Miner Wars 2081 is a 6DOF action-survival space-shooter simulation-game set in the year 2081, 10 years after the destruction of all planetary objects in the Solar System. The gameplay is driven by an epic story and offers a choice of single player, co-op, and death-match multi-player. The story will introduce you to many types of missions: rescue, exploration, revenge, base defense, theft, transportation, stealth, search and destroy, pure harvesting, racing, or just flying around and destroying everything you see. Miner Wars runs on the VRAGE engine, built and tailored specifically for the title.
We would like to let the Moddb know about the following. People are very busy and active with creating and showing of their 3D models like mining vessels and mother ships over at our forums. The reason why these people are so busy with this is because if the model get’s approved by our lead artist. Then there might be a big chance that the 3D model will be featured in the game. Recently our Lead Artist has released a Design Document/Guidelines to help you to create models better fitted for Miner Wars. To reward the contributors, we’re giving away ‘medals’ for those wo have joined the community on the Miner Wars forum. There are 3 levels for 3D Modeling for people to achieve.
· Level 1 Medal: Gives you the ability to give your mining vessel a unique self made paintjob.
· Level 2 Medal: Free copy of Miner Wars
· Level 3 Medal: Access to unreleased content
Now what do you’ve got to do in order to achieve these medals?
· Level 1 - 1 model of basic fighter, weapon or any other low-poly object
· Level 2 - 3 models of basic fighter, weapon or any other low-poly object or one bigger mother ship model
· Level 3 - Any work more than that will grant you a Level 3 medal. In that case we will probably invite you into our team and it will be up to you to accept!The Design
Document/Guidelines can be found here:
Note: The Design Document will be updated over time with new information.
Thanks guys for listening and we hope to see you soon over at our forums showing off your masterpieces you’ve created!
this development diary is the 3rd in the series. In the first we spoke a bit about factions and the second was dedicated to our take on the Space Shooter genre. The team is hugely dedicated to the task ahead and I would like to talk a bit about management of an international team and Virtual Development Offices.
We have adopted this style of team management because it does not limit us to only local talent. Also it allows us for a seamless development cycle. We have team members all over the world. Many of the team members are from USA spread from the west coast to east coast. Some team members are from EU countries and some are from Asia.
There is a few factors that come into play when managing a virtual international team. First and foremost the biggest challenge is overcoming the communication barrier. This is why we decided that only people with an excellent command of english will be able to work with us. The other factor is the cultural differences. Well basically we overcame this one fairly well since this is a really dedicated bunch and everybody understands this idea.
So how do we manage the team? Well we use all the latest communication devices possible. We have an internal forum to speak about basic development issues and we also have skype for chatting where we permanently leave one channel open for general chat, art chat, community management and programming. We also have to meet somewhere too right? Well for that we use Team Speak. We have our own Team Speak server setup where we conduct all the voice meetings that the team has. It really helps because people can get to know each other, we throw some jokes around and can get really quickly around a problem that were solving.
We use some open source tools for tasking. Best one we found was Mantis. The other thing we adopted to task management is task feedback. When you get a task from your superior you have to explain how you understand the task. This helps us much and improves the understanding of the task ahead. It also saves a lot of time that would otherwise might get wasted on redoing your work. Mantis is also good because we can discuss all the issues on any given ticket. This basically breaks the time difference barrier.
Is all of this any good? Well we like to think that its actually our biggest added value :). The flow of ideas is very steady and even though we dont meet face to face we already learned how to get around the feelings of all the team members when they speak or write text. I have never seen many of the team members face to face. I also think that I will actually never see some of them. This does not prevent me however from getting to like them and understand what they are trying to say.
The actual idea of our internal forum for development is very good. This way we can post our work on the forums and let other people comment on it. We allow total freedom in that and everybody is entitled to comment others work. Usually we mostly support each other and the atmosphere is fantastic. I actually think that most of the team members are really looking forward to posting their work on the forums so that all the team members can see it. There is really some huge support from everyone on that part.
The biggest joy usually comes when one of our artists posts their concept work. You can then watch the development of the current model as each member posts work in progress pictures and you see your work slowly coming alive. The other very interesting part is when we get new sounds, music or functionality. The sheer joy of seeing a programmer post his work in progress video on Artificial intelligence is really something that has to be experienced. Most of us actually get a real kick out of seeing the parts of the Game Design Document coming alive :)
All in all its a really challenging job but we all love it. The pluses of such a work environment really outweight the minuses and were all having the time of our lives here.
