Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth Update #3

Todays update is about:

Concept Art | Music & Inspiration | Areas | Metroidvania Vs. IGAvania

And so, life was given, but at what cost?

Hey everyone! I hope you are staying safe in the shade, or having fun in the sun.

To me its most about work, rest and food in a fine Zen balance. It’s been a while since I had an update, and to be fair, most ideas and things are still in the works. While I don’t want to spoil too much, my streams show things that will never be part of this update. So check me out on Twitch.TV/Enkeria and see if you can get some insights of concept art, soundtrack making and ideas. Those streams are rare since I dont have the option to really stream as much as I want. Expect more streams with all kinds of projects and live game development in the future. I just need to upgrade my computer since it can’t even stream Cyberpunk 2077 in lowest settings. Oof!

Concept Art

Here we got some images, concept art may be updated, replaced or put to rest depending if things goes as planned, time and energy and possibilities. I have too many ideas, and I try to write them down as I go, but its mostly in text and not as fun to read. The information on each image can be found under the grid.

Music & Inspiration

Check the storyboard image above, and play this track, and you will somewhat get a vision of the first thing you will see in the game.

 

Sound: In the menu. Pressing on stuff, then starts the game. You wake up, you rise up, now you can control your heroine, walking slow out and reach a gate. On your way you slay some zombies at the cemetery. This area works almost like a tutorial, but not really. Tutorials are banned from my games. I will do this old school.

Inspiration is based on Michiru Yamane work in many Castlevania games, and Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Some tracks also have inspiration from 80s horror slasher movies and synthwave. Inspiration comes in different shapes and forms. Take for example Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the track ”Lost Painting” (below) was the main focus when I did the first track below the video.

Lost Painting inspired the first track in this small showcase below. We also hear a windy place that only take a few ”rooms” in the castle, there are some special rooms with story elements. The third track represent a warm place with a temple beat, it will be connected to a place where the temple might feel at home as well. Metal track represent a fight with the big bad of the game. Last nugget is the sound you hear when Game Over.

 

Areas

We should reflect upon the areas in some other IGAvanias to see the difference.

Symphony of the Night have 35 areas (included the reversed ones and the Saturn version), for example Soul Prison, Royal Chapel and Final Stage: Bloodlines.

Aria of Sorrow have 14 areas, for example Chapel, Forbidden Area, Inner Quarters and Underground Cemetery.

Order of Ecclesia has 26 areas, for example Library, Training Hall, Ruvas Forest and Skeleton Cave.

There are currently (and this might change) over 50 areas in Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth. Does this make the map bigger those IGAvanias? Possibly! That’s something I need to have to look more into soon. It’s better to have many ideas than a few, so I can pick the best ones. There is also a chance some areas will be fused together if its allowed. But I rather see areas being similar in size, so not one is sticking out too much, like the Underground Cavern from Symphony of the Night, which to be seemed to go on forever. Probably because the tile sets was easier to maintain and there was a deadline to uphold. My deadline is what I choose to set, which is for good and worse.

Make no mistake. This game will be dark and gruesome. But who didn’t like a classical musical while summoning demons from hell anyway?

Metroidvania Vs. IGAvania

Whats the difference?

Metroidvania was a fun play on words combining Super Metroid and Castlevania. Using the theme of Castlevania, using sword instead of a space gun, exploration and backtracking. What most people are leaving out is what made the genre so special back in the day. This is the reason IGAvania term exist today.

After a while the term Metroidvania forgot its roots, even though the name suggest something else, the real genre was created by Koji ”IGA” Igarashi with Castlevania’s gothically theme but with the exploration, itemization and map ideas of Zelda: A Link to the Past (this according to an interview). Today games like Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Guacamelee, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue and even Super Mario 64 are considered as Metroidvania, which to be honest, is totally fine. I call them however for exploration platforms. See, the vanilla ’Metroidvania’ or Zeldavania is you so will is called IGAvania to underline its back to the original concept:

Exploration. Itemization. Backtracking. RPG-elements. Shopkeepers. Leveling Up. Change of Areas. Lack of firearms (but not limited) and a story with dark atmosphere based lightly or heavy on Goetia, Gothic stories and/or the super-natural.

TL;DR: IGAvania is the original source of the old term of Metroidvania, before it was watered down.

