July 10th, 2012 | By Dominic Tarason
It’s no secret that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Arcen Games‘ procedurally generated platform-RPG A Valley Without Wind. While I could go into great detail as to what gameplay elements I had issues with, my main problem was the same as most other reviewers; the game was not pleasant to look at. Being unable to hire a dedicated artist at the time, Arcen Games effectively made the game out of 3D modelling clip-art and photoshop filters. To this day, it’s the only game – 2D, 3D or otherwise – to give me motion sickness.
Still, they’re a very reactive studio. They kept working on AI War until it was a shockingly good and original piece of RTS design, where it was previously rather lackluster. With AVWW, they’ve decided to try to fund a graphical redesign of the game via Kickstarter, and are auditioning a range of different artists or art-teams to see which would be the best for the job. The results so far are very heartening. The top image above is an environmental mock-up from ‘Studio G’. Beneath that, some character concept art from ‘Studio H’. To ensure fairness, they’ve keeping the contributors anonymous for now. You can see more art from the various teams over on this official forum thread, in particular pages 18 and onwards.
In other, related news, a major update has rolled out for the game. Version 1.2 brings another wave of major tweaks and changes to the core gameplay, including the first phases of re-implementing the strategic city-building elements that seemed to interesting during the Alpha/Beta phases of development, but were cut out late in development. While I’m still not a fan of the game, there’s potential here for greatness. It’ll be interesting seeing how it develops over the coming months.