Author Topic: Valley 2 Official 1.001-1002 "Mouse Aiming For Those Who Stood And Fought" Relea  (Read 12640 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Btw, I've noticed that Steam is not really advertising this game. I never got a pop-up about the game being available and it's not featured in the banner area on the front page. Same goes for the last expansion of AI War. Just letting you know.
Just FYI, we are acutely aware of how much promotion each new release gets, and how much it doesn't ;)  It could be better, but it could be worse.  Given the revenue numbers, I understand why they choose somethings over our stuff for promotion in some places, and our stuff over others in other places.  We poke and prod where we can to improve our promotional situation, it's something of a game in itself ;)

But thanks for looking out for us :)
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Offline tigersfan

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Quote
You can change your mage class quite easily and freely outside of the actual level. While this isn't exactly what you are going for, it does offer some strategic decision making opportunities.

Certainly, and for areas where I can reasonably predict the types of enemies I'll be facing I think this is perfectly sufficient.


You can do this. In most region types, there are always the same types of enemies. For example, you'll never see a firewalker in the ocean shallows. It takes time to learn, but, each region type (except a few like the overlord's keep) has an assigned set of enemies, and this set never changes.

Offline DBrickShaw

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You can do this. In most region types, there are always the same types of enemies. For example, you'll never see a firewalker in the ocean shallows. It takes time to learn, but, each region type (except a few like the overlord's keep) has an assigned set of enemies, and this set never changes.

Yes, as I'd touched on in my original post I'm mostly referring to areas like the level-up towers and the overlord tower where the enemies are randomly selected :)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 02:47:31 PM by DBrickShaw »

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Btw, I've noticed that Steam is not really advertising this game. I never got a pop-up about the game being available and it's not featured in the banner area on the front page. Same goes for the last expansion of AI War. Just letting you know.
Just FYI, we are acutely aware of how much promotion each new release gets, and how much it doesn't ;)  It could be better, but it could be worse.  Given the revenue numbers, I understand why they choose somethings over our stuff for promotion in some places, and our stuff over others in other places.  We poke and prod where we can to improve our promotional situation, it's something of a game in itself ;)

But thanks for looking out for us :)

No problem, I kind of had a feeling it was due to that.
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Offline TechSY730

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I wouldn't worry if AVWW2 is or isn't featured on Steam very much. I have found that most "popularity" systems are a bit too "capacious" to accurately reflect quality.

EDIT: Or more accurately, saying that things that fail to make it are not as quality as things that do. Things that do make it to most modern day popularity systems tend to be of good quality, but may fail to bring in things of the same or even better quality.

I would rather judge for myself. ;)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 04:55:25 PM by TechSY730 »

Offline goodgimp

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I wouldn't worry if AVWW2 is or isn't featured on Steam very much. I have found that most "popularity" system are a bit too "capacious" to accurately reflect quality.

I would rather judge for myself. ;)

That's great for a discerning video game player with a refine palette like all us Arcen gamer types are ;) but more exposure = greater chance of sales, which I would imagine would be of great important to the people who use the money to pay the bills!

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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I wouldn't worry if AVWW2 is or isn't featured on Steam very much. I have found that most "popularity" system are a bit too "capacious" to accurately reflect quality.

I would rather judge for myself. ;)

That's great for a discerning video game player with a refine palette like all us Arcen gamer types are ;) but more exposure = greater chance of sales, which I would imagine would be of great important to the people who use the money to pay the bills!

Yeah, pretty much. Its all well and good to say those things Tech, but the matter of fact is: the more your exposure, the more sales you get. If you get a ton of exposure on the front page of ANY store, you'll get a good chunk of sales. Its why getting featured by Apple is so important on iOS, because you get a ton of sales if you are.
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Offline TechSY730

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I wouldn't worry if AVWW2 is or isn't featured on Steam very much. I have found that most "popularity" system are a bit too "capacious" to accurately reflect quality.

I would rather judge for myself. ;)

That's great for a discerning video game player with a refine palette like all us Arcen gamer types are ;) but more exposure = greater chance of sales, which I would imagine would be of great important to the people who use the money to pay the bills!

Yeah, pretty much. Its all well and good to say those things Tech, but the matter of fact is: the more your exposure, the more sales you get. If you get a ton of exposure on the front page of ANY store, you'll get a good chunk of sales. Its why getting featured by Apple is so important on iOS, because you get a ton of sales if you are.

