"The revenue share of the TBS games segment on Steam is growing moderately," Nikolai Bondarenko from Aurum Dust on the main thing for 2022

We talked about the results of the year with Nikolay Bondarenko, CEO of Aurum Dust studio. He shared the details of the development of The Way and talked about the most notable TBS during the reporting period.

What was the year for you personally, where are you now, were there any things that you finally managed to realize and are proud of?

Bitter because of the ongoing events in Ukraine and Russia. A year full of disappointment, horror and misunderstanding, when it is difficult to believe what is happening and how this horror could happen to my country. I have been living in Cyprus for a long time, but there are so many friends, buddies, colleagues, employees.

This year we managed to complete the development of The Way, a new game in the Ash of Gods universe, which will be released in the spring.

Ash of Gods: The Way
Despite everything, we managed to keep the AurumDust team.

For me, this is a reason for pride.

What was the year like for the company? What have you done, implemented, and what in general would I like to highlight in terms of achievements?

We listened a lot to what the community says about The Way. We’ve redone the entire balance five times and the UI several times to make it really interesting and convenient to play.

We learned how to do 2d animation a la rostoscope, but based on 3d, not frame-by-frame postprocessing. It was a big blocker for us, now we can make new content faster and cheaper.

How has the situation changed for the company in the gaming market? What new challenges from the point of view of development and management have she faced?

There is a huge turbulence in everything if the studio consists of guys from Russia and Ukraine. From emotions to techniques from the series “how to pay a salary now”.

In February, our almost signed contract with the publisher flew up the ass and we returned to the search for investments.

We were very lucky to start working with Game Seer this year — the guys helped a lot with their experience, advice, networking and just a human attitude.

What was the year like for the genres in which you work?

If you look at the share of revenue in Steam, it is growing moderately in the segment. If you look from the player’s side, there were surprisingly many interesting TBS games.

I really liked King Arthur: Knight’s Tale because of the interesting plot, scope and replayability.

King Arthur: Knight’s Tale

Temtem also came out, a very cool JRPG, and at the beginning of the year Tinyfolks really liked it.

TemtemSongs of Conquest I’m a little afraid — I sit down to play and… it’s already 12 at night.

Songs of Conquest
This is more of a citybuilder, but it is absolutely impossible not to mention Dorfromantik in 2022, a terribly sticky and cute game.

I try to watch a lot in this genre, sometimes it’s difficult to play: in my head there is a constant “so, this mechanics is good, we need to write it down”, “oh, here’s a good interface”.

Professional formation, apparently.

At the end of the year, the first, landmark, I think, Turn Based Fest took place — a bunch of wonderful TBS games were shown, which will be released in 2023.

What are the company’s plans for next year?

Exhale a little and sit down for Ash of Gods 2. We have been actively working on pre-production for the last few months — we are working on the plot, a new action movie, we have already made a bunch of graphic content. I hope that at the beginning of 2022 we will close the investment round and be able to show what we have been working on all the end of this year.

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