicious steak.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: keith.lamothe on May 14, 2012, 10:26:50 PM
On a separate note, I'm glad to hear the game is doing well. I think it's fantastic, and have been a bit concerned that some of the reviews might be killing sales.
We were a bit concerned that might happen too when we saw it start getting panned in big-name reviews (the early ones were pretty good), but sales have held on really well.

It's doing about 2.75x as well as AIW was doing in its corresponding period.  The curves of revenue-over-time after release for all three games are eerily similar, actually.

@BlazerFM: yes, we've thought about something like those kinds of set-pieces, and there may be something like those in the future.  There certainly does seem to be a call for more reason to dislike the overlord, etc.  Anyway, thanks for the feedback :)  Mainly we want to know what the people playing the game want, rather than the desires of the people who will never pick it back up after they finish writing the review because they just don't like the basic idea, etc :)
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: Zozma on May 14, 2012, 11:48:46 PM
The gameplay does become a little repetetive, but I don't think that has anything to do with the story or the linearity of the game. If new continents continue to offer new, drastically different enemies, locations, and spells (as it does with the first three continents), then the game continues to work well past the first continent and well into additional playthroughs.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: TechSY730 on May 16, 2012, 11:22:06 AM
Linear authorially-driven story is literally the last thing I'd want from this game. I don't think I'm alone in that.

I wouldn't mind it if it was made somewhat non-linear and was in addition to the existing game, and also completely optional. Basically like the Fallen Spire of AI War: Light of the Spire.

However, something like that for AVWW is probably big enough to wait for the next expansion, but I think something like that would be awesome.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: LayZboy on May 16, 2012, 11:39:07 AM
If new continents continue to offer new, drastically different enemies, locations, and spells (as it does with the first three continents)

1 new area and less than 5 new spells (is it 5 or more can't remember) per continent is frankly shit. The new spells are mostly inferior to the basic ones you get on Continent one, and the new areas are either boring or not very useful at all.

My mate was gonna buy the game because he thought they would be something new in other continents, I told him to just play the trial and nothing else since you don't really miss anything if you don't buy the game.

You could call me bad for saying that, but that's just how the game is. Play continent one and don't bother with anything else. That's how I feel anyway.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: Misery on May 16, 2012, 07:22:14 PM
If new continents continue to offer new, drastically different enemies, locations, and spells (as it does with the first three continents)

1 new area and less than 5 new spells (is it 5 or more can't remember) per continent is frankly shit. The new spells are mostly inferior to the basic ones you get on Continent one, and the new areas are either boring or not very useful at all.

My mate was gonna buy the game because he thought they would be something new in other continents, I told him to just play the trial and nothing else since you don't really miss anything if you don't buy the game.

You could call me bad for saying that, but that's just how the game is. Play continent one and don't bother with anything else. That's how I feel anyway.



er..... continent 2 though kinda introduces ALOT of stuff.   Actually I wonder if that's why 3 and 4 arent so good on it, because number 2 throws ALOT of stuff your way.   And some of the unlocked things are very..... different..... from number 1 (like The Deep).

Not to mention new monsters, spells you couldnt get before (usefulness seems to entirely depend on the player), bosses, the Ice Pirates, more complicated continent layout (due to 2 new area types)......


I heard someone on this forum say at one point that "Continent 2 is when the game REALLY gets going", and I have to agree with them.

At the same time though, I would like to still see more "stuff" per continent just in general....... that whole unlocking system works pretty well for world progression but it tapers off a bit fast.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: tigersfan on May 16, 2012, 07:31:27 PM
Yeah, to say that there isn't much added on continent 2 just isn't fair IMO. I'll agree that we need to put more into later continents (though 3 does have some different stuff from 2 as well), and that's something we plan to do, but the focus right now is on earlier in the game.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: LayZboy on May 16, 2012, 07:46:33 PM

Not to mention new monsters

I think we've already establish on this forum that the combat lacks anything interesting., so I don't think that counts tbh. The only monster if found interesting was that bird-mecha-thing that appeared in boss zones sometimes.

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spells you couldnt get before (usefulness seems to entirely depend on the player),

I only new spell I used was Ride The lighting, since it was useful to me. Things like launch meteor were just not useful at the time to due to high mana cost or that it's too weak, since it couldn't lower the amount of hits it took to kill a monster.

