| Derek Bradley (CEO)|
| Tom O'Brien|
| Andrew Pahuru, Steve Johnson|
Leighton Milne (art lead).
Foreign Fields (background music).
Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Cuphead, Beyond Eyes, Tacoma, Sea of Thieves, Below
Ashen is an open world survival, combat and exploration based videogame set in a fantasy environment in development for the Xbox One console.
Ashen (upcoming video game) Wikipedia
Initial publicity material for the game was released mid 2014. Ashen was revealed as an Xbox console exclusive at an Xbox media event at E3 2015; the game was developed by Aurora 44 under the ID@Xbox independent developer program. — Initially released (2014) design elements of the game included survivalist elements (such as thirst), and elemental effects, such as wind as a help or hindrance. The worlds geography and ecosystems were intended to be realistically modelled, to play into intelligent play styles within survival mechanisms; additionally natural geography was intended to be based on an underlying geology. One in world game element is a 'enemy' known as the "Gnaw", which has the ability to erode the environment "like a searing acid". Much of the background, setting, and feel of the world was influenced by Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road. Combat was described as similar to the Souls series, being high risk, with stamina being a major factor in combat.
Multiplayer elements were described as 'passive', meaning that playing with a partner(s) is not mandated, and entirely optional, though certain situations require cooperative play; AI (computer controlled) allies were also to be implemented. The 'passive' multiplayer element included the conversion of a human player companion into an AI controlled non-player character (NPC)s if they could be escorted to the home town of the main adventurer; however such AI controlled NPCs were not guaranteed to be entirely benign. Art style influences were cited as initially including Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Legend of Zelda series. Developers also stated they had been influenced by the emergent multiplayer storytelling found in the videogame DayZ.
The game is set in a sunless world, and tells the story of a character seeking a home. Gameplay is described as including open world exploration, co-operation or completion with other players, and combat with in world monsters. The game is presented in a third person view, with a muted cell shaded graphics presentation.
The game has been described as containing gameplay elements of classic role playing games such as Kings Quest, as well as games such as DayZ. Both combat and exploration in an open world were key design elements of the game. Multiplayer elements include interactions with other players, which are incorporated into the game as providing traditional RPG elements such as crafting. Comabat includes ranged and melee weapons.
Character growth is primarily dominated by equipment, rather than player 'stats'; "Talismans", either found or crafted, are used to upgrade character abilities or provide other in game perks.