Please feel free to visit theMiner Wars Youtube Channel!
Friday, June 04, 2010 3:39 PM
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 CEO Keen Software House ltd.
Thursday, May 27, 2010 2:18 PM Hello All,
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 CEO Keen Software House ltd.
Monday, May 17, 2010 1:42 PM
I just thought it would be cool to share some of the fun and constraints we are having in development of the game and report a bit on how the game is progressing so far.
The team Currently consists of 30 people. There are people from all around the world. Mostly EU and United States. We have around 10 technical people, programmers, admins and QA. The rest is Art - concept art, 2D assets, 3D assets and marketing personnel. We use a lot of viral marketing tools for our job since we do not have the funding to start a full blown campaign. Miner Wars uses a virtual office environment. We all chat on skype and our meetings in voice are held in Team Speak. Rest of the management is done through the use of our internal forums. It is surely a daunting task to manage so many people since until recently we were only 5 :). We are fast learners though so we have already started to cope with it.
Current game development progress
We are heading for the demo release and pre-orders of the game quite soon. Revelation might shed some light on all of that :). All in all you guys can expect something before the summer break, which I think is good news for all of you.
We have just recently added the possibility to travel through sectors. Each sector in the game now has a different representation. We have taken decisions on the storyline and its almost ready with just a few adjustments necessary.
Levels inside asteroids and structures
We are bringing you a truly innovative feature with this. Our technology allows for some truly great indoors environments. In addition to the vast area of space you will be able to travel inside asteroids and bases and fight inside them. Think of them as dungeons in space. We believe that we are the first ones to bring such an option to the player. You will be able to seamlessly fly inside an asteroid base, fight inside and gain loot. These places will be for example big factories, hideouts, bases, forgotten temples etc. You will also be able to battle your opponents inside these super-structures.
The list of factions that will be playable in the game is complete! The two main military factions will be UFSME - United Federation of Space Mining and Exploration and main opposing faction will be IFS - The Independent Space Front. More on factions in the next developers diary. Each week until the demo release we will be unveiling some light on each of the factions. We will also give you a brief look at how the design of each of the faction ships will look. Good news also is that explosions are nearly complete both of big motherships and small ships and let me tell you guys that they really look cool :).
Sounds and music
We have succesfully implemented new sounds to the game and we already have around 10 music scores from our wizard Dan Wentz. Other team member are also helping him with music. You will love the music we have in the game. Its has a very dark mood and is mostly a fusion of classical music with modern trends. Its just lovable :)
We have thought long how to make inter-sector transportation both fun and realistic for you guys. We have to say we finally nailed this one down. Here is a snippet from our Game Developement Document:
Big ships with compartment for small ships. The player ship docks with these mammoths and cannot shoot or do anything at the time of transport. You can listen to the faction radio and browse the network for messages and announcments. The compartment doors are closed and you are transported. These transport physically travel in the sector. They are very fast. It takes them less than 1 minutes to pass one sector. Every team one transport leaves another one enters the sector. They travel in metro intervals - very often.
Aditionally we have to say that we have attracted more interest from the publishers out there. I am glad that our game is getting recognition and its mostly because of you guys who are helping the game become what you want it to be.
That is all for this week. Please stay tuned and we hope to bring you soon some more news on our developers diary no. 2. The next one will focus on weapons and ships themselves. We will also give you the basic descrtiption and background on the faction called UFSME.
We are in preparations to make a new website it will be cooler and badder than the one we are using now. The current website is legacy but somehow we never found enough time to really sit down and prepare a new version. We are still looking for a web-designer who thinks he could handle such a task :) We have some people in the pipe but we are not 100 percent sure yet.
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Monday, May 10, 2010 8:41 PM Hello guys!
