Monday, January 23, 2012

What Have I Been Up To

As some of you know, for the past couple of months I've been working with Keith and Blake of Dinofarm Games on a new strategy game called Auro:


Although it sounds like a cliché, Auro is a strategy game that's easy to learn but hard to master. You only have three basic actions, and two of them share the same controls:
  1. Move Auro.
  2. Attack an enemy (by moving Auro into it).
  3. Use one of your skills.
The game's depth comes from the last point - skills. You start the game picking one skill, and each time you finish a level (there is no incentive to "clear" a level in Auro, you only need to get to the end) you get to choose another skill out of five disciplines (Ice, Elude, Guard, Impulse & Fire). Each skill also has a cool-down, meaning you can only use it once every few turns

Since each play session is comprised of ten random levels and each discipline has five skills, your "skill kit" is made of ten out of twenty-five skills (with n=25 and k=10, that gives us 25!/(10! * 15!) = 3,268,760 possible combinations).

The monsters also have their own skills, and although they sometimes differ from each other in some other minor ways, most importantly each monster type has different skills. Since Auro's normal attack is weak and the monsters outnumber him greatly, you can only win by picking and using the right skills against the current bestiary you're facing.

Since different combination of monsters require a different combination of skills to defeat, there is no obvious "best skill set" in Auro - a skill that might be helpful against an early mob of rats and spiders could be totally useless against a combination of slimes and throwgres.

"Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations" - Spock finds Auro fascinating.

Auro is meant to be fast and to the point - it doesn't waste your time with filler material and fluff. Every step counts, you are constantly making meaningful and interesting decisions, and if you're not careful Auro will end up dead and you will be the one who killed him.

To find out about the first two discipline trees in Auro, check out Keith's article on the Dinofarm Games blog

-Ido.

5 comments:

  1. There should be some incentive to clear a level, be it a concept art unlock, soundtrack piece unlocked, etc.

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  2. I like the idea of "fast and to the point" combined with a strategy game. My personal tastes tend to be for action/arcade type games, but this has piqued my interest.

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  3. Gigimoi, lead designer here...

    There will be some unlockables, but that won't be tied to simply clearing a level. We currently are thinking that there would be some collectible items called "toys". These would be somewhat rare and hard to reach, as they disappear two or three turns after you see them. But

    Also beating the Story Mode may unlock something.

    Examples of unlockables might be Auro re-colors, concept art, soundtrack, or even possibly a gameplay mode.

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  4. I hope you consider having an end-of-game score, or something similar. That was the main thing that turned me off from repeat plays of Cardinal Quest - once I got to the end there wasn't really an incentive to play again!

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