We’ve been working on Chasing Aurora since October 2010. We’ve kicked off the project by making dozens of prototypes loosely tied together by the fact that they were all concerned with flight. After a few months, a couple of concepts remained and we set in stone that they will form the foundation of Chasing Aurora: The thrill of flight, the hostile nature of the Alps and the coming of age of an individual. We call this the Triforce of Chasing Aurora.
We tested most of the early prototypes at parties. One of them, which was a racing game at heart, turned out pretty good. It was a competitive two player game. We kept some parts of it and threw away the rest. Then we extended the game, and added a fun multiplayer mode for four players. We showed this game around quite a lot, even brought it to PAX and revealed it to the public. The game was planned to be a long single player game with a few multiplayer modes thrown in for good measure. In other words, we were overambitious. Our next step was to create the single player content. Months went by and the game became bigger and bigger. Also, it became better and better. It provided hours and hours of gameplay, but only because it was not well-balanced yet. Instead, it was an unforgiving game. And it was already beautiful, so we released a mood teaser trailer.
Then we learned the approximate deadline for our Wii U release. We had to make a decision. There was no way that we could finish the whole project before the deadline. So we had to decide which part to cut. We did not want to throw away any of the two half-finished, but promising games. We decided to cut the game into its two parts again and create an explorative single player action game and a party-compatible multiplayer game. Given the fact that the multiplayer was so much fun during play-tests we figured it would be better to work on the multiplayer game first and release the single player subsequently. From that moment on all our energy went into making the most awesome and fun multiplayer game we could. We invented a few new multiplayer modes, threw away a number of them and, sometimes, kept the one or other idea. We ended up with three game modes. After showing the multiplayer game to even more people and being asked for single player gameplay we realised we had to add solo gameplay to the multiplayer game.
In a way we went back to the beginning of the project to pick our new single player gameplay. The time when Chasing Aurora was a racing game. Peter implemented a single player racing mode over the weekend and all of the team immediately enjoyed it. So we ran with it. We added course after course to level after level. We added special effects and tuned the timing. We compared our high scores to learn who’s racing fastest on which track. We added a special wind layer that is only active during a race. I’ve personally played the mode for hours.
In a few weeks, we will continue to work on the exploration game that was once called Chasing Aurora.
Single player Mode: Rules of Play
If you are playing the single player mode, you race against the clock. Your goal is to fly through the gates of a course for as long as possible. Every gate slightly increases the time you can spend racing and adds a point to your score. Every 20 gates, a multiplier gate gives you a larger time bonus and also raises your multiplier, which makes each gate count more. Also, you become faster with a higher multiplier. Every 20 multiplier gates there’s a special multiplier gate. This one triggers a special multiplier mode for a limited duration. During special multiplier mode, every gate counts five times its normal value. That includes multiplier gates. If you pass a gate that would normally net you 20 points with multiplier 20, it nets you 100 points during the special multiplier mode. If you pass a multiplier that would normally raise your multiplier by 1 it now adds 5 to your multiplier. The special multiplier mode only lasts for a few seconds.
At the end of the race you get rated. The maximum rating is three stars. 500 points net you one star. Race to 5000 points to unlock the second star. If you manage to make more than 50000 points you unlock the third and last star. You need at least one star to unlock the next level.
There are 20 tracks set in over 10 levels in Chasing Aurora. From simple round courses to devilishly difficult rides through thunderstorms. Can you unlock them all?