The world of Aurory just got a whole lot bigger with its latest Seekers of Tokane addition, bringing “roguelike” role-playing gameplay to the Pokémon-inspired fantasy battler—and the game is launching on the Epic Games Store, a major mainstream gaming marketplace.
Seekers of Tokane launches in early access Thursday to Aurorian NFT holders, and access codes will be doled out for the broader community in the coming weeks, according to a statement exclusively shared with Decrypt.
The expansion adds what the Aurory team calls “unlimited amounts” of different land to explore, where players can use their Nefties, or magical creatures, to battle other creatures found in the environment. This player-versus-environment (PVE) expansion is a first for the game, which is still in development but previously launched a limited version of its player-versus-player (PVP) Blitz Battles earlier this year.
Aurory’s newest expansion has what its developers call a “procedural land generation system,” meaning that each time a player travels through a portal from the Blanche town village, they’ll be transported to a newly-generated environment that will never be the exact same twice.
Similar to a role-playing game (RPG) like Diablo 3, players will be able to explore and fight their way through new lands while they search for the exit portal back to Blanche. If a player dies before using the exit portal, they’ll lose any loot accumulated while venturing through that world. That’s a familiar approach for “roguelike” RPGs, which are especially challenging and can be unforgiving—but also rewarding.
“Because of our procedurally generated content, we have an infinite amount of game worlds to explore. That’s the beauty of the system we designed. It will pull a random land seed and will generate a unique land from that seed by combining a bunch of lego pieces together,” Aurory Executive Producer Jonathan Campeau told Decrypt via email.
“As the world evolves, we will add new biomes/environments into the mix to keep things fresh and exciting,” Campeau added.
Aurory’s Seekers of Tokane (SoT) update also brings new features like an avatar customization system, more controls and “elements” added in PVP Blitz Battles, and a Neftie upgrading system called “The Amplifier.”
The avatar customization feature brings 67 different customization options for free-to-play fans with non-NFT avatars, allowing them to select fashion choices like hairstyles, clothes, and shoes.
Blitz PVP Battles will now offer players more control over the minutiae of their battles, with the ability to choose each of three moves for their Neftie per round—or swap one low-health Neftie out for another. And like Pokémon, the element associated with a given Neftie will now be stronger or weaker against rivals of different types (for example, Fire Nefties have an advantage over Plant ones).
“My team played all the Pokémon games to figure out the winning formula,” Campeau told Decrypt. “We got inspired by the simplicity but wanted to put our own spin on it, which is how the ‘3 actions per turn’ battle system idea came about—the system we now call Blitz Battles.”
While Aurory first launched its NFTs and AURY token on Solana, the team announced plans to expand to Ethereum Layer-2 network Arbitrum back in July in an effort to cast as wide a net as possible.
But building a blockchain-enabled game in a web browser isn’t without its challenges, said Campeau.
“Your typical browser will always cache a bunch of stuff that can interfere with game development,” Campeau told Decrypt. “During production of SoT, we realized that we reached the technical limitations of what WebGL can provide.”
“It works great for smaller games like Aurory Tactics, but what we have built with Seekers of Tokane is almost as close as the average MMO,” he continued. “We’ve had numerous issues related to performance and long load times that pushed us to seek out alternative distribution channels.”
From a technical standpoint, Aurory is outgrowing its browser-based roots—and the team announced Wednesday that Seekers of Tokane will soon be available on the Epic Games Store.
“The difference in experience is insane,” Campeau said, comparing the browser and desktop versions. “I can’t wait for players to try it out.”
Edited by Andrew Hayward