Secret Notes

  • Idea: If enemy kills you, but you kill that after revived, you will get ”Revenge”, a feature under brainstorming.
  • Idea: If boss kills you, they will remember you, and commentate upon it, a feature under brainstorming.
  • Want many options in the menu. Show/hide: blood, boss health user interface,
  • Shopkeeper will sell you ”Fun Surprise Mechanic” if you want it. Map pieces, fortune telling, items and potions too.
  • There will be collectables in the game, which are optional.
  • Lore and Bestiary are optional.
  • Skipping dialogue should be EASY.
  • Candles will possibly spawn stuff when extinguished. Candles that are lit will give secrets.
  • Each area in the game needs to be very unique. Not only that, but big areas need one of a kind thing, this will make it easier to remember where it is if you need to visit it at a later point.

These are the kind of notes I am keeping, and just a fraction of what I have in store for this project. Cross fingers I can get it made.

Until next time traveler.

Join my discord for unique news, free games (deals) and music teasers!

/ Enkeria

Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth Update #2

Hello

I hope things are alright with everyone!

I would like to share additional information about whats going on with the game idea and project I am working with on my spare time.

The first thing you might notice is that the game project have an official name now!

Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth

Changed from the placeholder Rain: Aurora of ReBirth.

Synopsis of Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth

As the rain falls, the lightning of thunder shows the way to a village. With no memory of who you once were you search for answers which takes you on a journey across castle hallways and dungeons with demonic threats. And with each step – and death, fragments of who you once were comes rushing back.

Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth is an 2D side-scrolling action adventure game with exploration and 3D depth.

All on paper

Most of the concepts, art and theories are just on pieces of papers spread across multiple platforms at the moment. The only thing that have taken shape thus far is the music, something I will share more about in the next update since almost every track will get updated versions of them. If you are into music, look forward to that part.

The map

I started out this project with going through how I want to upload the map. After studying Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and its predecessors, I decided I want more Symphony of the Night map style than any other in its genre. This means it won’t be an IGAvania / Metroidvania until you officially find a dead end and have to backtrack. The map itself is made in Google Calc spreedsheets so its easy to go in and change things if needed. I bet I will notice places where I have to change so it feels more fluid, and easier for you to know your paths. The grand goal and details is however in place. To reach this you need this and this, and so on. That is all covered. I also made sure to include some interesting skills, but its not final yet and something I won’t talk about in this update.

Inspiration

I have collected inspirational pictures. Mostly locations since my game will have a variaty of themes to play around with. The story in this game allows me to explore everything from gothic classic castle interiors and magical forests to realms outside of this existence. To put it short, some areas will be otherworldly.

All pictures below are for inspiration, not actual game concept. Copyright to rightful owners.

 

NPCs

There will be some minor interactions with NPCs in this game. There will be pages of information about this world, its areas, items and monsters for you to read if you so choose to do so. Everthing will be optional, and I wont include a tutorial. Who needs those anyways? In the settings you will be able to see and change the buttons to how you wanna play the game, its all mapped out (on the papers for now).

Here is a viking dude I found. He might be the inspiration of an interesting NPC, or follower, or something else. Credit goes to rightful owner.

Save & Warp Rooms

These rooms are vital for our progression. You can save in the save rooms before venture on, but if you fail your mission from that room, your progress will be lost. It is in other words a ”play it slow, play it safe” scenario in games like these. They do not allow you to pause and save whenever you feel like it.

I have been trying to thought of ways to make rooms like these interesting, and they are still under development. Instead of using the space of that room just for one function, it would be nice to have other functions beside them. I have been thinking on combine the first save room with a shop, its very close to where you start the game, and if possible even allow for that room to have more things. Maybe something that happens at random, at only one point or something mysterious that wakes your interest in trying new stuff. At one point I had a Boss Rush Mode dedicated to a save room, but that idea was quickly scrapped. If that modes comes (which I hope) it will be a main menu thing for quick access and not something you have to travel to gain access to.

Warp rooms will make you travel to destination of your choosing faster than trying to walk, run, swim, dash or jump your way to that place. Warp rooms needs to be found to be activated.

Items

In Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth will include weapons such as swords, whips, axes, flails, scythes and more. It will also have like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night [use] items.

To those that do not remember or know about these, they are limited to the amount of what you have in your inventory. These would range everything from shuriken (throwing stars) to TNT and full screen damage objects.

