Greetings, Xbox Fans!
We’re excited to announce that Rivals of Aether is launching today on Xbox One and leaving the Xbox Game Preview program. Rivals of Aether is an indie fighting game where warring civilizations summon the power of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. After one year in the Xbox Game Preview program, it’s fully launching with a story mode, the co-op Abyss mode, achievements, leaderboards and more! Also, arriving today is the first guest character in Rivals of Aether – Ori and Sein from the massively successful Ori and the Blind Forest. We had our Community Manger George Rogers interview the lead developer Dan Fornace to get the juicy details. These are two of the most serious game developers you will ever meet.
George Rogers: Rivals of Aether is a new platform fighter often compared to big titles like Super Smash Brothers. Who are some people that you are often compared to?
Dan Fornace: Well since my name is Dan, I am often compared to other Dans – Dan Aykroyd, Dan Brown, Dan from Street Fighter. I guess I am not very successful since these Dans are all quite famous. But I am verified on Twitter since I made a game called Rivals of Aether, which we will hopefully be discussing in this interview.
GR: Of course, we will. In Rivals of Aether, the four classical elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth are struggling for power. We get a glimpse into the world of Aether in the awesome story mode which arrives with full release. In regards to elements, which is your favorite element on the periodic table and why?
DF: Hmm… that seems only tangentially related to Rivals of Aether, but I would have to say Titanium (Ti). The first reason I like it is that it’s easy to remember as the letters line up unlike the curveballs Gold (Au) and Mercury (Hg) are throwing. Secondly, Titanium is a great metal. It is used in all types of bone replacement surgeries as it is lightweight, durable and reliable.
GR: Close, the correct answer was Gallium. Moving on, Rivals of Aether has been in Xbox Game Preview for a whole year now and we’ve been collecting feedback from players to add features and adjust the game balance. How good is your balance and how easy are you to knock over?
DF: Umm… you are very correct that we collected a ton of player feedback while we were on Xbox Game Preview. Part of what makes Rivals of Aether a successful fighting game is that we are ingrained into our community. We even attend tournaments ourselves and provide commentary of the top level matches. We also interact with the top players online in order to…
GR: Sorry, excuse me. Please answer the question about balance so we can stay to the script. We don’t have all day.
DF: Of course, sir. I would say my balance is 4.4 out of 5 stars just like the review score Rivals of Aether had on Xbox Game Preview. I enjoyed skateboarding, snowboarding and other extreme sports but I am lacking when it comes to yoga style balance.
GR: Wonderful. Also arriving today on Xbox One, Rivals of Aether has a new guest character. It’s Ori and Sein from Ori and the Blind Forest! It’s really cool to see the characters have all of their abilities from the main game and how they were translated into Rivals of Aether. If you were a Rivals character, what would you look like and what would your main abilities be?
DF: Well at least this is almost related to our game. And yeah we are really excited about the addition of Ori and are thrilled that Xbox One players can pick up the character on day one of the full release. If I was a character in Rivals of Aether, I would probably be an otter. Because otters are awesome animals. Then I would definitely have goggles because goggles are sweet and make you cooler. Then my abilities would involve defeating my Community Manager for asking unrelated questions during the biggest Xbox One interview we will ever have.
GR: Hmm… oddly specific but that will do. Rivals of Aether offers a competitive online ladder where players can compete in ranked mode to stake their claim as the best Rivals player on Xbox One. Have you ever been good at something before? Have you ever been to the top of an Xbox Leaderboard?
DF: No, I have never been good at anything. But while I was working at Microsoft, I had a lot of the internal records on Trials: Evolution when the game was only available to developers and testers. It was probably my one chance to be at the top of a leaderboard. We actually have a leaderboard system in our story mode that allows players to compete against each other for the shortest times and earn medals similar to the medals you would see in a game like Trials. So even though I’m not the best at climbing up Xbox Leaderboards, our players can be.
GR: Wow. Developer-only builds definitely do not count. Thank you for answering these wonderful questions about Rivals of Aether. Do you have any closing remarks?
DF: Yes. There is so much to share! These questions weren’t even related to the game we have spent the last three years on. This was probably the worst…
GR: Well that’s all the time we have. Make sure you pick up Rivals of Aether and the Ori and Sein Guest Character today on Xbox One!