Today I had the privilege of getting a look at Miner Wars from inside the game.
I met with Darghan a member of the development team ( i think he's co-owner too, I'm not sure) and he took me inside the game via Skype. That was pretty cool in itself.
At first, I asked how long it would take because I had dinner coming and didn't want to be late and have it get cold. I didn't tell him I was waiting on dinner. I just asked how long it would take.
He said about 10 minutes.
I say, ok sure.
So he loads up the game, the Miner Wars splash screen comes up, the menu was on the left and a cog symbol loading emblem churned near the bottom of the screen, then we enter the world, a dark dusty asteroid belt.
There was dust everywhere, little pieces of asteroids scattered throughout, little misshaped asteroids, and medium size ones, all craggy looking, sharp and jagged, and there were smoother ones too, some were granite looking and some with what looked like a green moss or some sort of biological material on and in them. I was told this material could be mined and sold. Some of the asteroids were tall and almost rectangular, some looked like they were the remnant of a larger asteroid that had been weathered over time, pitted away and some were round with pitting and sharp pointy angular curved edges near crater looking holes. And believable looking too.
Just this one sector was enormous, I saw ships flying by shooting at something, they were jetting around firing at one another. I was told they were enemy NPC's. They were flying around trying to get the drop on one another banking sharp and showing their underbellies, firing their guns and kicking their thrusters trying to out maneuver and destroy one another. It was fun to watch.
I saw a small fleet of ships (5 or 6) at what seemed like a 1/2 a mile to a mile away and a base ship not far from them. Anything the size of the ships in the fleet beyond that distance I couldn't see very well because of not only the darness, but the rolling dust clouds, particles, and debris. The base ship was the same base ship you see in the videos. The light was just barely making the metal on smaller ships shine, and the base ship had a flat finish look, dull as if covered in dust or the shine was worn away from being in outerspace. The whole scene had an almost eerie look and feel to it.
Way off in the distance there was a red planet I assume was a sun, and some sort of moon or large planet much further in the distance, to far to calculate.
And that was before we even moved anywhere...
We started moving towards the ships and we caught some lens flare, about 10 rings deep and kept moving and I saw something that looked like fuel tanks, I asked what it was and was told they were canisters used to show some of the physics. Darghan fired a missile at the line of cannisters and it pushed one canisters back, and the froce of the explosion affected the other cansiters moving them around a bit. He kept shooting the barrel forceing it further and further back and it left burn rings where the missiles hit.
We flew up to the fleet to take a look at them and I mentioned that the ships looked like a modern day flying warship with a mask on it. And that's exactly what they looked like. Very cool looking.
We flew over the top of the large base ship and there was another base ship maybe 3/4 the larger base ships size but this one was shiny, he explained they'll have different textures.
He then flew me over to an asteroid and started pounding away at it with rockets from afar ( I think they were rockets) all I saw was a large puff of smoke a trail and then an explosion and lot's of dust and more debris. He wailed on the asteroid with about 20 shots straight in creating a deep tunnel. Then fired the rockets in a circle in the area, (that was cool to watch, with all the explosions going off in a circle and the smoke trails, really cool effects. But not overly done... almost realistic).
After the dust cleared a bit, we moved up closer to the area he just pounded with rockets and it looked really cool looking, pitted, big gaping holes exposing different colors and textures, sharp pointed rocks where they had been blown apart. That asteroid had seen better days. It ain't no joke when they say destructable environment. It comes apart like, well, like blowing something up :). Stick a hand grenade in a watermelon and set it off and you get the picture, just on a much larger scale with more smoke, more debris, and a bigger, much bigger bang.
So we go inside the tunnel and are looking at the walls, and I see some parts of the walls are made of ice, and other parts are made of stone, rock. And Darghan starts explaining how mining works.
The mining tools weren't on this ship or available for some reason, but he said what you do is this, he blasts a hole in the wall, and says blast away til you find a resource, when you find one, the player can extrude the mining tool to the material and begin vacuuming it up, simple as that.
I asked what do you do with it?, and he said that you sell it for in-game money to upgrade your ships, buy new ships, weapons and tools and machines. It was explained to me earlier that machines are what you mine with and they follow you (but I still haven't figured out what is meant by "They follow you") I wasn't shown that.
We continue on in the tunnel and Darghan starts making a cave... Dirt and dust and rocks flying everywhere, explosions going off, the ship was rocking around and it was very hard to see. He stopped firing and the dust started to dissipate revealing this cave he just made and a hole that lead out the other side of the asteroid, then we flew out.
I asked, what do you do with a big hole in a rock? he said you could use it to mine in, get away from solar wind, use it as a place to mount a sneak attack on someone, anything you can think of.
And as soon as he said that I thought "Trap". A good place to set a trap for someone.
