News Article

Chasing Aurora Began as a Prototype Based on Secrets of Raetikon, was Developed in Five Months

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"We rushed Chasing Aurora for release"

Chasing Aurora was a launch day release on the Wii U eShop, but failed to reach the heights of games such as Trine 2: Director's Cut and Nano Assault Neo. The studio's Martin Pichlmair told us after launch last year that it was having "a hard time marketing what Chasing Aurora truly is", and that a potential issue had been releasing a multiplayer focused title at a relatively high price.

Pichlmair also spoke about the development "crunch" that the studio had undergone, and that topic was revisited in a Broken Rules talk at GDC 2013, with the company's Felix Bohatsch stating that rather than serving as the beginnings of what would become PC title Secrets of Raetikon, Chasing Aurora was actually based on a multiplayer prototype as part of the new title's early development. It was then adopted when Nintendo approached the company about releasing a title on the Wii U eShop, and was produced in just five months; Bohatsch admitted that more time should have been taken, though improvements were eventually made in an update.

We rushed Chasing Aurora for release. It would have been a better game with one or two extra months of development.

The talk apparently explained that despite being a launch day release, and receiving plenty of coverage from the media, it struggled from day one; it was explained that in hindsight a later release — to fill the gap between major retail games — may have worked better. While regrets at the multiplayer focus have been shared previously, Bohatsch reportedly stated that the team regrets releasing exclusively on the Wii U eShop and using the GamePad to such a degree that porting to other platforms became impossible; various modes relied on asynchronous multiplayer and an alternative view on the controller.

In the rush of positivity at launch and notably in recent times with the Wii U eShop, there are nevertheless some casualties. Whether it was the release time, concept, low profile, price or mixture of all factors that held Chasing Aurora back, it's prompted Broken Rules to move onto other platforms, with no current plans to bring Secrets of Raetikon to the Wii U.

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (23)

edcomics

#2

edcomics said:

This one was always a big disappointment. It feels like an incomplete game, so this info makes sense.

erv

#4

erv said:

lol, I bought it and thought the game was utter poo, a gameplay conceptual test at most.

Single player was hilariously bad: you fly around. In circles. Through lines. Bleep. Bleep. This game deserves a 2 star rating, one of the biggest disagreements I've ever had with nintendolife review scores hahaha!

mike_intv

#5

mike_intv said:

This game seemed to have a lot of potential, but the price/gameplay balance was not there, especially for single player.

RedYoshi999

#6

RedYoshi999 said:

Well, when you release an unfinished product out into the world, what do you expect will happen? I bought it in the release period when nothing was there, and was very disappointed. Now that release window is over, who else is going to blindly buy an unfinished game? They only have themselves to blame. It's not like many Wii U developers haven't had a problem with delaying games for months.

FiveDigitLP

#7

FiveDigitLP said:

It really is a shame they're having to move on. I liked the concept and artstyle, but I don't play a lot of multiplayer games and the single player mode really felt lacking. Even when I did play multiplayer, it just didn't feel like there was enough content to continue playing for long periods of time. I liked the asynchronous multiplayer ideas, I just felt there wasn't enough to make it really worthwhile.

FineLerv

#8

FineLerv said:

Still a cool little game for drunken Wii U parties! Also, it's a unique experience so it has my approval. ^_^

Einherjar

#10

Einherjar said:

They mentioned earlier this year, that thyr were disappointed that chasing aurora didnt sell so well after its release.
Guess what guys, i got the answer why it didnt:
"We rushed Chasing Aurora for release"

Tony_342

#11

Tony_342 said:

Wait, they have "no current plans to bring Secrets of Raetikon to the Wii U"? And the reason for that is because Chasing Aurora sold poorly? I have to say, that makes me a little angry. I mean, did they really expect their rushed, uninteresting, multiplayer-only, incredibly shallow, overpriced game to be a hit? And now they're making the game that Chasing Aurora should have been... and it's not coming out on Wii U. That's just great. I was actually looking forward to this game.

