Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Valley Without Wind 1.0 Version To Launch The Week Of April 16th

I know, I know, we've been saying it was going to be next week.  And we could hit that target, if we wanted to launch just on our own site and not give reviewers any advance time with the very-near-final game before it releases.

But the game is now definitely coming to a large digital distributor that we all know and love (and who carries all of Arcen's other titles), and we have to coordinate our schedules not only with them but also with all the other vendors that already carry A Valley Without Wind.

I don't have a specific release day yet, but I will update you with that as soon as I do.

In the meantime, this gives us more time to pack in the polish, the bugfixes, and even more content prior to 1.0.  We had a list of things that we had planned to do "just after 1.0," but now that list of things is instead going to be a list of things for "just before 1.0" instead.

We still have a huge commitment to getting the game into a final-except-for-content state in the next week or so, by the way, for two reasons: 1) being able to give this to reviewers so they have time to do their thing before the big 1.0 release; and 2) having an ultra-solid build to take with us to PAX East.

I'll share further news on this as I have it, but I literally just got the confirmation on some of this stuff in the last 30 minutes and so you're hearing it almost as soon as I am figuring it out myself.



  1. So how complete is the game content-wise? I kind of phased out after the first alpha release.

  2. That's a bit of a hard question to answer if you're looking for a percentage, because like AI War we plan to keep this thing growing for hopefully a span of many years, both in terms of free DLC and paid expansions (again, like AI War.

    And now that we have a chance to pack in extra content prior to our official 1.0, that means that there are those "extras" that you would factor into "how complete is this compared to 1.0," if you're looking for a percentage. If I had to pick a number, therefore, I'd have to say something in the ballpark of 80% complete in terms of content that we'll launch with at 1.0.

    We're going to be adding 4-5 more mission types, several dozen more enemies, several dozen new spells, and some of the various mysteries to find and unravel between now and 1.0.

    As it stands, however, the current version has easily several dozen hours of content in it, and some folks have played well over 100 hours already. So it's already _big_ either way you cut it.

  3. Are character inheritance, world-changing choices and shelter-building in? Those were the key features that got me into following the game in first place.

  4. Oh, and thanks for answering anyaway :)

  5. My pleasure. :)

    I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "character inheritance," but this page should answer all of your questions on how permadeath works here: Permadeath:_It_Means_Give_Your_Health_Bar_The_Respect_It_Deserves.

    In terms of world-changing choices, yes. That gets talked about a fair deal here: Hints_Of_Strategy,_Did_You_Say?

    When it comes to things like shelter-building (and, now, buoys), that gets talked about here: Missions: Wind_Shelter

    At any rate: yes, all the larger items of the game are in (except the mysteries bit). What we're talking about now basically boils down to granules of gameplay (monsters, spells, and new mission types), rather than overall broad game mechanics (all of which are already in).

    Heck, while I'm linking wiki articles, here's the best one: AVWW_-_Fast_Facts

  6. Does that mean if we have already purchased the game that we will be able to register it with steam (that being if it gets steam release), also might there be achievements as well?

  7. "Does that mean if we have already purchased the game that we will be able to register it with steam (that being if it gets steam release)"

    All of our other games support this, so our expectation is that AVWW will as well. However, the ultimate decision on this is up to Valve, not us, so I can't actually promise that will be true. But it is for AI War, Tidalis, and all of AI War's expansions, so I can't imagine why the import of keys from other sources wouldn't be something they'd support here, too.

    "also might there be achievements as well?"

    The game already has a really extensive set of "unlockables" that are per-world and which function a lot like achievements except that they actually give you new content each time you get one. It's pretty cool, and basically lets the world unfold around you based on how you play and what your interests are, rather than in a linear fashion that we force on you.

    That said, these would make for rather poor Steam Achievements, in my opinion, because of co-op. All of these unlockables are specific to the world, so either one of two situations happens:

    1) You have to be present when an unlockable is won in order to get the Steam Achievement for it. Thus if you are ever missing any playtime on a server, you might have to switch servers because they did something while you were not there. That would kind of stink, to put it mildly.

    2) If we don't make it so that you have to be present when an unlockable is won, then you can basically just log into any server that is popular and get all your steam achievements without doing anything. Oops.

    Not to mention, what does "being present" really mean? Does it mean being in the room where the unlockable was won? Then the party can never split up or you'll miss achievements, in case #1. If it's just "being in the same world at the time," then it encourages people to just leave their computers connected to a server while they are afk for long periods, letting others get achievements for them, if we implemented either case #1 or case #2 above.

    Lastly, there's an issue with the actual unlockables themselves: there are a _huge_ number of them, and we add more on a practically weekly basis. That's a real nightmare for us to try to keep updated with Steam, and it's not something that is really in keeping with the normal achievements model, anyway. A couple of years from now, I expect there will be well over 1,000 unlockables, for instance.

    Conclusion: unlockables are not a good fit for achievements, even though they fill somewhat the same niche. Achievements need to be something individualized for you the player, not something that is world-wide, and thus something you can attempt on your own. It's probable that what we'll do is add some achievements for winning missions under certain conditions: winning a meteor storm with X supply crates left at the end, etc.

    Since we now have an extra month in which to get this sort of thing added, I think it's something we're going to look at doing, but I can't quite promise on that one yet. There's a lot of other stuff competing for that time allocation.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.