Hey there backers, for those of you who've followed us or liked us already, you might have noticed an increase in activity over the last few weeks, as well as a promise to share some new content in the not too distant future. Well, the time has come, and the whole team is excited to share what they've been working on!
As you have no doubt noticed, we had gone to ground over the holiday break. But it wasn't all vacation time, we've been hard at work. With a number of artists joining our team over the past few months, we've been working tirelessly to bring the world of Aura to life, and are ramping up to share more and more in the next few months!
But it's time to let the development team speak for themselves!
Mike: With the Mender we wanted to create a less traditional healing & support character. In lore, the Mender is a sort of spirit healer, channeling aura to heal his allies and ease their suffering. The Mender carries a shield to protect itself and its allies in combat. I focused on crafting a visage that was welcoming, calm, and wise, with the sternness of a hardened monk.
Mike: The Enforcer is a mix of lethal force and inhibiting magical abilities. Heavily armored, the Enforcer wields a long, two-handed weapon to reach its foes from a distance, and an all seeing eye with which to judge its enemies. The Enforcer is a stoic arbiter of justice. Whose justice, is entirely up to you.
The model above is a WIP closeup of the Mender class, rendered without any textures.
Ryan: As we approach a cohesive art style between the different classes, we've been able to nail down the general proportions of the playable classes. As the waterfall process of art pipelines dictate, the rig for the combat pieces can be finalized. I've made some adjustments (mostly just joint placement), reconstructed the rig using an Auto-Rigging MEL script of mine, and added a few bells and whistles that the old rig did not have. The animations I had created using the old rig will be salvaged and usable on the new rig thanks to the animation re-targeting script I'm finishing up this week.
John: I've been working on developing our backend web service, which will store your save-files, and allow you to play Aura Tactics with your friends. We're building the game on Google App Engine, a platform as a service provider, which will allow for easy deployment and scaling of our backend. I've also been working on Facebook integration, so that you import your social graph, and (if you're into gloating) boast about your conquests in your Facebook Feed!
Akash: This is an in-progress excerpt for the AuraTactics pre-battle music. This music will play when selecting your team before the battle begins.
This track in particular actually came about while writing the game's main theme, which all of you shall hear soon. The main melody is carried by the clarinet and doubled by the flute to create a very JRPG-ish sound. Fun fact: This is also a technique that Jeremy Soule uses regularly in the scores for The Elder Scrolls games. There is also a very subtle bell effect acting as a pad on this piece, which will be appearing in other tracks as a thematic instrument.
Jacob: I've been working on sketching out a few boss battle ideas! They're still in the preliminary stages, so no demos this time 'round, but they are starting to come together nicely. I'm drawing inspiration heavily from the highly melodic styles of various JRPG and anime soundtracks. Having grown up playing various JRPGs, I feel like this is one style of writing that I gravitate towards fairly easily. I'm experimenting a bit with instrumentation as well -- I will be using a handful of traditional/orchestral sounds, and I also want to make sure that when you hear these tracks, it will have "Aura Tactics" written all over it. I think there are several ways to create a unique identity for game music -- I'm trying to do this with the melody, and I also hope that having some slightly different instrumentation, a few live recorded instruments, and perhaps some subtle electronic sounds/pads to create an atmospheric undertone will help add to the depth and the uniqueness of the soundtrack!
Doug: Everything we've shared today is still under development, and changes may, and will occur to some of this content before it makes it into the game. The team is working very passionately on the project, we understand that you are all eagerly awaiting the game's release. However, we are dedicated to releasing the absolute best product, and that takes time and a lot of polish.
We are some ways from being ready to announce an official release date, but we're working hard to get something playable in all of your hands as soon as we can. We hope to share glimpses of the new version of the game running on a number of devices in the next few updates.
In the meantime, those of you starving for news, keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook, we'll be updating as regularly as we can, and then collecting all of that content in this monthly wrap up format. See you next time, backers!