State of Aurory Address - October 2022
October was a spooky month for the NFT market, and not because of Halloween. Royalties have been ghosted, but luckily it doesn’t put Aurory at risk, and we didn’t take part in the drama. We kept our heads down building in classic Aurory fashion and are happy to share this recap of an October packed with milestones reached by the team, and one of our biggest patches ever released, 0.2.7!
This patch came with the implementation of rewards, the addition of one of the cutest Nefties of all, a huge UI update, and the deployment of a new ranking system! We had more than 200 active players in under 24 hours while still being in closed access, and hundreds of eggs were hatched. Things are really starting to heat up!
As many of you can easily guess, a big part of the Design team’s work throughout October has been prepping for the release of 0.2.7. One of the biggest tasks for them was finalizing the economic loop design, as this was not something that was only worked on in October. Our Economy Designer, Adel, worked for months to create many different models that would help us anticipate various scenarios that could play out once rewards begin to distribute. With his thorough planning and research on this front, we were finally able to confidently deploy our reward mechanism that our community has been patiently waiting for!
With our first reward distribution underway, some may wonder why we aren’t totally showering the community with lavish rewards as a marketing tactic to attract new players. We would like to reiterate that we are looking to push a new model in web3 gaming; “Play-and-Own”. This model is much more sustainable in nature than any of the “play/earn” models that we’ve seen thus far. With that, we have a certain type of user in mind that we want to attract. The type of user who is here for the game first and foremost but is happy to receive some rewards for their efforts as a bonus. Bringing such players in will allow us to grow steadily and sustainably, rather than using unsustainable rewards to attract those who just want to farm and extract. It will be a delicate balancing act going forward, but as we mentioned before, rewards could increase or decrease week-to-week depending on player activity, so we’d like to encourage the community to not focus too much on the number that was distributed in the first week. Our number one priority this week was making sure the conversion and distribution mechanics worked appropriately, and it appears that this was the case!
Aside from the enormous rewards push for our designers, we also fixed a ton of bugs and implemented various balancing measures with 0.2.7. Some of you may have noticed the changes if you’ve played in the last week. You can read the full patch notes here:
Our UIX team also pushed a new update to the in-game UI, which aims to clean up the screen a bit and make things more clear in terms of Nefty HP, turn order, hype counter, skill icons, and more!
The team also grew in October with the arrival of Tim from Paris, who recently graduated with a Master’s in Game Design. He’s had former experience as a Game Designer for a VR experience at Ubisoft and has also worked as the lead GD on multiple indie side projects. With his addition to the team, he will have a main focus on Aurory Adventure, but will also be assisting the design team with implementing and improving current and future features for the project. One of his main goals will be to help optimize both our designers' production workflow and the user experience.
Our Environmental Art team wrapped up their current sprint by having the Tokané Village art fully produced and ready to have some life added to it! With this map locked in, they have now begun working on Land prototypes.
The Character Art team has been working on the beautiful Aurani, one of our new NPCs!
Our lead Nefty artist, Claire, has continued her work with updating the “mini” versions of Nefties to something that will more closely resemble the artwork that is shown on Nefty NFT cards. With these new v2 Nefties, she has also begun creating the artwork for new Nefty attributes to add more diversity in-game. Some of this work has already made its way to our 3D artist, Keith, for modeling, and it is looking amazing!
In the Rigging department, our new Nefty, “Lucky”, was the main focus.
Full disclosure: this one was a nightmare for Tigran to work on because of its shape.
He has kindly requested, “No more snakes.” 😆
Our Animation team made some insane progress on the Aurory Adventure battle system. Unfortunately, we can’t show it just yet as we are going to save it for a teaser we’ll be working on that will blow your minds!
Until then, enjoy these Wassie animations that they also worked on :)
The Audio team kept busy throughout October working on Aurory Adventure sounds, which included battle music, village soundscape ambiance, and foley SFX for Sam and Helios. They also worked a bit on new SFX for Unika and Tactics battle tiles.
When it comes to our Tech department, it’s rare that they have a small month. On the Web3 side, the team had their hands full making sure that our new SyncSpace feature was ready and functional in time for the deployment of 0.2.7. This feature will be a massive help with the onboarding of new players who may not be very familiar with crypto, and will help with create a smooth UX even for those who are familiar.
If you haven’t already, check out the SyncSpace article that we wrote explaining how all of it works and why it’s such a big deal!
Beyond that, some other Web3-related tasks worked on in October were:
New player profile.
Providing support for Backpack wallet & new authentication.
Working on the first community event page.
Working on a new leaderboard page.
Events logging and error tracking.
Landing page improvements:
Setting up an issue collection page via JIRA.
Team member page update.
Configuring website email collection form.
Working on synchronizing designs of aurory.io & app.aurory.io.
FAQ page planning.
For the rest of the Tech team, the following tasks were of the highest priority:
0.2.7 readiness: stabilization and deployments:
Reward Loop and Distribution:
Testing and Fixing.
SyncSpace <-> Signing Service authentication pattern for secure access with Infra Team (mTLS).
Adding metrics and other additional features for easier updates/iterations.
Seasons and community event planning support.
SyncSpace and inventory.
Addressing incoming QA and further testing cycles.
0.2.8 planning and kick-offs:
Investigation and design for onboarding features.
Configuration Center file upload workflows for upcoming live ops functionality: used for tournaments and reward loop.
Matchmaking v3 (integrating ranking service).
Starting support for new Swamp and Prairie eggs.
Integration of metrics for engagement and onboarding.
Finalizing the Solana Spaces demo build with metrics.
Bug fixes and UI improvements.
Enabling point-and-click mouse navigation.
Matchmaking and game server allocation architecture and planning.
Support the team for events, iterations, and visualizations.
Opensearch migration for open access to the team.
Finalizing the deployment of Service to Service authentication for signing service.
Matchmaking PoC using AWS Gamelift Flexmatch.
Following all of our development team’s hard work, our marketing team has been working to get the word out about this amazing platform we’re building! One of the biggest happenings of the past month was the opening of the Solana Embassy in Miami. We have Aurorians on display in the gallery for a whole month, as well as an Aurory Tactics demo, an educational tutorial, and a first limited drop of Aurory merch!
For the past few months, our team has been planning our presence at Breakpoint in Lisbon. We’re excited to announce that we’ll be one of the presenting projects at Games Day on November 4th, where we’ll have our own booth and give a 45-minute presentation of our project, complete with a live play session.
If you’re in Lisbon this weekend, make sure to register for Games Day to come meet us, the event will be free. You can also reach out to us on Discord if you want to catch up! In addition to our presence at Games Day, we’ll have another demo area at the FTX booth in the main Breakpoint venue!
Just like last year, we decided to celebrate Halloween by airdropping some NFTs to our holders. These will be Nefty skins that players can equip once our full inventory system is deployed. We’ve noticed some issues with eligible users not having received an airdrop; if you think that you should have got one and didn’t, please use this form to submit your information and we’ll get them sent out as soon as we can!
Overall, it was a great month for Aurory. We’ve built a solid team and are shipping at a steady pace. If you’ve been active in our Discord or have been following us on Twitter, you likely have been feeling the pick-up of energy around Tactics, especially with the new reward loop going live. We are incredibly excited to keep this momentum going throughout the rest of Q4 and as we prepare for our next big patch in early December, which has a focus on implementing features that will increase the ease of onboarding new players. With this, we should be ready to ramp up marketing a bit more, as we’ll also finally be opening up Tactics to the public. It will be something you’ll definitely want to stick around for, so stay tuned!
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