I promised I would drop by with some news on how the development is going. Well first off I would like to comment why we did not get back to you for some time. We are hard at work here. Countdown on "Revelation" is keeping us really busy and we would like to bring it in the best quality possible. It will be a big step forward fo this game and we are really workin hard in bringing it to you guys. We are also currently organising the whole team. It has grown to the number of 30 people. Yes our dear fans. We are THAT big now and its crazy to keep up with what each person in the team is doing and also managing the efforts of each member. Most of the people have been hired from our coummunity btw. so you can always apply. We have taken on board modellers, artists, programmers basically all kinds of people. These pasts weeks have also been crazy due to the visit spike that we had on the forums. Drakon who was the user who brought all the people to the website has been appointed as the new marketing manager btw :). See how easy it is? :). I am preparing a bulletin for you guys next week to introduce you to our new team members. All in all the development is going extremely well. The new sounds and the music in the game are just kick ass. We have a number of new models, much improved graphics and better game performance. Marek is now working on a new interstellar travel framework. You guys will really love the idea of our intersector travel. Its very original for a space game. Another thing that we are pushing for is having levels within asteroids. Those levels will be something resembling a dungeon that you encounter in an RPG. These dungeons will be populated with robots and NPCs and some PVP matches will be held in them. Descent anyone? :) On another note I would like to inform you that to this day around 150 - 200 000 people have already heard about Miner Wars. Isnt that fantastic? We never imagined that would ever be possible. Our dream is coming true!
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka CEO Keen Software House ltd.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 1:37 PM Dear Community!
Keen Software House ltd. releases a new benchmarking demo for their game called Miner Wars. The demo is a non-interactive version of the game and features 4 different ingame animation sequences. This demo is mainly released to show a bit of the technology that we are using for the game and also to stress test the HW of the players interested in acquiring Miner Wars. The demo comes with an auto-updating utility and will be further upgraded to the single-player beta state in the coming weeks. Currently the game is in its alpha stage. All the graphics and sound present in the demo are subject to change. Miner Wars will require an internet connection to be played.
Benchmarking demo download: http://mirror1.minerwars.com/Downloads/MinerWarsSetup_01_000_009.exe
Benchmarking demo torrent download: http://mirror1.minerwars.com/Downloads/MinerWarsSetup.torrent
Keen Software House is also releasing a new Teaser Trailer showing some of the game features and possible playstyles. The trailer was made by by capturing the gameplay and videos of our current alpha build. All the graphics and sounds are subject to change until the full release.
Teaser Trailer Download: http://mirror1.minerwars.com/Videos/MinerWarsTeaserTrailer.wmv
The game is very steadily progressing towards its full release in 2010. Currently there are 14 members on the development team. Keen Software House would like to reach soon a number of 25 development team members.
Keen Software House is an international development team that has adopted the virtual studio development style. Our development team members come from USA, Europe and Austalia. All the work of the studio is being managed through our own tasking and scheduling system. Most of the team members are senior professionals that had no problem in adopting this workstyle.
Keen Software House is also looking for a possibility to engage in a serious cooperation with a renown publishing brand.
Tomas Psenicka Managing Director Keen Software House ltd.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 2:55 PM
First of all let me thank you for all the positive feedback we received on our 30 user release of the non-interactive flythrough. We were absolutely thrilled to find out that there were almost no bugs or graphical glitches on your computers. Some very small nuissances were present but no "A" type bugs that could potentially break the game for you were reported. Because of this we have decided that we will be releasing a public flythrough version to further test the capabilities of the engine. The public version will be released over the weekend and it will contain 4 new non-interactive animations that will include some new ships and new textures present in the current build. This build will be updated frequently. All the changes will be announced in the news section.
And now let me introduce you to our new team member!
Arronix - is a C# coder. He is our friend and has got a huge experience with development on the Windows plaform. Arronix`s frist task will be to write an application that will stress-test our servers so that they could handle tens of thousands players at once. Welcome Arronix! Miner Wars team count: 8
On a development note:
Works are steadily progressing on the multiplayer part of the game We have succesfully implemented and tested the functionality of joining the game and entering a sector. Tens of new 3D models have been imported into the game Many of our current models have received a texture rewamp
Additionally we are really pleased to see that many people from community have sent their application to work on our team. We are doing everything we can to get back to all of you in time. For all of you that have not applied yet please do so anytime if you feel like it. Nobody will be rejected.
Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:22 PM
you might have received today an email from Keen Software House saying that you have been chosen as one of the top30 users to participate on our HW stress testing of Miner Wars :)
Now rest assured if you have not received this email you will be able to test the fly-through in 7 days from now.
The version that we are releasing now is without interaction. Game interaction will be added in a few days.
This is the email:
You have been chosen to participate on the first version testing of the Miner Wars engine capabilities. We are providing you a test version for download. Please download the setup and follow the installation instructions. This version already has an auto-update feature. It does not include the game itself so you will only be able to run the flythrough demo of the game. It is intended to stress test your cards and to flesh out the most basic graphic bugs. Only 30 of you have been chosen to participate on this testing.
