The Wanderlust Experience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Xillor, May 9, 2017.

  1. Xillor

    Xillor Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Hey there. It's kind of sad to see that these forums (and the games to a lesser extent) are dead... Wanderlust was a big part of my life growing up. I played the original alpha demo for "Wanderlust: The Online Adventure" and fell in love with the RPG elements mixed with wonder and adventure. It's too bad I can't find that demo anywhere, it would be an amazing nostalgia trip and I'd love nothing more than to play it again. I played Wanderlust Rebirth since the early beta and although it was missing a lot of the elements that I loved from the original game, it still ended up being quite a fun experience.. playing solo was fine, but it has that weird port forwarding mess so multiplayer was hard to get working but I think the some of the defining moments of Rebirth are in the Crawl minigame when playing with a full team.

    Anyway, onto Wanderlust Adventures... I only got the chance to play it recently, but was pleased to find that it had a lot of traditional "wanderlust" elements including adventuring, hidden dungeons, hidden bosses, leveling, skills, etc. There were lots of things that I didn't like too much though, like the music felt a little out of place sometimes... I somewhat wish that the map wasn't laid out for me, and that the outposts weren't labeled either. Because of those things the game is sorta missing a sense of wonder, where I don't know my boundaries. Instead I can just press M and see the boundaries right when the game starts. The quest lines were intimidating upon entering the game. I think most new players just want to explore before they start getting involved in stuff like that. I felt as though the game was a little short... I know it has 3 difficulty modes, and it's meant to be played at each difficulty in sequence, but I was able to beat normal mode in about 6 hours... and the final boss felt a little underwhelming. To be fair, I was playing the "assassin" class which allowed me to dash around a lot, and since I'm sort of a "wanderlust veteran" I can say I found myself purposely whizzing through dialogue and quests. Also there was a little bit too much desert for my liking. I think this game desperately needed a pretty grass field area at the beginning. The price is... okay I suppose.. I think if the game was a little cheaper more people would be inclined to pick it up.

    Overall the game is worth buying if you think you're into this kind of adventurous RPG. It's sad to see that there's no sequel or DLC planned.

    Good luck with future projects if you read this, Leth!
    • d2king10

      d2king10 Space Hobo

      Hey, Jason here, I love seeing posts like this! They really help put into perspective all the work that Matt and I have poured into the Wanderlust series.

      I will always have a special place for the very first Wanderlust, it was such an ambitious game during a time when indie game development was the unknown. I started working on the Wanderlust series with Matt when I was in middle school, and we finally released the latest Wanderlust (WA) after I had graduated college and was working a full-time job. I have known Matt for a long ass time, he is a dear friend to me who, in many ways, was another older brother figure for me growing up. We have poured countless amounts of hours into the three Wanderlust titles and I can speak for both of us when I say that we are extremely proud of what we managed to create. When we first started the very first Wanderlust, Wanderlust: The Online Adventure, we had these crazy grand ideas for this huge expansive game, and after having dedicated several years to the project, we began to learn what it meant to make games and we knew that we needed to step back from the project and re-scope our vision. Thus, Wanderlust: Rebirth was born.

      Wanderlust: Rebirth (WR) was initially a prototype for how a Nintendo DS version of Wanderlust would play (thus the weird top screen bar throughout most of development). We took what we had learned from the first game, and tried to really hone in on what values we believed made up the Wanderlust experience. Even with these changes, WR took us a really long time to complete. Matt was going through college and raising his daughter, and I was finishing up high school and starting college, but we managed to release it (outside of Steam). I remember the excitement as we launched the game on some very early rendition of live streaming and how ecstatic we were to have a handful of viewers. We marketed like crazy, emailed everyone we could, posted everywhere we could, and gave away copies left and right... and we struggled. It barely inched by no matter how hard we pushed. In the end, we managed to get a partnership with Chucklefish, which would change both of our lives forever. I will tell you, looking at the Steam sales charts on launch day was dizzying as I mashed F5 on my keyboard. That feeling was such a rush and knowing thousands of people were playing our game had helped validate all the time we dedicated to this series. But, as with all good things, there will likely be some bad that follows, and it was my first real exposure to heavy critical feedback to many years worth of work.

