State of Aurory Address - May 2022
When we look back into the history books of crypto, May 2022 will be a chapter to remember. These last few weeks have been a rollercoaster for anyone with skin in the game, and it is now safe to say that the bear market is in full swing thanks to a brutal de-leveraging of crypto assets paired with a hawkish fed who seems likely to raise rates a few more times throughout the year. The good news for anyone involved with Aurory is that our mission does not change. Our treasury is safe, giving us the long runway we need to build out an entire behemoth of an ecosystem, and we still have a world-class team excited to continue building toward the bright future we see ahead for our project. Bear markets are only temporary, and although they can be rough on the investor’s portfolio, we feel that they bring many opportunities forward for those who are able to maintain their conviction in projects they believe in. If you are still here, holding strong, we salute you!
AURORIANS IN NEXUS
We started off the month with the launch of Nexus and the Marketplace and were very happy to see the response from the community to an experience that had a ton of love put into it. Shortly after, we one-upped that by launching the Aurorians in Nexus experience that showcased the 10,000 unique Aurorians we had modeled to allow holders to control their NFT in-game. As we stated in our last update, the Nexus will be a central hub where players can access many different experiences in Aurory. This will require us to push many updates and improvements to the Nexus. A few updates have already been implemented to fix some small visual bugs with Aurorians. Expect to be using the Nexus a lot more as we release new features and game modes!
We topped the month off with the release of our early access PvP to the first group of testers and are excited to continue giving access to more of the community until we are in full open alpha mode. Before we can do that, we are taking the feedback from our first players and implementing significant improvements and bug fixes in order to make the best impression on the broader public for their first experience battling in Aurory PvP.
Currently, if you have a whitelisted wallet, you can access Kitty’s tavern via a Nexus portal, and choose between entering an AI battle against FUDs, or selecting three Nefties and searching for a PvP match against another early access participant.
This stage of early access PvP is simply a demo for players to understand and experience the basic battle mechanics in Aurory. Right now, there are six Nefties available to choose from for battles (Bitebit, Dinobit, Zzoo, Dipking, Shiba Ignite, and Blockchoy), and more to come. Players can either create a team of three off-chain Nefties, all with default skillsets and stats, or, with the recent launch of the egg-hatching system, they can use the unique Nefties that they receive from hatching an egg.
There are currently no rewards to be won in the early access and it is important to note that this version of PvP is only the first iteration and lacks the full extensive balancing that normal games go through for 6+ months. We see this demo as a way to reward our active and loyal community members who have been very patient, by allowing them early access to PvP while also gathering valuable data and feedback from a decent sized group of players. Our team will be working swiftly to balance and implement the full features as there are certain components that are planned but have not yet been fully integrated into battles.
If you have visited the Nexus recently, you may have noticed the robotic, steampunk style Dipking next to one of the portals. This will be the incubator where players can hatch their Nefty eggs that have been burning holes in their wallets for the last month and a half! The cost of hatching an egg will be dynamic; currently the price stands at 20 $AURY.
Most of the month for the Design team was spent finalizing the different components that would make up the PvP demo. This took the form of validating and testing important gameplay ingredients such as dialogues, texts and descriptions, UI/UX flow, and the PvP half arena selection model.
Although there was so much focus on the PvP launch, we did not forget that the PvE demo will be arriving shortly after and have been aligning ourselves accordingly. The design team has been having discussions not only on the various ingredients that will make up the PvE demo experience, but furthermore, how we will deepen and enhance the PvE experience through components like season passes and lands.
The UIX team had a packed schedule with the overall refining of user-flows across the board (Game, Web Ecosystem, Nefty Selection).
This consisted mainly of:
Finalizing Nexus elements for demo.
Polishing battle elements.
Finishing battle end screens.
Finishing team page on the website.
Discussing Unity App integration + Web-controlled UI (i.e. fullscreen).
On the Character Art side, our Senior Artist, Claire, has been experimenting with lots of fun ideas for skins that we cannot wait to show you all. She has also been working on NPC critters that will be found in the wilderness of certain biomes during adventures in PvE.
Our 3D Character Artist, Keith has been continuing with Nefty modeling. He has been working on the “biggie” versions of most of the ones we are already familiar with, as well as beginning modeling on newer Nefties like Frostbyte, who will be introduced in-game soon.
If you have tried out the PvP demo, you may have been pleasantly surprised to see the first reveal of Kitty, the tavern keeper. She will play a central role in both the PvE story as well as PvP, as you will need to go to the tavern to search for a match against another player.
Level Art modeling has continued throughout the month as our Environmental artists have been fleshing out and polishing the different biomes that will make up the PvE demo experience. Most of the heavy lifting has been done on these levels as far as modeling goes, with much of the remaining work that is being done entailing the addition of props and various environmental details that will add richness to the storyline.
Our Animators might have one of the most enjoyable jobs on the team when they get regular orders from our Creative Directors that sound something like: “make Aurorians be able to run like a Samurai.”
We think it’s safe to say they understood the assignment!
FUD animations were completed with the addition of hit, jump, death, and celebration animations. Some animations were also added to certain Nefties.
The Tech team had a new member join in May with the hiring of Frederic Janicki, who is coming aboard to work with the Technical Operations team. He will be helping to make our back-end resilient and fast using the power of AWS! Before joining us, he was in the world of e-commerce, where he worked on systems with large volumes of data. He also has a vast amount of experience with mobile development and development on embedded systems, which will surely benefit us going forward.
The rest of the tech-related tasks during May entailed the preparation of various features for the PvP and PvE demos:
Nexus UI interactions.
New battle UI integration
Refactoring VFX system (server-driven triggering).
Nefty de-bugging and balancing.
Pre-battle and Nefties flow.
PvE environmental interactions.
PvE progress and inventory DB communication.
Nefties DNA programming.
The 26th of May was the end of the locked staking pool for $AURY holders. We airdropped some gifts to thank everyone who staked their tokens and held through the volatility and uncertainty of these last few months.
The first one was a Dipking Lockheart skin for every wallet that had tokens in the locked pool. The second one was an egg for holders with 200+ $AURY in the locked pool.
Our video projects with Invisible North are taking form, and we can’t wait to show you the first look very soon! We are currently discussing distribution strategies in order to make the biggest splash and get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible when we drop the first video.
Our partnership with Magic Eden is finalized. They will be helping us to co-market during this alpha launch phase, along with other collaborations that we will share more details on when the official announcement is made.
Overall, May was a month full of ups and downs. Despite the market crashing, we released our first playable versions of Aurory that everyone had been waiting so patiently for, and we were very pleased with the response from the community. We hope that the wait was worth it for you all and that the message is clear to everyone by now…that we are not messing around. The Aurory team is here to make some serious waves in the web3 gaming space, and although it won’t happen overnight, we are moving as fast as is humanly possible. Expect June to be another exciting month with more releases that you won’t want to miss!
We hope you enjoyed this edition of our monthly development update. Our plan is to continue keeping you all in the loop with everything that the team is working on behind the scenes without spoiling too much. As we go forward and continue to release new features and products within our ecosystem, these updates may become shorter as we would prefer that everyone gets to discover things by playing the game for themselves. It is also possible that down the line, we may explore alternative methods for communicating game updates and announcements within the game! For now, make sure to continue to follow along with us on Discord and Twitter for the latest news in our development! Cheers everyone!