Minerer: Miner Wars 2081

Underground, but in space. Weird.
The Miner Wars team send word that they’ve just released a major update for the game (which is in a pre-orders-pay-for-alpha-access-state) which includes a in-game editor. They explain: “Build your own space ship, space station or any sort of space-like edifice you can think of. These structures are be made from prefab modules, and in the future we’re looking to feature ’total destructibility’ for these objects. Prefab modules include tunnels, lattices, beams and panels as well as diverse chambers and special devices. You can also upload your hand-made sectors to the server and let your friends play them!” I had a mess about with the initial tech demo that was released last year, and it was genuinely impressive, if totally empty at that time. It now features all kinds of stuff, including AI bads and so on. Is anyone still playing around with it?

Full list of updates and latest (by latest I mean totally ancient) video below.

New game features, including:
– Completely new GUI including lots of cool HUD icons.
– New player weapons.
– Improved AI (added waypoints, guard mode, more realistic combat behavior).
– New physics engine with multi-core optimizations.

New rendering engine, featuring:
– Image Space LOD (Level of Detail) – seamless LOD with no popping artifacts.
– Deferred rendering with unlimited light sources.
– Dynamic shadows / Cascade Shadow Maps (CSMs) with blended cascades
– Improved ship lighting from engine thrusts.
– Upgraded shaders, looking even more gorgeous.
– New render quality setting – EXTREME – designed to take advantage of newer hardware.
– New models, textures and audiovisual content.

Upcoming game and editor features:
– Modular mothership weapons – large weapons and turrets that can aim and shoot at enemy!
– Special prefab types – lights, speakers, particle generators.
– Personality-Based AI Behavior and Group AI Behavior – simply set the AI behavior within the editor, choosing from several pre-scripted AI pilot and commander behaviors (coward, aggressive, sharpshooter, defensive and more).
– Event-driven music – many new music tracks programmed to fit within the context of the current gameplay situation (fight, chase, harvest, deep space…).
– Special prefab types – lights, speakers, particle generators. –
– Hundreds of new sounds by Dan Wentz and prefabs from our 3D artists were made (http://www.minerwars.com/ForumTopic.aspx?id=1943), they are just waiting to be brought to life and interlinked with other game content.
– Upcoming rendering engine features:
– Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO).
– Image-Based Anti-Aliasing (FXAA).
– HDR with tone mapping, environmental textures, bloom/blur.


  1. Echo Black says:

    This looks pretty cool, actually. Got a Descent vibe from the trailer, too.

    EDIT: On closer examination, the trailer even cracks a Descent joke, and mentions 6DOF gameplay. It’s no wonder I got a “Descent vibe”, this is definitely meant to be in its spirit.

    • Rahabib says:

      you didnt see the “15 years ago – you were going *down*”?

  2. SquareWheel says:

    Played around with it earlier, new guard AI makes the alpha a little more entertaining. Looking forward to the future of this game.

  3. surv1vor says:

    Hooray for SSAO! I love it in side by side comparisons but never notice it in game. Also, if we have space miners, do we get space creepers?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Thatsssss a very nice sssspaceship you’ve got there!

    • Mad Hamish says:

      hmmm…if you bred these Creepers in captivity and trained them you could have a never ending supply of explosives

    • Notsane says:

      Teladi now turn on youuu!

  4. Gnoupi says:

    I tried the demo of this game, it was quite interesting and nicely done, from what I have seen last time. As a concept, at least.

    As a full game, I’m on the “wait and see” side. It’s tempting to pay already and get the alpha, and next updates, but I got cooled down from this approach several times recently. Two examples:

    – Elemental looked interesting, I bought while in beta, I wanted to see the steps of it improving to the great game it was destined to. The release came, the polish didn’t. It remained “interesting in concept, not a pleasant or fun game yet”.

    – Achron’s concept is great, I bought it a year and a half ago because I was really attracted by the time travel. I thought that the graphical engine was in the “concept” stage still, and only a placeholder. It wasn’t, the game released last week and lacks polish, a good interface, and pleasant visuals.

