Arcen Games shares news and new media regarding its 2D sidescrolling platformer A Valley Without Wind, including a new trailer and a wrap-up of our trip to MineCon. We also give our humble pitch for your IOTY vote if you're so inclined to give it.
Vote AVWW for Indie of the Year 2011
Before we get into the multiplayer news and such, we wanted to take a quick second to reach out and ask for your vote for IndieDB's IOTY 2011. A Valley Without Wind has been in steady/full-time development since January, and has come such a long way from when we started, as those of you who have been following along know.
For those who don't know, A Valley Without Wind is a procedurally-generated 2D side-scroller of infinite proportions. It's been described by some as SNES on steroids. The game is still very much in development (see below) and currently in public beta, with multiplayer alpha just getting underway.
At this time, pre-order customers get instant access to the current beta version and all subsequent releases, as well as a 50% discount compared to the price when we hit 1.0 next year. We also offer a demo for anyone who'd like to give the game a try free of charge. there is no time limit, only a level-cap once you reach level six--which allows you to see all major aspects of AVWW.
Check the game out in whatever way you'd like, and if it's up your alley we'd certainly appreciate your vote. Thanks!
AVWW Beta 0.545, "Multiplayer Public Alpha (Opt-In)," Released!
But This one has been a long time coming -- in the works since October 7th, in fact. Ever since that date, Keith has been working almost solely on getting multiplayer up and going, and so that's caused basically nothing to happen with the macro game parts of the game for that large swathe of beta. The last time we had any form of functioning multiplayer for this game was back in March, when the game was still top-down, and despite having been coding to a solid multiplayer spec all this time, it's been a gargantuan task for Keith to get things all up and going to a point where we could show this publicly at all.
But today's the day when you can opt in to testing out multiplayer if you are inclined to do so! Details on how exactly that works, plus known issues and all that sort of fun stuff, to follow below.
The Next Phase Of AVWW Development Drawing Near
Before I get to that stuff, though, one more note: the brainstorming
subforum for AVWW has been abuzz all week, and there are absolutely tons and tons of changes coming to the game as a result of that. I decided to take most of this week as a design week for my own side of things, because the core parts of the game have matured to the point where I could now step back and look at how they all fit together and decide better how to achieve the immutable design goals
for the game.
The result is going to be a very different sort of game than what is currently implemented, but the prevailing opinion on the forums seems to be "awesome, that's a lot more like what I was picturing when you were talking about the game in the first place!" Which seems to be a good sign. In a lot of respects, I view this like the shift from AI War 1.0 to 2.0, or AI War 3.x to 4.x. Same core game, same design philosophy, but some things cut and a lot of stuff added, and so much more refined.
It's pretty much all there on the brainstorming subforum if you're curious about what, specificially, is going to be changing. Feel free to weigh in!
This isn't going to be affecting the pricing of preorders, just to set your mind at ease. We're still considering this "early beta" for now. So it's still a really great time to get into the game early, if you like that sort of thing!
All About The Multiplayer Alpha
This one takes a whole wiki article to explain all the ins and outs of, although there's only a few key parts you'll really need to read to get started in the alpha. But we figured that since we're doing some unusual things, and since people were likely to have questions just in general, that we'd make a more inclusive document that has everything and which we could update over time.
This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 0.500 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 0.500 or later, you can download that here
. - Chris Park
An Awesome MineCon Experience
We had the privilege of exhibiting last month at the inaugural MineCon, which was basically a gigantic two-day Vegas party celebrating the official launch of Minecraft. It was a crazy, exhausting, and really fun experience to say the least.
There were way more kids than we were expecting in attendance, but that was a great thing since most of our player base ranges from 20-40 years old. We were introducing ourselves to a whole new generation of gamers, which was very cool. Though it wasn't easy to demo a game like ours in the setting. We had to limit people to around 20 minutes to keep our small but steady lines moving. Honestly if we gave everyone the true demo experience of A Valley Without Wind about eight people (or less) would get a chance with the available hours we had to show on the floor.
The Indie Theater was a particularly cool event at the convention, allowing us and other indies to present a 20 minute pitch of our game to attendees in a quaint mock-up of a theater. I was a bit nervous going in, but though it went really well. Petri Purho and Danny B definitely drew the most crowd with their impromptu tournament of their title Jesus vs. Dinosaurs--which is incredible in concept by the way.
The best part of the trip for me personally was getting to meet several big name indie devs and other folk I've admired for a long time.
All of our eyes make us look like soulless vampires in this picture, but I still treasure it. I'm not sure of everyone's name off the top of my head, but that's the unmistakable Danny B (Super Meat Boy/Binding of Isaac composer) on the bottom right. Across from him is Closure developer Tyler Glaiel, and in the back left is the constantly smiling Petri Purho (Crayon Physics Deluxe along with the aforementioned title.) Not pictured is VVVVVV developer Terry Cavanagh who was actually my gambling pupil for a time. Apparently it was his first time throwing money away at a casino, and he was looking for tips on how best to do it. :) I got to spend some extensive time with Paul Taylor (Frozen Synapse), Brian Provinciano (Retro City Rampage), Phil Tibitoski (Octodad), and many more amazing indie devs. I don't mean to name drop, but I was pretty awestruck and felt damn lucky to be in such company throughout the weekend.
Overall it was just an incredible few days, and we certainly hope to be back next year or time if they decide to hold it again and we have something to show. We also created a new trailer to show off for the event, and that's available online as well. Give it a look if you'd like below. - Erik Johnson