We ask you kindly NOT TO RELEASE the download link to the general public for 7 days from now. We have chosen only the people that have either contributed to the community in their own way or are just very active on the forums.
After 7 days the link will be displayed on our pages and we will make an official PR statement that the flythrough can be downloaded here.
Please report any bugs that you find directly to email@example.com – we will get back to you immediately
Please DO NOT share the possible bugs with the general public on the forums or anywhere else.
You can post your impressions of the flythrough on the forums but again please do not address bugs on the forums until 7 days from now.
We also ask you NOT TO put any screenshots on the forums should they contain graphical glitches or bugs.
You can take screenshots of the current build and post them anywhere you want should they be free of bugs or glitches.
Your Miner Wars team
Friday, April 09, 2010 2:16 PM
Dear game developers,
Keen Software House ltd. is proud to announce that due to the enlarged scope of their project called Miner Wars the studio is looking for authors of code, 3D models, art & graphics and music.
The studio is willing to offer its time investment fee program for any people who would like to choose to participate on the project.
Any person interested in game development is welcome to come and discuss with us their possible project participation. The studio will value the willingness to participate as the No.1 factor for acceptance. The studio welcomes any people who have tried to make their own Indie game in the past or are just eager to start and gain some experience.
Keen Software House is looking for people with these skillsets:
Coders - Essential is the knowledge of object oriented programming, preferably C# experience (not mandatory)
3D Modellers - experience with any 3D modelling software like 3Ds MAX, modellers can start contributing their models in the game immediately. Experience with texturing the models is a big advantage.
Art & Graphics - the studio is essentially looking for anyone who wishes to contribute to the game with their own art or graphics style. Studio is especially interested in people with texture drawing experience.
Musicians - the musicians can contribute their work into the game under the watchful guidance of our Audio Director Dan Wentz.
How to apply? Please come the the game website www.minerwars.com and start a thread on the forums. Or you can apply directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally the studio would like to say that most of the current team has been recruited from the original fans of this game on its forums.
Furthermore I would like to welcome yet another member to our development team! His name is Samo "Samson" Rosa. Yes he is a relative to Marek :). He will be helping the team with Gameplay Testing and some community management work. Welcome Samo! :)
Tomas Psenicka Keen Software House ltd.
Friday, April 02, 2010 1:17 PM
we have just released a short video of a feature all wanted to see. Its the asteroid buster rockets that can basically vapourize an asteroid with a few shots. These rockets will be quite expensive stuff in the final game :). This video has only been released for the community members.
Thursday, April 01, 2010 4:47 PM
we have been patiently waiting for what is to become one of the greatest days of the history of our Miner Wars. It seems that our hard work and focus to bring you something special is finally bringing some results. More and more our game is getting into the spotlight and important people are beginning to notice the game. We are slowly growing the development team and it is my greatest honour to introduce you to our new team members. One of them is very special and I believe that you will all understand why.
Dan Wentz - has been appointed as the Audio Director! - Dan is a game development veteran who has been in the industry from 1995. Working in Parallax Software which later became Volition Dan has an impressive record of working on over 17 AAA titles. Dan worked on their sounds, music, level design and 3D modelling. Most of the titles that Dan has been a part of are seen these days as genuine works of art. Many of the projects that Dan helped to create inspired our team to make Miner Wars itself! Dan has in record such titles as Descent, Descent 2, Descent: Freespace, Freespace 2, Red Faction, Red Faction 2, Red Faction guerilla, Summoner, Saints Row and many other good quality titles. We are very very pleased to have Dan on our team and you can expect excellent quality sound and music coming out of Dan`s hands :). Dan`s nick on our forums is Vertigo1 :).
Other team members might be overshadowed by such a juggernaut that Dan is but we value their work also very highly.
Michal "Comodorre" Stefan - is joining our team as a developer. He has been appointed the head of Level Design, AI scripting and mission design. Michal has already been working with Keen Software House on creating music for our iPhone games that are in preparation. Michal is a passionate gamer and has a 7 years experience with application development. Previously Michal worked on various Half-life modification projects as a level builder.
Lukas "Preacher" Kozak - is joining our team and is going to be helping us with marketing and sales. Lukas is very active in the pro-gaming community being a member of various counter-stike teams Lukas is mainly going to handle the communication with multiplayer webs and pro-gaming communities. In the future Lukas is going to handle a much bigger part of the whole marketing process.
