Friday, May 27, 2011

Battle for Venga Islands 1.1

Working on the 1.1 update.

  • Difficulty ratings are decreased.  Surrounded regions behind enemy lines will still be very difficult, but border regions should be easier.
  • Ocean regions act as friendly neighbors.  This is a pretty big change, and means that there should be a lot more opportunity to start new attacks behind enemy lines.
  • Data files are now tamper-resistant (I hesitate to say "proof").  Hopefully this should make it harder to hack the leaderboard.
  • Health balls will drop slightly more frequently.
  • Players can now change teams (one time only!)
I think the first two will make a big improvement to the game.  It was really difficult to imagine how the game world would play out, and I didn't foresee it getting as locked up as it has.  So I'm anxious to get these changes out asap.


  1. What I'd like to see on health balls: either they drop closer to me (not where the dude dies) or they last longer. I tend to push the baddies into a feed ball in the middle while I strafe around them blasting. so all my health balls appear in the middle of a giant group of bad guys and I cant get to them... or, by the time I've maneuvered my ball of baddudes away from the health ball, it disappears.

  2. The health balls were really a late addition to the game. One of the reasons I like them so much is they add a little "risk/reward" decision point.

    In other words, I like the fact that they naturally drop in dangerous areas. I think the choice you have to make about whether you venture into danger to get a reward or stay safe is a fun one.

    I'll try making them last longer... that might be a good compromise.

  3. I'm loving the game. I feel that the difficulty is well balanced. I can take a legendary territory by myself but it is far from a sure thing. Better to work the frontline and make more progress.

    I'm worried that if ocean tiles count as friendly then there won't be a frontline per se, so much as all islands will be constantly under assault from the beaches.

  4. Thanks for your comment!

    My main concern is that not all skill levels can find something to do in the game. I'm concerned that more casual players will buy the game, be faced with only Difficult, Heroic, or Legendary regions to try to capture, and get overwhelmed and never play again.

    On the one hand, I could say that they've already paid their money, and why do I care if they play at all? But I don't think that way.

    In my vision of the game, it's easier to capture territories. It's easier to advance ground, and therefore easier to lose ground. It's hard to hold and island all to yourself. You have to constantly work at keeping your territory yours. Kind of like the board game "Small World".

    I don't see that happening at this point. I see deadlocked battle fronts, where any advance is easily crushed, and island fortresses that are nearly impossible to penetrate.

    I'm really glad you love the game, and I don't see any reason why you won't with the changes I'm contemplating.

    And if you do, let me know and I'll give you your 80MSP back. :)

  5. No, I'm sure I will continue to love the game. A map with quicker turnover would probably just make me play more. And your comment on players of all skill levels is certainly important. Guess I'm somewhat of a hardcore Venga Islands elitist huh? :)

    Yesterday when I was playing another player from the army of the king messaged me and asked if I would help him fight on the northwest island! How cool is that? We worked together and pushed the frontline about 3-4 spaces up while I attacked the northwest and opened up a second front.

  6. "Yesterday when I was playing another player from the army of the king messaged me and asked if I would help him fight on the northwest island! How cool is that?"

    By far the coolest thing I've read all day!

    By making the beaches easier to capture, there will be a lot more "churn" at the coastline, which will make holding the high-ground in the middle of the islands all the more important.

    The battle lines will probably not cut directly across islands, but be more circular in nature, like elevation lines on a topographic map...

  7. I see what you are saying about holding the high-ground. Sounds cool to me as I can see pushing in to take the center of an island as a very good risk/reward choice.