We are still on a good way to release something playable before the summer break. Our team grew to about 35 people strong. We have currently implemented some new AI elements to the game. We have finished the sector travel. We just recently began to import many of the graphical assets to the game. Our graphics got so much better in comparison to previous versions and we have implemented most of the music and sounds for the pre-alpha version.
Currently we are working on some voice acting for the game and writing the script for ingame character chat. That is really fun :). Our characters are just becoming alive and let me tell you that they are really interesting. I love the way our script people are working with the characters and breathing life into them.
As promised here is a snippet from one of our documents on faction design:
The Miner's Union and the Beginning of the ISF
The Miner's Union is what many researchers today consider the original faction (as we know them today), because of its deeper roots than other factions, though it was not considered a faction until their separation from the UNPE mandate that formed them well after the wars. They have a somewhat more complex history than other factions. (Along the way, the very beginnings of the ISF are covered here.)
Some time ago, the extent of the damage and the toll of war on materials needed to make war, prompted many of the territories who could afford it, to begin a proactive search for additional resources. The wars were so devastating it was theorized that whoever had the most resources would be the ones left standing, or perhaps with the most resources they would be enabled to end the war quickly.
With larger governments all adopting this strategy, smaller, and less economically endowed countries began making peace with each other, spawning all sorts of deals with survival in mind, though at their roughest times they were forced to strip their own buildings for materials to build mining equipment, in order to stay competitive.
At first every side simply mined deeper and deeper into Earth, but there were very few places on Earth any side could search for materials undisturbed, with most of the inhabitable areas of the planet being fought over so fiercely, and only a certain amount of materials could be gathered from one's own region alone, and in an efficient manner.
The two most powerful sides were having difficulties as well, wishing to end the war swiftly and unequivocally in their favor. So they invented an even better way to come out on top. With more and more advanced weaponry being developed one could win the war simply by controlling space.
Thank you guys for reading this wall of text and please stay tuned.
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Keen Software House ltd.
the time has come for the second developers diary. This time I would like to talk about space games in general and a bit about where we aim with our game.
When we started to think about making a game in space we immediately thought "hey lets think out of the box". Why arent other space games so succesful? What happened to the market of these games? And why has this become a niche market?
Well we dont have all the answers for that but we came to the conclusion that there are certain factors in play here. Some are really evil.
Firstly we thought that the accesibility is a problem in most space games to date. That is why we thought "lets give this game a good control scheme and an easy one that can fit on a Xbox 360 controller". Then we started thinking how to approach the problem. The only solution to it was applying a control scheme that was present in some of the most popular FPS games to date. We have done that without compromises. The ship starts and stops only when you apply pressure to the throttle and stops automatically. Some people might think that this is totally contradicting any current space simulation controls. Well it is and its mainly because our game is not trying to be a space simulation game. Its trying to be an accesible FPS shooter in space where skill counts as no.1.
This design philosophy comes mostly because when we started comparing other titles on the market, we found that most of the space simulation titles lacked in the area of player skill.
Back in the days when the only possibility to play a space simulation game was a joystick, it required skill as the no.1 factor. However as the games developed and so did the HW and game design, players started to play FPS games and did not want to have a joystick installed. Basically the generation that bought joysticks and cared for them as if they were their little babies slowly died out and so did planes in space type of games.
Some games in the past have tried to revive this genre by introducing mouse controls that were both aiming and turning the ship. This lead basically to a phase where the game got real easy real fast. Also in my honest oppinion it did not really help the gameplay. In contrary, by taking away the player skill it actually killed the games.
Others have tried a completely different approach like automatic aiming. Well again to be honest it did not help much as it introduced zero skill to the table.
So why are FPS games so popular these days and why are space games slowly dying out? Well people still want a challenge no matter what anyone says. This skill comes from aiming your mouse or controller in the right direction and shooting. The succesful kill then becomes a joy for the player. We are doing exactly that with Miner Wars. You aim ,you shoot, you move and you dodge other players shooting.
