All Back To Mine: Miner Wars MMO Pre-orders

By Craig Pearson on January 12th, 2012 at 10:26 am.

Wheatley's EEEEEEVILER Twin
Help an indie out. Miner Wars MMO, the promising looking space-based sandbox mining sim, has decided to go for the pre-order dollar. Twenty of them, to be precise. That down payment will help them kickstart the multiplayer version of their rock grinder, and pay for two years of access to the game.

As far as I can tell (the press release is written in broken English), they’re using pre-orders as a way of gauging the interest in the MMO section of Miner Wars. There’s currently a single and co-operative alpha being worked on, but if enough people want to spend their evenings gouging holes in asteroids with hundreds of other players, the funds raised will accelerate the MMO portion’s development.

This is separate from the single and co-op portion of the game, Miner Wars 2018. That’s available for pre-order for the same amount, and you can also download a pre-alpha demo of it to get a feel for the cockpit.

__________________

« | »

, , , .

42 Comments »

  1. Lobotomist says:

    I would do it.

    But let say they do not gather enough money for MMO, or MMO never gets released. Will we get back the money ?

    • Stuart Walton says:

      I guess the best they could offer in that scenario is a gift code for the SP/Co-op version of the game. The customer loses nothing, the developer loses all the resources they spent on the failed MMO.

    • Hallgrim says:

      Why is that the best they could offer?

      If I commit to a http://www.kickstarter.com project, and the project fails to meet its capitalization goal, I don’t get charged. Why can’t studios use this, or something like it, instead of the fraudulent practice of charging money for pre-orders and then failing to deliver a game at all, or one that even faintly resembles the promised feature set?

    • jackflash says:

      Just because a Kickstarter project gets capitalized doesn’t mean you will actually get a product, though. It just means your card gets charged.

    • Ovno says:

      Only US devs can use kickstarter due to them using Google Checkout

  2. Gozuu says:

    Another F2P MMO that wants cash to continue their development? Who are they trying to fool?

    • paterah says:

      They are not trying to fool anyone. You pre-order the game and they get to use the money for the development, in return you get to access the testing phases of the game leading to launch. It is a concept used by many indie devs today and dare I say it works out quite well.

    • Suits says:

      Unless they pull a Zomboid

    • jp0249107 says:

      @suits Go check out projectzomboid.com and come back here and say that. I daresay they’ve only been setback a couple of months and the only people who still believe the game is doomed are the whiny neckbeards on Reddit.

    • Ovno says:

      “Unless they pull a Zomboid”

      What get screwed by paypal, robbed, abused by a community that feels preorder gives them the right to be dicks and then carry making a bloody brilliant game anyway, yeah that sort of commitment would indeed be terrible.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      @ Ovno: Well said, sir. Plus one.

  3. wodin says:

    I like the look but can’t get my head around the game concept, mining asteroids was never my favorite thing in games like Elite, it was more a slightly mundane way of making some creds.

    • Mistabashi says:

      The concept is more like Descent in space, but instead of pre-made levels you have tunnels through asteroids and player-made bases. I’m not sure how important the ability to mine minerals will actually be economy wise.

  4. Optimaximal says:

    I thought that was Wheatley for a second…

  5. Quasar says:

    So it’s a game about children fighting each other?

  6. Kelron says:

    I wasn’t aware this was going to be separate from Miner Wars 2081, which I already pre-ordered. Not sure I want to pay them again.

  7. MrBRAD! says:

    Too seedy- wouldn’t dare.

  8. Duke of Chutney says:

    I thought i pre-ordered this a year or more ago? Miner Wars 2081 that is.

    My memory is a little hazy but i thought this was always going to be an mmo, but with offline single player too, that was certainly the impression i got 1 year or two ago. Now it seems its going to be a subscription MMO as separate to the offline game (with something described as multiplayer). They do seem to keep changing their marketing model/definition of what the game actually is. Ontop of this i havent seen much progress interms of releases of the pre-alpha, or much else, certainly not much given the 2 year timescale.

    i dont know part of me isnt going to be suprised if we end up with not alot in another 2 years, or alot less than what we thought we were pre-ordering, but perhaps ill be forced to eat my own words, one can hope, because it is a cool game idea.

    • SquareWheel says:

      I had the same confusion when I preordered, they later clarified that the games were separate. To make up for the ambiguity they offered the MMO for free for anyone who preordered prior to December 1st, 2010.