Sorry, I should of made myself more clear.

I was trying to say that the lack of a "feature item" position is usually not a sign of a lack of quality. (even though the negation does hold, a featured item slot is usually a sign of quality). Aka, don't worry that the product is bad just because it didn't get featured slots.
I will agree that it is indeed a missed opportunity for the ever important advertising and exposure.

Offline Teal_Blue

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:(   I'm very sorry to hear that valley 2 isn't doing well :(  I had hopes it would do really good, probably all of us did. But as you say, just keep on keeping on with the new games, and as you said shorter might be a good idea. It is already probably obvious, but another AI War, or expansion to AI War, or Even Full Blown sequel might bring things back to a more positive view.
I know i like AI War too, haha, but i'm a noob, so i keep losing. But i don't mind, it is still fun. Although because i'm a noob i usually just play the base game, even though i got all the new expansions, except for the new AS, which i plan to get soon. But usually for me, the streamlined play of the base game is easier for me to get my skills around. But that is just me.


Hang in there guys! We're cheering for you!

-Teal


Offline madcow

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Well hopefully things will pick up once reviews start coming in and (hopefully) the big youtubers start doing videos for it.

Edit: it's kind of bizarre that all the hate I see in the steam forums basically comes down to "this isn't like the first one, I don't like it". Makes me wonder if they even have the first one! Trolls gonna troll I guess.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 07:36:59 PM by madcow »

Offline Misery

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Well, auto-aim breaks a lot of console games, but they still have it.  And the hardcore players avoid it like the plague, and it's off by default.

Yes this is game-breakingly easier to use.  But we do have cheat options as well that let you do all sorts of things like level up to level 16 from the start, or get tier 5 mage classes from the start, too.  Those break the game, but they're cheats.  This is a step down from a cheat and doesn't disable achievements, but for someone who wants achievements in a cheaty fashion there are easier ways (there are apparently programs that let you grant any steam achievement to yourself, we've discovered).

I have to be honest, at this point the game isn't exactly ripping up the sales charts.  Which is pretty obvious I guess if you look at the sales ranking on Steam.  Valley 1 was hovering in the #8 to #9 slot for several days after coming out, but Valley 2 has only reached #75 that I've seen.  The steam forums were filled with moaning about the mouse controls and practically nothing else.  In the end I'm not willing to burn the house down because I don't want some condescending/entitled folks to "cheat."  I've had at least two reviewers harassing me about that, too; one in a review, one prior to a review.

In the end, clearly it's a much more important thing to them than to me, so I'll let them play it their way.  If that's the only thing holding them back, then it's better than not playing at all.

But I will also say that I'm not inclined to spend a bunch of time making a control mode where it's more involved and only allows you to aim on the 45s in front of you.  That would be more faithful to the underlying design, but there's no guarantee that would please the people who want mouse controls; and there is a guarantee that it would take a goodly bit of time to get done right.  As it stands we have a goodly road before we even break even on the game, though I'm hoping that word will spread about how awesome it is.  I think a lot of people are just put off by the reputation of the first, but hints from the press thus far seem to indicate a positive reaction on that side, so hopefully that will translate over to the players.

In the meantime, aside from material defects and so forth, we have to put our attention to Shattered Haven and other future projects, or we're not going to make it.  Fun fact: AI War (and it's expansions) is the only project Arcen has ever made that has broken even.  I think that Valley 2 will break even by the end of the summer, but it won't make up for the loss on Valley 1 for a while, if at all, which was kind of the original goal.

It's a bit discouraging, because I feel like this is an incredibly good game that people just aren't giving a chance yet.  But my hope is that word of mouth will spread, and reviews will spread, and general opinion will change.  It was always a roll of the dice to do this project from the start, and it has by no means been a disaster in terms of results (unlike, say, Tidalis).  I really do think this will break even by the end of the summer, which is not bad.  But it's not picking up the torch from AI War or anything, you know what I mean?  We make the games we love, but every so often those actually have to make a profit, too. ;)