Additionally we are preparing a 2 new videos. One of these videos will be visible to public and the other one only to the community members on our website. First video is going to show a chase of 3 players in a tunnel causing all kinds of havoc and shooting at each other. The other video is going to show the Asteroid Buster rockets that can basically vapourize a major part of an asteroid.
The rest of the team is working hard towards releasing a fly-through that will first be available to top 20 community members and then it will be released to the general public. The next step is a playable version of the game. The playable version will be released in a form of a single-player beta.
Furthermore I would like to especially thank all of the current members of the community for their never-ending support and for all of the hard work you are all putting into Miner Wars. All of those 3D models, word spreading and Ideas are helping us towards making a better game for all of you.
Thank you community and wish us luck to pull this one off!
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka Sales and Marketing Project Miner Wars Keen Software House ltd. www.minerwars.com www.keenswh.com A quick note and some more stuff Friday, March 19, 2010 7:56 PM Hello guys,
sorry for not getting back to you for a while but I was busy with other Keen Software issues. The thing is that were actively looking for a publisher of the title and were almost getting there now. I think you guys will be surprised how good things turn in favour of Miner Wars. If we pull one of the plans we have now I think you will be more than surprised :))). Anyway I am preparing something special. Marek took one week off and he is returning today with some fresh new stuff. He took some time off that he really deserved since he has been working 16 hours a day last 1,5 years in row (including weekends). Our plan now is to make the flythrough that will be targeted solely at the community on the website to test the HW limitations. I am currently preparing a video that will be wholely spent underground :).
thx for your attention!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:54 PM Hello guys! Its nice to see our community running extremely well!! Everybody took their part and started to promote the game. The team is really proud of the community it has! We need as much help as we can because its always hard to promote and work on a game of this magnitude but with your help we will be able to pull it off. In the meantime I have prepared for you yet another taste of whats to come on Miner Wars. I have been filming some of the physics of the engine and also the solar wind feature. 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. Tommorow our team has a meeting where we will choose some people that are fit to receive 1st level medals on idea contribution and special 1st level medals for spreading the word. Some people have already done their part before we even started the affiliate program and that is why they deserve it already. Some of them are promoting our game and not posting affiliate links and of course I can see all of those in our analytics console.
Thx for your support in all of this
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Monday, March 08, 2010 6:08 PM
Hello guys! Today we have promised to release some information on the medal awards. Everybody already knows some things but let me repeat some information. Other missing info can be found on: http://www.minerwars.com/News.aspx#Minerwarsupchng
There are 3 medal types:
1) Spread the word medal
2) Idea contribution medal
3) 3D Model contribution medal
There are 3 medal levels:
1) Level 1 medal will grant you the medal itself on the forums and the ability to submit your own art that will be put on your ship. Basically you will be able to pimp your ride :).
2) Level 2 medal will grant you a free license of the game and all the goodies of level 1
3 Level 3 medal will grant you an exclusive access to the unreleased game content and a much deeper possibility to be a part of the development process itself. And of course the goodies of level 1 and 2.
How to obtain these medals?
Spread the word medal:
250 clicks for medal Level 1 1500 clicks for medal Level 2 5000 clicks for medal Level 3
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO USE YOUR AFFILIATE URL THAT IS AVAILABLE AT YOUR FORUM PROFILE PAGE IN ORDER TO COUNT CLICK_THROUGHS!!!
Any other work like clubs, fansites and other things that are not measurable by exact means: will be awarded individually by looking at the work the person has done. Your fan work will be evaluated by Unsung and Awarded on one of the 3 weekly meetings that the current team has.
Idea contribution medal:
Any idea that makes it to the final game deserves its medal. We will be keeping a list of ideas at your disposal very soon. We already have a good list.
1 idea that makes it to the full game Level 1 3 ideas that make it to the full game Level 2 5 or more ideas that make it to the full game Level 3
Please remember that we cannot accept all the ideas that you put forward. Even though we would like to we have to prioritise. Of course we like to hear them all :). Medals are awarded on weekly team meetings. You should act nicely towards Unsung and Sol because they are already a part of the project meetings :))).
3D Model Contribution Medal
Level 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 mothership model Level
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.
Any contributors that will show an exceptional dedication to the game will probably invited to our team because we are a game that is made by the community for the community :). Keep all the things coming guys! Without you this project would not have a chance.