  9. hemmingjay says:

    DO NOT SUPPORT THESE CRIMINALS.

    I support almost every single indie game and have chipped in money to almost every pay to play alpha game in the last 4 years. I don’t regret any of them, even the ones that haven’t released, except this one. This game has made little to no progress in the last 2 years despite raising millions from sales and investments. Instead, they took our money and put it to work on other projects. This is nefarious as a business practice and should not be supported. This is a scam, plain and simple. More than 2 years as an alpha and still no gameplay. They are still selling this tech demo and then expecting all content to come from it’s customers. Give them 20 Euros and all of your hard work and maybe, just maybe someday they will have a playable game. In the meantime, why not give them another 20 Euros for a game they are developing with the money raised from the first sale? It’s also not playable, not any different from the original but allows more than one user to experience the lack of game.

    RPS, please reconsider supporting this “project”.

    • Farkeman says:

      what ? the game only sold :
      ” Over 13,909 copies sold!”
      that’s not even close to enough this game deserves.

    • jape says:

      I wish you could upvote posts in RPS (obviously I’m referring to hemmingjay’s)

    • marek_rosa says:

      Hi,

      this is Marek Rosa, Founder & CEO of Keen Software House and the guy who started Miner Wars.

      I am that Criminal.

      I agree with what hemmingjay says. I feel guilty that we are in a delay and that we didn’t hold to our estimated release date.

      To my defense – in last year I had to handle the investment, create the company, select people for my team of 20, … and the features that got us delayed usually relate to picking a wrong person.

      It took longer that I optimistically hoped for, but finally I have good team and currently we are doing a great progress.

      Thanks,
      Marek

    • wu wei says:

      Splitting your focus between two titles, while the one everyone originally paid for is still “pre-alpha”, doesn’t fill me with much hope of a release any time soon.

      That you took so long to correct the misinformation in the FAQ that claimed the MMO & SP games were one and the same just seems amazingly suspect. Turning around and blaming it on someone who no longer works for you was also remarkably petty.

    • Ovno says:

      You do know making games is a hard and long winded process right?

    • Dominic White says:

      I’d just like to point out that something as straightforward and simple as the original Serious Sam took several full years to create. Freaking out and declaring the developers criminals because they haven’t IMMEDIATELY given you everything you demand is completely bugfuck insane.

    • Duke of Chutney says:

      I sympathise with Hemmingjay. He definitly isn’t alone on the internet in holding this opinion

      Keen software has got them selves this public image with some very poor PR/communication.

      As already mentioned, theres been quite abit of confusion over what they are actually selling, and what if any progress has been made, but this isn’t the only problems.

      they’ve had a quite effective, and if you go to their website, a very very in your face marketing drive. Not an issue of it’s self. But on their site theirs also a big call for community content.

      All in all it doesnt look good. Its largly poor communication, people have invested and all thats been communicated in results is more marketing, users submit your work to us, and, on the face of it, not alot of game development.

      IF i compare Keen softwares approach to one of the following; Unknown Worlds (natural selection 2), Overgrowth, fractal softworks (Starfarer), Blind mind studios (Star Ruler) etc, i could go on, there must be dozens of other small companies that are using the, buy an alpha/prerelease/donate now, model for developing their game. All the ones ive named have done a far better job of communicating with their funders.

      Ive been following Natural selections development for almost half a decade, they’ve had massive problems, but atleast i know what they’ve been doing week by week.

    • Ovno says:

      I’ve had 26 emails about progress since I pre ordered miner wars back in 2010, giving me info as to how they’e doing, asking if I want to help producing content and generally keeping in touch, so I don’t know what you guys were expecting, but I think that there level of communication has been excellent, if anything there’s been a little too much of it if you ask me…

      Either way, I think the way pre-orderers have been treating the various devs who have been very honest about the state of the game and the fact that it is pre alpha and the time it will take to complete is bloody disgusting and it has certainly put me and probably many others off using that model to try and fund my own indie games…

    • marek_rosa says:

      Duke of Chutney ,

      I believe that our PR/communication is not bad at all.

      You may perceive it as poor, but 99% of other people definitely don’t – otherwise we would be getting complaints and we wouldn’t sell 13k+ copies.

      Honestly I don’t understand one thing: somebody is trying to create something that has been missing for years “a big space game” and there are still people trying to undermine this, at least by bad internet comments.

      The question is: are your comments helping anybody?

      Marek

    • jape says:

      marek_rosa:

      The thing here is that we can not know your true intentions. Cynics are indeed trying to help consumers from losing money in case you are not going to finish the game.

