The Vale - Post-release future
Hey there! So The Vale: Shadow of the Crown has been out for a month and a half and we couldn’t be happier with the reception we’ve received. We’ve had great reviews from all over the world, seen wonderful community engagement from both veteran audiogame enthusiasts and first-timers alike, and are continuing to take part in interviews, trade-shows, giveaways and more. Falling Squirrel is truly humbled by the support and appreciation being expressed about The Vale. Today, we wanted to take some time to address some of our more frequently asked questions as well as announce some of our future plans and events.
We're currently working on other projects in partnership with other studios. This is what is taking up most of our development resources. We can’t discuss this work yet, but once we can you’ll hear from us.
Lots of folks have asked us what our next project is going to be. Are there going to be ports of The Vale? Can we add additional features or modes to the game? Are we going to make a sequel?
Well, today we bring answers. Let’s start with talks of our next project. We’re planning to start on another audio project sometime within the next year or two. We have lots of different ideas for what this will be - a sequel to The Vale, an audio-based game in a different genre like science fiction, a player-versus-player game based on The Vale’s combat system, or even a game with full visuals that is also equitably accessible! Needless to say, we are still deliberating on what exactly our next project will be, but please let us know what you’d like us to work on next.
Finally, we also are planning on making a uniform space where we can maintain interactions with the community about current and upcoming projects - stay tuned for more information on this at a later date.
Free Roam Combat
One of the more frequent points we’ve seen is requesting combat that allows players to free-roam as opposed to the stationary battles of The Vale.
By the time we got to the end of development, we had experimented with letting players move in and out of combat encounters in between stealth traversal or ranged combat. One of the later boss fights in The Vale has you moving around a battlefield, dodging ranged attacks, and choosing how to dispatch enemies in your preferred way.
As a result, we feel more confident that we can create an all-audio combat system that lets players move freely around enemies in a 3D environment, where players can decide between using stealth, ranged, or melee combat abilities to dispatch or bypass their foes.
We’re excited to explore this in a future project!
With an array of several weapon types, armor, different levels of spells, and enemies, the combat in The Vale has a lot of variance. We’ve heard people asking for an endless mode or an expansion of the existing Arena fight. Even though it might not seem like a lot of work to cobble together something functional, in order to make a game mode that is on par with the quality of the rest of our game, we’d need to spend a fair bit of time and work to get everything right. That being said, we definitely want to include something like this in our next title. We’re flattered by those of you who can’t get enough of our close-quarters medieval combat.
The Vale is on sale for 20% right now as part of the Tokyo Game Show. Now is a great time to grab a gift copy for your friends and family! Get it on itch.io, on Steam , and Xbox. Already got a copy? Now’s a great time to leave a review so other people know how you feel!
Later this month, Falling Squirrel is participating in GAconf - an online video game conference about accessibility in games. We’ll be doing a talk discussing the development of The Vale: Shadow of the Crown. Be sure to check out the details here
We’re often taking part in podcasts, interviews, or seeing more and more streamers and community members playing our game. Be sure to follow us on twitter to get the latest on The Vale's community And if there is specific content you’d like to see - interviews with voice actors, question and answer sessions, or more, let us know!
The Vale additional content:
Are we going to make additional features for The Vale: Shadow of the Crown? Unfortunately, unless there is a sudden and sharp rise in sales, we don’t currently have the resources to add more to our game.
Today, we wanted to quickly touch on technical features or quality of life changes that have been requested. We don’t know if we’re going to be able to implement these changes, but we wanted you to know that we’re listening. So sometime around next summer, we’ll have some time to take a look at the following:
Jumping to Combat (dialogue skip)
We know that listening to the same dialogue over and over can be an impediment to replaying The Vale and we hear you.. We can’t create a function to skip dialogues without a ton of work, but we have thought of the following changes that might help.
We are looking into the possibility of adding a function that lets you skip the dialogue before a combat scene and treats it as if you’ve already died and are replaying that encounter. This uses the secondary dialogue for these events, which is a shorter version of the original dialogue.
Similarly, we may add a function that lets you skip the dialogue where a quest-giver is describing a quest and treats it as if you’ve already heard the quest explanation - again this would play a shorter dialogue.
We’ve also heard similar requests about scene or chapter selection. While we had this feature in development builds for some testers, it caused a lot of problems and bugs. Currently, it’s not possible to add this without breaking the game.
Again, while we don’t know whether we’ll be able to implement any of these quality of life changes, we wanted to let you know that we’re listening to you when they are brought up. When we have some free time we will look into this more and keep you posted.
We’ve had requests about purchasing the soundtrack for The Vale. While we don’t have the licensing or rights to sell or bundle the soundtrack, we’ve uploaded most of the soundtrack to Spotify and Youtube Music. We’re still working on adding the rest of the tracks, so bear with us.
If you’ve read all the way to this part, thank you so much. We continue to feel lucky to have fans like you. Until next time!