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Monday, March 08, 2010 4:05 PM
Sol Command has been appointed as the new Community Manager. He will be in charge of 3D modelling. In the future, same as Unsung, Sol Command will have the possibility to join the core team of Miner Wars. Sol Commands models have been a really welcome addition to our game. As Marek said "His models look like he was already working on Miner Wars for some time now". So here you go guys. Give Sol a warm welcome! He really deserves it :)
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Friday, March 05, 2010 6:31 PM
as always we have been very busy with the development of Miner Wars and the community management part. On a side-note before I start telling you of the changes: Marek has published a chapter in a book about game development called GPU Pro: Advanced Rendering Techniques. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/GPU-Pro-Advanced-Rendering-Techniques/dp/1568814720/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266696252&sr=8-1 . The chapter speaks of destructible volumetric terrain that we use in our VRAGE for the development of Miner Wars. As you all know there are upcoming changes to the forums. We have already put up two new sections. These are called "spread the word" and "contributing models". These new sections are part of the first change to the community management model that we want to implement. We are well aware that all of you guys are already doing something extra for the game and we really appreciate it. We have been thinking hard as to how we should make it all worthwhile to you. You might wonder why the forum already does not have the functionality of the usual forums out there. There is a good answer to that. We want to fully implement the forums into the game. Your forum accounts will be fully linked to the ones you will be using in the game and the game will actively communicate a lot of functionality back to the website. We also want to fully implement our future vision of making an Indie game development hub that I will speak of in the coming months. This is why we are making the forums from scratch.
With the new forum changes we have decided to start a few new things:
1) Rank based on number of forum posts (nothing unusual)
2) Achievement medals
- a) There will be three types of medals that you can gain in the community
b) Each medal will have 3 levels to it
- c) Medal type: Model Contribution - you gain this by contributing models that will be used for the development of the game - the manual how to contribute your models is here: http://www.minerwars.com/ManualFor3DModelContributors.aspx
- d) Medal type: Spreading the word - you gain this by submitting your communication, blogging, fansites of the game. Basically any type of communication with the outside world that will further increase the basic awareness of Miner Wars. We have also made a very basic affiliate program that will count every click-through that you will gain by submitting a link that is available on your forum profile. We will automatically display the number of click-throughs that your links will provide on the website. Its easy - just use the link on your forum profile under Affiliate URL. You can copy it anywhere on any forum or website.
- e) Medal type: Idea Contribution - any idea that you have for the game mechanics might be implemented. Some of you have already submitted ideas that were seriously thinking of implementing in the game. You will soon be informed which ideas have already made it in the game. Only those that will be chosen will count as a medal award achievement.
- f) Level 1 medal will grant you the medal itself on the forums and the ability to submit your own art that will be put on your ship. Basically you will be able to pimp your ride :).
- g) Level 2 medal will grant you a free license of the game and all the goodies of level 1
- h) Level 3 medal will grant you an exclusive access to the unreleased game content and a much deeper possibility to be a part of the development process itself. And of course the goodies of level 1 and 2.
- i) Medal levels can only be aggregated and will be awarded step by step. Every user will first attain level 1 medal and so on....
- j) Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka will be awarding the medals!! :) Maybe Marek will also have a small word in that :))
- k) Exact numbers of how to reach a specific medal level will be mentioned in the news on monday.
- l) Each specific area will have its own moderation and its own set of rules. These will be given to you by the end of the week.
3) Each user will have displayed next to his name a number of submitted posts
4) Our and Community manager posts will be highlited
5) Quoting posts
6) Official FAQ
7) File upload (will include a thumbnail on the forums)
8) Information as to who posted last in the thread (finally :))
Last but not least we have succesfully finished our work on these things:
1) Automatic updater of the game
2) Game installer
3) Networking code, especially game-logic on server side
4) Submitted the first fan-art into the game (test) http://www.minerwars.com/PicZoom.aspx?id=61
I have also been hard at work on the videos that have been promised. I have already captured and will upload a video of solar wind and physics of the game. I will be working on remastering the video over the weekend.
