Chandler entrepreneur launches fantasy game The Chandler Arizonan

Chandler entrepreneur launches fantasy game

Chandler entrepreneur launches fantasy game
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By Kevin Reagan
Arizonan Staff Writer

Kyle Aulerich’s new mobile-based fantasy game, Mythion Adventures, challenges players to journey through a Narnia-like dreamscape by making a series of fateful decisions at nearly every turn.

Should the player go down one tunnel over another? Should they pick up a mysterious amulet? Do they investigate the strange voices they hear in the dark forest?

All these choices are in the hands of the player and each result in an outcome that will radically change the course of their journey.

“Sometimes the decision seems logical but you run into unexpected surprises sometimes,” Aulerich said.

One of those unexpected surprises, the Chandler resident said, may involve the character’s sudden death — pushing the player back to the game’s beginning and forcing them to start again.

Aulerich said each of the game’s 15 adventures are almost like a puzzle in which a player will only reach their final destination by making the correct chain of choices.

The game requires a bit of trial and error, he added, to figure out where mistakes are being made and going back to fix them.

“You kind of have to make the right sequence of decisions,” he said.

Mythion Adventures, which launched last month, has been Aulerich’s passion project for the last couple years and was born out of his desire to create a game that resembled the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books he devoured as a child.

He had spent years working as a software developer, but had never tried to enter the gaming industry until last year.

While driving to work one day, Aulerich said he pondered the idea of playing an interactive, mobile-based game that emphasized story over strategy.

Characters would be fully developed and their fates would be at the hands of the game’s players.

It was a concept that felt familiar to Aulerich, yet innovative enough to possibly offer something new to gamers.

“I don’t think I had ever heard of that before,” he said.

He assembled a team of writers and illustrators and got to work creating a fantasy world where characters could explore its intricacies through a series of adventures.

Aulerich’s self-funded venture resulted in the creation of Aulain, an imaginary land full of uncanny creatures and malevolent forces.

The world is akin to those in “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings,” Aulerich added, and adopts elements of the fantasy literature his team of creators enjoyed as children.

“We’re trying to build something that we would enjoy playing ourselves,” he said.

Mythion’s first 15 adventures comprise only the first installment of what Aulerich plans to roll out over the next couple years.

Those adventures take place in one  fragment of Aulain, he said, so there will be much more for players to explore in the near future.

Adventures can be played solo or in teams of three. Players can partner with two friends and the trio take turns making decisions as they navigate Aulain’s terrain.

The goal of Mythion Adventures is to continue creating engaging content and not have players get stuck on an endless loop by repeating the same adventures over and over, Aulerich added.

“We want to confirm to our players that we’re invested in this for the long haul,” he said.

Mythion also comes with plenty of literature that detailed backstories on Aulain’s inhabitants. Players have the option to read short stories about the world’s characters while completing their adventure.

Aulerich said he wanted to prioritize Aulain’s folklore as the game’s driving force rather than have players obsess over competing against each other to win some arbitrary prize.

“It’s not about racking up points,” he said, “We’re not trying to push that dopamine button in people’s brains.”

The game’s stories are meant to be enjoyed like any other piece of literature, he added, and will hopefully spur a love of reading among the game’s younger demographics.

Aulerich said his 12-year-old son has already become completely enveloped by Aulain’s lore. The stories have unexpectedly turned out to be the perfect distraction during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added, by providing a fantasy escape for his son.

Aulerich hopes Mythion Adventures could potentially be an escape for other gamers who are feeling isolated by the pandemic’s lingering impacts.

The community is longing for a sense of belonging during this troubling time, he said, and this game offers them a chance to traverse a world that’s far removed from the pandemic’s darkness.

If COVID-19 continues to drag on for the foreseeable future, then Mythion’s creative team has already generated enough content to further expand Aulain’s boundaries and keep players engaged for the coming months.

“It is like we’re writing one big novel for the next couple years,” Aulerich said.

Mythion’s monthly subscription costs $7 and a book of Aulain’s short stories is available on Kindle and Amazon.

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