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the Ice Pirates


A useless addition that either does nothing at all or cheapkills your JtP mission. Maybe if they were more threatening other than cheapkills in very specific missions, or there was a reason for getting rid of them.


I wouldn't really mind if the game was still in beta.
But it's not. It was released. That's the real problem for me, it just feels so unfinished. So I stopped playing the game till it has more focus.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: Zozma on May 16, 2012, 08:03:02 PM

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I think we've already establish on this forum that the combat lacks anything interesting., so I don't think that counts tbh. The only monster if found interesting was that bird-mecha-thing that appeared in boss zones sometimes.

I don't think that's been "established" at all. Some people, myself included, quite like the combat of the game. No one here's calling it perfect, but to say it lacks anything interesting is, I feel, gross hyperbole.


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I only new spell I used was Ride The lighting, since it was useful to me. Things like launch meteor were just not useful at the time to due to high mana cost or that it's too weak, since it couldn't lower the amount of hits it took to kill a monster.

Tier 3 launch meteor with an earth enchant and an attack rating of about 140% can do 1400 damage and can hit multiple targets at once, and can easily be cast and recast by a character with 200 mana. That's nothing to sneeze at. Other spells are more situational, hence why you get them on continent 2 where you're expected to know a little bit more of the game's nuances. Greater teleport is mana intensive, but gives you the invaluable ability to be anywhere on the screen instantly. Again, nothing to sneeze at.

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A useless addition that either does nothing at all or cheapkills your JtP mission. Maybe if they were more threatening other than cheapkills in very specific missions, or there was a reason for getting rid of them.
the Ice Pirates


Here, I agree. There's no reason for the ice pirates to be in the game at the present. As a tease for future updates they're quite nice, but at present they serve no real purpose.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: Misery on May 16, 2012, 08:06:37 PM
The Ice Pirates, right now, just need to do more DAMAGE.

I see what the point of them is.... they're meant to be a threat if you're near their tile..... but right now they do so little damage that they dont matter too much.   Considering what they are their attacks should HURT.    Like, alot.


I'm hoping to see more content with these guys later on though.   Like, sidequesty missions that you can do, infiltrating their ships and bringing them down by defeating the leader found inside somewhere.   Followed of course by a Metroid-style "escape before it explodes" sequence.   Because awesome, that's why.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: TechSY730 on May 16, 2012, 08:07:45 PM

Not to mention new monsters

I think we've already establish on this forum that the combat lacks anything interesting., so I don't think that counts tbh. The only monster if found interesting was that bird-mecha-thing that appeared in boss zones sometimes.


Some of the newest stuff (like the infestation stuff, which sort of acts like environmental hazards) and some of the recent enemy types are interesting.

TBH, I'm not really sure why people are saying combat as it is now is deeply flawed (not saying you are, but others have).
Yes, there is a lack of variety in effects (ways they can impact enemies or the environment, not art effects), and I do think the "low total number of frame" animations on character attack animations combined with momentum usually not showing itself very well on firing of spells (though for many spells, it is very evident on hit) makes the combat "feel" stiff, but these do not require major redesigns of the system.
All of these points I mentioned about combat have been discussed in other threads too.

Plus, the current system and spell selection still gives a pretty decent variety, even though it could certainly use improvement.
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spells you couldnt get before (usefulness seems to entirely depend on the player),

I only new spell I used was Ride The lighting, since it was useful to me. Things like launch meteor were just not useful at the time to due to high mana cost or that it's too weak, since it couldn't lower the amount of hits it took to kill a monster

See my point above about the acknowledged lack of variety in spell/damage effects, but there have been some clever new proposals too. One of the cooler ones (that admittedly would be difficult to balance right) is to allow some sort of projectile interaction. ("shooting down" enemy projectiles, allies combining projectiles into something even more powerful, things like that)

The second one could imply a major redesign of the balance of projectiles and enemies, but just adding new spell effects wouldn't. In any case, if new mechanics are added, some of them should definitely be "backported" to the some of the basic spells, because the basic spells are what are used in "everyday combat", and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon, and the basic spells are what people get during their very important first impression.