It has been a busy week and the next one will be the same :)
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Sunday, February 28, 2010 8:23 PM
Hello guys! As you might have noticed on the forums a valuable member of our community - Unsung, has been appointed as the community manager of Keen Software House. Unsungs first priorities are to work with us on getting more buzz around the game on our own and external forums. Blogging about the game and getting a good number of people helping us with ship modelling. In the future Unsung will help us in running the new Indie developer hub that we are preparing and maybe Unsung will help us with the iPhone project games. All in all we are thrilled to welcome him to our team! Unsung is the first member from the community that had the opportunity to join our projects. We are still looking for other people. These people are chosen democratically by our project team. Usually those that have the biggest impact on ideas, communication and act good towards others are selected. Some of you might in the very near future expect some message from me with a title-offer :).
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka New Alpha Video ReleasedThursday, February 25, 2010 3:22 PM Hello guys!
As promised we have added a new video of our current alpha build. This Video features the current cockpit, basic hud, basic targeting and a rear view from the ship. It also features me making a tunnel and reaching an area in the asteroid where there is ice. Notice that the fragments of the broken astetoids also interact with the ship. Also if you hit the fragment with a rocket then it exlodes. So be careful when firing too much in the tunnels :). This is first of the series of videos of gameplay features that we will be publishing roughly every week. The aim is to show you how our game is progressing and how close we actually are to the single-player beta release of our game.
You can also find the video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aruyeiqoj4E&feature=player_embedded
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 5:06
I just want to give a brief update to you guys on how the game development is progressing.
1) We have finished some basic core features of the multiplayer web-code 2) Marek succesfully tested VMWare and the game works flawlessly with it - Apple and Linux users will be able to play :) 3) We are working on putting the basic elements needed for the Single-player Beta release 4) Marek is also currently working on making the installer of the game. The installer should be done until the end of the week. 5) I am still working on the Videos and hope to release it real soon. If not today then surely you will have it tommorow.
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 8:00 AM Guys and girls,
Today is a big day for Keen Software House and Miner Wars game. You have been patiently waiting for release of new information regarding our game. There have been very good reasons why we kept silent for such a long period of time. I will try to keep things short but there is a lot of information that I have to share with the community. We are very proud to see our project coming to a succesfull release and we have many interesting things to announce!
First of all our core team has grown bigger by 3 new people. In total our team now has 4 core people and a nice number of external employees.
First lets introduce our Game Development director
Marek "admin" Rosa - he is a person you all know very well. Marek is taking care of Miner Wars core programming. He is the author of our VRAGE - Voxel Rage engine and is a lead developer and game creator of Miner Wars. Marek will now focus solely on game development and has delegated all the other responsibilities to other core team members.
Marek has a background of being a team-leader in a large international telecom company. Marek has started his first works on game development back in 2003 with a preliminary aplha tech demo of Miner Wars. Instead of joining any of the existing game development companies on the market Marek has decided to take a path of his own fulfilling his Miner Wars dream.
Our new core team members are:
Tomas "Darghan" Psenicka - he will take care of our sales and marketing/PR - he is the person who will take care of our community and administer the new sales model we have ready for you. He is also the person behind all of these texts :)
Tomas has a background of being a top executive at a major european software company he is an ex-gaming journalist and has been a passionate gamer for the last 25 years.
Jindrich "Jindra" Sarson - he will take care of our iphone game releases and will be a main developer on all of our iphone projects. Yes dear community you can expect a miner-wars and other iphone release in the near future :)
Jindrich has a background of being a team-leader and project manager in the major european software companies. He also has 3 very succesful releases in the apple app-store under his belt.
Vladimir "Wladimir518" Broz - he will take care of our game graphics, sound and art.
Wladimir518 is a renown european artist. He is active in the comics community. Wladimir518 is the frontman of the best known czech hip-hop band PSH. Wladimir518 is also active in the theater art scene and is an author of some award-winning acts. Wladimir518 joined our project because of his passion for sci-fi games and films.
Keen Software House is currently working on 3 projects. Miner Wars PC/XBOX360 is a project that all of you already know. Miner Wars iPhone is a new project and we will inform you about it when the time is right. And last but not least we are working on a platformer for iPhone. The game is an old-school platformer style game with classy art graphics and is set for release by the beginning of summer 2010. More information about the game and a dedicated website are in the works.
All of us are passionate gamers and we also love game-development. We have started making games from scratch. Because of this we will try and fashion Miner Wars as a hub for other indie game-developers out there and we will try to be very open about our game development. This is why in the very near future we will open up a channel where we will try and give some basic guidance for the new game-developers and modders out there. Giving them tips and some basic advice for PC/Xbox and iPhone game development. We feel that by speaking openly with our community about the problemacy of game development we will attract many more people to our project.
