State of Aurory Address - November 2022
What to say about November…we thought we had seen it all in crypto and that the bear market couldn’t get any worse, but we, like many others, were completely blindsided by the sudden collapse of the FTX empire earlier this month.
Our thoughts go out to the users and other projects who were affected by this event. For Aurory Project, the blow we took was limited to 15% of our treasury, and although it isn’t a small sum, we are grateful for our co-founders’ foresight earlier this year to move as much of our treasury off of custodial wallets, like FTX, into cold wallets, where they are protected from the unpredictable contagion of events like the LUNA fiasco and now the FTX collapse. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to remove all of our treasury as we needed to leave a certain amount of liquidity for market making.
Being that Alameda was our market maker, many of you have likely also noticed the thin liquidity on $AURY since they went under. We are planning to add liquidity to DEXs and are already in discussion with three large market makers as well as some T1 exchanges to solve these liquidity issues. However, we are finding that it's not the quickest process to get listed elsewhere at the moment given that the entire market is scrambling due to similar circumstances, on top of many firms having their own liquidity issues due to exposure to FTX and now Genesis. We see all these issues as temporary and, unfortunately, somewhat to be expected after a large player goes down like that.
Regardless, we are doing everything we can to get more liquidity added to the $AURY market as soon as we can while not allowing it to slow down the development progress of our game. The important thing to highlight in all this is that our mission remains unchanged, and we are still in a great position financially, with multiple years of runway left to build, develop, and deliver top-quality Web3 games at our current burn rates. We won’t allow bad actors to waver our enthusiasm, and we continued to work hard throughout November.
Before the FTX fiasco went down, we started the month in the best way possible with Solana Games Day and Breakpoint in Lisbon. For most of the 10 team members who attended, it was the first time meeting each other in person and our first IRL event where we got to meet some of our community members!
We were fortunate to be one of the presenting projects at Solana Games Day, where we went on stage to talk briefly about Aurory before going into a live demonstration of the game where we had eight people (four of them from G2 esports) playing against each other while having their games projected onto a large screen on stage. We also had an Aurory booth at Games Day as well as the main Breakpoint venue for the entire weekend. The one thing that anyone from our team in attendance would surely tell you about the most common feedback we received, its that people were very impressed and would argue that we are one of the highest quality and/or most developed web3 games that they have seen thus far. Receiving this recognition means a lot to us and gives us even more confidence in what we're building! Overall, the vibe that weekend was amazing, and we had a lot of fun showcasing the game!
After the release of the 0.2.7 patch in October, the focus quickly shifted to 0.2.8 in order to be able to release it before Christmas. This patch will mark the opening of Aurory Tactics to the public, meaning the Design team has had a lot on their plate! Most notably, they have been tackling the task of creating an in-game tutorial for onboarding new players, in addition to working on the design of a seasonal ladder ranking system, and player progression mechanics.
While Tactics consumed the majority of the Design team's time this month, some members of the team continued to work on Aurory Adventure-related tasks that we won't reveal just yet. One thing we can spoil without giving too much away is that the we are also planning on reworking the Nexus! This is something we are particularly excited about as a way to keep giving more value and utility to your NFTs!
On the UIX side, they have been tackling multiple tasks to bring you all some exciting new screens and UI elements. With the 0.2.8 patch, you can expect to see new loading screens, new battle end screens, new Nefty selection screens, new in-game icons, and more! In addition to these elements, you may notice some much-needed website design updates as well.
Aurory Adventure will blow your mind thanks to our incredible Environmental Art team. Throughout November, they have continued with adding finishing touches to The Village, polishing level art for current biomes, and exploring level art for new biomes in the works!
More things are in the works, including Lands, Nexus 2.0, Kitty’s Tavern updates, and some lore around a beloved character! We can't yet share any sneak peeks on those just yet, so we'll leave you with a concept art of a tutorial arena, which will be playable in 0.2.8!
The Character Art team has continued their work conceptualizing the v2 mini versions of Nefties, along with their attributes. In addition to this, earlier this week we teased a new Nefty that will be introduced in due time. Did you guess its name correctly?
With the v2 Nefties making their way from conception to the modeling stage, our lead rigger has been reconstructing their “skeletons” in preparation for animation.
Dinobit was first in line for this treatment with our lead rigger, who also found time to work on polishing up the
Sam Max rig. Yes, for obvious reasons, our main character is now called Max!
