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Nov 13, 2019 3:10 PM ET

Azura - The Two Views of a World An open-world medieval-fantasy RPG with dragons

Azura - The Two Views of a World An open-world medieval-fantasy RPG with dragons

iCrowd Newswire - Nov 13, 2019


Azura – The Two Views of a World is a third person, open-world, medieval fantasy RPG that takes you to the glorious Kingdom of Faena. Your journey starts as the young and inexperienced dragon, Azura, who lives among her kind on a Sky Island known as Aetheria. As she accidentally crosses paths with the human race, the world she had known is beset by great danger. She encounters Josh, the young son of a blacksmith, who has never seen anything like a dragon before. This is the beginning of an adventure neither of them could have ever imagined.

You will dive into an epic story that is told in a vast open world, where you will have the opportunity to switch between the protagonists – Josh and Azura. 

*Pre-alpha footage – The quality does not represent the final product.

Sounds like any other RPG you have played? Hold on. There’s more!

You will learn that both of them are interpreting their surroundings in a very different way, which will require you to use empathy and logic to complete quests successfully. 

By having two very different views of the world, we want to introduce a new gameplay mechanic: You will have to “get into the other’s mind” to guess what either Josh or Azura will see or think. To intensify this, the visions of both protagonists are directly influenced here.

*Pre-alpha footage – The quality does not represent the final product.

The picture above shows the diverse views of Azura and Josh. The main features of the views are:

1. Due to the different needs, different objects are relevant for Azura and Josh. In the example-scene, you can see that the bread rolls on the left side of the table are relevant to Josh, but not to Azura because she only eats meat.

2. Azura is more sensitive to light but can see better in the dark.

3. Josh can’t see as far as Azura.

4. Azura has a larger field of view, so she perceives more things simultaneously.

5. Azura does not see very well at short distances.

6. Josh can recognize colors and contrasts well.

But there is more; we have to delve deeper…

Why the two views? Think of it this way: A dragon doesn’t know much of the world of the humans and vice versa. Humans might have studied dragons, but they will never truly understand what they think. Dragons, on the other hand, might know a bit of human, watching them as they fight their wars and plow their fields.

As our protagonists get together somehow, they are going to learn a lot from each other – and this is what we want to focus on.

As an example, you might have to find a key for a locked gate to gain access. Azura, the dragon girl, has never needed to understand what a key is used for, as dragons don’t have gates or doors. Josh, the son of a blacksmith, on the other hand, knows the concept of a key and of course, knows one when he sees one. Based on their knowledge, Josh can find the key, whereas Azura can’t. 

Nevertheless, Azura can learn from Josh! After he found the key, she now knows what she can look for and can help to search the next time a key has to be found.

Next time, we’ll see whether she really understood what to look for. She might find an object that looks like a key to her but is something quite different in reality. At this point, only Josh will recognize that Azura has brought nothing but a key if she did indeed bring him a key or something that looks like one to her.

Of course, this feature works the other way round. When Josh has to obtain something more common in the world of the dragons, he will also have the opportunity to learn from Azura.

We plan to focus on openness, empathy, and the perspective of one another in an imaginative world to be discovered by you.

The game will be brought to life by the Unity Engine, delivering a fluent gameplay experience for you by the end of 2020. We will update you on the final specifications for the game.

  • Planned platforms: PC*
  • Planned release date: Aug. 2020*
  • Approximate gameplay time: 15 – 20+ hours, depending on your play-style.

*We plan to launch on various platforms like Steam, GoG, and Humble Bundle by August 2020. The approval by the platform holders can influence the exact release date. Likewise, if we’re reaching additional stretch goals with your help, it will also influence the release date, as they need some time to be implemented.

