AURO Update for July 2013

Hello everybody, from the Dinofarm Development Barn!  I’ll make this update quick, snappy and to the point.

According to our schedule, AURO should be feature-complete in about a week!  Crazy!  Art-wise, we’re done with all of the monsters and tilesets – After that point, we’ll have about one month to do some last minute polish, balance, and bug fixing.  We’re officially in crunch mode now.

The last monster sprite for AURO is finished! Meet the CURSE KID, a quick-moving demon child who'll bop you over the head with his Curse Candy, giving you a CURSE!

The last monster sprite for AURO is finished! Meet the CURSE KID, a quick-moving demon child who’ll bop you over the head with his Curse Candy, giving you a CURSE!


What’s AURO Shippin’ With?

Since we’re so close, we can now give you some more details about what the game will ship with:

  • TUTORIAL – This is a super short interactive tutorial that teaches the absolute basics of the game – movement, attacking, using spells, etc.
  • STORY MODE – This is a completion-based mode that doubles as a sort of “Easy Mode”, giving players a ramp up to the much harder Trials Mode and the wild and crazy Quick Match.  It also uses the scoring mode in a different way.  Since the game is about completion, not about getting a high score, score in this mode helps you achieve completion, by unlocking new spells (kinda like XP in an RPG!).  It’s 9 levels long and includes a final boss fight, cutscenes, and several other dialogue sequences.
  • TRIALS MODE – Trials is the standard way to play “single-player”.  In this endless mode, you’re simply trying to beat your highest score.  For this reason, the variation in the monsters that can be seen is pretty restricted, and the game is very hard!  This is the mode we’ve been working on throughout development, and I’m happy to say that the gameplay is really dynamic, balanced, and interesting!
  • MATCH MODE – This is our newest, and also most-exciting mode that I hope will become the primary way that people play AURO!  This mode, like Trials mode, is also endless, but with a vastly wider array of things that can be seen on each level.  So on level 1 you might see a gang of 6 Foxies and a Brute.  Or you might see Lord Vargas and 3 Curse Kids, or you might see a pair of angry Yetis and a gang of Troggles and a bunch of Guardians.  The level generation itself is also much wider in its possibility range;  it can be wider, or longer, or have lots of pillars, or lots of scrolls, etc.
    The really cool thing about Match Mode, though, is how the multiplayer works.  I play a game.  Once I’m done, this game is sent over to you, with the same exact random generation, and my score.  If you beat my score, then it bounces back to me again.  The first person to fail to beat the other player’s score loses.
    Match Mode will allow Quick Match (play a game vs. a random opponent on the ladder), Friendly Game (play against a Game Center / Play Games friend unranked), or Pass n’ Play (play a game with a person sharing the device).

Metagame plans?

AURO will have very simple metagame on launch, but we think it’s just what the game needs.  At the end of this section I’ll talk about some stuff we plan to do post-release.

  • QUICK MATCH – In this mode, we’re going to have a classic LEAGUE setup consisting of 5 LEAGUES, which is determined using an ELO system.  We’ll publish the top 100 players list from time to time, and we’ll probably have seasons.
  • TRIALS – Trials mode is about getting a high score, and so we have RANKS at various score thresholds which the player can earn.  So, if your high score is 57, you earned the 50-point threshold Foxy RANK.  To get the Troggle rank, get 80 points or higher!  We may use the ACHIEVEMENTS system for this – not sure on that.
  • GAMECENTER – Obviously, AURO on iOS will connect to Gamecenter, which can track your RANKS and high scores, do matchmaking, and see all your friends’ stuff.
  • GOOGLE PLAY GAMES – This service will do all the same stuff as Gamecenter, and be available on the Android version for sure, and possibly even on iOS optionally too (although this might be post-release).  Once we do have this, you should be able to have cross-platform multiplayer!  Got a friend with an iPhone?  Challenge him with your Android version of AURO!  Hopefully this isn’t just a pipe dream.
  • FACEBOOK, TWITTER – You’ll be able to post your scores, and your wins to here, of course.


Post-Release Plans?