I can totally understand not making Secrets of Raetikon a Wii U exclusive, but it seems like kind of a jerk move to not release it on the system at all. I really hope they change their minds about this. If you took the gameplay from Chasing Aurora and actually built an interesting exploration / puzzler type game around it (which it looks like that's exactly what Secrets of Raetikon is) it could be quite good.

DerpSandwich

#13

DerpSandwich said:

So they spend a few months developing a game and then spend close to a year complaining about how it didn't sell well even though they admit to not giving it the time and content it needed? Remind me why they couldn't have spent this time making DLC or a sequel with a real single-player experience? These guys are weird.

Sceptic

#14

Sceptic said:

Why didn't they fix it, even a little, afterwards? It's one thing to rush production, but to let it lay there and rot in that state is just disrespectful of your actual and your potential customers.

I wrote the devs some simple suggestions at the time and never heard back. The physics are nicely done, so are the animations, and the artwork, but the best part is the welcome screen, where you can just fly around and do crazy tricks. Then you start a game it's all cramped tunnels and stuff.

3Daniel

#15

3Daniel said:

even a single player focus on puzzle solving couldn't have saved it. the game is incredibly shallow and its mechanics are one note at best and that price was horrendous. Even when it reached 7.99 it was still way overpriced. I never understood the favourable media attention it got and yes playing with 5 people ups the enjoyment but only in the same way as having 5 people play with a dog turd vs playing with said turd yourself. if this is the level of quality this studio can produce and release then i simply have no faith in anything else they can do.

ClassicJetterz

#16

ClassicJetterz said:

Pardon me for being like this, but they sound like a bunch of crying, snot-nosed children.

They released a half-assed game, pumping out hype and great expectations when in the end their game fell flat on its face. And now, because they're butthurt that educated Wii U owners avoided their game, they're not going to support the platform?

Here's a news flash, Broken Rules:
If all the other indie games were successful and yours was not, and you got input from both reviewers AND players on MiiVerse (I was one of them, you responded)...don't you think instead of punishing players you should punish yourselves? It's not our fault your game was less than mediocre and we wanted to spend our money on something else.

Indie developers go two ways.
You get the great kinds like Shinen, then you have those like Phil Fish...or in this case, Broken Rules.

SKTTR

#17

SKTTR said:

No Rætikon for Wii U? That's surprising and sad.
I actually like Broken Rules. And Yet It Moves is my favourite 2D platformer on WiiWare (and I own all of them!!), and Chasing Aurora is a fantastic multiplayer party game.
So sad to see them go...

Rect_Pola

#18

Rect_Pola said:

How did they fail to clearly squeak out "this is a multiplayer game"? Whatever, you're not there? Well I'm not missing you.

ToxieDogg

#19

ToxieDogg said:

Do Broken Rules never read any player feedback?

It's obvious to everyone else why the game failed to sell except for them. All I see is excuses, excuses, excuses.

They could've released Chasing Aurora on every platform known to man and it still wouldn't have been a hit on any of them.

Sir420

#20

Sir420 said:

I love Chasing Aurora. It has excellent multiplayer. Have played it with just my wife and I, our kids, and our friends. And Yet IT Moves is also excellent. I'm disappointed I'll have to buy SoR on Steam, but it will be a day one purchase.

SetupDisk

#21

SetupDisk said:

With all the good indie games coming out on Wii U, I don't think I will miss a company that pulls that stunt and wonders why the profit wasn't there.

CrabGats

#22

CrabGats said:

I don't like that they release half a game, and then call off on releasing what it should've been on Wii U because of how bad their overpriced software sold. I understand that they were rushed, and it was a bad experience altogether, but I almost feel ripped off. They mentioned they were creating a singleplayer experience to follow up on Chasing Aurora in Miiverse, and I've been excited since they announced it. To hear that they have no plans to release it on Wii U now is frankly, stupid.

StarDust4Ever

#23

StarDust4Ever said:

I downloaded the eshop demo and quickly decided it wasn't for me. It almost seemed like they were asking us to pay full price for something with about as much polish and gameplay depth as a minigame from Mario Party or Warioware.

Pichlmair, I'm sorry you decided to pull out of Wii-U. If you should ever reconsider and create a great game with redeeming qualities for sale in the eShop, I will buy it.

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