  •  Switch characters to play either Azura, the dragon, or Josh, the son of a blacksmith. See the world through their eyes and how their perceptions of it differ. Solve quests by empathizing with each other and understand each other’s world better.
  •  A vast, rich, and detailed open world that waits for you to be explored. Traversing multiple regions with diverse climate-zones, you will encounter different landscapes, creatures, and cultures!
  •  Survive the harsh lands of Faena. You will need food, water and rest to fight well and travel long distances. Cook food for Josh or hunt game for Azura, or visit the next farm to satisfy her desire for meat… 
  •  Fight in different styles and utilize various skills. Both Azura and Josh bring their own way of fighting into the game. Fluent controls and animations will add to a great experience.
  •  Fear the nights and the unknown. You’ll never know what is out there when the sun is down, or what dangers are to be found in regions you don’t know. Fear is an additional mechanic in the game. The main characters you play aren’t experienced heroes – keep that in mind! 
  •  Build small camps and larger encampments. Rest anywhere in Faena for the night, and build larger camps to have a spot to start your adventures from and store your loot.
  •  Consequences for decisions will have you think twice before you act! Good and evil are neither obvious nor simply black or white. This applies not only when you’re on a quest, but also when you’re roaming the Kingdom of Faena freely!

We’ve already planned the Kingdom of Faena as a vast open-world with different regions, creatures, and cultures. The world will be the basis for our RPG system as you will have the ability to find new equipment to compete in combat, search for food and water to survive and, last but not least, build your own home to rest and store what you’ve found so far.

The Kingdom of Faena is an open world awaiting your exploration!

Weapons and Armor

When roaming the world with Josh, you will be able to find different sets of clothing and armors. There will be different kinds of equipable melee weapons, such as knives, daggers, swords, bludgeons, and bows for ranged combat. Both arms and armors will have an impact on your gameplay. You want Josh to be sneaky? You shouldn’t choose armor that is noisy or shiny if you’re to stay hidden in the shadows.

Azura is different from Josh. She’s a dragon, so she can’t swing a sword or equip armor, yet. As she roams the landscapes with Josh, she will learn new attacks such as different dragon-breaths and how to effectively use her claws and tail on her enemies. But that’s not where it ends – Faena is a mythical land full of magic and ancient sources of true power…

Food, water, and other resources

Food and water will help you survive the, at times, very harsh landscapes of Faena. If you’re up to visit the desert, ensure you have enough water with you, as the sun is scorching from above. Nights in the desert will get very cold though – do you have the resources to make a fire? 

We wanted to implement this mechanic to add a bit of realism to the game. We were inspired by mods for Skyrim, which made eating meaningful and added hypothermia, which could strike if you weren’t sufficiently prepared to visit cold regions and possibly freezing you to death. We understand that not everyone is a fan of this. Therefore we will make this mechanic configurable to fit your desires!

Sleep, Rest and Building a Home

The nights can be very dangerous in Faena. Not only do dark and shady characters tend to do their business at night, but there are also some quite dangerous creatures roaming the land after sundown…

As fear is also one of our mechanics and the main characters are far from being heroes, you should consider these circumstances when the sun starts to set.

You will have the opportunity to set up a small camp to rest for the night at almost any spot in Faena.  At the camp you will have the ability to cook some food and prepare other things, like potions – if you’re carrying the appropriate ingredients with you.

While traveling Faena, you might find yourself far from home or unable to quickly return to civilization. You will be able to build your own “home away from home” to have a place where you can rest, store your items and prepare for things to come.

You can find several spots where you can build huts, shacks, fences and chests – provided you’ve gathered all the necessary materials. 

Azura and Josh will have to work together to create a place they can call home.

Develop your characters as you like

Neither of the protagonists starts out as a hero or chosen one, but they choose to make a difference in the world. How they proceed on their journey is up to you.

Azura and Josh, the protagonists of the game.

Play Josh as he tries to master combat in plated armor, or develop him into an agile ranged fighter who learned a trick or two. Azura can learn different kinds of magical spells, like dragon-breaths she can specialize in. 

Whatever path you choose for them is in your hands!

Volumetric clouds. This is a game where you can play as a dragon, flying freely through the air. A simple skybox would simply not be enough! You will be able to fly through multiple layers of clouds, giving you that feeling you always wanted, when controlling a dragon midair!

*Pre-alpha footage – The quality does not represent the final product.

Volumetric fog. On the ground you will encounter volumetric fog that dynamically changes, depending on where you are and how elevated you are. You can stand on a mountain and have a beautiful view on a valley that’s full of morning fog.

*Pre-alpha footage – The quality does not represent the final product.

