Huge Auro news!
Hi everybody! Sorry things have been so quiet on the Dinofarm for awhile. Between my work (I’m Keith, by the way!) on my upcoming tactical wargame Gem Wizards Tactics, and Blake’s incredible pixel art work on the amazing Killer Queen Black (seriously, check out that pixel art, hoooly crap), we’ve both had to put our larger projects aside for awhile. However! There has been one significant development, which I’m here to tell you about
We are super proud of Auro! We think that it, especially with the advent of the 2.0 version, is a super strong tactics game. Even now, years after it was originally released, it’s fun, challenging, and surprising. It has therefore long been a huge source regret to us that, because of numerous technical factors, we have been unable to update Auro after the 2.0 version came out. Because of its weird origins with Haxe, NME, Starling, and about 5 other weird wrapper tools that I only partially understand, we were unable to bring that (massively improved) version to mobile. Worse, as time went on, the existing mobile versions were also unable* to get the necessary updates to stay on the app stores. This has been a real source of pain for me over the past few years. We started on Auro in 2011, and it sucks to think that there’s almost nowhere that you can play it anymore.
The Good News
As a Dinofarm Games fan, you may know about BrainGoodGames and its only developer, Brett Lowey. He’s an amazing game designer of his own, having designed Militia, Solar Settlers, Minos Strategos, and most recently, Militia 2 (which I was honored to do the soundtrack for!)
Over the past few months, Brett has been coding an all-new version of Auro, from scratch, in Unity. This is massive, for a number of reasons.
- Unity, unlike HaxeNMEStarlingFlash whatever we were using before, has extremely good support and is all self contained and whatnot. Like, Unity is so popular that I’m confident that games made using it will be supported for a long time.
- I am actually quite proficient in Unity, now having created and finished several games using the platform. This means that we can start doing more updates for the game!
- Mobile versions should be easy! (At least, the Android version. iOS can be a real pain.) These will be coming a little later, but they WILL be coming!
- Also: the game can now run in FULL SCREEN (not to mention a bunch of other technical features that were nigh-impossible before but super easy now).
As to what kind of changes we will be making going forward, no word on that yet exactly, although the first version that goes up on Steam (very soon!) will have at least one new feature: the ability to explicitly set your Rank (up to rank 10) for Play Mode!
I am super excited to have Auro back. I feel like a loved one has come back to life! If things go according to plan, we’ll start doing somewhat regular updates and some live streams and other events. Thanks for your patience everybody!
*”Unable”: over the years, I’ve been approached by, I want to say seven different programmers? who heard me make this claim, and doubted it very much. “What? Dude I can definitely fix that for you, no problem.” they all said – which was super nice of them, because they were offering to fix issues like the fullscreen thing and the fact that it wouldn’t build again for mobile, for free. But each of them, upon actually trying to implement said changes, failed and gave up. I applaud all of their efforts and thank them again for trying, but it should suffice to say: this really was not an easy solution, and starting over from scratch was probably the way to go, especially given other problems that would be likely to crop up in the future.