It's not a super grim situation or anything, nothing remotely like 2010 was for us.  The company isn't remotely in jeopardy, and actually we're not even at risk of shedding staff imminently.  But we do have to finish Shattered Haven and get that out (which we were already planning on doing imminently anyhow), and we do have to proceed with our other projects that we have on the schedule, too (again, which we were already planning).  Shattered Haven is another huge game, but it's been inwork for a really long time (2008).  After that one, we plan on doing much smaller (and cheaper for us and you) games that focus on a variety of new IPs and a variety of fun mechanics that we've cooked up.  Basically us playing to our strengths and going either for a powerful story experience, or high replay value in a focused mechanics-driven game, or similar.  We're going to be taking a break from the "biggest ever in its genre" type of games for a while, because we frankly can't afford to make any more of them until something other than AI War picks up the slack more.

Anyhow, my view is that Valley 2 is done, and I'm really proud of the state it's in.  There are a few bugs here and there that we'll of course iron out, but there's nothing serious and nothing fundamentally wrong with the game.  We're not going to have a post-release-marathon like Valley 1 did unless the situation changes drastically with regard to sales.  As it stands that would just push out our ability to even break even on the title pretty indefinitely.  To some who don't know me, that might sound like a callous way of looking at things, but I look at it differently: everybody on the Arcen staff is working essentially their dream job, and they all have families and in almost all cases kids.  As the head of the company, it's my job to look out for all those families as well as my own, while also making the artistic experiences that I want to make.  One side of things can never completely dominate the other or you become a pauper or Zynga, but there has to be a harmony between the two sides.  As it stands we've made an awesome artistic experience, but it's not yet doing enough to support the families of the people who made it.  So we have to shift our focus to new games, which is kind of a nice change of pace anyhow -- it's been a really long time of focusing just on Valley 1 and 2.

Hopefully this explains my position and reasoning a bit better.  It's perhaps a bit foolish of me from a PR sense not to be lying and saying "things are great!  A million people are buying this every day!"  But that's not who I am.  As it stands things are neither great nor completely horrible, but they are disappointing for everyone on the staff; substantially below our reasonable expectations, but substantially above the worst case, and vastly below our hopes.  All in all I still look at Valley 2 as a success, because we did create something that I'm extremely proud of, and I am feeling confident that it will eventually break even, which is a big milestone.  But it's not a standard-bearer for the company unless something changes.

Cheers folks.  ::)


It's really too bad to hear that it's not doing better on sales and all, but to be honest I kinda expected it.


Part of it, to me, seems to be one very simple fact:   Alot of people just seem to not have a clue what it is, or that it even exists.   I dont know anyone that's played it, or actually knows what it is at all, and that includes just people I know on various other forums.  Havent seen much in the way of talk about it, or anything like that, and that's a real shame, it is, since it's a bloody excellent game.  Saw a tiny little blurb on Steam, and that's it so far.


....and of course you're also going to have the "bah this looks like some stupid retro game with the 2D and the jumping and the 2D and dying over and over and it's 2D, that's not enough D, why's it not in 3D with anti-aliased hyper-bloom, did I mention it's only 2D?" crowd.   Granted those guys are there for LOTS of indie games whining about the same crap, but it never fails to annoy the hell outta me.


Hopefully it'll pick up over time.


Interested to see what all happens with Shattered Haven though, I'd rather forgotten about that one.....

Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Well hopefully things will pick up once reviews start coming in and (hopefully) the big youtubers start doing videos for it.

Edit: it's kind of bizarre that all the hate I see in the steam forums basically comes down to "this isn't like the first one, I don't like it". Makes me wonder if they even have the first one! Trolls gonna troll I guess.

The Internet has this disease where no one can ever be happy. Its frustrating at times...
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Offline keith.lamothe

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The Internet has this disease where no one can ever be happy. Its frustrating at times...
I've found that small populations of Homo Internetius can be kept happy if killed in suitably diverse and frequent manners by terrifying AIs.

Gotta get that drip feed going again...
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Offline Cinth

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I've found that small populations of Homo Internetius can be kept happy if killed in suitably diverse and frequent manners by terrifying AIs.

Gotta get that drip feed going again...

~shudders~

Yeah.. I remember well the AS beta... 

Insidious does not come close to describing Keith's commitment to killing us  ;D
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Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Insidious does not come close to describing Keith's commitment to killing us  ;D
That's Arcen for "Customer Service" :)
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