Please understand that my intent is not to tease, here — a lot of game companies give the barest hints of information, and try to drive you nuts with speculation and extrapolation. Folks familiar with Arcen know that’s not our style.
That said, what I do want to tell you is that there are several pretty major surprises coming for A Valley Without Wind in the next developer diary, but that I won’t talk about specifically what until that dev diary arrives. That will be in a week or two, depending on how development goes during that time.
Why on earth would I make such an empty, teasing-style post? Frankly… because whenever Major Things Change without forewarning, certain people I know tend to get annoyed with me. So this is your forewarning: the next time you see AVWW, it’s going to be pretty different in a lot of fundamental ways, although not the most fundamental stuff.
What’s happened to cause this? We had the epiphany that this game didn’t even know it was looking for. There was a similar point, about March of 2009, when suddenly I had the idea to make the AI asymmetrical in AI War. It had been a game about even contests of will, but suddenly it was to be a David and Goliath sort of situation. That changed everything, but also tied together all the best of what had been inwork on AI War since November 2008.
That’s what’s happened here: we’ve had our big ties-everything-together idea, and it changes a few very core things about the game, but does so in a way that keeps all the coolest stuff and in fact augments it. All that “macro game” stuff that Keith is working on (perma-death, settlements, NPCs, deeds, hopes… basically all that stuff that people are most excited about) is alive and well, just to set you at ease.
Again, sorry for the tease. We’ll have videos and developer diaries as soon as we humanly can complete the work required to share them. I have never been so excited about this project, though, and I think others will share the sentiment when they see how all these changes come together.
The last thing I’ll say is: thanks. The watershed moment came about while thinking about fan feedback on our existing developer diaries and videos. There have been various persistent complaints on the blog, the forums, and youtube, and thinking about how to solve all of those is what led to the epiphany. So thanks for that!