Actionäventyret A Valley Without Wind låter oss utforska världen på nytt efter att en istid sopat undan resterna från tidigare civilisationer.

I #Arcen Games kommande #A Valley Without Wind får vi utforska vår värld på nytt efter att en ny istid sopat undan alla spår av den "gamla civilisationen" som Frihetsgudinnan, Eiffeltornet och Göteborgshjulet. En ny film (och en gammal) ger oss en ytterst tidig försmak av vad som väntar.

AVWW fokuserar alltså på utforskande och det är tal om att spelarna ska kunna skapa sina egna historier och utforska hela regioner – kanske till och med kontinenter. En och annan tvist till det lite annorlunda upplägget är också att vänta. Inspirationen sägs komma ifrån den japanska rollspelsgenren.

A Valley Without Wind väntas nå alfastadie under mars månad. Utvecklarna siktar på ett sent 2011-släpp, och mer information finner du på officiella webbsajten.



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What is A Valley Without Wind?

A Valley Without Wind, or AVWW for short, is an action-adventure game focusing on exploration in a post-ice-age world. It's actually set in the far future -- far enough that all recognizable landmarks and land masses have been wiped from the earth. Magic has surfaced in this ruined world, and is the sole reason that most of the scattered survivors have managed to keep themselves alive. Not only have they had to face the bitter cold and worldwide glaciers for centuries, but new terrors fill the now-wild world.

Great fissures have been rent in the earth, and quite a few unpleasant things have crept forth. Unusually hardy mutations of plants thrive despite the lingering snow at the tail end of the ice age, and many of these plants have deadly adaptations that threaten the surviving humans. As a direct result of all the monsters, most survivors are alone or in very small groups, living off their wits and their magic to survive. It is a bleak existence.

You begin the game with a character in such a situation. But your character isn't content to cower in caves and ruins. Setting out on an adventure that will span regions and even -- if you desire -- continents -- the character can bring together other survivors into settlements that have a better chance of surviving.

But as your character starts to explore a bit further from home, some startling discoveries come to light. Homes and buildings from the past, which should have been destroyed long ago, are discovered in pristine condition -- but empty. The real disaster might not have been an ice age after all -- and may have been much more recent.
How Is The World Built?

Folks familiar with our game AI War know that we have a lot of experience with procedural generation. However, outer space is... limiting when it comes to the true potential of such techniques. In AVWW we are both refining and extending our existing procedural methods, and we're going to build a world that literally goes on forever. The world map can be traversed in any direction, and if you see something on the map, you can go there. See a cluster of old office buildings? Sure, you can go into that region and explore them. Find an old hut inside some region that seemed to be all forest? You bet you can go inside.

Just how massive the game will get will largely depend on player adoption. AI War became one of the most massive RTS games in its post-1.0 life because of the player support and involvement. If we see similar involvement with AVWW, we intend to have a similar amount of scope increase, with a similar mix of free DLC and paid expansions. That's getting ahead of ourselves a bit, but even for 1.0 of AVWW we're aiming to have this game be... big. Bigger than most, and way more unique and interesting to explore.

We have some really new ideas up our sleeves in terms of the worldbuilding aspects, but we're going to wait until we can show you them instead of just telling you about them. It won't be long -- and the "proof is in the pudding," as they say. Stay tuned!
What Else Is New?

We're keeping a tight lid on a lot of this stuff for now, but we'll be sharing more and more as we get closer. Suffice it to say that our adventuring mechanics are novel in general, some light crafting will be present, and our character-progression and world-progression designs are like nothing else around (certainly not in the adventure genre). The worlds are designed to be persistent, so that there's never a need for you to save or load a game (it autosaves periodically, and then you just resume where you last were).

It's also designed such that you'll never have an incentive to create more than one world -- ever. Once you start your first world, that's hopefully also your last, for as long as you play the game. As new features and content are added, you can simply explore further afield to find them. But then all your older locales and deeds and history are still there in the world, and you can go back and visit them any time you like.

AVWW is a game that never ends. If you defeat one evil overlord, you've saved the region and gone through a lot of strife and death to achieve something very worthwhile to folks in that region. And that region will remain overlord-free and (relatively) happy, grateful to the hero that liberated them. But across the sea, or desert, or whatever... new adventures are always available. And even in liberated areas, there are still the garden variety monsters to contend with, new problems arising amongst the NPCs, etc. Unlike a lot of RPG and adventure games, areas in AVWW never go into "stasis," where there's nothing else to do in that area.

In general, in fact, there will always be multiple goals for you to pursue. Short-term and long term goals, large and small ones -- this isn't an open-ended "sandbox" construction game. The story isn't linear, so you're perfectly free to leave the people in some town to their fate. The series of adventures you can have in a single random world inside this game are as limitless as the amount of terrain you can explore (or the depths to which you can plumb).

And one last note: don't get too attached to your starting character. You're going to have literal graveyards filled with... well, we'll leave it at that for now. Suffice it to say, it's not what you think.

A lot of things about this game are so novel and so intertwined that it's hard to explain them out of context without explaining every last one in depth. However, when you see them in practice, it should just make sense intuitively. The game will have no tutorials to suffer through, and will be simple enough on the surface that you can just sit down and start exploring. As you find stuff in the world, you'll be able to figure out how to use it and what to do based on in-game context, without having to visit some external wiki. The goal here is a very low learning curve, but our usual ridiculous depth.

In terms of complexity and difficulty, this game will be comparable to most other mainstream adventure and RPG games, despite having a much larger and richer world to explore. But if you want an extra challenge all you have to do is journey a bit further afield than your current levels and equipment permit, and you can get into the fights of your life if you want. Fortune does favor the bold, after all...
The History Of The Game, For Those Who Might Be A Bit Confused

Back in late 2009 we did previews of two games called "Alden Ridge" and "A Valley Without Wind," and we also talked about them in a number of interviews in 2010. Based on just the scant information about those two games, the player response was overwhelmingly excited.

So, naturally, we scrapped both of those games. Heh.

Actually, what we did was take the best elements of both, and we've combined those with other new ideas we've had in the meantime. The result is something we're calling "A Valley Without Wind" since that was our favorite of the two titles, but it's not actually the tower-defense-meets-JRPG title that we'd been describing in the past.

There's no tower defense here at all, and it's not really a JRPG, either. Though it does have some JRPG inspirations, it's an adventure game through and through. There are also no zombies. Sorry, there's just way too many zombie games out there (and tower defense games, for that matter), so we decided to focus on the more unique elements.
Release Date

We're currently expecting it to reach the public alpha stage in March, and players will be able to demo and preorder it from the Arcen site (and likely some select distributors) at that time. A Valley Without Wind will likely spend a few months in alpha, and then a fair bit more in beta, before finally having an official release in late 2011.

All of the above is subject to change, of course, but we'll be sure to keep folks updated as we gain greater clarity into the exact timeline of the project. Right now it's all just very rough guesses.

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