Author Topic: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?  (Read 13282 times)

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?
« Reply #75 on: August 09, 2013, 02:32:21 PM »
That's got to be really frustrating as a developer. I get all kinds of ideas myself, which unfortunately do revolve around players using whichever things are most fun to use at the moment. That mass of players that plays games in the most efficient way as the 'only way to play' and quit after getting bored or frustrated... what do you really do about that, I wonder? It doesn't seem like there's a good option, other than releasing something very well balanced or forcing the player along a particular style. Basically, you need just overall really tight design to prevent that sort of thing.

Really, every gamer should be a little like the Elder Scrolls fanbase... The same guys who say "Well, crafting's overpowered, and so is this bug. I just won't use it on my next character" instead of steadfast sticking with the most efficient route.

Offline x4000

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Re: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?
« Reply #76 on: August 09, 2013, 02:35:57 PM »
Our main problem is that we cater to a strategy game audience, and a strategy game is very much broken if there is any sort of "press this to win" button.  I'm exactly the same way as the people I might complain about who can't play a game once it gets stale.  I've talked about that aspect of myself many times as part of my motivation for making AI War.

But on the flip side, with games like Elder Scrolls (not that I play that, but with other things like it), I don't have that same sort of thing.  I'll play with suboptimal builds for the fun of it, or do all sorts of interesting things.  Final Fantasy 1 is a good example, I loved trying to win with all Fighters.

The difference is in context: strategy games are all about thinking your way around the rules and your opponent.  The other games are more about exploration and just finding a sense of place and doing cool things there.  The challenge that Arcen runs into is that we make mostly strategy games, heh.
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?
« Reply #77 on: August 09, 2013, 03:10:14 PM »
Ahh, so it's kind of the general player mentality when faced with certain genres then. Strategy games are more intense, engaging, competitive, so you'll take the optimal way around things. They're games where really you have to be optimal and efficient already anyway. RPGs, however, are a different story. RPGs aren't really nearly as intense from a gameplay standpoint (I'd like anybody to try to compare high level RTS gameplay to high level RPG gameplay), and end up being more about role-playing and having fun with that side of yourself, so you are permitted to do suboptimal things. The game doesn't really challenge you to be super efficient, unless you opt into the highest difficulty setting in Skyrim or something. Pathfinder makes me think of that to a greater degree, actually... Looking at the character classes, they don't really seem remotely balanced. They're so wildly different from each other. Some prestige classes look amazing, some look really really awful. Some feats are clearly the way to go, while others are so useless that nobody would ever take them. The thing is, all of that is there so that you can build a character not around optimal gameplay, but around being an interesting character with highs and lows.

That seems like why I see a lot of Diablo 3 players who hate skill point distribution and flock toward cookie cutter builds. Diablo games have little margin for error later on. There's always going to be those one or two strategies that are the only things that work for the higher difficulties, and if you can't play those difficulties you can't finish the game.

Offline Ganrao

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Re: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?
« Reply #78 on: September 09, 2013, 10:16:00 AM »
It's difficult for me to think of a compelling expansion that could be done in such a small time frame. By compelling I mean something that adds to game play and is not just new skins and things.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with the Valley games.  They are simply too expensive to make for their audience, and thus far we've currently lost something like $200k in making them (forget profit, there's no profit in sight for a long while).  The goal of an expansion would be to help close that gap some, while also providing more fun for players.  If we just make the loss we take even LARGER by doing an expansion to the game, then we're just absolutely shooting ourselves in the foot yet again with it.

I'm not sure if there is an answer to this problem, which is why I've not wanted to do an expansion (well, one reason).  It's going to take some sort of flash of insight on somebody's part before this would really become a thing that is feasible.

I figured the sales for these games were probably not that great, but I'm still sorry to hear they put you that far in the hole. The graphics / art direction are /were the main barricade from commercial success if I had to venture a guess. Perhaps the best thing you could do is revise AVWW 1 into an entirely new game franchise with a different title and find a proper art director. Use the lessons you've learned, but nail the art this time. The mix of side scrolling Metroid style combat and larger world strategic objective pursuit is a GREAT starting point, and I still believe it has a lot of potential.

I'm really curious though what problems that creates for you, since it sounds like art was already one of your biggest expenses in making these games.

edit: I actually went in and played 2 after you said the majority of art didn't look like the opening scene, and I agree your monsters look much better than the player character. The overall style of 2 from the 2 levels I cleared is better than 1.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 10:50:39 AM by Ganrao »

Offline Anon

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Re: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?
« Reply #79 on: September 15, 2013, 04:52:34 PM »
More/better animations. Heavy cat's sprites look alright in stills, but in motion they're rather ugly. Intermediate frames and animations for shooting while moving/jumping and in each direction would go a long way to making the game look and feel a lot better. I'd pay for that, honestly. The graphics in AVWW2 were so ugly in motion that they ruined the game for me, and this is coming from a guy that plays Doom and Dwarf Fortress. And who thoroughly enjoyed AVWW1 and thought it looked very good.

Offline Kingpin23

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Re: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?
« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2013, 12:01:34 PM »
Instead of a new expansion for 2 I think you guys should make a new game in the series where you
 put all the good thing from 1 and 2 in a new game.
You already have all the art styles and classes and such and there is so much room for improvement.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: If we did do a Valley 2 expansion, what would you even want to see?
« Reply #81 on: October 26, 2013, 12:26:00 PM »
I know it would take time, but if you simply re-worked the game mechanics using the same art to make a new game in the series there might be no additional major costs. I say major costs, because even if you have no art costs, there is still the time that the team puts into the game.

Looking at all the other Arcen titles, Valley seems to have the most active forum people apart from the current title. SH has fallen off and i see no new posts recently. SC as well, which is a little depressing, because that is an awesome, though crazily hard game for me.  :)  BD is doing well with posts, even if you say sales were low, perhaps there is still a chance here, although maybe slower. Posts for LF look dependent on dev posting new information, but am hoping it will pick up and do extremely well, fingers crossed.

(i was really surprised, but happy to see that Valley 1 had 70% approval  over Valley 2 had 30 percent.

Anyway, just thought a rework of what you have for the Valley, not getting new art or major costs might produce a new interesting take on the games.

With that said, perhaps reworks of SH, Tidalis, SH and SC with no new art but reworked mechanics (looking for a new type of play, or a different approach to the game, etc...) could draw new attention and sales for those titles, as series, instead of just losses in their current form.

I know it would take your time, especially away from new projects, but it could be done over time, if you feel you have a new approach on several of the old games that could help to make new sales.

Just a thought, re-using assets on hand is not a bad idea, if it leads to something new and interesting and saleable too.  :)

-Teal