State of Aurory Address - February 2023
February was a major month for our team that included some big releases and events! We kicked off the month with the premiere of the full Blitz trailer and followed up with a live streamed AMA full of great insights from our team on Adventures and more. We also launched our first competitive community event with the Battle Bash, complete with a $15K prize pool distributed among top players. We’re happy to report that over the course of the event, we saw over 1,500 unique users playing Tactics!
This event was the first of many that we plan to host, both as a way to reward our existing community and also as a way to attract new players through a casual competitive format. We’ve shared a survey to conduct an internal retrospective on the whole experience so we can improve the format for future events. If you participated but haven’t filled out the survey yet, we’d highly appreciate your input if you are willing to share it here (it takes a few minutes to complete). Congratulations to everyone who made it to the top 100, and thanks to everyone else for participating!
Overall, February came and went quickly with all that happened! Let’s jump into some of the more gritty details on what else our team worked on throughout the past few weeks.
The Design team worked on building out a new dashboard displaying quantitative in-game statistics. This data will help us work towards the perfect in-game balance, as it helps us understand more about users behaviors’ as it relates to matters like the types of Nefties used most and the win rates of those particular Nefties. We will also be conducting a voluntary survey with our community soon to gain more insights into player feedback as it relates to specific Nefties.
The Design team also grew in February with the arrival of Jessy, who came from Nvizzio Creations, where he worked as a Game Designer and then an Economic Game Designer. With his arrival, he’ll be joining our current Economic Designers in making sure we keep Aurory sustainable and fun for all.
Apart from that, the bulk of our designers’ time went towards tasks related to creating the various ingredients that will make up The Village: Prologue to Adventures (our new title for Adventures v0) and Speed Blitz (our new title for Blitz Auto Battles).
These tasks included things like:
Completing design of The Village layout.
Locking core design for Speed Blitz.
Designing the Neftie selection screen for Speed Blitz.
Designing the results screens for Speed Blitz.
Neftie stat design updates.
Village kiosk integrations.
Inventory system mockups.
Speed Blitz UI design.
In parallel with the development of Adventures, Tactics is still a focus and will continue to receive periodic patches and updates. A new camera has been developed and released by the Design team that will allow our marketing team and content creators to capture Tactics footage using more dynamic camera angles, significantly raising the production quality of Tactics videos to come!
Along with hosting our first Battle Bash, we also released the first version of our referral program, which allows referees to earn bonuses on their referrals’ weekly earnings! You can read more about it here.
Our team is also beginning to work on a type of Neftiedex tool (for lack of a better name at the moment). It will serve as a useful tool for both Adventures and Tactics. More information will be released on this soon.
The VFX team pushed a lot of new visual effects for the first versions of Adventures and Speed Blitz that we’ll be releasing soon. These consisted of:
Battle dust integration for Speed Blitz
Snowy biome pass.
Plains biome pass.
Speed Blitz celebration VFX.
VFX for snowy village Speed Blitz matches.
Kitty’s flame VFX.
Glitched Neftie VFX.
The Environmental team has continued with the production and polishing of assets for the various biomes in Adventures, with the Villages being the highest priority.
We shared a first video sneak peek last week of multiple Aurorians running around in the snowy village. In addition to showcasing the impressive level art in the village, this was a teaser of the social aspect of the village, which will allow players to meet up and challenge each other to a Speed Blitz fight! As stated, what was shown in the teaser is still very much WIP, and there will be a lot more polishing done before the public release.
The Character Art team brought us new Neftie variations with the concept art for Dodorex and Wooltail! They also worked on bringing new facial expressions to N9, Znix, and Dinotusk, and created concept art for some new Neftie trainer NPCs that you’ll soon meet in the village!
The Rigging team worked on the new v2 model of everyone’s favorite vegetable, Blockchoy, and the goodest boi of them all, Shiba. Kitty also finally got her bones, so we can bring her to life!
The highlight of this month for our animation team was the release of the Blitz trailer. A ton of work and collaboration across many departments went on behind the scenes to bring this trailer to the public, but it really could not have been pulled off if it weren’t for our expert animators. The reactions and feedback it received were overwhelmingly positive, and people seem really hyped about Blitz and Adventures after seeing the trailer. We can’t wait to start delivering the first versions of Blitz to eventually bring you all full-blown battles, similar to what was shown in that trailer!
Aside from working on the Blitz trailer, the animation team continued with animating the new v2 Neftie models and various creatures and NPCs that we’ll find scattered across the village!
With multiple biomes, each with their own ambiance, Speed Blitz SFX, and new NPCs with SFX needs…our Audio team is looking forward to a busy year ahead and continuing to bring joy to our ears!
Throughout February, some of the work on their end has consisted of:
Finalizing music and SFX for the Blitz trailer.
Sketch and research for Snow Village and Speed Blitz.
Battle Dust Cloud and Generic Nefties Dash SFX.
Speed Blitz music.
Snow Village music.
SFX for Snow Village .
SFX for v2 Nefties.
SFX design for NPCs.
With two sprints over the last month, our Tech team covered some serious ground.
Each department’s work consisted of the following:
Referral system deployment.
Enabling support for SOL in SyncSpace.
Marketplace rarity and filter integration.
Battle Bash event page deployment (web and mobile).
Aurory.io home page revamp.
Migration to a new nest-based backend API.
Miscellaneous bug fixing.
Creation of public API for Unity Clients to prepare for Speed Blitz.
Betting implementation for PVP Speed Blitz.
Design/planning (with Unity) on handling Speed Blitz matches/game logic.
Testing Tactics Season 3 rollout (with QA support).
Supporting the release of improved/refactored matchmaking system.
Platform and Economy
Marketplace service V2 implementation.
Locker/SyncSpace updates to support Adventures and Blitz.
Rarity system - stabilization and testing
Planning and early explorations for new expeditions flows.
Referral system integration support.
Battle Bash Support.
Implementing infrastructure metrics scraped by Prometheus.
Implementing basic alerts on infrastructure (disk space on databases, ratio of errors on load balancer).
Implementing Gitlab runners in Kubernetes.
Adventure connectivity support.
Implementation of the new reputation system.
Establishing full Village/ Speed Blitz prototype-quality loop.
Implementing multiplayer Aurorians village feature.
Implementing audio feature so the team can integrate and polish it as of the next sprint.
Scoping next releases.
Kicking off live ops working group to improve live ops events.
Establishing the final content and release window for Tactics 0.2.9.
The marketing team had some big pushes this past month with the release of the Blitz trailer. Aside from that, February was mostly centered around the Battle Bash. In order to bring additional attention to Aurory and the Battle Bash, we announced a giveaway for a gaming PC with VastGG that is still going. Make sure to enter if you haven’t already! We also hosted two live streams on our YouTube channel and shared some tip videos to help players improve their gameplay during the Battle Bash!
Other marketing-related activities we have in the works include a booth that we’ll be hosting at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco later this month. During that same week, we’ll also be sponsoring an event in partnership with MagicEden and a few other web3 gaming projects. If any of you will be in the area during that week and would like to attend, please reach out to our team on Discord!
For the shortest month of the year, it certainly felt a lot longer than 28 days with all that happened in the Aurory sphere. As always, thanks for everyone’s continued support! We can’t wait to get all of the upcoming releases in your hands, with the planned 0.2.9 Tactics update aimed for the end of this month and the early access of The Village: Prologue to Adventures right after that. Let’s close out Q1 with a bang!
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