Author Topic: #12 Will Drop The Pre-Alpha Moniker, And Has Big Surprises -- Hits in 1-2 Weeks  (Read 9415 times)

Offline x4000

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Original: http://christophermpark.blogspot.com/2011/06/avww-12-will-drop-pre-alpha-moniker-and.html

Please understand that my intent is not to tease, here -- a lot of game companies give the barest hints of information, and try to drive you nuts with speculation and extrapolation.  Folks familiar with Arcen know that's not our style.

That said, what I do want to tell you is that there are several pretty major surprises coming for A Valley Without Wind in the next developer diary, but that I won't talk about specifically what until that dev diary arrives.  That will be in a week or two, depending on how development goes during that time.

Why on earth would I make such an empty, teasing-style post?  Frankly... because whenever Major Things Change without forewarning, certain people I know tend to get annoyed with me.  So this is your forewarning: the next time you see AVWW, it's going to be pretty different in a lot of fundamental ways, although not the most fundamental stuff.

What's happened to cause this?  We had the epiphany that this game didn't even know it was looking for.  There was a similar point, about March of 2009, when suddenly I had the idea to make the AI asymmetrical in AI War.  It had been a game about even contests of will, but suddenly it was to be a David and Goliath sort of situation.  That changed everything, but also tied together all the best of what had been inwork on AI War since November 2008.

That's what's happened here: we've had our big ties-everything-together idea, and it changes a few very core things about the game, but does so in a way that keeps all the coolest stuff and in fact augments it.  All that "macro game" stuff that Keith is working on (perma-death, settlements, NPCs, deeds, hopes... basically all that stuff that people are most excited about) is alive and well, just to set you at ease.

Again, sorry for the tease.  We'll have videos and developer diaries as soon as we humanly can complete the work required to share them.  I have never been so excited about this project, though, and I think others will share the sentiment when they see how all these changes come together.

The last thing I'll say is: thanks.  The watershed moment came about while thinking about fan feedback on our existing developer diaries and videos.  There have been various persistent complaints on the blog, the forums, and youtube, and thinking about how to solve all of those is what led to the epiphany.  So thanks for that!
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Offline chemical_art

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I've always liked surprises  :)  I am so excited about an unreleased game.


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Offline Flatfingers

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Wait -- how am I supposed to get more enthusiastic about this game?  :D

I hope a little speculation is OK. The one persistent knock has been the choice of graphics -- 2D with sprite movement. People didn't like the perspective, or the blending, or the animations, etc., etc. (I'm on record as preferring 1st-person; I find it vastly more immersive. OTOH, it's also more expensive, and the proposed art style was never a dealbreaker for me.)

So if I were to rudely guess, I'd guess that something about the game's visual representation was being modified. The question is, modified to what? What visual change could "tie everything together" in a way the previous visual style didn't?

Or am I completely off, and the complaint being addressed via epiphany is something more related to story/NPCs/world-content?

Looking forward to the big reveal!

Offline eRe4s3r

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That the game changes direction drastically (compared to ep11 of the developer story arc ;p) does not sound like a bad thing. Even with the gameplay features announced there was still something lacking, indeed something that ties everything together and makes us "care to play" to begin with. And i don't think its just a graphic thing.

If its the scope of symmetric vs assymetric warfare in an RTS, then this change is likely drastically changing the overarching gameplay direction and not graphics. Maybe it will nudge the game closer to a rpg? Will be interesting to see ,P

So for me, i am welcoming the ep12 of the developer story arc and any drastic changes it might bring ;)

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Offline Otagan

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Good thing I've been keeping my expectations under control.  This will probably blow that restraint out of the water.
...

Offline Ozymandiaz

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Given that we knew fairly little already, I say any changes you desire to make in order to make a better game is good imo.

Looking forward to what is happening :)
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Offline Echo35

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You say it's dropping the "Pre-Alpha" title. Does this mean we get a Beta?

Offline x4000

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Thanks for the kind words, folks.  :)

Given that we knew fairly little already, I say any changes you desire to make in order to make a better game is good imo.

If you read the various interviews and developer diaries, etc, you actually know an immense amount.  But that information is pretty spread out, to say the least. ;)

You say it's dropping the "Pre-Alpha" title. Does this mean we get a Beta?

Well, then it will be just Alpha.  Still internal alpha.  Beta is looking like it will be the first week in August, assuming all goes well, but no firm commitment on that quite yet.  Still a lot to do before we hit beta.


EDIT: And lest speculation get wildly out of hand, we're not moving to full 3D or anything like that.  There are both major visual and nonvisual things being changed, though.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 03:37:58 PM by x4000 »
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Offline getter77

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It'll be interesting to see where the ride goes next....I shall prepare in my traditional manner:  eating delicious dinners.  For good or ill, though all signs point to good in this case, being deliciously sated enhances everything.

Nice to have a ballpark Beta figure for August'ish as well~   8)
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Offline keith.lamothe

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FYI, there are other big surprises that we've been keeping under wraps for a longer time and will keep them longer, what's coming up is just more of a we-need-to-tell-you-sooner thing ;)
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Offline x4000

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FYI, there are other big surprises that we've been keeping under wraps for a longer time and will keep them longer, what's coming up is just more of a we-need-to-tell-you-sooner thing ;)

Now, that's just mean to say.  ;)  But... true.  Suffice it to say, we haven't revealed every last detail about the game because we want players to have some joy of discovery when they first play it.  And it's a big game.
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Offline Martyn van Buren

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Cool, sounds like good news to me.  I'm certainly not waiting for AWWW because I think the crafting mechanics are perfect;  I want to see the best Chris and Arcen Games can do with the Legend of Zelda.

Offline Ozymandiaz

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Given that we knew fairly little already, I say any changes you desire to make in order to make a better game is good imo.

If you read the various interviews and developer diaries, etc, you actually know an immense amount.  But that information is pretty spread out, to say the least. ;)



I guess that is true :)
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Offline Zhaine

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Is the FAQ the first place you said you're heading towards mouse (and keyboard) support or did I miss this previously??

Either way wooooop! Not that I had doubts about the game as keyboard/gamepad only, but this change promises good things to me :)

Offline x4000

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Is the FAQ the first place you said you're heading towards mouse (and keyboard) support or did I miss this previously??

Either way wooooop! Not that I had doubts about the game as keyboard/gamepad only, but this change promises good things to me :)

Yep, that's actually one of the changes coming up, actually.  The FAQ is the first place that was mentioned. :)
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