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the Ice Pirates


A useless addition that either does nothing at all or cheapkills your JtP mission. Maybe if they were more threatening other than cheapkills in very specific missions, or there was a reason for getting rid of them.

Already acknowledged, even in 1.000 (read the pre-release notes and you'll see they had to delay some of their plans for them due to the upcoming release dates)
Also see Sky pirates: what are they and how do I make them get off the continent? (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,10701.0.html)
and Make ice pirates more interesting (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=7843)

I'll repeat my point though that I think they should probably be taken out until the missions involving them can be implemented, as by the dev's own admission, right now they are an incomplete map event.

I wouldn't really mind if the game was still in beta.
But it's not. It was released. That's the real problem for me, it just feels so unfinished. So I stopped playing the game till it has more focus.

Agreed, this game still feels beta, and frankly I feel it was pushed into 1.0 too soon. But this particular point has been debated to near death by now, so I'm not going to write a long post about it like I would otherwise be inclined to do.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: Misery on May 16, 2012, 08:12:12 PM

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I think we've already establish on this forum that the combat lacks anything interesting., so I don't think that counts tbh. The only monster if found interesting was that bird-mecha-thing that appeared in boss zones sometimes.

I don't think that's been "established" at all. Some people, myself included, quite like the combat of the game. No one here's calling it perfect, but to say it lacks anything interesting is, I feel, gross hyperbole.


This.

It hasnt been established whatsoever.

What HAS been established, is that some more variety in the attack spells would be a good idea..... that's all.

The combat though?  YOU might not like it...... I mean, the game is NOT going to be for everyone as a whole, and some aspects of it arent going to agree with everyone..... but plenty DO like it.   *I* think it's just fine.   It's pretty much exactly what I want;  dodging bullets and blasting baddies and fighting huge bosses.
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: LayZboy on May 16, 2012, 09:26:36 PM
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some of the recent enemy types are interesting.

I think mimics would be a great addition to the monster role-call, something that just sits there disguised as certain treasure's (although with subtle differences to a real treasure) and does nothing until you get near it, then it starts chasing you down trying to eat you. A monster that could camouflage itself on the map somewhere, and then reveal itself to shot at you then move and hide again would also be a nice surprise as well. Just something that jumps out at you and gives you a shock for not paying attention to your surroundings, or just because the game feels like it.

I read that there was T-rex's added was it? When I did read it I was like "Is it A: a monster that shoots from range or B: a monster that runs at me". I just feel there is few variety in the monsters apart from how they look. One of the most note-able ones for me was the Will-o-wisp I think it's called? which had the gravity effect of pulling it towards you, I thought this was a really nice idea. Then it started shooting projectiles and I was just thought "oh, one of them again".

Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: KingIsaacLinksr on May 16, 2012, 09:31:30 PM

Not to mention new monsters

I think we've already establish on this forum that the combat lacks anything interesting., so I don't think that counts tbh. The only monster if found interesting was that bird-mecha-thing that appeared in boss zones sometimes.


I'm just going to say that talking as if you know the general pulse of everyone is a very, very bad idea. I personally find the combat to be way more engaging and interesting than many other platformers right now.

King
Title: Re: (Brainstorm) A Remedy to the mundanity. (Maybe/Hopefully)
Post by: TechSY730 on May 16, 2012, 09:33:18 PM
I think mimics would be a great addition to the monster role-call, something that just sits there disguised as certain treasure's (although with subtle differences to a real treasure) and does nothing until you get near it, then it starts chasing you down trying to eat you. A monster that could camouflage itself on the map somewhere, and then reveal itself to shot at you then move and hide again would also be a nice surprise as well. Just something that jumps out at you and gives you a shock for not paying attention to your surroundings, or just because the game feels like it.

Awesome idea, I'm all for it.

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I read that there was T-rex's added was it? When I did read it I was like "Is it A: a monster that shoots from range or B: a monster that runs at me". I just feel there is few variety in the monsters apart from how they look. One of the most note-able ones for me was the Will-o-wisp I think it's called? which had the gravity effect of pulling it towards you, I thought this was a really nice idea. Then it started shooting projectiles and I was just thought "oh, one of them again".

Yep, I get the same feeling too, especially among the non-elite enemies. See Enemy AI and Behaviours (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,10695.0.html)