M.O.R.E. developer interview
We caught up with Marcin Bednarski from the young, upstart and aspiring developer team that is behind M.O.R.E. project that has appeared on Kickstarter a while ago and picked his brain a bit. The ambitious attempt to make a very unique, special 4X title has so far garnered 30.000$ from the set goal of 50.000$, but there is still over a month to go. Fans got mad love for the project, so we decided to see who exactly is behind the M.O.R.E. (Military, Organization, Research, Economy) 4x space strategy title and what exactly are they up to.
StrategyPrime: MORE Dev team is comprised from people from both USA and Europe, how did you all get together?
Marcin: Actually, our core team is from Poland. The international part of our team (USA and Germany) is responsible for some language checks and was necessary to start the kickstarter project, but there is a good possibility that our team will grow as we have received some applications from people from all over the world who want to support us.
StrategyPrime: We definitely liked the „there was the Big Bang, and then there was this game, Master of Orion 2“ summation of the history of universe, might even given Stephen Hawking a run for his money. It seems reasonable to assume that Master of Orion 2 is the game that inspired you all to try and put M.O.R.E. project on its feet?
Marcin: Yes, exactly! Master of Orion 2 is the game which we love the most and we’ve waited for a decent MoO2 successor. We still play this game regularly, there is nothing better out there for us! But we want to move on, and we were getting tired of the new 4x space strategies. They lack many functions and ideas which we want to see in a game of our dream, so we decided to create M.O.R.E. But I want to highlight that our game will be in many ways different from MoO2. It will be something beyond it.
StrategyPrime: The „only one more turn“ effect is something well known to all of us strategy gamers (as in OMG school/work starts in 5 hours, I need to get some sleep, but only…one…more…turn…!), but it is also a very demanding goal to set. How do you think you will achieve that in the players?
Marcin: Yes, it’s very demanding goal indeed, but we are confident that we can achieve it. We want to go back to the beginning, to the “good old base” and create a worthy successor of classic 4x genre. Unfortunately, new space strategies games have battles in real-time, shallow gameplay, unintuitive user interfaces, and they have duplicated game schemes. We want to update old ideas and bring new ones to life, and we think that players will appreciate that. We will also take great care with the testing of our game before we give it a green light. We don’t want to release game full of bugs.
StrategyPrime: MoO2 has set certain standards for 4X strategies: it is obvious that you would like to adhere to the good ones, but are there any you would like to especially improve upon?
Marcin: We want to improve everything. It’s not possible to choose one particular feature which we will improve, because all will be created from scratch. We have 3D turn-based tactical battles – imagine renewed MoO2 battles fought on a 3D map! We have our own idea for great 3D galaxy map without artificial limits like the starlines. New, more detailed and deeper approach to spying and diplomacy, introducing Dyson Spheres and more. 20 totally different alien races with different military tactics and dedicated branches of the technology tree. Want more!? I could just go on, but it would last at least 3 more hours! We’ve revealed only a small part of our vision for now. How much we will add to it, depends on the level of funding that we get on Kickstarter.
StrategyPrime: The atmosphere is a very important part of these games, and the ten hours of music tracks sounds rather impressive. How do you intend to make the universe feel alive?
Marcin: We will create animated cut-scenes to add more atmosphere to our game. There will be at least 10 hours of awesome music, different for each race. If we reach $80.000 stretch goal there will be even more of it! Each race will have its own interface design (but you can stick to your favorite). In addition we want to create interesting background stories which will be available in spacepedia, and we have a few more ideas on how to make player feel like he/she rules his/her own empire. Our universe will be alive… there will be random events, space phenomena and there will be space monsters living our there…
StrategyPrime: Player feedback can be a powerful tool and provide good guidelines for each developer team, both fledgling and experienced ones. Do you intend to, and to what degree, include fanbase into your decision making process?
Marcin: We appreciate our community voice. We already created our game forum where we can discuss and hear about new ideas and wishes. We will listen to the fans during the whole process of crating M.O.R.E. We know that we can’t do everything, but we will do our best to include good and reasonable suggestions into the game. We have our own idea for it and we will stick to it, but the community can be of great help. For example, when our funding on Kickstarter ends, those backers who pledged $15 or more will have access to the closed part of our forum where they will be able to choose among several concept graphics how particular race should look like. We will ask them to help creating some part of game and we hope they will gladly do so.
StrategyPrime: How much modability will the game offer in terms of expanding the game with mods or merely creating highly customizable races?
Marcin: To be honest – we don’t know yet. We want to implement so many game options which can be set during start of new game, that we hope there won’t be any need for additional mods. Maybe we will add support for designing spaceships models, and interface? And of course, there will be in-game option, allowing customize your race.
StrategyPrime: The M.O.R.E. team is fairly young, even though it is obvious you all got good tastes (for instance, Artur prefers Blade Runner which is also my own favorite movie and Dominika reads my favorite author, Stephen King), so the question comes naturally; have you thought about keeping your group together and working together even beyond M.O.R.E.? If so, would it be 4x gene exclusively?
Marcin: Yes, we would love to stick together… and right now we have many ideas for M.O.R.E. DLC. I think if all goes well we could create 2-3 DLC’s for this game! But it depends on how much money we can collect on Kickstarter, and how our game will be received on market. And later? Yes, we have other ideas for games… so, who knows?
It is all n the stars, it seems. We would definitely want to see a worthy heir to Master of Orion 2, and this lovely bunch seems intent on delivering. Good luck, we’ll be staying in touch!