Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: x4000 on June 07, 2011, 08:42:42 AM

Title: FAQ: What kind of game is this? Control options? (And similar Qs).
Post by: x4000 on June 07, 2011, 08:42:42 AM
Q: What genre of game is this?

A: It's an action-adventure game at core.  So this means you move around by pressing arrow keys, fire spells at enemies by pressing other keys, and so on.

Beyond that, however, is what we call the "meta game" aspects: NPCs, settlements, wind shelters, hopes, deeds, perma-death, and so on.  This aspects are what give AVWW its soul, and they have bits of various genre influences such as RPG, City Builder, Tactics, Choose Your Own Adventure, and... even a bit of 4X.

All of these meta game aspects are a layer on top of the core action-adventure gameplay.  So you're running around wielding your magic and slaying bad guys and exploration and so forth, and as you do so you're also helping to rebuild civilization.  You can take time away to go help build up settlements and make the overworld map more traversible and so on, but the balance of how you spend your time is up to you.  This part is a pretty huge topic, though, and it's hard to describe in brief.

Q: What is the focus of the game: combat or exploration?

A: That's a hard question to answer, because the game doesn't have one mechanical focus.  Rather, the focus is on the world itself, and ways that you can change it for better or worse.  Exploration is a huge part of the game, but combat is also.  So are the city-building and NPC hopes aspects, but you can choose to completely ignore those last two if you want to kill every NPC you meet and lone-wolf the entire time.

Don't think that this is trying to be a one-size-fits-all game, though: this isn't a sandbox experience.  You won't be physically building houses or anything like that.  Everything is centered around the focus of how you choose to change the world, and what comes of that.  And what you find about the world as you go exploring.

Combat is something that happens along the way, frequently, and to that end our goal is to make it as fun as possible in both a tactical sense and a bubble-wrap-popping sense.  Depending on your playstyle and how you choose to explore, the combat might be more tactical or more bubble-wrap-ish.  The more daring you are in your exploration, the more tactical you have to be; but if you play it extremely safe, you can play in a slower fashion that gives you practically no combat challenge.

Q: What is the difficulty of the game like?

A: We have an cool way of letting you set that for yourself based on your own decisions.  Depending on where you go in your travels, regions are more or less difficult.  If you stay closer to the start and expand outward more slowly, the game is easier.  If you're super cautious, it can be incredibly easy.

But fortune really does favor the bold, and for experienced genre fans they'll be striking out further quite quickly.  Depending on how much you push it... the game can go from being reasonably difficult at what we think of as the "default" way of playing, to being bone-grindingly hard if you really push outwards very far.

There are also some specially challenging region types, such as The Deep and the Lava Flats, which are exceptionally difficult no matter how you play.  Novice players can just ignore these, but for advanced players they provide a special kind of fun (http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php/DF2010:Losing).

Q: What will I be doing in a given play session, in a concrete sense?

A: This really depends on you.  However, some examples of things that might take up all or part of any given play session:

1. You might explore a new region, mapping it out and finding the various treasures it holds, while killing monsters that you run across.

2. You might help secure the area around a settlement at the request of some NPCs, so that they can build a larger settlement that benefits you in various ways.

3. You might take the treasure you found in the past, and use it to craft some cool new spells, traps, potions, or similar.  Or you might have to take these to an NPC at a settlement.

4. You might be searching out "memory crystals" and other clues to piece together the story of what broke the world before the game started (and the specific answers will vary by world).

5. You might saddle up and storm an evil overlord's keep to stop his malicious influence on the surrounding lands.

6. You might go hunting for new NPCs to befriend and recruit to your settlements, or you might search for training materials to help improve the professional skills of your existing friendly NPCs, or you might undertake tasks to help NPCs improve their professional buildings (help build a better smithy, etc).

There's other stuff, too, but these are some pretty concrete examples of common activities you might undertake.

Q: How will the game controls work?

A: The most preferred way to play is looking like it will be keyboard and mouse.  However, keyboard-only will also be supported.  We had originally planned to have gamepad support be a central thing, but now that's more of a subordinate mechanism for input.  We now have working direct gamepad support in the game, but given that you have 10 ability slots plus a couple of other actions you can take, gamepads tend to be less ideal than the keyboard and mouse combo because you won't have enough buttons to map everything.