In the future we would like to recruit some of the members of our community to be either external or core game development staff. We will also ask our community to help us with ship modelling and texturing. More information about these intentions will come in the near future.
Marek has already mentioned that we will soon release some alpha tech demos and other eye-candy so that you could see how far we have come with our game development.
And now about Miner Wars for PC/XBOX360. We had to make some crucial decisions about how to make our game as best as possible for you guys. Here are some of the decisions we have taken.
Miner Wars was originally set for a 2009 release. This release was intended to be an "indie" released product. We have however decided that in order to bring the full quality to the gamers out there we will push the release until the late 2010.
Keen Software House has decided to take the following steps in order to release a product that the community of 6DOF gamers deserve.
1) We will start offering our game at a promotion pricing level that will be at roughly 1/3 of the final product price 2) All the players that will buy the game at this promotion pricing will get a full game with no extra charge on the day of release 3) Our promotion pricing will only be applied to the PC version of the game. Xbox360 release will feature a full game with future upgrades. 3) All the players interested to participate on this model will receive a release in these steps:
A) single-player beta featuring some basic features and missions B) improved single-player beta with more features C) single and multi-player beta access with some basic features D) single and multi-player full game with all the features set to the date of release E) stable flow of upgrades for their full game
We at Keen Software House love our community and listen to our fans. When you enter our community you will receive many more things that we only show at our forum webpages at http://www.minerwars.com
These will include: (ship model contests, exclusive access to alpha tech-demos, developer diaries, game development tips for indie developers and many more)
Last but not least let us show you some of our new in-game pictures.
These pictures show a feature that we are especially proud of called solar wind. This solar-wind will be a dangerous thing to come by and you will have to hide your ship deep in the tunnels in order to survive.
A BIG Thanks goes to you guys for your passion you have for this project, for your game-feature tips and for all of your questions.
We have been thinking hard about all this and hope for your future support. With our new team we are working hard and fulfilling our dreams.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 8:00 AM
Today we released new Miner Wars video and screenshots, revealing very large but still-destructible asteroids.
The video was captured from the actual game and the scene contains two 8-km asteroids, five medium-size asteroids, and 300 mining ships.
In this footage we tried to show how your mining ship is small compared to the biggest asteroid. Even your base ship is little compared to them. All asteroids are fully destructible. In a few years we will be able to reach the moon’s size. It is only 400 times bigger than our asteroids. Think about it – a fully destructible moon. :)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 8:00 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Miner Wars – a video game featuring: 6DOF, Fully Destructible Environment, Single Player Story & MMO
London, UK, July 15, 2009 – Keen Software House is pleased to announce the forthcoming premiere of the Miner Wars video game.
Miner Wars is a 6DOF underground and space shooter played in a fully destructible environment and is a combination of single player story game and MMO.
As a player, you operate an advanced mining ship in an open world asteroid belt area. You dig kilometers of tunnels, harvest the ore, travel the solar system, fight your enemies and discover mysterious alien secrets.
Game play is led by an epic story and is a combination of a single/multi-player game, cooperative, or you against everyone.
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.
Features: - 6DOF - Fully Destructible Environment - Single Player Story & MMO - Persistent open world - millions of km - 15 mission types: Revenge, Mining, Harvesting, Defending, Exploration, Rescue and more - High quality rendering
World premiere: Autumn 2009
Platform: Windows, Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Please visit http://www.MinerWars.com for more information on the game, trailers and pictures.
About Keen Software House Ltd:
Keen Software House Ltd is an independent software development company focused on creating innovative video games. We are passionate gamers, who love developing games and we want to make games that people like to play.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Game page: http://www.MinerWars.com/ (Feel free to use pictures, videos and texts from this site to preview or review the Miner Wars game)
Press contact: email@example.com
Company web-site: http://www.KeenSWH.com/
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 8:00 AM
Today we launched our Miner Wars announcement campaign.
Furthermore, in the following weeks we are going to present you with screenshots displaying large destructible asteroids – almost planetoids. Just imagine; you can dig the terrain in any direction, make kilometers of tunnels, place cave ambushes... and more! Web Site ReleaseTuesday, May 26, 2009 8:00 AM We have released this web site to announce the forthcoming premiere of the Miner Wars video game.
Please see the trailers and game screenshots.