In any case, A Valley Without Wind is a 2D side-scrolling action/adventure game ala Metroid and Castlevania but overlayed onto a procedurally-generated world of (theoretically) infinite size. It’s the stated design of the game that you should not have to create a new world, ever, even after playing the game for years. The world generates as you go, similar to how Minecraft generates chunks as you travel.
The world the game resides in is a post-apocalyptic world, although not Earth (so don’t think Fallout). It’s a world wracked by wind storms, and as you play you attempt to bring civilization back into the world with the dream of a valley without wind.
The game has permadeath, but it’s not structured as a penalty but rather a form of narrative to the game. As you play, you increase the “civilization level” of your settlement. When you die, that particular character is dead, and you instead choose another character from the settlement to play. You keep the EXP, items, etc but you do leave behind a hostile ghost in the region you died, so don’t expect to be zerging a boss until you finally wear him down.
The game is entering Beta on September 26, all those who pre-order (at a 50% discount over retail price) get access. There will also be a demo available so you can try before you buy.
It’s an indie title I’ve really been looking forward to since it was first announced. Like Arcen’s other stuff (Notably AI War) the graphics are hit and miss, but I’m a gameplay > graphics kind of guy and this sounds really, really intriguing.
Windows XP, Vista, or 7, 32 or 64 bit
Mac OS X “Panther” 10.3.9 or later, Intel or PowerPC based
Linux is not officially supported by Unity 3D, the engine AVWW runs on. However, we have heard it works under WINE.
1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
1.6Ghz CPU (more is recommended for multiplayer servers)
1 GB Hard Disk Space
800x600 or greater desktop screen resolution (1024x768 recommended)
Broadband Internet Connection or LAN required for multiplayer
Graphics card must support 1024x1024 textures (most 32MB and up graphics cards do).
Shader model 3.0 required for dynamic skies, but static skies will automatically be used on older cards.
I’ve been in the alpha, and while I’m not about to take credit for being a major contributor or anything like that, I can try to answer any questions you all might have about the current state of the game. Just logged another hour with the latest build for the sake of doing so.
The game never ends. There is always a new place to go with more difficult enemies to defeat, and the world can be generated indefinitely.
The easiest way to think of the game is like a Zelda game. You start out, and there is some bad person oppressing the land. Said bad person also has a number of subordinates. You need to go defeat the subordinates and then slay the evil overlord, which frees the land.
Except once you liberate Hyrule from Ganondorf, you can go to Termina and liberate them from Majora as well. Then you can travel to the Mushroom Kingdom and defeat Bowser, and so on. Each new area would be progressively more difficult.
On the other hand, you can never be completely defeated, either. When you die you can assume the role of another adventurer, and while you can have your developed position in the world eroded over time after a series of constant failures, you can always rebuild. Or generate a new world. Whatever works for you.
The graphics haven’t worked for like, 80% of the people who’ve commented on AVWW prerelease coverage on RPS, including me. I’m not sure why they’re sticking with them so doggedly. Still, the gameplay sounds neat.
The bulk of the game is the Metroid-style exploration and combat. There is a turn-based strategic layer and a city building element to it all, as well. Using the strategic map (which isn’t fully implemented just yet) allows you to issue orders to citizens in your towns to collect resources, scout terrain and construct buildings. The map shows you areas of interest, enemy strongholds, potential future city sites and roaming parties that may interact with your settlement. You actually pass turns from the strategic map interface directly, but the side-scrolling adventuring takes no time (aside from the purely aesthetic day/night cycle), so you can explore personally without any time constraints. Having the AI scout for you is far, far, far more time efficient, though, as if you want to prowl 100% of every single tile in the world by hand then you’re never going to get anywhere in this game.
In terms of the graphics, they’re serviceable to the point that I don’t mind them, and given the early state of the game and that most of the art assets aren’t finalized yet, I’m a little forgiving. I really don’t have any issues with the core art design anymore, though some of the early footage was rather off-putting for me.
I’m still not really on board with the graphics either, but I don’t think they are sticking with the style just because they love it. Arcen is a small studio and changing the art style/assets is a big job. I know on RPS a couple of the developers have defended the style, but if I was a developer of a game almost in beta I wouldn’t want to give up on all the art work easily either.
Also, I was confused that there was no place on their site to pre-order yet too. It would be nice if they had at least a price up even if they aren’t taking money yet (I’m guessing $20 with a 50% discount for pre-ordering).