State of Aurory Address - April 2023
Our team was in full sprint throughout April as we continued to work towards the release of Prologue to Adventures. We had initially targeted an end-of-Q1 release but had to make the call to delay it by a month in order to give us ample time to debug and polish the experience. The team is currently testing and finalizing the Prologue, and we are looking good for a release in the first half of May!
Aside from that, we were also very pleased with our first live-ops event, the Easter Eggstravaganza. The event was a real success, with more than 1,700 eggs hatched and more than 100 players hatching for the first time ever!
April is also the month that saw the birth of Ice Helios! Following the FTX debacle, we made the call, with the blessings of the other 9 Helios owners, to burn the two FTX Aurorians owned by Bardstocks in order to mint a new Helios.
With his artistic talent on full display in this new Helios reveal and after spending much of the last six months working on the artwork for Mad Lads, we are happy to announce that our co-founder and Art Director, Yann, is back full-time working on Aurory. His first order of business is to start drafting more concepts for the Aurorian art upgrade. Our desire is for the upgrade to feel highly intentional by making sure that the new styles fit well with our lore while making each piece of art amazing. We can’t wait to start sharing some more sneak peeks with everyone very soon!
As we mentioned, the rest of the month was fully focused on Prologue to Adventures. Let’'s dive into the recap now!
A notable highlight from the Design team was the new name reveal of the village (Blanche) where the Prologue to Adventures will be taking place. With the village in its last phases of production before launch, our Design team wasted no time and is already working on the next phase of Adventures, which will add lots of new features and mechanics. Some of these new features are still under discussion, but others, such as player progression, Neftie progression, and Neftie variations, are already design-ready!
On the Tactics side, we deployed the first hotfix following the release of 0.2.9, which aimed to address some of the matchmaking issues players had been facing. We are now noticing that the fix we deployed is resulting in players seeing longer wait times, which is not ideal either. Although our team has been heavily focused on Adventures, we have been monitoring feedback closely, and we are looking to deploy another hotfix after the release of Prologue to Adventures. This hotfix will aim to improve the matchmaking system while also addressing the increase in abusers that has been noted recently. Please rest assured that we are collecting all of your Discord feedback and want to continue to improve Tactics. We would encourage you to go and fill out this survey so we can have a better idea of Tactics players sentiments, which will allow us to know what else we can start looking to improve for future patches.
The UIX Design team has spent much of their time throughout April tweaking and polishing all of the in-game UI that will tie together every player's interaction in Blanche. Here are a few examples of those:
When they weren’t working on UI for Blitz, they were spending some time mapping out new wireframes for Expeditions V2, as well as new UX for various elements on the Aurory platform that will need to be slightly reimagined in order to accommodate new cross-chain initiatives we have coming up. Stay tuned for more announcements on that front fairly soon!
We’re incredibly excited for all of the talent that we have in our art team to really shine through in our product over the following weeks as people play in Blanche for the first time. On the Environment Art side, polishing of various elements in Blanche was ongoing throughout April, with some last-minute tweaks to different elements like the spawn point, stands around the arena, and lighting adjustments. Aside from that, work has resumed on biome production for the next iteration of Adventures.
The Character Art team has been spending some time working with the Design team on documentation of how chromas will be implemented in our ecosystem. Along with this, they have been working on various elemental icons and consumable icons for adventures. Other miscellaneous tasks included working on new Neftie facial expressions and the completion of the Halloween 3D models for zombie skins and seasonal/Battle Bash reward skins.
We had a couple of Nefties make their way to the rigging department this month. Their tasks included the following:
The Animation team was tasked with making sure that Blanche felt lively and that all Speed Blitz animations were ready for integration. Along with this, they integrated some fun Aurorian emotes that players will be able to use in Blanche and worked on adapting the rest of our v2 Neftie models for Tactics.
Our Audio team has been a great help with enhancing our marketing content lately. Some of the music they created can be heard in various sneak peeks on our Twitter account. Apart from that, throughout April they worked on integrating music and SFX in Blanche and have already begun working on music for the next phase of Adventures!
With a release as big as the Prologue to Adventures, all hands need to be onboard in our Tech department for a smooth and timely deployment. Never shying away from a challenge, they really showed up in April to make sure that we get the Prologue over the finish line and deliver a good experience for our players.
The following tasks made up most of their days:
Adventures UX Integration
Identifying requirement constraints.
Landing page integration.
Marketplace adventure toggle.
Testing out new tools to speed up development.
Adding site-wide search to the landing page.
Blitz / Adventures:
Stability and support as needed for V0.
V0.5.0 features planning.
Platform and Economy
Design and planning for a SyncSpace-backed marketplace.
Crafting service (Incubator functionality in SyncSpace).
Supporting USDC in SyncSpace for more on-ramp options for cross-chain users.
Support for closing out the Easter event.
Support for Blitz / Adventures.
Tactics join in progress.
We kicked off April with an Easter hatching event that exceeded our expectations in terms of engagement. We were very pleased with the outcome and would like to continue hosting similar types of live-ops events that reward our community and create fun ways to highlight various mechanisms on our platform.
Much of the rest of our marketing team’s efforts throughout April went towards planning communications for the Prologue to Adventures. With the help of the Design team, a big thread around Blanche was shared on Twitter last week. You can expect more of these types of threads as we go deeper into the lore of Aurory with the progression of Adventures. This thread was in addition to some sneak peeks we shared in various forms (images, gifs, and videos) throughout the last few weeks in order to build some hype around the soft release of the Prologue to Adventures.
We are also in preparation for our next event appearance at 3XP in Pasadena CA, next month! If you are planning to attend, please let us know on Discord, as we will have a booth where we’d love to meet some of you!
All in all, April was another great month in the books. Our team made some big strides on Adventures, and we can’t wait to release The Prologue for our holders to play next week!
Make sure your notifications are turned on for our Twitter account, as you don’t want to miss the teaser we have planned 🔔
See you in Blanche everyone!
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