Monday, October 31, 2011

KILLER feature of Miner Wars 2081

What feature is going to be the KILLER feature of Miner Wars?

This post is intended to open a discussion. My mission is to find the single thing that will make Miner Wars remembered for centuries.

Our team already has some ideas, but what we need is the voice of the people.

When I started Miner Wars project I knew I need some special feature, something that other games don’t have. At that time I didn’t care about genre or type (strategy vs. FPS shooter, car driving vs. space shooter...). The only important question for me was “what's the most original game feature?”.

Then I got this idea with destructible environment, mainly inspired by old DOS game Tunneler I felt that destructible environment is a cool and original thing, people will want to try it – and there was no other game that could offer that in those times.

Putting the game into asteroids field, adding open space world, in-game editor, epic story, etc. were just extensions to the original concept - destructible environment.

Now we got into a point where technology of Miner Wars / VRAGE is almost done and we can focus on the game play itself. So here's the question:
  • What is the KILLER feature of Miner Wars?
  • What will be the KILLER feature of Miner Wars?
  • What should be the KILLER feature of Miner Wars?

To help you out, here’s a list of what I consider key features of Miner Wars:
  1. Harvesting (mining)
  2. In-game builder with prefab modules – you can harvest ore and build your own space station, in an open space or underground. Think about it as something similar to MineCraft, although I have never played it, so I can only assume.
  3. Huge open world - free traveling in our solar system – from Sun to Earth to Mars and further – with landing too, although since all planets in Miner Wars world are destroyed, you will actually land on scattered ruins of the Earth.
  4. Intuitive controls and fighting (FPS + third-person)
  5. Realistic physics (Newtonian + inhibited)
  6. Advanced rendering engine
  7. Destructible environment – voxels, asteroids, prefab modules
  8. Cooperative multiplayer mode and later MMO
  9. Over 20 playable small ships
  10. Trading and economy, living world

By KILLER feature I mean: one single thing that people will talk about, philosophers will convey never-ending discussions, minstrels will sing sonatas and players will die for.

Is there any brave soul who can give me an answer or an opinion?


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Release Of Miner Wars & New Logo

Hi guys!

We have just released a new Miner Wars Test Build (and granted Test access to all our customers), so feel free to try the new version and post your suggestions, ideas etc. More information as to the current release as well as comming soon features is available in the official PR in our forum:

New October Miner Wars 2081 Release:

New Logo:

Comments? Do you like it?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Miner Wars - Advanced rendering - Voxels, SSAO, HDR, shadows, image space LOD

Lately you have been crying and demanding a new footage. Since we like spoiled kids, here is a small demonstration of our latest advancements in VRAGE rendering.

All these phrases such as SSAO and HDR are almost a standard feature in current AAA video games - but I wanted to show them, because our lead rendering programmer Petr Minarik took a special care to make them extremely beautiful!

I am a modest person so I will just say: Miner Wars is now the best looking space simulation ever :-)

Other than that: the next big milestone is to finish playable sandbox single-player story mode. Once it's done, the game will finally start to live. Sectors will get filled with asteroids, debris, space stations, rats, mosquito and pedestrians. We are not far from that, maybe 2-3 weeks.

Yeah, regarding my "personal life" - I was finally able to spend a full weekend programming. Not just doing design and architecture, but actual programming. That's very refreshing. My mirth has disappeared at Monday morning - once there are people in the office, I am interrupted at least every 5 minutes. I don't know if people want to talk with me because of my friendly personality, or they just enjoy bothering me, or mix of these two... what do you think?

New Miner Wars logo is in the production (by our genius artist Filip Novy) - you can see the first sketch in the video above.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Angry German Kid finds Miner Wars

This is one older video made by Ansel. It reminds me of... myself! :-)

What has happened in last two-three weeks:

  • We had guests from Czech Television (CT1), they made some short interviews with us for the show/documentary about computer games in the middle of October.
  • Work on Miner Wars technology is finally nearing its end, so soon we will be able to focus entirely on gameplay mechanics.
  • We are writing Miner Wars Encyclopedia, with list and descriptions of factions, solar system map, history till 2081, weapons, technology, life in Miner Wars...
  • We hired some new guys and let go some other - it's actually very cool here in Prague: more developers want to work with us than we can actually hire. We can really keep up to my dream and have only the best staff we choose!
  • Our in-game editor got many fixes and new features too: player can place large ship weapons that will start shooting at enemies, new light and particle prefabs, many new prefabs/models etc.
  • We made 5 new small ships and one more is still in production and it will be a spherically shaped ship. I am curious how will that turn out.
  • I know you don't want to hear this, but we have implemented HDR and environment mapping, although they need some tweaking. Also shading algorithm got some precision increase.
  • Bots do auto-leveling according to player's horizontal orientation.

What's next:
  • This week we are going to fix persistence of the game world, therefore we will finally be able to populate our story mode with asteroids, stations and enemies - and give it some real life!
  • Implement multi-material voxels, so harvesting will make sense (again!)
  • Finish kinematic prefabs - doors, fans, rotating generators...
  • Implement toolbar into in-game editor, making it more user friendly
  • Implement our own particle editor, which will give more power to artists and take the burden out of programmers.