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Aura Designer Diary: Part 2

(Be sure to read the first Aura diary if you haven't already)

Greetings to all fans of adventure games! Today, like last time, I will tell you what’s new and what we are working on in Aura: Fate of the Ages.

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The past months, from November 2003 to now, turned out to be very stressful for everyone working on the game. Not only did we have to finish the opening video trailer, but also finish work on the second part of the game--the Mechanical World, or as we call it “Dragast.” Don’t ask where this name comes from--not even its creator, Lead 3D Art Designer Volodya, can answer this question.

The Mechanical World, in my opinion, turned out quite successful, and really lives up to its name. Here’s a brief description: A ridge of mountains covered with snow, the summits of which are above the clouds. Located on these very mountain peaks are structures interconnected by bridges. Parts of the quarters are set within the mountains. This is where you will have to wander in search of the tetrahedron, and solve various challenging puzzles along the way.

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We would like to point out the work done by our animator. He got, perhaps, the most difficult part in the game--the character animations. I am not only talking about the technical aspects of the animation (building the model, creating textures, etc.) but also giving the characters the personalities that we have envisioned to make these characters as interesting as possible. His work alone deserves a whole separate diary, and I (or he himself, when he has a free moment) will tell you about the whole process in more detail. But for now I can say that he has done a great gob, and you can see the results of his hard work in the trailer and all throughout the game.

One of the new features that we have added to the game is the “note-book” item in your inventory. This note-book doubles as a photographic memory; whenever you see a clue to a riddle you can store a picture of it in your notebook so that you won’t have to memorize it. This type of item is not new in adventure games, but nevertheless it greatly simplifies the player's task. When you play the game, and need to use this feature, thank Andrey, our project leader, who insisted on having this feature added.

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And now I am left with playing Aura, the world of Dragast (several times a day) in search of bugs and things that don’t work the way they should. And that makes me feel like the creator of Dragast, who walks around and fixes all the mechanical devices, and gets extremely upset when something doesn’t work exactly the way it’s supposed to. In conclusion, I would like to say that right now the rest out our team is working on finishing the final world--the world of Isoterics or “Na-Tiexu,” and from the way things are looking right now, this should be one of the most beautiful worlds in the game.

This is it for today; I hope you enjoyed my developer diary.

Yours truly,

Sergey Nartovich


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