Real-time rain and raindrops. When it comes to the weather system, we’re using a technology, where only areas that are affected by rain get wet! Objects that are sheltered won’t get wet.

*Pre-alpha footage – The quality does not represent the final product.
*Pre-alpha footage – The quality does not represent the final product.

Dynamic lighting will provide beautiful scenes of the landscape to you, depending on weather, region, and time.

*Pre-alpha footage – The quality does not represent the final product.

Occlusion culling will be a massive performance booster when it comes to the runtime-rendering of world objects. It will massively save the resources of your graphics card, as objects are dynamically turned on or off, depending on if the player sees them or not

Wonderful music, composed by Trevor Thomas

We already have great plans for the game. To allow us to get even further, we’ve added several stretch goals that we can only reach with your help! Each goal will add value to the game to deliver an even better experience. 

We’re a small studio that can produce a solid RPG within the time frame of a year. That’s also what our funding goal of 70.000€ represents, as this pays both our bills for a year (including taxes, costs for living, maintaining equipment, developer-licenses, etc.). If you like our idea and really would like to support what we’re doing, you will have the opportunity to literally buy us more time to deliver something awesome! 

You are the ones who decide how far this game will go!

¹Shows the roadmap to reach the next goal. *Will be updated with accomplished goals.

90, 000 € – Subtitle Translation

As the main language of the game is English, we would like to add translations of the subtitles into several additional languages for you. This will include German, Polish, Czech, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French subtitles. For this, we are going to need professional translators. While English is widespread, we’d love to reach as many people as possible, including those who might not be as fluent or would prefer to experience Faena in their mother tongue!

130, 000 € – Professional English voice actors

To add even more to the game, we would like to work with professional voice actors to let our characters speak. This will add enormous value and bring them to life. We cannot voice the characters by ourselves. We’re native German speakers, and we all know what happens when we try to speak proper English – it just sounds wrong. Thus, we need professional help with this to give you an even better experience!

170, 000 € – Professional Orchestral Game Music

Currently we are working with game music that we bought as assets. We’re no composers – Sebastian plays the guitar, but that doesn’t count, Daniel owns a guitar, but you really don’t want to hear him play. In the basic version of the game we’re adding the bought music to it, but we would like to add orchestral music that perfectly fits the game and supports the feeling that we want you to experience. For this one, we will need someone who knows how to handle multiple musicians at once – a real orchestral composer! Think of “The Elder Scrolls” without Jeremy Soule, or “The Witcher” without Marcin Przybyłowicz … that’s not possible, right? Let’s add music of equal value to our game!

190, 000 € – Couch Coop

Invite your friend to play the game with you on your couch! Each of you will be able to control either Azura or Josh. This is the first step to include a coop-mode for you and is the simplest form of it to be implemented to the game. Yet we can achieve much more with the goals that follow at this point…

235, 000 € – Online Coop

The king of the coop! By reaching this stretch goal, we would be able to add online support, so that you can play with a friend of yours without being in the same network. That means you and your friend can stay at your various homes. Launch the game, hit coop, invite your friend, and off you go! This would result in the greatest potential we can offer to you in terms of a coop. Nuts! This would simply be nuts!

260, 000 € – Multiple Storylines and more decision making

As decision making is already part of the game and yet has impacts on how things go, we would like to add multiple storylines. This will change the course of events on a major scale and will not just influence the behavior of single characters, but will have consequences throughout the whole Kingdom!

Multiple storylines have to be planned carefully though – no one likes a story with errors. By reaching this goal, we would have the time to get everything we need up and running to implement different storylines. Will your actions lead to war between the regions of Faena? Will they prevent it? Will your friend have the same opinion as you on what is right or wrong? It’s all in your hands…

300, 000 € – First free DLC

But even with multiple storylines implemented, we are not out of ideas yet. If you decide to support us even further, every part of that will go towards expanding the game. 

For every additional 40, 000€ you spend, we will add a DLC that will be free for everyone who owns the game. Its content will be roughly about 5 hours of new additional gameplay, new characters that you can encounter, it will have more items and even new regions and places that you can explore!

With more support coming from you, we will have the time to polish the game even more!

If we are able to reach 6, 000 followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in total, we will add the following community stretch goal:

On our website you will then find a survey, where you can design your own dragon to implement in the game!

