A Valley without Wind Preview
Arcen Games’ next project is a procedurally generated action-adventure game called A Valley Without Wind that will arrive this year on PC and Mac. They are best known for being the developers behind the cult classic and ever-evolving space strategy game AI War: Fleet Command.
AVWW is set in a post-ice-age world in the distant future, and the game focuses on survival and exploration from an isometric viewpoint. As a random survivor of this harsh world, you decide what impact that you make on it. The game is all about how you will shape your world: players can travel across regions, even continents if desired! Travel is always a risk though, so building settlements and shelters is essential for safer travel.
Being procedurally generated guarantees that the world is unique for each individual player. No two worlds are the same, and your world permanently forms as you discover it. Players of highly successful indie game Minecraft will know the benefits of a randomly generated world as it offers deep exploration and adds remarkable replay value. In a not too dissimilar fashion from Minecraft and also the Fallout series, players can explore, scavenge and craft on their journey across the haunting landscape. This world is both mystical and dangerous so players can cast magic to fend off foes. Being all about your own decisions, players can better their worlds by aiding other survivors in return for their help. Equally, if you are not feeling particularly that generous and have your eyes set on bloody murder, then you can kill everyone in sight and deal with the consequences later.
The game provides a challenge to its players by making character deaths permanent. That means no re-spawns. Slight redemption is found for those worried as while death for your characters is permanent in the game; weapons, loot, levels and anything else you’ve earned while playing will always exist as you left them. If one of your characters dies, the player simply assumes a new survivor and the journey continues on from there. The game does not forget about that previous survivor though. Those who came in contact with your deceased character will eventually catch word of their passing, and may share feelings on the departed, for better or worse. Current characters can even pay their respects by visiting the player’s own personal graveyard which will contain each and every deceased character played.
One of the highlights of the game is its gorgeous 8-bit soundtrack, which is being composed by Pablo Vega. It offers a slighting haunting but catchy range of tunes to really flesh out your journey. Visually the game features a range of luscious textures (for a post-apocalyptic world that is) that have an imperfect state about them that reminds me of an oil painting. This is fitting when you consider that the game paints the world as you wander the desolate buildings and silent trees of this post-apocalyptic land.
A public alpha of the game is planned for March 2011. Those who pre-purchase A Valley Without Wind at that time will not only get a discount off the beta version and full release prices, but will also gain immediate access to the alpha when it becomes available. Tools for creating custom content will come as part of the package as well, so pre-order customers will play an integral part in the development process from alpha to launch. Living up to its true indie origins, players can create and submit content that may be added to the official game release. Development plans at present are to continue on well after post-release, so that there will always be new places to explore and new adventures to be had.