I'm going to be completily honest with you folks: I have no god damn idea how to go about talking about this, 'cause after poking around with the tutorial and seeing all the stuff this game's offering, my mind is BLOWN.
At first glance, Aurora looks like your bog-standard 4X title: you take leadership of your race or faction as they enter the age of space exploration and set out into the infinite void, exploring new systems, settling new planets, developing new technologies and meeting and collaborating/warring with other alien races.
Take that and turn it up to one-fucking-eleven.
Folks on the Bay 12 forums are referring to this as the Dwarf Fortress of 4X games, and for good reason: Aurora is deep and complex as all holy fuck.
Many elements that other 4X titles gloss over or simplify are dived into headfirst and explored as far as they can possibly be, and even so much as designing your first little dinkship confusing, let alone actually sending stuff out into space. Every single variable you can think of, it seems you can tweak: your race's environmental conditions, for example, isn't just a matter of "what substance they breath" but also includes atmospheric pressure ranges, gravity ranges and temperature ranges; weapons aren't just "lasers" but rather are "laser weapons utilizing a specific focal point size (12cm) with a specific wavelength (Near Ultraviolet) and a specific charging capacitor capable of firing out to a specific range (60,000 km) and tracking objects moving up to a specific speed (15,000 km/s)". Terraforming isn't just plonking down a bunch of terraforming units but actually balancing the injection of specific gasses into the atmosphere in order to achieve specific goals, such as melting a major ice shelf and thus causing a temperature spike. I can't even imagine
how diplomacy is going to work, but needless to say there's probably a billion different ways to wind up declaring war.
Seriously, this game is fucking DEEEEEEEEEP
. If Dwarf Fortress was enough to make you go cross-eyed, Aurora is going to make your eyes twirl like gyroscopes. And honestly, that's part of why this seems so awesome.
There's the Bay 12 forums post here
, and the game's wiki with all the download stuff is here
. Make sure you read the tutorial, you will NOT understand at all what the fuck is going on without it.
One last thing: You NEED to run this in at least 1280x960 due to the way windows are built, and there doesn't seem to be any options to scale to lower resolutions.