      The best thing to do now is not to argue with random people in the internet but to demonstrate by actions that you are not vaporware and/or personally pocketing all the investor and consumer money.

      I think that quite probably you are a honest developer trying to make a living by creating good games, but the problem is, if I may repeat, that we can not know.

    • marek_rosa says:

      jape:

      I know that they do not know the details, but if somebody claims “they are criminals” or “it’s a vapor ware” – that’s actually a statement. It’s not just a private opinion.

      There’s nothing helpful in those comments.

      I usually ignore trolls and don’t discuss with them – as it never leads to anything positive.

      But NOT this time. It’s their turn to prove their argument.

    • Duke of Chutney says:

      Steady now Mr Marek, i didn’t wake up one morning and decide to hate on Keen Software for the kick of it

      “I believe that our PR/communication is not bad at all.”

      “You may perceive it as poor, but 99% of other people definitely don’t – otherwise we would be getting complaints and we wouldn’t sell 13k+ copies.” Fair enough, but you could consider this thread a complaint.

      Honestly I don’t understand one thing: somebody is trying to create something that has been missing for years “a big space game” and there are still people trying to undermine this, at least by bad internet comments. It isnt that either that I or Hemmingjay dont like your game idea, we both paid for it. We are just not totally convinced it will ever materialised, however, come 2nd Q this year, we could be both totally wrong and we can apologise and enjoy the game you’ve built.

      “The question is: are your comments helping anybody?”
      that depends on your perspective. They might put people off pre-ordering your game, and if its a good game then those folks might loose out (or if it was going to be a good game, and then you fell short of funding and couldnt finish it etc). However if you have just been raising funds and dont produce then we will have saved people money and helped people.

      As i say, my motivation for posting above wasnt to bury Keen software out of spite, it was out of frastration as the situation as i see it. In response to Onvo, i dont get emails from Keen, but then perhaps i never signed up for them, i cant remember. IN my post above i listed a load of small time game developers ive been following, most of which i payed money too. All of them post on their site, details about actual game development and updates to their game pre-alpha more regularly than Keen does.

      I guess Miner Wars compares best with wolf fire games Overgrowth, in that is has level editor and alot of tech, but despite being 2 years in dev, little game. The reason i’d argue wolf fire have done a better PR job is that they release a vid at least twice a month, and an update with it. All the other games ive mentioned released a playable game when they started taking pre-orders. IMO this is a better route to take.

      “I usually ignore trolls and don’t discuss with them – as it never leads to anything positive.” probably wise, more updates to your website/more vids will achieve alot more than this conversation

    • marek_rosa says:

      It seems like you just don’t track our progress.

      Our news: http://www.minerwars.com/News.aspx

      Latest-alpha (with online editor): http://www.minerwars.com/Downloads.aspx

      Forum (see how much we discuss with the fans): http://www.minerwars.com/Forum.aspx

      My dev blog: http://blog.marekrosa.org/

      Sorry to RPS if posting links is inappropriate….. hmm, I am a CRIMINAL anyway, so I don’t care! :-)

      Marek

    • brokengod says:

      The problem, Duke of Chutney, is that if you are indeed successful in your “warning off” of future pre-order investors, you effect the amount invested into the company, and perhaps bring on the demise of a great game.

      Yours is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and a terrible one.

      I think Keen have been quite honest and upfront with information about the current state of the development.

      Game development takes YEARS for established, multi-million funded developers with vast teams of coders, artists, sound designers, level designers, etc. It’s going to take even longer for a pre-order funded indie.

      If you cannot understand this, the alpha-funding model simply isn’t for you, and it is your right to not support it, but don’t poison the idea and ruin it for people who don’t mind throwing $20 at a project they like, in the hopes of it becoming something wonderful.

      Alpha funding is a chance to invest in a potential product, it is NOT a purchase.

  10. MythArcana says:

    Pre-orders for MMO’s and down payments? Have they gone insane? Talking like that will scare anyone away, let alone score a massive following. Yikes.

    I really wish Interplay would stop fighting over Fallout and get cracking on some DESCENT games again. Goddamn, that series was the best, and now it’s gone. In lieu of this crap I suppose. I’m not filling out a loan application to play a game, folks. Not doing it.

  11. Jezebeau says:

    Looks like a cross between Descent 3D and the original Red Faction’s environment destruction. Is there any reason why this should be considered three games?

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>