You will be able to choose from different presets like skin and horn color, behavior, background story, etc. – what gets voted most, wins. 

*updated manually

We will then update the result regularly during the Kickstarter campaign and finally implement your dragon into the game. It won’t be any side-character, but an encounter both Azura and Josh will meet during their journey!

To deliver great gameplay to you, we’re using the Unity Engine for development. We’re experienced in this technology and have been using it since 2016 to develop business-to-business applications and games for our customers. Unity gives us access to resource-saving techniques like occlusion-culling, where objects are disabled when the player doesn’t see them and are only enabled when the camera directly points at the objects.

We will also have the ability to provide HQ textures as well as proper LODs that load fast and dynamically as you get closer to an object, or further away. If you are far away from an object, we will additionally use the billboard technique. Here, 3D objects turn to 2D to save even more of your resources while keeping the quality high as you won’t notice the change!

We’re adding high-end effects like dynamic-lighting, volumetric clouds, particle effects, ground fog, dynamic weather, dynamic sounds, and a ton more. Those technical features will be optimized so your gameplay will remain fluent! 

You will get exclusive access to our closed beta-program that will start in June 2020. That means before the game is fully released, you will get access to a specific region of the game that has all the core mechanics in it. From there on, we will continuously add more mechanics into it so you can test the implementations and give us valuable feedback. This will be available to all Basic Founder Packages and higher. Our backers can have a direct influence and help us improve the game that way.

As a game development studio, ProjectMakers is rather new in the industry. We’re a team of two with its origins in developing business-to-business applications. Daniel was head of development at a company while Sebastian was a software developer and User Experience Designer there, working in a team of 10 people. As regards making decisions about which direction the development of the software should go, we both already worked as a team and were able to ship applications successfully at the end of the development process. As a User Experience Designer, Sebastian was responsible for keeping the usability of the products at a high level so that the software was not only able to fulfill the goals it was initially developed for but was also pleasant to use.

*Part of the team and actively works on the project.
*Part of the team and actively works on the project.
*Does not belong directly to the team, but influences it directly.
*Does not belong directly to the team, but influences it directly.
*Does not belong directly to the team, but influences it directly.

In 2016 Daniel decided to go into business for himself and founded the company, ProjectMakers. As a freelancer, he was able to win several customers, and has been working for them since then. In his free time, he developed the mobile game Mercator, which was an after-work project. 

Creating games has always been one of those things that really gave him something. He was able to deepen his knowledge in the Unity Engine, especially in the area of optimization, which also came in handy for developing B2B apps.

Sebastian decided to join ProjectMakers in July 2019 as a developer and User Experience Designer and worked on active projects since then. He’s also a gamer and nerd, the reason he was inspired by the idea of developing games by Daniel.

We both know quite a bit of how development projects have to be planned, and we’re both experienced coders. That’s why we’re taking the plunge into the game development industry.

To deliver the very basic form of the game, we are going to need a budget of 70.000€. This sounds like a pretty heavy sum, but sadly it isn’t. There are several parties, who want a part of the cake.

Both the tax office and Kickstarter are already consuming roughly 29% of the total amount, which is going to be funded. That’s about 20, 300€ that we’re unable to use for the project itself.

Art and animations are part of creating user interfaces as well as creating a living world, animating NPCs, and decorating the world with different kinds of items and scenes. We really want to focus on delivering a world that is alive rather than empty. Doing so on a vast terrain like Faena will take time.

The development will include implementing the story, side-quests, mini-games, character-controllers, main game mechanics, as well as optimizing the game and the likes. A lot of code has to be written and to be tested at this point to assure quality.

When it comes to music we are dependent on things we’re about to buy for the game. Choosing music for a scene is time consuming as there are different types of different scenes and ambiances. This will include music for battle, exploration, interior and special sound effects for fighting, walking on various grounds, and a lot more…

Operations include things that are mostly time consuming, like writing news about the game, caring about the community, finishing the backing-rewards and shipping the game to the various platforms. We really like to do things like this, but as our expenses don’t stop during this time, we will need the money to keep things running at this point.