We still aren’t quite ready to tease the new Aurory Adventure battle system yet, but the Animation team has also been hard at work preparing some rad ways to showcase the new game mode soon enough. It will be well worth the wait!
Our Audio team has also been working on new Tactics music as well as new Aurory Adventure battle music, a new Nefty vocalization system, Village ambience, and brasero SFX. Another busy month, as you can tell!
There’s never a shortage of tasks for our Tech team, which had a huge win last month with the release of SyncSpace. Throughout November, they had their hands full once again.
On the Web3 side, the focus was mainly on 0.2.8-related tasks along with general maintenance tasks and initiatives:
New authentication schemes.
Programming the incubation system to hatch new egg types.
Marketplace Nefty filtering.
New landing page.
New analytics tracking.
The Backend team worked on:
Implementation of matchmaking v3:
Queue system with status.
Updates to configuration service based on the latest feedback.
Identity provider selection and implementation.
Identity service and authentication service updates.
Social login implementation.
Design and planning for Nefty stat filtering features.
Support for new eggs.
Monitoring reward distribution and related systems.
For the Infrastructure and Operations, the focus was on:
Ranking tweaks, deployment, and follow-up.
Migration of the web application firewall logs to new OpenSearch cluster.
On-call notification setup.
Single-use game server deployments.
Matchmaking and game server allocation architecture.
OpenSearch dashboards setup and training.
Cheat detection initial dashboards.
Wherever there is an opportunity to earn, there will be some willing to abuse it. We anticipated this unfortunate fact before launching our reward loop and had been working on setting up systems and dashboards to allow us to detect and deter this kind of behavior. With our reward loop having been out for over a month now, our Director of Technical Operations, Julien Pellet, has had time to monitor a lot of this data and come up with plans to address the toxic behavior accordingly.
Here are a few words he had to say on the matter:
“As we started to distribute monetary rewards each week, we saw a new behavior emerging from some players: greed. Some players figured out how to optimize their time to maximize their rewards, doing this at the expense of the other players who actually tried to follow the rules of legitimate gameplay.
These players have a negative impact on many parts of the game:
As they abuse gameplay mechanics, their opponents will not enjoy playing against them.
They attempt to maximize end-of-game rewards, which reduces the amount of rewards distributed to legitimate players.
Luckily, we have some data pipelines in place so we can collect events and metrics from different aspects of the gameplay mechanics. With this data, we were able to spot a huge increase in gameplay abuse during the whole past week. Some players spent a few hours per day trying to farm rewards without playing.
Before the distribution period, we made a list of offenders and counted the rewards they gathered. 26.73% of rewards were collected by players abusing the mechanics.
We unanimously decided to remove rewards for 49 players after peer-reviewing the data and determining who was abusing and who was not. All those rewards were automatically distributed to the rest of the player base, raising the amount of $AURY distributed to other players by 26.73%.
In the next few weeks, we will take more granular approaches that will allow us to better handle those behaviors throughout the week, not just at the distribution time.
We proudly defend the gameplay mechanics and the honorable players in order to create a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.”
As we mentioned earlier, November started off with a lot of momentum and excitement. Meeting community members, gamers, fellow degens from the Solana ecosystem, getting live feedback about Aurory Tactics (with this feedback, we’ve updated our Battle Guide as well!). We even had the pleasure of having a dinner with the Backpack team who we’ve been working closely with for some time, building our Aurory xNFT in their wallet.
Among the many amazing people we met in Lisbon, we had many opportunities to form new relationships with fellow builders in the space, and even some big names looking to get involved through partnerships with Aurory!
The rest of the month wasn't as enjoyable, but we did our best to be open about the FTX situation and the state of our treasury.
Rafikey, a well-known community member, joined us to work on content creation! You probably know him already if you’ve been following Aurory for a bit. We are really excited to have one more talented community member working with us. Have a look at his YouTube channel to stay up to date with content he’ll be posting to his own channel, in addition to the content he’ll be creating for the Aurory YouTube channel!
As the last month of 2022 kicks off, we want to take the time to thank everyone for sticking with us through this rollercoaster of a year for the ecosystem. Keep up the faith and know that we will continue working to bring you the best possible gaming experience that we can! We hope that you’re enjoying the game and the constant updates, that you’re enjoying the vibe within the community on Discord and Twitter, and that you’re ready for a big 2023 to come. Enjoy Christmas and time with your family and friends!
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