Interview: Broken Rules on Chasing Aurora

We chat with the developers behind And Yet It Moves about their latest Wii U project.

By Katharine Byrne. Posted 11/09/2012 14:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

This may come as a disappointment to some, but those who dive into the brand new world of Chasing Aurora head first are promised a journey like no other, as the first phase of this brand new series will delve deep into the realms of childhood folk tales and the real world games of your youth.

“Children are masters of play,” says Bohatsch. “Their games are simple but deep. The traditional folk games have been passed from generation to generation and have been perfected over time. We based our modes on folk games that are focused on moving through a physical world– on experimenting and enjoying a skill you have just learned, for example running. And this is exactly what we want our players to do. In Chasing Aurora, players can enjoy the the ability of flight and experiment with it in a digital but still very physical world.”

So what folk games can we look forward to revisiting in the first game of Chasing Aurora? The first is Freeze Tag. Here, the GamePad player will play as an ice bird and will be tasked with trying to freeze all their companions. The other players will share the TV screen and must survive long enough to win the game, but luckily they’ll have the ability to unfreeze each other if one of them gets caught by the GamePad player.

The second game is based on hide and seek, where the GamePad player has to hide while everyone else uses the TV screen to try and find them, while the third is called Chase. “It’s the most frantic of them all,” says Bohatsch, “as everyone competes against everyone else. There’s a special gem that every player wants to carry, because the one who carries it, controls the camera. You have to pull of skilled moves to make your opponents fall off the screen to win.”

As for the single player mode, Bohatsch describes it as “a highly addictive race against the clock. Your task is to stay on track while dealing with obstacles such as falling rocks, lightning strikes and gusts of wind. Each time you pass a gate you increase the time and your score multiplier. The more perfect you fly a track, the higher your score.” Luckily, this mode can be played on just the GamePad, so you won’t need to use the TV if you want to work on perfecting your high score.

It’s clear that Chasing Aurora is a labour of love for Bohatsch and his team, but he also says that it wouldn’t be the game it is without the feedback they’ve had from their local fans in Austria. “We have conducted a lot of user tests, and every three weeks or so we invited 5-10 people to our office [to play the game]. Sadly, our online fans all over the world couldn’t be part of this, but we are in close contact with them through Twitter and Facebook. This time around the game didn’t allow for private betas– after all, no one without development hardware can play it– [but] this might be different for our next game.”

Of course, it may be a while before we hear any more news about the next instalment of Chasing Aurora— Broken Rules haven’t even announced the exact date when the first part will be swooping in on Wii U’s eShop yet– but Bohatsch has high hopes for Nintendo’s new console. “It’s a platform with lots of potential. Its focus on online and social is the right direction for the future, and the Wii U GamePad is a great mixture of innovation and classic gaming peripheral. I also think it will be a great platform for the indie scene. The hardware performance is at a level that small studios need and it’s easy to develop for. With all the varied input possibilities of the Wii U GamePad and all the other supported controllers, you can do almost any game you want. It will be Nintendo’s first true online platform and I’m really looking forward to that!”

So are we, Felix. So are we.

Thanks again to Felix and his team for taking the time to answer our questions! Are you excited about Chasing Aurora? Maybe you’ve even had a chance to play the demo at PAX Prime. Either way, let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And just in case you want to find out more about what Chasing Aurora is all about, have a look at these gameplay videos:

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