A GLOBAL AURA GAMES
Welcome to another blog update Aura Games fans! What a mad month it has been. Before talking about ourselves (which is usually what these blog posts descend into) we hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and 2015 is panning out to be a good year so far.
THE REQUIEM NETWORK
Those of you who follow us on our social media sites will have noticed that we published the first piece of artwork and full title for our first full length game, The Requiem Network. We hope to be in a position to release in 2016, but this is of course subject to our development schedule.
The graphical artwork is at this stage essentially concept art but should give you a good idea as to the feel of the game. As for the gameplay mechanisms, there are some subtle hints from the poster as to what these might be… But that’s all we’re giving away for now!
GLOBAL GAME JAM 2015
We went pretty crazy about this on Facebook and Twitter last weekend, so we imagine most of you will have nnoticed that we attended the Global Game Jam at Southampton University this month.
For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of a game jam, it is essentially an event where a bunch of developers form teams and create a full video (or physical in some cases) game in forty-eight hours based around a central theme. It is not a competition as such; the point of the game jam is to bring creative people together, share experiences and produce a universal set of games. It is a crucible where sleep is for the weak, friendships are tested and inventiveness is brought forth.
This year the theme was “What Do We Do Now?” We created “Jenny Was Alive Once” which is a platform puzzle game that focuses on a character who finds herself in-between the world of the living and the dead after dying, and is chased through this dimension by a shadowy figure.
On the Aura Games team were James Burnham (programming), Richard Burnham (writing the storyline and providing the game graphics), Theo Harper (sound engineer) and Joseph Kay (who produced the Jenny sprite). If you fancy giving it a play then you can download it here but you should remember that it is a very early alpha version that we made during one weekend where all members got very little sleep. We’re still proud of it nonetheless.
There was a pretty vivid storyline to accompany the game, but due to time constraints we mainly focused our efforts on getting a final stable release ready for playing. The game itself is quite a dark one and the music is somewhat creepy and unnerving, which does not help your composure when you’re trying to navigate a puzzle whilst constantly being chased by an enemy. This makes it quite difficult and novel, we think anyway. People didn’t really learn the name of the game but would come over and say “my friend told me I need to play the scary game”. Which was just awesome.
What we found impressive was the sheer amount of ingenuity which came from the weekend. One team implemented the Oculus Rift with a full 3-D open world, another created a 3D FPS and one group created an incredibly addictive four player retro-arcade like game where each player controlled one character. There really just was some impressive potential and if you have time we recommend heading over to the Southampton Game Jam site and look at the other amazing games that were made at the weekend.
By far the most rewarding part of the jam was people playing, and enjoying, our game during both play-test show cases. Seeing people crowd around our game enjoying and being frustrated by it was quite simply amazing. It was also good for team morale as we had previously never produced a game, so for all we knew we could have been terrible at it and the company would have gone down in flames quickly. But thankfully it appears that we don’t. So that’s good.
Will we develop Jenny Was Alive Once any further? Perhaps. It really depends on the feedback we get on it. Certainly at the Game Jam a lot of people seemed to like the combination of a platformer with the spooky game mechanics. People also liked how frustratingly difficult it is to complete, which we like as well. Watch this space.
Well that’s everything for this month. Stay tuned to our social media pages for more details on our game progress and as always if you want to get in touch you can reach us on Facebook, Twitter or at email@example.com.