Author Topic: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!  (Read 5667 times)

Offline x4000

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Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« on: March 15, 2013, 09:57:34 AM »
Original: http://christophermpark.blogspot.com/2013/03/shattered-haven-launch-trailer-10-is.html



Shattered Haven goes to 1.0 on Monday, March 18th, 2013!  Get the game from the Arcen site, Steam, Gog.com, GamersGate, or Green Man Gaming!

An Environmental Puzzle Game About Family, Grit, and Survival

Grays roam the land, largely in the absence of human interference.  These aren't your typical Zed -- theirs is a very different sort of apocalypse. Animals spontaneously transform into twisted, violent beings.  The earth decays, collapsing into a network of abysses.  The wilderness thickens.

It has been nine years since That Day when it all started.  Pockets of humanity still exist, but are ignorant of one another.  Within these isolated havens people try to live as best they can -- for even in a world so broken and dark, daily life must go on.

Darrell and Mary Williams were able to build such a life inside a five-acre fenced yard out in the country.  They were even secure enough in their isolated compound that they had a daughter five years after the zombie-like grays appeared.

Life carried on as normally as it could, until another refugee on the run is killed during a nearby attack. Her son is saved and taken in by the Williamses -- who do not realize that this kind action will destroy their home and threaten their entire family.  They find themselves caught in the midst of a struggle between two eldritch horrors, and the path to survival is anything but clear.
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Offline Winge

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 08:43:15 PM »
The "like something lifeless" quote seems a bit out of place (not sure what I would replace it with), but I like the rest of it.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 08:43:57 PM »
Note that it's final and can't be changed, but thanks. ;)
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Offline Nanashi

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 06:47:46 AM »
Personally, I thought the trailer started out decently, until the voice started breaking down into incredible ham territory.

Frankly, I'm not too fond of the overarching plot seeming to be a grab-bag of cheap emotional pushes. I could play gratuitous heartstrings bingo with it:

-Postapocalyptic world
-Oppressive Danger
-Mysterious unknown authority with unspecified powers that needs to do stuff via a proxy.
-Bereavement syndrome (Fridge full of children)
-Fighting against the authority because AUTHORITY IS BAD (Bingo!)

Rationally speaking, I shouldn't expect too much from a plot in a game where the gameplay is the core feature and the plot only needs to exist as a framing device (X gets kidnapped/taken from you, go get it back) - and I certainly expect even less of indie games in that regard, but this is exactly why I think the trailer *should* have focused on gameplay and mechanics rather than the framing device.

The trailer didn't tell me *anything* about how the game plays like or how I might find it fun, other than the nebulous promise of killing a lot of zombie-surrogates, which is exactly why I can only criticise it as an unrelatable (in my situation) story, which works against me buying SH precisely because if I wanted that sort of thing, I'd play through "The Walking Dead" already. Is there a separate trailer actually discussing gameplay so that I could make an informed buying decision?

Offline x4000

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 06:49:51 AM »
Thanks much, that's much appreciated.  Check out our other videos if you prefer, but the story is actually pretty cool and the atmosphere is something people who play it are constantly remarking positively on.  The gameplay is also very fun, and there are videos of some of that.  Others can pop in and explain from a more unbiased standpoint I'm sure.
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Offline Nanashi

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 07:01:09 AM »
Well, I didn't mean to sound completely negative about it. The story could actually be engaging and the feedback could be positive, but generally that requires people who have already made the commitment to playing the game. When relating a story premise to someone who isn't as emotionally invested, it's bound to have much less of an effect because it's like randomly telling a stranger "a baby just died of starvation in Somalia" - there's no attachment, so the response is going to be "so what?".

 I've intentionally kept free of news of Shattered Haven, so the things that is most pertinent to me is that I still have absolutely no idea what the gameplay is actually about and the forums don't have an easily findable link to videos explaining how gameplay works.

Should I be expected to Google up secondhand videos - wouldn't it be nicer if the developers themselves could explain what they wanted to do and where they were going with this game? I always appreciate that. edit: I'd like to point out that I made a purchasing decision for Valley 1 primarily because (internet criticism aside since I had no prior knowledge of the rapid change of focus that went into the creation of Valley 1) you clearly stated what you wanted to do with Valley 1, which was to create a procedurally generated Metroidvania platforming experience.

I'm just bringing it up cause you mention "videos", but AFAIK the game has been under beta testing until right now, so watching them would be a pretty unfair representation of the current state of the game. Do I have to wait for someone like TotalBiscuit to do a "WTF" video review?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 07:04:35 AM by Nanashi »

Offline x4000

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 07:04:13 AM »
The beta videos are entirely representative of the final gameplay; the gameplay was already set before beta, and it's just gotten some polish and the last of the content.  Beta was only a week long!  The other videos are the prior blog post to the one with the trailer, or maybe two back at most.  I'm sorry you didn't like the video, but I suggest you actually look at our website if you want to get an idea what it's about.  We describe it, we have multiple videos, screenshots, etc.
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Offline Nanashi

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 07:26:08 AM »
Well, alright, I admit you do have a point. I actually bookmark directly to Arcen's forums and never actually read the main page, so it's only fair that I do due diligence.

I've watched both of the videos on the actual website for Shattered Haven - and I my points against the video still hold: I don't think the video sells the game effectively (which is the point of the trailer), it's trying to sell the story. The bullet-points on the website are also almost more informative than the actual gameplay videos themselves. Nowhere in the videos do I have an inkling that local co-op gameplay even exists, for example.

