It's not often that someone gives you a sequel for free. It somewhat undermines the traditions of sequelitis - taking any game that makes a smidgen of money and then franchising it up the wazoo. If more studios gave their sequels away for free publishers would crumble, populaces would revolt, and world leaders would be the first against the wall. So just what are Arcen up to by giving away the successor to A Valley Without Wind for free?
Well, I'm not going to pop this suspense bubble before the break.
Or am I?
Evidently, I did not.
"We don't think anyone will be much inclined to buy the first game after they see the second," writes Arcen's Chris Park, "but the first game is cool in its own right, and so that's something we wanted to preserve. It breaks a lot of new ground that no other games have ever experimented in before, and we didn't want to just throw that out. The game isn't perfect, and it doesn't last forever, but it's fun for a goodly number of hours and it's something that people should be able to experience for years to come if they're into that sort of thing. Meanwhile we get to move the "Valley franchise" forward in the manner of our choosing with the sequel."
It's a true sequel. There are more than 120 new enemies, a new art style, and deep mechanical changes to how the game works. Changes that Chris worries "were too deep to do without angering players who bought one game and then had us change it on them to that degree."
The changes are fully detailed in the blog post quoted above but here's a quick summary:
- Completely new enemies
- Completely new procedural generation methods
- new citybuilding game that ties everything together
- The dispatch model for NPCs is completely different and much improved now; no more moods, profession books, or gifts. No more professions at all, in fact
- Entirely turn-based in the macro-game
- No more permadeath
- No more settlements, and survivors don't need to be rescued
- Perks: Each time the world level goes up, everybody gets a list of new perks that they can apply to themselves
- It is actually possible to win the game
- You can also lose the game
There are a lot more changes over detailed over on Arcen's blog and if you're familiar with A Valley Without Wind then go read it, especially as you're going to be getting a free copy of AVWW 2.