We started developing this project in our free time. As we’re business-to-business developers in the first place, we realized that we had already put a lot of our energy and creativity into the projects of our customers at the time we went on with our game project. It is quite logical that we did so because our customers are the ones who enable us to pay our bills by the end of the month.

We had to decide whether to continue like this, creating the game in our free time, knowing that it would take forever to finish it or find another solution to focus more on the game’s development. That’s the reason we’re giving Kickstarter a try and also why you are so important to us as a backer!

With your help, we will be able to finish the game within a reasonable time of development and create something great. With this campaign, you as a founder are able to decide, which scale the game is going to have, according to which stretch goals are going to be achieved. Without your help, we simply would not be able to create something great like this, within a shorter amount of time.

The Closed-Beta-Access will take place before the planned launch of the game. You will get an invitation via email and we will grant you access to a predefined area of the game. Your feedback on how the game performs, will help us fix bugs and improve gameplay. This reward will be available for any tier onward from this one.

Your name will end up in the credits of the game! Be sure you’ll pick a name that goes along with standard rules. This reward will be available for any tier onward from this one.  

You will additionally get the original soundtrack of the game in digital form. This reward will be even greater when the stretch goal for the orchestra is reached! It is available for any tier onward from this one. 

You know a friend who would also like to play the game and support us? That’s great! You will both get the key, a beta-access, your name in the credits, the soundtrack, and additionally, a digital full HD wallpaper with your backer-name on it. This reward is available for any tier onward from this one.   

You have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube page? On we will add a hall of fame for all backers, who decided to fund us with this package or onward. You can choose which page you want to put there! This reward is available for any tier onward from this one. 

You and your friend will get this exclusive mobile app (Android & iOS), where you can raise and care about your own little dragon. You will take care of all its needs. If your friend’s dragon doesn’t feel well, your dragon won’t feel well, too. So make sure to work together! This reward is available for any tier onward from this one.

You read right! Come visit us and we’ll be playing games together during a good old LAN-Party. There will be food, drinks and surely a lot of fun. You can ask us questions and become part of a great community – if you’re not already! This reward is available for any tier onward from this one. 

*Doesn’t include travel costs, overnight stay, and rental of gaming gear.

As highborn founders you will get access to our office. We will show you around. You will be able to ask questions and get exclusive insight of the game’s current status. After that, we will have dinner together! This reward is available for any tier onward from this one. 

*Doesn’t include travel costs, overnight stay, and rental of gaming gear.

We want to help those who are interested in creating games like we are. Because of this, we want to support the two founders, who really want to help us with this package. We will help you to make a LUDUM DARE game creation.

*Doesn’t include travel costs, overnight stay and rental of gaming gear.

Risks and challenges

This project will be a realistic challenge for us. We’re mainly developers in the first place, so we can rely on our skills, when it comes to writing code. But this is also the reason, why we are using third-party assets, like 3D models, as we’re no 3D designers.

RPGs, in general, are big and complex games. This is why we rely on proven technology that we’re already familiar with. We’re both very experienced in successfully planning, structuring, and shipping business-to-business software with Unity. We also have quite some experience with development projects that had several milestones, ran for more than one year of development and were successful at the end. Daniel was the leader of the project and Sebastian was the developer and User Experience Designer within an agile development team at this time. To say that there weren’t any problems during this project would be a lie, but we’ve learned a lot from our time as B2B developers.. It allowed us to plan even more carefully and made us better at estimating workloads.

Our biggest risk though, would be falling behind our thoroughly planned schedule and releasing the game later than we originally planned. As we already worked on the concept of the game, detailed documentation and already predefined work packages for development, we’re minimizing such a potential outcome. Of course we’re not totally exempted from failure – bad things that we have no influence on can happen at any time.

The good thing for you is that we will provide feedback on the status of the game on a regular basis. We’re already giving developer streams on Twitch, where you can see us, as we’re working on the project. This is open to everyone, regardless whether you have backed us or not. You can ask us questions during the streams and get an idea, what it’s like to be a games developer.

We like games as much as you do, so we know how frustrating it can be to not hear from the developers in a long time, which is why we want to provide feedback on the game’s status to you regularly. We also don’t want to go straight “No-Man’s-Sky” style into development and promise things we cannot keep. You will always get straight and honest feedback from us.

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