Assume I'm a relatively unbiased outsider and I know nothing about the game but well, it's your chance to interest me in the game.

I then watch a video, which involves a character running around the map and using different tools to either avoid zombies or kill them (I can't tell why there's so much running around rather than just killing them outright, and have to make an educated guess that you have to collect resources and use some kind of crafting system to get the tools to deal with the zombies).

And then there's the feature selling points, which were pretty good until I ran into:

Complete bonus objectives for higher scores and gold markers. - Whoohoo, I made an arbitrary variable larger! What's a gold marker? Why should I care? Is it dry-erase?

I never realised until now how much I appreciate the feature captions superimposed on top of trailer videos. Usually, I expect a trailer video like this to... well, just look at this. I thought it was a pretty good trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovDJn7cOzj4

edit: It might be a bit vainglorious of me, but I think this is the age of snap judgements. I don't think that a random person, who saw Shattered Haven's trailer and had no idea who Arcen was, would bother to go to the website in order to actually learn about the game if the trailer failed to capture his interest. And that's my main problem with this video. Can't you just superimpose feature captions on top of it? It'd take all of 5 minutes in Windows' Movie Maker.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 07:30:12 AM by Nanashi »

Offline x4000

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 07:29:05 AM »
I'm not sure what you're hoping to accomplish.  Look, the trailer is done, there's no time to change it, so are you trying to make us feel bad or rub something in?  I don't think that your opinion is universal in the first place, and it's far too late for it to matter in terms of sales of the game.  I've been up for 26 hours at this point, I'm tired and grumpy after having been working on getting the 1.0 of this out during that time, and what you're doing is not helpful.  I understand your opinion, I don't agree, some others don't agree, some others probably do, let's move on.
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Offline Nanashi

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 07:39:20 AM »
I'm sorry, I was under the impression it was constructive criticism, because I genuinely didn't know if I wanted to play this game or not and the trailer wasn't helping me make that decision.

But I'm definitely not a master of expressing my opinions with tact, and since nothing can be changed, if I continued to express my point on the matter, it definitely -wouldn't- be constructive and creates a situation where you have negative reactions and I feel like a jerk. Mea maxima culpa, consider this discussion over.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 07:41:40 AM by Nanashi »

Offline x4000

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 07:43:15 AM »
It's ok.  And like I said, part of it is that I'm just grumpy at the moment -- stupid internet connection not working right, slowing my uploads, etc.  I'm not trying to stifle discussion, I'm just not sure this one was constructive, as you say.  The trailer stuff was set in stone last week, that sort of thing can't be changed on a dime.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2013, 08:55:04 AM »
First of all, congrats on the launch!

Congrats also on what seems like a very bug-free game.... the beta was ridiculously short, and I'd wondered if there was going to be enough time for all of the bug-catching that typically goes into that, but.... it ended up not being an issue.   Much as I like Valley 2, that one was a glitchy pile of glitches (omigod the wall crawlers) throughout most of the beta, while this one has been very smooth and without issue, at least so far.   Havent run into any noticable glitches or major issues at all. 

I'll be interested to see how this one sells.   And I think this one is ripe for some LPs done of it on Youtube as well.


Now as for that trailer.... I can agree with Nanashi to a point.   Probably the biggest selling point of this game to me is the gameplay..... it's much like Valley 2 in that it's got that whole "very tactical" feel to it, in that the gameplay/combat/everything revolves around making very careful and strategic use of the things you have at the time, and there's a definite puzzle element as well.   The trailer though, does not show this.  What it DOES show is pleasant-looking overhead tile-based gameplay that is very reminiscent of many games from the 8 and 16-bit era.... THAT is going to draw some players immediately, and I think this game should actually do well with screenshots as well for that matter.  It does a good job also of showing the story stuff, since that's definitely another big point with this one.   

To be honest, I kinda think that you guys should consider doing a second video..... which wouldnt need to be anything like that, just one that shows off some gameplay ideas, as well as pointing out things like the level editor, which is another big plus for this game that the trailer doesnt mention.


Now granted, this is how trailer videos often are.... lol, I usually come away from such videos knowing exactly squat about the game I just saw in them.    But still, I thought I should give a bit of feedback anyway here.


EDIT:  Also, I'm curious, what's next for you guys?   I seem to recall hearing that you have a number of other planned projects, though I dont remember any specifics.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 09:02:42 AM by Misery »

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 01:01:46 PM »
EDIT:  Also, I'm curious, what's next for you guys?   I seem to recall hearing that you have a number of other planned projects, though I dont remember any specifics.

We haven't given any specifics. :)

I think it's safe to say that Chris and I do know what our next project is going to be, and we've gotten as far as getting some very basic game-play concepts and a theme down, but not much more. Obviously, since it's in such an early state, we're really not ready to talk about it.

Keith has been spending some time on something entirely different from that, but again, he's not ready to talk about that either. He's a bit further along than Chris and I, but I think if I said more, he'd send the AI after me. :)

Our general, not very specific plan, is to have both of these out this year, probably earlier than you might expect, so you won't have to wait too long to know more about them. :)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2013, 01:16:23 PM »
I think if I said more, he'd send the AI after me. :)
Or the grays.  Or the eagles.

But yea, probably the AI.
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Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: Shattered Haven Launch Trailer -- 1.0 is March 18th!
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2013, 01:50:42 PM »
Congrats on the launch! Can't wait to see what you guys have done with this game :).
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