He says "Hey, let me show you something"... he fly's us over to an enemy ship and starts firing on it, and it starts firing back!... Leaving bullet holes and a cracked windshield each time it got hit. He told me that it wouldn't mend itself, that the player had to have it repaired or it would stay that way or eventually get so bad the player couldn't see out of it. He also explained that a player can damage themselves with flying debris that can also be interacted with and players can get caught in their own blast radius when using weapons.
I asked what would happen if they got caught in their own nuke, and he said "well, they would most likely end up fried".
So keep your distance. It's not a claymore, they explode in every direction, same goes for rockets, missiles, cannons, and energy weapons. You can damage yourself with your own toys and get damage from the debris you make.
I asked about damage to the ships by scraping against the walls in asteroids, and he said no, we want the game to be more about fun and not having to worry about that. So no damage to ships while scraping the walls in the tunnels.
Let me tell you something, it was right about here that I started reaching for the keyboard to try to control the ship, I just couldn't help myself, and all through the rest of the tour it killed me that I couldn't fly around blowing stuff up. Killed me I tell ya!
Alright, so then...
We then went to a gold capped asteroid, and he showed me how if you shoot the resource you are after to much you could destroy the resource, and also how deep a resource could be, and in this case the gold resource which looked like a very large smoothed rock and vein of gold was probably about 5 or 6 missile explosions thick in depth and twice to three times as wide if not wider in some places at the surface. Then he started hitting rock and then more gold. So it varies, even in the same place.
After that he started heading somewhere, just kind of looking around at the expanses of outerspace and various asteroids, when i said "What about that "Solar Wind" y'all have been talking about and he says "Oh yeah, sure no problem"
All of a sudden I see what looks like a huge red dust cloud coming at us, and it's emanating, and bulging and getting bigger as it gets closer to us and all of a sudden we are enveloped in it, different shades of reds and oranges and dust all around us, almost like a sandstorm of fire.
I asked if this will kill us, he said "no we got the damage turned off now, but in the game, most likely."
So I got to see what death looked like and survived. heh.
After it passed I ask if it were possible to run from it or get around it and he said "Yeah, here, I'll try", he headed around the solar wind and over to an asteroid and hid behind a crater wall and the storm came again, but this time the storm wrapped around the asteroid and crater wall we were behind and it looked even better with the way the light from the storm reflected on the asteroid. Pretty cool.
We started heading somewhere when he said, "See that ship?" and I was like "Yeah" he mentioned that that ship was at the starting point and the solar wind pushed it way out here... I asked if that was far and he kind of chuckled and said "Yeah, we are way out"
I didn't really get it, I guess because I didn't see it happen, then another solar wind came up and caught the ship in it's grips and it went flyin' end over end,and sideways and a few other smaller ships went flying by so fast I almost mistaken them for plain 'ol debris. I asked "Is that a base ship?" and he said "uh huh"... I was blown away about as much as the ship was. Thinking, I do not want to get caught in that in-game. I warn you, it is kind of mesemerizing to watch it come at you, but don't sit still watching it for to long at least not unprotected... lol... Well, maybe once just to experience it, it's pretty cool.
So after that we head over to a base ship, and Darghan is flying us around it showing me some featues and where the docking bay is, stuff like that. I could see the big cannons up close and it's a different perspective flying around that thing in-game than it is to watch it in a video.
He takes me into the docking bay which is inside the baseship and explains when a player enters a docking bay, this is where they'll be able to do their selling of ore, buying ships weapons and (clue) drinking coffee and some socializing.
After that he takes me over to the side of the base ship and I see a ship start doing aerial maneuvers, up down, forward, backwards, side to side and diagonals, spinning on it's nose, looping. And I could see the detail of the bottom of the ship, and the thrusters firing around the ship pushing him around, it was pretty cool.
Then I realised I was watching him, and my view was like I was in my own ship. (don't i wish:)
I asked what view he was in and he said it was a mode thay use for making video's and such, but when players are in-game that's pretty much what it would look like to them if someone was do aerials and things in front of them.
I told him during the tour, "This game isn't just about mining or PVP or PVE, it's all of that isn't it? He said " Yep, you can do anything you want, or do nothing if you want".
It's about doing whatever you want.
There's also gonna be badges that players can earn in the forums that can be displayed in-game too, you can look at another players profile by clicking on their ship or on the space station (oops) and see a set of stats that will appear that you can look at and that will give you certain information about the player and the badges they've earned.
An hour later
Time had gotten away from me, and I was salivating, but not because I was hungry as all heil and my dinner was now ice cold and had been delivered for 45 minutes already, but because the game has so much to offer. And so much potential.
I went to my cold chinese dinner on the table after giving a kiss to my woman whom I always have dinner with religiously who ate alone this night with a big smile on my face.
I am proud to be a member of this Miner Wars community and extremely grateful for being taken on this bad azz tour of Miner Wars before it's debut.
We all have a kick azz game to look forward to.