      Time trekked on and we began to get an itch to bring the wanderlust back into the game. So after some milling, Wanderlust Adventures (WA) was born. Yet again we took our findings from our previous titles and tried to find solutions to the hurdles we faced from an open world game. To make it all possible, we created systems to generate a world, create dungeons, and fill the world with as much content as two people possibly could. I was sure WA was going to take off and I would finally be able to be an indie developer full time; after all, it was bound to do as good as WR, right? So there I sat, mashing the F5 button in Steam on release day, that same dizzying rush flowing through me, and the first few days were looking promising. Day by day I checked the sales, noticing how far off they were from WR, and it was then I knew that I wasn't going to be able to be that full time indie developer that I dreamed of (at least for now). It was a hard realization to accept, and one that I will probably always have a soft spot thinking back on. I am now a father of my own kid, working at a game studio full time, and I am always thinking of wanting to start developing again. Maybe one day Matt and I will team up again for a project, but for the time being, he and I are doing our own things.

      Thanks again for your commitment to our work, it means the world to me that our games were able to leave an impression with you. :)

      P.S. Here is a link to Wanderlust: The Online Adventure alpha! You can pretty much use the Wayback Machine to pull any old versions of the game you desire.


      tldr; you rock!
        Xillor likes this.
      • Xillor

        Xillor Scruffy Nerf-Herder

        Oh yes I didn't forget about you d2k. I remember actively reading posts on the old yoyo games forums (that went on for something like 100 pages) and being excited to see what you guys were up to. Thanks for this response. I love reading about old wanderlust stories and even though they weren't quite a break-out hit they were at least a special part of a lot of people's lives, and that's where game development begins!

        Also I was very excited to see you guys teamed up with Chucklefish, since I'm a fan of starbound and I'm very much looking forward to Wargroove for the Switch.

        Also, I was astonished to see that the wanderlust alpha existed on wayback machine, although unfortunately I cant really seem to get it to run on my windows 8 laptop. Even after allowing both programs (start.exe and wanderlust.exe) through my anti-virus and running it in all the compatibility modes etc. it will only appear as a "background process" in my task manager and never show up as an actual application. The "start.exe" file does show up with a tiny box that checks for an IP and then has a button to "start game", which I'm assuming just opens the "wanderlust.exe" file but again, it never shows up. Not sure if this is just a lost cause... I will try other things. Maybe you have a suggestion?
        • d2king10

          d2king10 Space Hobo

        • Xillor

          Xillor Scruffy Nerf-Herder

          It worked in that it was able to convert the file but when I try to login with the character. It comes up with an error and gives "ignore" or "abort".


          Well a few things I've noticed is that, the game seems to be connecting to a MySQL on an ip address which clearly isn't hosting it anymore. Aren't the characters saved on the harddrive? I can only assume that the error is popping up because there's no character database. It also seems like whenever I make a character, no matter how many times I reuse the same name it will never stop me from using it again... So it's not connected to a character database? I do see two SQL files in the folder that are created when the game is run. I also noticed that even though the home page of the old wanderlust website was saved around 40 times on wayback machine, the actual "download" page was only saved twice (one from 2005 may and the other from late 2006), and the "news" page was only saved once (in late 2006).

          So anyway, I'm not really sure if there is a solution to this problem and if there was I wouldn't know how to fix it. Maybe it really is a lost cause?
            Last edited: May 11, 2017
          • Xillor

            Xillor Scruffy Nerf-Herder

            So it seems like the only two available versions of the game on wayback are versions where you guys were using a GMsql server (before, and after the two times you guys had characters saved in a file in the folder) so that would explain why this doesn't work. Unless you have a later (offline playable) version of the alpha you'd be willing to put up, I guess I'm out of luck lol.

            Maybe dig up the last version of the alpha and upload it somewhere? If only for the sake of the history of Wanderlust. I'm sure lots of people have come strolling through this site to find that old game.
              Last edited: May 13, 2017
            • Bamboozler

              Bamboozler Space Penguin Leader

              Reading these posts gave me massive FOMO. I love reading about all the adventures and experiences you guys had playing Wanderlust, I just wish I got into the game that early. I only found out about this game recently (a bit late clearly).

              This is a message to all the people who are looking for an RPG that very closely resembles Wanderlust. Try Secrets of Grindea. I'm not sure if that's the most recent or most popular co-op adventure RPG nowadays but over the past couple of years I threw over 150 hours into it and it VERY clearly drew inspiration from Wanderlust Adventures and Rebirth. Being a newer game it might not give you the same nostalgia feel however it is definitely more polished and the controls are incredibly smooth (unless you're lagging clearly).

              If anyone that's posted here has notifications turned on and sees this - or anyone in the future that reads this - feel free to DM me and we can set up a time and day to play either Secrets of Grindea or Wanderlust Adventures! :DD

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