A novel-sized blog post from Arcen games has revealed that they are creating a sequel to the esoteric A Valley Without Wind. There is an extensive list of changes and explanations as to why they are making a sequel, the thought behind their design decisions and why they are making it FREE to customers who purchased the first game.
For those of you who have not had the chance to check out A Valley Without Wind, first go read our co-op review now. Wasn't that nice? It is a totally novel game that combines elements of many genres, and allowed for 8-player co-op. The developers have been doing a ton of thinking and they are making some significant changes to the original game to make it a more directed experience and less of a sandbox.
Make no mistake, Valley 2 is a true sequel -- it's a lot more different from the first game than many sequels are compared to their original. There are a lot of changes I've been wanting to make for a while to the game, but these changes were too deep to do without angering players who bought one game and then had us change it on them to that degree. This way players can keep playing the original in its current state (though we won't be doing much more of anything to update the original game from here on out), and they can also enjoy the awesome sequel for free as well.
Some notable changes:Controls - No more keyboard and mouse, as there will be a keyboard or gamepad option. This is to make the game feel more like a Metroidvania style platformer and eliminates the mouse aiming of enemies which made the game too easy. City building - Now in turn based mode! The world building will be drastically changed to make it a more engaging experience. Also, the map is being changed from top down to isometric, which everyone loves. No more sandbox - the game can actually be finished. Arcen wants to create a distilled experience that focuses on platforming and city building. There will still be quests and NPCs but it will be much more directed in nature. New Procedural generation - They are calling the new ideology a 'slices method' where chunks of world are created by hand and then assembled randomly into the system. Completely new enemies - They are changing the style and the scale of enemies to fit into more into the platforming style game and less like a slugfest RPG.
You can read the full list of changes here. It is a long read, but it is almost a case study in a developer's process of improving on their own game. They outline what worked, what didn't work, and why they want to make all these changes. Definitely worth your life minutes.
It sounds like Arcen learned a ton from the first game and they are going to tighten up almost every gameplay element for the sequel. They are toting the sequel as a 'spiritual successor to ActRaiser with a much deeper city building/strategic component, and with better platforming in a Metroidvania style.' A Valley Without Wind wasn't perfect, and it did some interesting things so we're excited to see what they can do with another chance.