Beyond Aurora

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Beyond Aurora
Engine: Aleph One
Levels: 2 solo
A1-compatible? Yes
Developer: Atlantis Crew
Initial Release: June 10, 2004
Latest Release: June 10, 2004, v 0.1
Status: Incomplete
What's New:


Beyond Aurora is an unfinished total conversion scenario map pack created by the Atlantis Crew for the Aleph One game engine. Production began in 1998 using Bungie’s Marathon Infinity Macintosh computer game engine, but switched to the Aleph One engine when it became available in 2001. Beyond Aurora Chapter 1 was released in mid-2004 and included only two campaign levels plus a texture and sprite package called Dusk. It was expected to be the first in a series of eventual releases, but production was ultimately halted in 2006. Two short promotional films featuring computer-generated animation were released to the Internet on July 16th, 1999, and July 4th, 2004.

Contents

Story

The plot for Beyond Aurora changed many times over the course of its original production. The release of Chapter 1 in 2004 solidified the science-fiction storyline. Unrelated to the Marathon universe, Beyond Aurora was to tell the story of Dawn, a female spaceship pilot who became entangled in a war between two alien races in the extremely far distant future where almost all the stars in the universe have burnt out and resources are scarce. Dawn and her envoy were to preside over the peaceful relocation of the Hundak race to a planet within the same star system already occupied by another alien race, the Lo’neine. Initially welcoming and hospitable, the Lo’neine suddenly attack the envoy, mercilessly kill many of the crew, and hold Dawn herself captive. The action of the scenario begins here, as Dawn escapes from capture and begins her ultimate quest to secure peaceful cohabitation for both species at what could be seen as the end of all time.

Levels

This is the complete listing of both levels comprising Chapter 1, the only officially released playable levels. Level design, story, and texture creation were a collaborative effort between Adam Rose, Michael Elliot, and Ian Sweek.

Chapter 1 single-player solo campaign

Development

After the Atlantis Crew’s successful release of Dark Rose in late 1998, the remaining core members of the group began working on a fresh project which was to become Beyond Aurora. Initially titled, Beyond the Aurora: Marathon Atlantis 2, the project began as a sequel to Marathon: Atlantis and would tell the continuing stories of a future super-soldier aboard the starship Atlantis. In addition to making it a sequel, the decision was made to produce Atlantis 2 as a total conversion where all textures and sprites would be created from scratch. In 1999, a year into production, the idea of a sequel was scrapped and the title was eventually shortened to simply, Beyond Aurora. Also in 1999, a promotional trailer was released which teased the original plot line.

The plot and makeup of the production crew changed drastically over time and this negatively affected the progress of the project. Adam Rose, who had led the Atlantis Crew during the production of Marathon: Atlantis and Dark Rose, left the project entirely in 2000. Bryan Sauber and Blake Noble took over and oversaw the transition of the project from the Marathon Infinity engine to the newly-developed Aleph One engine. In 2003, production was halted entirely as the remaining members of the original Atlantis Crew disbanded.

Rose re-ignited the project in early 2004, bringing aboard a small group of his college colleagues. The new effort to release Beyond Aurora was made manageable by deciding to split the scenario into pieces; releasing a few levels at a time in chapters. This allowed the group to focus production time and resources on completing the new texture and sprite catalog instead of generating dozens of levels at once. The new texture package became its own named project known as Dusk. After only three months of production, Beyond Aurora Chapter 1 was released on June 10th, 2004. At that time, new promotional trailer was also released with the promise of further chapters to complete the story in the future.

Unfortunately, no further chapters were ever released. After the release of Chapter 1, the newer production team became separated by physical distance and fell out of regular contact, straining production once again. In 2006, production was officially ended and the Atlantis Crew faded away.

Legacy

For twelve years from the project’s inception in 1998 through 2010, the official website hosted the associated files and shared news updates. In 2010, the name, Beyond Aurora, was given to a short-lived graphic design start-up based in Portland, Oregon, USA, who intended to use it as their company's name. The Beyond Aurora design firm dissolved within a year and the name as well as the Internet domain reverted back to it’s original owner, Rose himself. In January of 2014, the original website was reinstated and once again serves files for all of the Atlantis Crew projects.

See also

External links

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