State of Aurory Address - March 2022
Welcome to the second edition of our monthly development updates.
Dear community, it has only been a few weeks since our first State of Aurory address, but it has been a busy few weeks indeed. Everyone on the team is laser-focused on bringing together all the moving parts that will make up the first early access demo. To say that we are excited to share a working product with you all would be an understatement. We are overly ecstatic and, just like many of you, cannot wait. Until then, please enjoy this update of what our team has been working on throughout the month of March.
Our Design team has continued working on fleshing out all of the components involved in our tutorial levels, which will be what you experience when playing Aurory for the first time. It is imperative that every detail is well designed and thought through in order to make an outstanding first impression. These components/tasks/details consist of the following:
Establishing a pace for the demo (amount of fighting players will be doing, progression and difficulty, risk/reward/challenges of quests, death/respawn loop + clear rules).
FUDs enemy AI design: archetypes, boss fights, behaviors.
Clarifying base mechanics and the flow of combat.
Narrative sync-ups: story, characters, tutorials, quests, and side-quests.
Designing tutorials for the basics of combat.
Validating the objective manager and dialogue system tools.
Nefty card descriptions for the demo.
The UI/UX team has been working closely with the Design and Tech teams to deliver the smoothest interface and experience for our players. Some of the main elements that have been focused on over the past few weeks have consisted of the following:
Establishing overall player journeys and gameplay flows.
Web Ecosystem UI/UX.
Marketplace UI/UX testing.
Development and testing of marketplace mobile UI/UX.
HUD elements in development:
Screens (location screen, objective screen).
Location indicators, and objectives.
World interactions (interaction indications).
The full roster of Nefties to be featured in the demo has been completed by the Character Art team. They are now looking to complete the list of Nefty cards along with their descriptions to match that roster.
Work has continued on the 3D Aurorian models throughout March, with another big milestone hit last week when the final Aurorian model was completed! Our Tech team has already begun the integration of 3D Aurorians into the game.
The Art department has also been collaborating with the Tech and Web3 departments to provide mini-game and miscellaneous item concept support. Marketplace and reward item concepts are also underway.
Tokané should feel like a second home for our players, so our Environmental Art team has been working hard to make that happen! There will be several locations that are playable in the first version of the game, so we have spent lots of time creating the various landmarks and terrain that will represent those locations on the World Map.
Along with the World Map modeling, high priority has been placed on the tutorial level art for the demo. An immense amount of detail has gone into these models to accommodate the vision of the game designers, who intend to give players a first experience rich with beautiful artwork and an interactive environment full of ludic puzzles and mysteries.
The FUDs battle arena has also been shown a fair bit of love and is nearly complete. In addition, our environmental artists have modeled out a bonus level that will serve as a special type of “lobby” where players will land when they first enter the game. As much as we would love to show some artwork for this level, we would rather leave it a surprise.
Our Animation team has been tasked with not only character rigging and animation, but also working on certain props in the environment that players will interact with. Along with those tasks, part of the team has been working on creating a gym in Unity to efficiently test animations going forward.
The rest of the following objectives made up much of the animation team’s days throughout March:
Finishing Block Choy’s animations.
Helios and Sam’s jump system.
Block Choy and Helios Rescaling.
In-game asset integration and Helios’ transition.
Sam’s push/pull system and transition.
Helios’ crawl and Sam’s transition.
Helios’ transition and sprint.
Our Music Composer continues to improve and develop melodic tracks that will suit all the different levels and rhythms of the game. Our SFX Wizard reports that he is sad because he can’t listen to music while working, but it is for the best! He continues to develop and add crisp effects, from footsteps to jungle ambiances, that will contribute to truly bringing the world of Tokané to life!
The Tech team has been tying up all the infrastructure that will allow the demo to run smoothly and safely for Aurory players. Our Web3 department has deployed an internal version of Aurorians on Expedition (NFT staking) along with our marketplace on AuroryNet, our internal testing network. These products are still being worked on and the team is hoping to release them to the public sometime in mid-April.
The rest of the following tasks have been of high priority over the past few weeks:
Implement AuroryNet dashboard and back-end.
Finish marketplace mobile design integration.
Connect AOE & marketplace back-end & front-end.
