State of Aurory Address - January 2023
After a great ending to 2022 with the successful launch of Aurory Tactics open alpha and some awesome rewards distributed in the spirit of the holidays, we’re glad to be starting 2023 off with you, our amazing community! We have no doubt that it will be an exciting year, with lots in store for our team, our players, and investors.
As our team made their way back to work earlier this month after a well-deserved holiday break, they hit the ground running working towards our Q1 release goals. With the help of some of the DAO council members, our Executive Producer, Johnny, presented some of those goals on a livestream during the middle of the month. You can find a summary of this one-hour stream on the AuroryDaily twitter account.
This livestream was the first step in the direction of us trying to be more transparent with the community when it comes to certain stages of development and sharing justifications for why certain decisions are being made. We have always been reachable on Discord, and we have been consistently sharing monthly updates and executive updates to keep that line of communication strong. But we are constantly assessing our approaches and using player sentiment as a metric of how well we’re doing when it comes to that communication and whether they feel included and heard by the team. It can be easy to get sucked into the daily development grind, so we must continue to keep ourselves accountable to you all and do our best to keep everyone in the loop.
On that note, throughout this year, we plan to give the community more access to the team and allow them to get to know us a bit better through more content like team interviews, livestreams, Twitter Spaces, and AMAs. Now, without further ado, let’s jump into this past month’s updates!
Design is where everything starts, and with all that we aim to achieve this year, our Design team will have some major tasks before them. Currently, each of the following topics is being addressed in some capacity on a daily basis:
Blitz Battle system.
Aurory Tactics optimization.
Aurorians on Expedition v1.5/v2.
Economy modeling and balancing.
Web ecosystem design.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of demand for designer input around here. However, as we’ve communicated recently, the highest priority tasks at the moment remain locking in features that will make up the village’s online social hub, which we’ve targeted for an end-of-Q1 release.
Some of the more secondary tasks on the Design front that have been worked on throughout January also include:
Aurory Adventures’ UX onboarding flow.
Anti-cheat measures (reputation/skill points).
Referral program design.
Live-ops planning (tournaments, season structuring).
Nefty rarity system.
In addition to making sure that in-game screens are always looking top-notch, our UIX team has been working to update our web ecosystem with the following tasks:
Marketplace improvements (Nefty rarity UI).
aurory.io homepage 2.0.
Battle Bash event page optimization.
Player profile page updates.
Aurory Adventures will be where our Environmental Art team gets to shine and really show their talent this year. First impressions are everything, and in a space that can often times value earning potential over graphics/game quality, we plan to be the ones who rewrite playbook for web3 gaming standards. That being said, our artists have been primarily working on concepting and modeling new biomes and polishing level art for the villages to make sure everything is in order for the grand opening!
The Character Art and Rigging teams will both have some work ahead of them in the coming months as we integrate more new Nefties in both Aurory Tactics and Aurory Adventures.
In addition to this, some of you may have seen us tease “v2 Nefties” in the past. For those who aren’t aware of what this means, it’s basically an art upgrade to the Nefty 3D models that are used in-game. Currently, the “v1 Nefty” models used in Tactics are a bit less defined than what is shown on NFT card artwork. The purpose of upgrading to the v2 Nefty models is for them to have more detail and generally look more badass. While cute and bubbly, “v1 Nefties” will be seeing a sunset at some point soon as we will integrate only v2’s in Blitz Battles and will have a patch to transition all Nefties in Tactics to v2 models at some point after that.
Currently, most of the playable Nefties in Tactics have already had a v2 version modeled and are now just awaiting animation and then rigging. Keep an eye out for some videos we’ll be releasing to showcase this major upgrade to our Nefty companions!
For now, you can enjoy the sneak peek below 👇
In addition to the v2 Nefty work, in the past few weeks, our character artists worked on new Nefty variation concept art, Axobubble and N9 facial expressions, as well as the NFT skin reward artwork for our alpha season one leaderboard finalists.
On the rigging side, Dipking and Bloomtail each had a visit to our rig-master in preparation for animation to then be integrated into Blitz and Tactics!
Throughout the past month, most of the animation team’s time was spent putting in some serious hours to complete the Blitz trailer that we teased two weeks ago. It won’t be much longer until you get to enjoy the full video!
Any extra time available was spent re-animating v2 Nefty models that made it past the rigging process.
Our Audio team is expecting a busy year as well. With new game modes in the works, each with multiple biomes requiring different SFX to create an ambiance, players will truly feel like they are in that world!
Throughout January, they’ve also spent a fair bit of time working on the audio for the Blitz trailer and the matching audio that we’ll be hearing during Blitz battles. We can’t wait to share more of the awesome work this talented department has been putting out!
Their work isn’t the sexiest, but they’re the backbone of any great project. We know you love them…or at least we hope so!
Throughout January, all of our Tech departments have been hard at work with full task lists.
Starting with the Web3 team, their workload consists of some of the following:
Improvements to Nefty filtering
Adding a feature to require users to accept the TOS before playing.
Running Battle Bash tests tournament on Aurorynet.
Referral system design and integration.
Creating support for SOL in SyncSpace.
Integrating marketplace rarity filter.
Battle Bash event page optimization.
Aurory.io home page redesign.
Bug fixing (UX responsiveness tech debt).
Data fetching improvements.
Moving all external services API calls to backend.
The Backend team has been improving our services on multiple levels:
Testing and iterating on a new ticketing system on staging.
Configuration center support for multiple projects and other feedback.
Platform and Economy
Cutting over to the new authentication and identity service on staging.
Data migration, deployment, and update integrations.
Marketplace service release to support Nefty stats filtering.
Testing, production readiness, and release.
Configuring events and metrics.
Supporting miscellaneous and ongoing analytics requests.
Finishing up the design phase of marketplace service V2 upgrades and kicking off implementation.
On the OPS and Infrastructure side, they were tackling the following:
CDN for build distribution.
CDN for websocket connections.
First iteration of the reputation score system.
Testing the reputation system in staging.
On-call notification system setup.
Assisting on Aurory Adventures’ build and deployment pipeline.
Iterating on global accelerator for Tactics gameserver.
And finally, the Game Tech team pushed hotfix 3 for 0.2.8 this month! In addition to this, they assisted in the iteration and testing of the new reputation system we’re working on, which is being designed as another measure to discourage any type of prohibited in-game behavior by players.
Other tasks they supported on were Aurory Adventure related:
Kicking off the prototyping of procedural lands.
Dialogue system, integrating playable gym and 3Cs.
With Tactics now open to the public, you can expect the Aurory team’s marketing and business development efforts to be stepped up a notch to test more user acquisition initiatives in the form of more small and large collaborations and partnerships. As an example of some types of initiatives we have in mind, you can look to the $BONK promotion we ran right which saw over 3k unique players in the first week of 2023!
Hosting our first video contest was a lot of fun, and we hope you enjoyed watching some of these submissions as much as we did. We want to give a big thank you to all participants! We hope it gave you the motivation to continue creating content, as we’re working on a content creator program with exclusive benefits for official Aurory ambassadors. Make sure to stay tuned for the results of the video contest!
All in all, we’re kicking things off on a great foot this January. We covered a lot of ground in 2022, but there is still a lot of work to be done and many mountains to climb ahead. We’re confident that we’ll cover twice as much ground this year. As always, we thank you all for your patience and support as we build out more experiences that we know you’re all anxious to get your hands on!
Cheers to 2023; let’s make it a great year!
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