Other areas where the current genre was lacking was environmental interaction. You could basically travel around space and the only thing you could do was either shoot your enemy, get some loot and then go to your base and equip your ship. Some games let you travel around a static environment and take some missions.
We took a whole different approach to that problematic. We are introducing total environment destruction and physics interaction for the first time in any space game to date. You can shoot the asteroids, carve holes in them, make tunnels, hide in tunnels, search for ore and different artifacts and maybe find some hidden bases within these asteroids. We know that its cool for the player to search and explore and that is what this game is all about. All these actions are persistent and you might find other tunnels made by other players and wonder what the heck they were trying to achieve, it might be that its their hideout? Who knows.
Another area that we tried to redesign was the sense that the player needs to feel the environment around him. Not just travelling through the vast emptiness of space. I mean who finds that fun? This is why we are designing all kinds of interior bases for the player to explore. Think dungeons in space and you will know what I mean. What is cool about RPGs? Well for many of the players the coolest part is exploring dangerous dungeons and getting some loot from these places. The feeling of the secluded area and the joy of being able to breathe again when exiting into open space without feeling the ever present danger and the feeling of acomplishment.
You see this is something that no matter what everybody wants from a game. Your skill, exploration and interaction. All this counts together as pure fun. We think we have that game and we know that you will love it. It is a very complex challenge and everybody on the team knows that. Redesigning a genre was never easy but we think we have got what it takes.
Next week we will look again into factions and I will talk more about how the development is progressing. It is actually progressing fairly well :). Thank you for asking.
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Keen Software House ltd.
Physics and Solar Wind Video added to video's Saturday May 22, 2010
This video demonstrates some of the Physics and shows the Solar Wind. Notice how the solar wind drags all the objects in its path and takes them far away. Some users have been asking for combat videos. Dont be afraid guys. These videos are well on their way. We just dont like showing unpolished things.
Thanks for your support in all of this, we'll continue to add new video's, info, news, blogs and images everyday.
Pre-release miner Wars intro video added to the list of video's.
This is the first Video of Miner Wars I saw and it really captured my attention.
Miner Wars game Intro (pre- release)
Introduction to the world in 2061: Earth resources are scarce. The actual world production requirements could suffice for a maximum of 10 years. On the contrary, resources located in the asteroid's belts could suffice for millions of years.
Immediately after the introduction, the action scene begins. You see two brothers, Marco Polo and Mario Polo, being attacked by crazy Space-Peace activists/militants during their mining research.
Miner Wars Website: Minerwars.com
New/old Miner Wars Media and News Coming
We'll be posting posting new and old media to update this site.
We are working on getting the other Miner Wars video compressed so that we can get them to download. (The files are currently to large)
We'll also be adding archived news and new news about Miner wars as it becomes available to the public on a daily basis.
Til then please be visit the Miner Wars website at Minerwars.com
Tensions are high, something must be done, the time has come! Reach to the skies, explore the wonders of the solar system and harvest its resources to bring life to your dying world.The single-player campaign will be played through the eyes of a freelance pilot. He decided to try his luck in this harsh place. This is the new wild-west. Early space-mining and exploration lead many low-life criminals into the vast reaches of space. Your job is to survive this menace, make some money and earn a good living. You could become a bounty hunter, assasin, pirate, privateer hired by some country, policeman, miner, explorer or a military officer. The freedom of choice is there and its up to you to decide which path you shall take.
The player controls a medium-size mining ship aimed for movement in narrow tunnels and open space. The mining ships differ in weight, loading capacity, engine power, armor power and equipment.
Game is played in an open world area. The player can travel from one sector to another in just his mining ship or he can use one of the large cargo transporters. The mining ship can move in outer space and underground tunnels. The area has no borders.
Thanks to a unique 'destructible environment', every time the player plays the game new situations arise.
Operating the mining ship is very intuitive and the player can start instantly. The player's spatial orientation is supported by a real-time navigation system with integrated radar.
The game will not utilize any sort of DRM protection, nor activation code. To play the game you only need to download and install the package and enter your login/password. As the game interacts with our servers during the game play, we periodically check for suspicious users. The game isn't locked to your computer, so you can play it from home or work :)
Miner Wars is being developed by the independent software company Keen Software House Ltd. We are passionate gamers, who love developing games and we want to make games that people like to play.
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