    As much as I like the idea of helping a developer make their great game, I think it’s better I buy only when the game is actually fun to play in its current stage, and stop hoping for it to polish or live up to expectations.

    Because so far, lot of disappointment with that approach.

    (Right now, I still have 1,2,3 kick it! in the “hope” stage. Bought it (before the potato pack), because it sounded interesting, and tried the alpha. So far, I have yet to see it actually doing what it’s supposed to (matching a level to your music) correctly. Because several updates came and it still doesn’t really work, from my experience.)

  5. mejoff says:

    I’m going to wait for the majer war.

  6. Danny252 says:

    Still not much of a game there, by the looks of things. The previous pre-release alpha version had the ability to fly around, a few token AIs who would shoot at you (though I’m pretty sure you were invulnerable), and some guns/missiles to shoot at rocks.

    Going by the “patch notes” (assuming that list of new features is somewhere near complete), the only non-graphics things they’ve added in 8 months is some improved AI and an editor.

    • LionsPhil says:

      So, they’ve got their priorities right?

      The first and most vocal thing the gaming community will whine about is a game being too “ugly”.

    • Gnoupi says:

      To be fair, they will obviously whine about any game being too ugly: link to forums.steampowered.com

    • Prime says:

      @Gnoupi: I wonder how much of DE:HRs perceived ugliness is down to the need to cram it down into a console version…

    • The Colonel says:

      Well DX3’s graphics were ugly. Fortunately they overdosed on detail so it doesn’t suffer much. I did find it a touch disappointing that the in-game cutscenes, whilst bizarrely in 480p, had a much nicer lighting aesthetic than the actual game. The dark, jeux noir feel of those videos would have been better, but at least it was a pretty-good to very-good game.

  7. JackDandy says:

    I’m really looking forward to the game.

    Hope they can fulfill it’s potential.

  8. FakeAssName says:

    I still fiddle with it from time to time, bisecting asteroids by circle strafing them with full auto missile launchers is kinda fun.

  9. DevinH says:

    I almost bought this earlier, but decided to pass after discovering it uses always-online DRM.

    • Dozer says:

      So does my web browser. I can’t access live webpages unless I’m connected to the internet. It’s very limiting.

    • HeavyHarris says:

      Come now, Dozer. You know how we feel about DRM ’round these parts.

  10. nimzy says:

    How close is Miner Wars to the old PC classic Allegiance by Microsoft Research? On a scale of 1-10, where 3-10 is must-buy territory.

  11. sinister agent says:

    Ooh, first I’ve heard of this. Makes me think of Descent and K240, although I’m probably kidding myself about K240.

    Will have to give this a go during those two days that happen at the end of the week. Someone really should come up with a shorter name for that.

    • Tycow says:

      Someone should definitely remake K240 or Fragile Allegiance…

      I would give my right nut* for a remake/new game.

      * may not be true.

  12. Dozer says:

    Looks awesome! If I had money I’d play this. Although it appears to be raining in space.

  13. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Bought the pre alpha a while ago, last year and I was quite surprised how solid it was even while in development. Looking forward to giving this a burl!

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  16. MythArcana says:

    This game reminds me of classic Descent ][ and therefore gets my stamp of approval. Now if we can just get the guy to finish the thing, we’ll be alright!

  17. mechabuddha says:

    So what exactly is the MMO portion to this game? Something completely different, or something that uses the same engine and gameplay in an online setting?

    • mechabuddha says:

      How Will Miner Wars 2081 & the MMO Differ?
      The Miner Wars MMO is a separate game which is and distinctly orientated at a much larger Multiplayer capacity. There will be a greater emphasis on ‘factioning’. Players will be able to build bases, join or create factions, and wage war.
      Release: Q3 2012

  18. fooga44 says:

    Speaking of Descent you all should get a copy of d2x-xl and check out/download the high res models from the menu.