With an late expensive purchase of an item called ”Duplicator” it allowed the player to cast the [use] items unlimited of times.

This item was one of a few accessories that totally broke the gameplay, making it easier and almost a sandbox of an experience. It did allow the casual gamer to feel powerful, and also for the player to explore longer and deeper. Gamebreakers like this wont happen in Amzeer, but there are plans to take inspirations out of it.

Here is an image of a few swords. While these are heavy on the fantasy style, I am leaning more towards the dark, gritty design of what the interiors above represent. It wont be realism, but rather semi-realism. And there will be blood, oh yes!

There were plenty of weapons in Symphony of the Night, and also consumables. Koji Igarashi (game developer) sure did like those food items! This is why I want to include food in my game too, if possible.

Vote for your favorite food you might wanna see in the game here: http://www.strawpoll.me/42576158

What I gotta learn

There are many things I need to learn before I can share anything real with you guys. Music is one thing, but when it comes to the Unreal Engine to code and make a game out of assets. It may take a year to understand that tool enough to make a game. This if you got the assets, which is another challenge; make 3D models. So I have downloaded the free application Blender, which allows you to make 3D assets for a wide variaty of things, including game making and Unreal Engine.

I need to get sound effects, I need to create items, weapons, the main character, npc, monsters, and animate as well.

This is super early, and not even worthy of either an Patreon account or a Kickstarter campaign. If this game will ever see the light of day is highly believeable, but I believe people that might read this now or 2-3 years from now, might think ”when is this coming out anyways? did the dude even make an effort?” .. I sure hope I did if you read this that far into the future!

Thats all folks. Update 3 will be when I got enough to share. I wouldn’t like to spoil the things you get from playing the game, but for people interested, this might be a fun read.

Until next time traveler.

/ Enkeria

All rights reserved for spellchecking. I am lazy, and I will spell like a goof. Deal with it. (the game will be accurate in languages however, and support subtitles from fans).

Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth Update #1

Hey

Later this year I might be able to help a friend out with a game of his, doing some music. That triggered me to dive into the game application Unreal Engine, a program that allows you to program, code and create games, for the purpose to be able to help him as much as I can. This path may lead to more knowledge as I help him so that I might be able to make my own game in the future. His project won’t be shared here, since its a secret. But I can tell you that his game will be close to what I might wanna do as well – an IGAvania inspired 2,5D explorational action platformer.

IGAVANIA (n): A gothic, exploration-focused action platformer, designed by one of the godfathers of the genre!

So past few days I have been sick at home, writing down ideas of my future game, that may or may not see the daylight in a far away future. While listening on games like  Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, both by Koji Igarashi. I created some music for my project which I named Rain: Aurora of ReBirth for now. Since its not even a prototype or alpha yet, this project will span over many years before I even can start creating the real deal.

Rain: Aurora of ReBirth (Edit: Changed to Amzeer: Aurora of Rebirth)

Synopsis: You wake up at a rainy cemetary with no memory of who you are, and why you are here. In the distance you see a castle which drawns you towards it. As time goes you learn more about who you are and your purpose.

Part 1: Intro. Raining at a cemetary. Castle in the distance. Its calling on you, but why? – Pressing Start – ”Title music kicks in” Menu to create new game ”new name” or load game menu. Track name: Death’s Coming.

 

Part 2: After load section between environments and later in the game you enter a new area. The door closes behind you. Welcome to the Mechanical Tower, filled with busy parts like cogwheels and flying enemies to annoy you. Track name: Infinite Time

 

Part 3: Using a warp room to reach top part of the castle. We have met many foes, but none like this. The unsettling area is cold and dark, with corpses laying around, some of which in a pool of blood struggling to get up. We pass through and enter the Throne Room. Beware of the master, who for the sake of it, pays a homeage to the inspirational games I mentioned. Track name: Forever Cursed

 

The music combined with sound effects of your character, surroundings, items, upgrades and enemies will spark more life into the project.

If this spark any ideas of yours that you would like to see in the game, join my Discord and share your ideas.

I can’t say I use them, but the more ideas I get, the better. I hope you enjoy and thank you for your interest of listening on the music.

If you are doing your own game or project, let me know, perhaps I can help you out too! Contact me.

Edit June 24th: All music is worked on up until release of the game. There are plenty of areas I want to cover, and each area needs a unique design, in both graphics and sound to set the mood.