After release, we want to do a ton of stuff.  Firstly, we have to do the Kickstarter NPCs and PCs, which we haven’t forgotten about!  When we do that, we’ll also make a Create Your Avatar mode, that allows you to configure what your character looks like in Quick Match and Trials mode.

We want to have REPLAYS available, and a really good replay system, too.  It’s important that you can watch your opponent LOSE (or win) after you finish your Quick Match.

We want to have a PUZZLE MODE, and we want to have a PUZZLE CREATOR system which allows players to create their own puzzle levels and send them to friends!

We’ve got plans for VARIANTS GALORE!  More on that later.


This is seriously just the beginning for AURO.  I know that it’s a really strong, original game design, and it makes me excited to think about supporting it for 5, 10, or 20 years into the future.  Anyway, we’re going to want to start doing previews very soon.  If anyone has contacts, or knows somebody who could make some noise about AURO, we’re gonna need ’em.  Contact me at keithburgun at gmail if you’ve got some leads.

Also, we’re going to be doing another round of BETA TESTERS in about a week when STORY MODE is finished.  For this round, we specifically need people who have no idea how to play.  I need them to try the game out and see if they’re able to pick everything up having played Story Mode and the Tutorial.

Looking forward to fighting you in MATCH MODE!


keithburgun • 07/03/2013

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  1. Damian Martino 07/03/2013 - 4:54 am Reply

    I’m totally stoked. I still play 100 rogues to this day.

  2. Nachtfischer 07/03/2013 - 7:33 am Reply

    “The really cool thing about Match Mode, though, is how the multiplayer
    works. I play a game. Once I’m done, this game is sent over to you,
    with the same exact random generation, and my score. If you beat my
    score, then it bounces back to me again. The first person to fail to
    beat the other player’s score loses.”

    Woah? I didn’t know that. I thought it was just a “I play ONCE, you play ONCE, bam we have a winner” thing. I wonder if that’s actually better or worse. The problem I could see with the multiple runs on the same generation is, that players could have an important advantage if they really memorize the thing. Like, it could be better to draw all the maps and enemy placements onto a sheet of paper while playing as a reference for the next round…

    On top of that: Imagine player A plays and reaches 20, player B plays an hour later and reaches 25, player A now plays immediately again (still having memorized all the patterns) and reaches 30… then player B has something different to do (real life sucks, you know?) and can only “answer” after a week. Now he might probably have forgotten most of it (unless he really took the “sheet of paper” approach). So he’s kind of punished for not having time to play immediately?

    And a probably rather minor thing: If I play multiple games at once, I could easily get confused on which random seed belongs to which enemy (again, because memorization plays a role, I think).

    So, I don’t know… what’s the reasoning behind going the proposed way for match mode?

    Appart from that: Can’t wait! “20 years” of Auro? Yay! :D

  3. Erenan 07/15/2013 - 4:18 pm Reply

    I wonder… will the ELO rankings be hidden or will they be public? I guess they must be hidden or else why would you need to publish Top 100 lists? But what exactly is the motivation for keeping the ranking data private? Does it have to do with the implementation of a list that automatically updates or something?

    So then, I’d like to know whether you are going to bother having a secondary ranking list like the divisions in Outwitters leagues. In general, everyone kind of agrees that those lists are not important and mostly indicate a level of activity rather than a level of ability. Just curious what will happen in Auro.

    • Keith Burgun 07/16/2013 - 4:15 am Reply

      I’m not sure about that yet. In general, I would like to do rankings that achieve two things:

      – Present all players with information that they find meaningful. So, leagues are way more meaningful for some non-competitive player than is some weird string of 4 numbers.

      – Be honest with players. I don’t agree with this whole “hide the player’s losses from them” mentality. I think anyone who wants to participate in a game that has wins and losses deserves to be able to SEE his wins and losses. I don’t like treating my players like children.

      So probably, the leagues will be way more visible, but the specific rank should also be accessible.

      On “divisions” from Outwitters/Starcraft: my understanding i that they’re 100% bullshit, since they’re a random grabbing of 100 people from your league, sooo, no. Not gonna implement some meaningless feature.

  4. Onoper 07/18/2013 - 2:01 pm Reply

    Yup, still playing 100 rogues, but waiting for Auro. How we apply to beta test?

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