Conduct internal tests on the Aurorynet with all Aurory employees.
Front-end integration and debug.
Marketplace program improvements.
Nefty Defenders (blockchain mini-game): first playable version.
Integration for gRPC data streaming (blockchain data provider).
Refactor of dashboard/marketplace back-end for robustness.
APIs and Integrations:
Registration and login on same app as game client.
Begin planning and designing game progression features.
Aurorynet faucet/dashboard APIs.
Game progression API.
Monitoring and alerting proof-of-concepts.
Using more production-like AWS resources.
Log ingestion across AWS-deployed applications.
NodeJS Agents (APM - Application Performance Monitoring).
Start developing features for CI/CD (continuous integration / continuous deployment - Git -> AWS).
Building the Team:
Sourcing through Solana jobs, LinkedIn, Angel.co.
100-150 Candidates (Back-end Engineer, Infrastructure Engineer requisitions).
Coordinating and interviewing for shortlisted candidates.
Ramping up on the back-end team with a potential two new hires in the coming weeks.
Onboarding plans and road mapping for upcoming new hires.
Hiring one additional front-end developer.
Two new programmers were hired during March, and the team has also found a new QA partner in Montreal, which will help immensely with quickly finding and patching bugs during our demo.
Some words from our Technical Director on March’s developments:
“Our battle system got a lot of love this month: the battle AI system came online, allowing us to fight computer controlled enemies while exploring. We're integrating VFX and SFX to Nefty's attacks and moves, making them so much more satisfying. We added a turn timer to ensure the battle moves at a good pace and you can't be held hostage forever by your opponent overthinking their move!
We're also adding the missing pre and post-battle UI screens to ensure the battle flows with the rest of the game, so you can accept a fight with an opponent, get your rewards if you win, or get covered in shame after your loss, that sort of thing. There was also a lot of important work to ensure our battle servers work well when hosting many fights at once and our builds stay a reasonable size.
We have lots going on, on the adventure side as well, with our characters getting a brand new state machine which has been in the works for a while, to enable more complex animations and interactions. We are also working on the dialogue system and quest manager that will allow you to interact with characters and progress through the story. Our server-side validation system is being fleshed out with checks to ensure players can't skip required steps to get rewards they're not entitled to. And the persistence system allows us to restore elements that changed in a scene when you return to it after a battle.
And as always, much more is happening behind the scenes to keep the whole machine humming along, the builds flowing and keep our bits from rotting, but I think that's quite enough detail for today!”
We had a new member join the Marketing team that will help with video editing to create more high-quality social media content on a more regular basis. They have already helped to deliver an Aurory montage video that was showcased in the Solana booth at GDC last week.
We are looking forward to the exposure to new communities that Aurory will get with the official announcement of OpenSea supporting Solana NFTs!
ICYMI: This was tweeted on April 1st but is not a joke. We're entering a long term partnership with Magic Eden to ensure that $AURY gets a lot of exposure and in turn brings more active players to Aurory, while also providing good volume to our items and NFTs. More details to be announced soon.
We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate both the buyer and the seller of the 4400 $SOL Helios trade that happened this month!
Thanks for tuning in to this month’s edition of the Aurory Development Update everyone! We’d like to leave you with some encouraging words from our Executive Producer, Jon:
“As a busy and eventful Q1 has come to a close, we would like to officially acknowledge the delay of the demo. Our objective has always been to release the early access demo as soon as possible. We have been working extremely hard to make that happen, and the aggressive growth of the team is proof of that. At this point, we have reached all internal milestones successfully (vision, creative, hiring, infrastructure, in-game battling). But we have to remember that Aurory has the mission of showing the world, for the very first time, what happens when we combine AAA gaming with blockchain. We take that mission extremely seriously, because we all know what happens in crypto if a project doesn't meet the expected quality.
That being said, we know that you are all very anxious to play. The good news is that you won’t have to wait for months. But first impressions are everything, and a great player experience is critical for the long-term success of the project. It's what differentiates a good game from a great one, and we intend on delivering something amazing.
The Aurory team has no plans to let off the gas in Q2 as the countdown now begins toward the announcement of the first round of community members who will be gaining early access to the game. Thank you for your trust and, most importantly, your patience. Wagmi everyone!”