Welcome back Aura Games fans! Despite the laziness of Christmas being just around the corner, we’ve had a surprisingly productive month!
Our first “massively important” piece of news is that we bagged ourselves a ridiculous amount of branded items during Cyber Monday, and therefore Aura Games Christmas cards became a thing. Look how pretty they are.
We personally consider that we’ve made it now we have branded items, even though we haven’t actually produced a game or really done anything to be considered a successful game company. However, we have no doubt these first editions will sell on eBay for a small fortune in a few years, so if you were lucky enough to bag one, hold on to it.
Unnecessary branded items aside, game development is going well, as evidenced by this photograph which proves that we have a working prototype.
The storyline of the game is really starting to come together as well and is certainly well on its way to completion. One of the things we’re really excited about producing a combination of a platform game with a very rich and solid storyline.
We really want everything in our games to make sense and for our players to question the environment they are presented with. For example, in a lot of great platform games podiums float or players can double jump (we love you Crash Bandicoot) for no real reason at all. We really want everything to have depth and an explanation to it and we believe that we’re well on our way to producing this.
Other than the storyline we’re currently working on transcribing our unique game concepts into reality. We wish we could show you but right now we have put absolutely zero effort into the graphical element of the game (that’s prototypes for you) so we imagine everyone would be pretty unimpressed! Hopefully during the dawn of the New Year we’ll be able to begin sharing more content with you as our concept art begins to come together.
NEW TEAM MEMBER
On the subject of game development it’s probably prudent to introduce the newest member of the team, Theo Harper, who is producing all of the soundtracks within our first game. Theo currently studies Audio Engineering at the University of Brighton, and when we gave him some very disingenuous ideas of what we wanted and asked him to put together some concept pieces, he blew us away.
Music is such an important part of an Indie Game and Theo will be key in creating the dramatic game atmospheres that will accompany our engaging storyline. Again, when we’re able to begin sharing some of our content with you we have no doubt you’ll agree Theo is pretty good at what he does.
So join us in welcoming Theo to Aura Games!
If you didn’t instantly close your browser window out of boredom when you read the title to this section then we have a boring bit of legal news we would like your help with!
We would appreciate it if all of our readers could sign this petition against the introduction of the new European Union VAT legislation. Basically the EU are suggesting that all online retailers (which when we produce our game, will include us) must register for the UK VAT scheme, record EU sale information and charge a specific VAT rate depending on who they sell to in the EU, even where they fall below the usual £81,000 VAT exemption. This encompasses many small businesses and imposes the complex world of VAT upon them as well as requiring them to store an extensive amount of data on their customers.
This means for example, imagine your Grandmother has a small business online selling knitting patterns (adorable) and earns a small amount of money. She’s quite content with her small and uncomplicated business and it keeps her happy in her retirement. Well tough luck to your Gran, she’s going to need to come to terms with the world of VAT accounting and register herself as a data controller if she wants to keep at it.
It’s irritating simply because most small companies simply don’t have the capacity or financial expenditure to perform this action, and therefore many will be forced to cease trading. The point of the legislation is to prevent large online companies such as Amazon from establishing themselves in Luxembourg and avoiding paying European VAT. In actual fact, ironically, it is really just enforcing their monopolies on the market by driving out the smaller retailers (which is contrary to the entire point of the European Union, but what do we know, we’re just a games company). We fully support the prevention of tax avoidance, but removing the £81,000 threshold is a ridiculous suggestion and threatens many industries, including the Indie Game market because most of us are small digital businesses.
Considering the impact of new protective legislation afforded to consumers in digital transactions, this is a disappointing step backwards for the digital market right now as the EU is holding lemonade stands to the same tax standards as Coca-Cola. As we’re one lemonade stand that doesn’t shy away from overcoming challenges we’ll push forward with this compliance when we need to, but we certainly hope that the EU come to their senses in the meantime.
But anyway, we’ll get off the soapbox now.
Well all that’s left to say is that we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!