TA Interview: Marek Rosa of Keen Software House

By SgtDigglesworth, 6 years ago
http://www.trueachievements.com/Miner-Wars-2081/achieve....htm. is a survival-action-FPS, that enables players to strategically deal with the universal threats posed by warring nations over much needed resourcers after the Earth was destroyed by a storm of solar flares.

Featuring the dreaded Fourth Reich, Marek Rosa and the team at Keen Software House have been hard at work building a realistic universe that fans will journey through and enjoy.

The following interview is with the Founder and CEO of the independent development team Keen Software House, Marek Rosa. He was nice enough to shed light on the details surrounding his brain child, Miner Wars 2081.

MW Interview Oct.28th

SgtDigglesworth: How did you arrive at the story behind Miner Wars 2081?
Marek Rosa:
I wanted a story where the player gets attached to his brothers in arms. I also wanted realistic protagonists, not black & white characters. All this set in a near future (so that even we can be alive once it happens) and with factions very similar to what we have right now (Russia, China, Euro-American Confederation, etc.)

The first half of the story was supposed to be about getting to know your comrades, then things turn, and the second half is about rescuing your comrades (at this point the player should really want to rescue them, because he has made an emotional connection to them in the first half).

The main protagonists are two brothers; one of them almost dies in the story. Here I got my inspiration from my personal life - my younger brother has died in a car accident, so it’s some kind of tribute to him.

SD: What are the steps you are taking to get fans to embrace the Miner War universe?
I am trying to create a realistic universe with believable rules and game mechanics. I try to avoid “deus ex machina” elements. So there’s no 100% good or 100% bad faction and character.

SD: What are some of the obstacles you have faced when developing Miner Wars 2081?
The biggest problem was to find people who are on the same wave length as me, independent, dedicated and able to produce quality work. The sad fact is that we spent almost 70% of our time just by fixing bugs and mistakes, so then there was less time for something creative.

SD: Miner Wars2081 is being developed by the VRAGE Engine, and you mention that it was built specifically for MW. What other plans do you have for this engine?]
Yes we have a lot of plans with VRAGE. First we want to use it in a sequel to Miner Wars, then in the Miner Wars MMO. We also want to add character animation and make an FPS with destructible environments (VRAGE uses voxels a lot).

Actually, it could be a very entertaining game – just imagine running on an asteroid, building bases while your enemy tries to take down your fortification, bridges, and city walls. If you decide to destroy their base, why not dig a tunnel under their city walls?

SD: What can we expect with regards to the multiplayer aspect and will it also be available for the Xbox retail version?
Miner Wars 2081 has co-op up to 16 players. And then there’s death-match with about 20 sectors.

SD: Do you have any other plans for the XBLA or Xbox 360 retail for Keen House Software, after the release of Miner Wars?
Yes we would like to get Miner Wars on XBOX, but right now we are focusing on finishing the PC version.

SD: Can you tell us what it was like working with Dan Wentz (who worked on the Red Faction series) and how that relationship transformed the MW project?
Dan Wentz is located in the USA while we are in the Czech Republic, Europe. This distance and time zone differences showed to be an obstacle to our cooperation, so after some time we decided to work with a local sound designer and musicians. Dan was helpful during the initial stage; he got some great ideas for sound design, notably sounds for ships engines, explosions, weapons and more.

MW Interview Oct.28th

SD: Miner Wars2081 is slated to be a survival-action-first-person shooter and the player will not gain XP. What type of equipment is available ie. upgrades and how do people purchase these items in-game?
I try to emulate real life – and we don’t have XP in real-life. Instead we have money. Players are free to gather money by mining, trading and stealing. They can then use it for purchasing advanced weapons, ships, armor and about 50 other items from merchants who are located almost everywhere.

SD: The game mentions that people can "hire a friend". Does this mean that with the in-game currency we will have to pay them to join in a mission, or does the entire campaign have the ability to play solo or co-op?
You can play solo, but anyone can join you at any moment. They can just jump-into your game. Of course you still have an option to kick them out.

SD:Will the Xbox version be different from the Windows PC/Steam version? And if so, what can we expect to be different?
Doing an XBLA port is still just an idea, so I can’t do predictions here. Simplest way seems to be to reduce texture quality a bit, perhaps modify the rendering core and we are good to go. Miner Wars already supports joystick and xbox controller, so this won’t be an issue.

SD: A recent press release noted that you are currently working on some new DLC. What can you tell us about this DLC?
This DLC uses a temporary name “Miner Wars 2.5D Experiment”. We made it as a quick test, to see if our community wants it. The core idea is about switching Miner Wars into 2.5D mode, with top-down camera-view and gameplay limited to two dimensions (player can’t fly up/down).

The advantage to Miner Wars 2081 is that player sees a larger part of the battlefield and it’s easier to navigate. I think this type of gameplay is more accessible to players who might be scared of 6DOF. Although to my surprise, I haven’t noticed anyone who would have issues with 6DOF.

SD: Finally, our community loves gaming and achievements. What, if anything, can you tell us about the process you have taken for coming up with the achievements list, and can you tell us a few achievements that we can expect within the Miner Wars 2081 game?
There are secret rooms with “mysterious cubes” in them. Nobody knows who created them, what’s their purpose and how did they get there. But what they know is that nobody can move or destroy them. It seems like they are perfectly static objects. Players will receive achievements for finding these rooms.

MW Interview Oct.28th

I would like to thank Marek Rosa for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts on the Miner Wars 2081 project and answering my questions.

We will be sure to keep the community posted on any further information regarding the upcoming release, pricing, and future endeavours of Keen Software House; and the possibility of squeezing some more details from him regarding more achievement news for all you community members out there.

For all of our Miner Wars 2081 coverage head over to here