AURO Update for July 2013
Hello everybody, from the Dinofarm Development Barn! I’ll make this update quick, snappy and to the point.
According to our schedule, AURO should be feature-complete in about a week! Crazy! Art-wise, we’re done with all of the monsters and tilesets – After that point, we’ll have about one month to do some last minute polish, balance, and bug fixing. We’re officially in crunch mode now.
What’s AURO Shippin’ With?
Since we’re so close, we can now give you some more details about what the game will ship with:
- TUTORIAL – This is a super short interactive tutorial that teaches the absolute basics of the game – movement, attacking, using spells, etc.
- STORY MODE – This is a completion-based mode that doubles as a sort of “Easy Mode”, giving players a ramp up to the much harder Trials Mode and the wild and crazy Quick Match. It also uses the scoring mode in a different way. Since the game is about completion, not about getting a high score, score in this mode helps you achieve completion, by unlocking new spells (kinda like XP in an RPG!). It’s 9 levels long and includes a final boss fight, cutscenes, and several other dialogue sequences.
- TRIALS MODE – Trials is the standard way to play “single-player”. In this endless mode, you’re simply trying to beat your highest score. For this reason, the variation in the monsters that can be seen is pretty restricted, and the game is very hard! This is the mode we’ve been working on throughout development, and I’m happy to say that the gameplay is really dynamic, balanced, and interesting!
- MATCH MODE – This is our newest, and also most-exciting mode that I hope will become the primary way that people play AURO! This mode, like Trials mode, is also endless, but with a vastly wider array of things that can be seen on each level. So on level 1 you might see a gang of 6 Foxies and a Brute. Or you might see Lord Vargas and 3 Curse Kids, or you might see a pair of angry Yetis and a gang of Troggles and a bunch of Guardians. The level generation itself is also much wider in its possibility range; it can be wider, or longer, or have lots of pillars, or lots of scrolls, etc.
The really cool thing about Match Mode, though, is how the multiplayer works. I play a game. Once I’m done, this game is sent over to you, with the same exact random generation, and my score. If you beat my score, then it bounces back to me again. The first person to fail to beat the other player’s score loses.
Match Mode will allow Quick Match (play a game vs. a random opponent on the ladder), Friendly Game (play against a Game Center / Play Games friend unranked), or Pass n’ Play (play a game with a person sharing the device).
AURO will have very simple metagame on launch, but we think it’s just what the game needs. At the end of this section I’ll talk about some stuff we plan to do post-release.
- QUICK MATCH – In this mode, we’re going to have a classic LEAGUE setup consisting of 5 LEAGUES, which is determined using an ELO system. We’ll publish the top 100 players list from time to time, and we’ll probably have seasons.
- TRIALS – Trials mode is about getting a high score, and so we have RANKS at various score thresholds which the player can earn. So, if your high score is 57, you earned the 50-point threshold Foxy RANK. To get the Troggle rank, get 80 points or higher! We may use the ACHIEVEMENTS system for this – not sure on that.
- GAMECENTER – Obviously, AURO on iOS will connect to Gamecenter, which can track your RANKS and high scores, do matchmaking, and see all your friends’ stuff.
- GOOGLE PLAY GAMES – This service will do all the same stuff as Gamecenter, and be available on the Android version for sure, and possibly even on iOS optionally too (although this might be post-release). Once we do have this, you should be able to have cross-platform multiplayer! Got a friend with an iPhone? Challenge him with your Android version of AURO! Hopefully this isn’t just a pipe dream.
- FACEBOOK, TWITTER – You’ll be able to post your scores, and your wins to here, of course.
After release, we want to do a ton of stuff. Firstly, we have to do the Kickstarter NPCs and PCs, which we haven’t forgotten about! When we do that, we’ll also make a Create Your Avatar mode, that allows you to configure what your character looks like in Quick Match and Trials mode.
We want to have REPLAYS available, and a really good replay system, too. It’s important that you can watch your opponent LOSE (or win) after you finish your Quick Match.
We want to have a PUZZLE MODE, and we want to have a PUZZLE CREATOR system which allows players to create their own puzzle levels and send them to friends!
We’ve got plans for VARIANTS GALORE! More on that later.
This is seriously just the beginning for AURO. I know that it’s a really strong, original game design, and it makes me excited to think about supporting it for 5, 10, or 20 years into the future. Anyway, we’re going to want to start doing previews very soon. If anyone has contacts, or knows somebody who could make some noise about AURO, we’re gonna need ’em. Contact me at keithburgun at gmail if you’ve got some leads.
Also, we’re going to be doing another round of BETA TESTERS in about a week when STORY MODE is finished. For this round, we specifically need people who have no idea how to play. I need them to try the game out and see if they’re able to pick everything up having played Story Mode and the Tutorial.
Looking forward to fighting you in MATCH MODE!