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An Interview with the "M.O.R.E." Kickstarter
by James Yee on 10/20/12 09:03:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

This interview originally posted on my Kickstarter Conversations Blog

------------------------------

Good evening everyone and welcome to another wonderful Kickstarter interview!  Today I am joined by IdeaLcenter’s Marcin from Poland correct?  

Yes, That’s correct :)

Today he is bringing us a new Kickstarter based off of Master of Orion 2 called "M.O.R.E." So normally I start these interviews with a very simple question that leads to some interesting answers which is, “Why Kickstarter?”

Why? That’s simple, because we want to make this game, and without Kickstarter we wouldn’t be able to do so.

As a long time Master of Orion fan (It is number 2 on my top ten games of all time list after all) I have to ask, “Where have you been all this time and what took you so long?”  

We were hiding from You ;)
Seriously speaking, we were dreaming about playing a true successor MoO2 for years. There were some games which wanted to take Master’s place or even surpass it; but for us they didn’t succeed. The latest example, Endless Space is a good game, but not truly a MoO2 successor.

One of the biggest draws of a Kickstarter project is the initial video, who was in charge of that?  Who had the, I think genius idea, of posting pictures of the team “spinning” in that sci-fi tube?  

I’ll answer in as diplomatic way as possible and say that all the team members had a part in making this video. But I’m the main person in charge and I’m also big fan of Star Trek so... “Beam me up Scotty!” was my idea. ;)

It has been said that successful Kickstarter projects do their best to put a human face on their projects and you guys sure have done that! Tell me how did you end up with such an global team and how are you working together from all over the world?  

To be honest our core team is from Poland. We are close friends dedicated to this game, and I think it is solid base for our success. We can motivate each other and check our work, meet in real life and talk about some ideas. On the other hand some of us live in other parts of Poland,  even 300 miles away, so we communicate with them on Skype with webcams. Our international  team (USA and Germany) is responsible for some language checks and was necessary to start the kickstarter project. There is a good possibility our team will grow as we have received some applications from people from all over the world who want to support us.

So here we are in 2012 and Master of Orion 2 came out way back in 1996.  There have been lots of new series to take on the 4X space game crown such as Space Empire series, Sins of a Solar Empire, Galactic Civilization, Sword of the Stars, and most recently Endless Space (Full Disclosure I have all these games) what makes you think M.O.R.E. brings something new or different that these games don’t?   Haven’t we moved beyond the Master of Orion 2 gameplay style?

Maybe we’ve moved beyond MoO2 gameplay but in which directions? Fast battles in real-time, shallow gameplay, unintuitive user interfaces, duplication of game schemes, loss of the atmosphere in the game. These games which you mention are all different, some of them are good, even great, but no... in our opinion there is no game which can be MoO2 successor.

What new things are we bringing? 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 deeper approach to spying. We will create animated cut-scenes to add more atmosphere to our game. There will be over 10 hours of awesome music, different for each race. Each race will have own interface design (but you can stick to your favorite), introducing Dyson Spheres and more. 20 totally different alien races with different military tactics and dedicated branch of the technology tree. Enough? I could just go on, but it will last at least 3 more hours :) We’ve revealed only part of our vision for now. How much we will add to it, depends on the level of funding that we get on Kickstarter.

That’s quite a vision you have there! Personally I still totally play Master of Orion 2 so I can see the desire for that “old school” gameplay.  Now your video states the gameplay and images used are from only a 4 month old build of the game?  Do you think using such Pre-Alpha type footage hurts your Kickstarter chances?  

Personally few of our team still plays Master of Orion 2. :)
Yes, what you’ve seen in our presentation was made by our team “after hours” in 4 months time. We know that we can do better, but we can’t create all this game in our spare time - it would take years. So we’ve decided to show, not a playable alpha version, but what we are able to do and what we want to do. Yes, it hurts our Kickstarter chances, but we hope that people from all over the world will see past the rough nature of the video and trust us.  They will have the opportunity  to receive the game, alpha and beta access, as well as other goodies. Those who skip the Kickstarter will still have a chance to buy our game after it reaches store shelves at a greater cost, but I’m sure they’ll still buy it because it’ll be a great game!

Most successful Kickstarters focus on communicating with their base through social media and Kickstarter updates, what do you guys have planned in this regard?  Will we have more developer interviews and videos?   Ship previews/concept images?  Combat video walkthrough?  Tech tree discussions?  All of the above and more? (I hope!)

I know that our supporters want all of this or even more. I know that you want this game now and with even more functions in it. But it’s impossible - you have to wait! :)

Yes... some projects do interviews and such but our primary goal is not to make you happy now with funny videos or a full length discussion on the tech tree and everyone’s thoughts on it. No, we are instead focused on Dec. 2013 when we can put a big smile on your face by shipping a high quality game. We are talking with Silesian Planetarium and Observatory which will provide us with substantive support of our game. This is some never before shared information shared with you first!

We are working also to close up affairs in our lives, finish other jobs, we set new plans for our lives all because of that when KickStarter ends we can focus only on creating this game.

We are also talking with our community throught our forum (www.morethegame.com/forum) and we’ve planned some video updates too. Another first for this interview,  we’re planning to show some Alien Ships and more Alien Races in the upcoming video updates!

Wow, thank you for sharing that with us!  So what kind of support is the Silesian Planetarium and Observatory providing you?

The academic institution will provide us with technical support in the field of astronomy, astrophysics and physics. Thanks to the consultations conducted with scientists employed there, our game will become more realistic - at least in terms such as the construction of the galaxy, and these talks - which have already been carried out - created new ideas to enrich our game.


It’s good to see you have a FAQ section up already though I’m surprised the question of modability hasn’t been raised.  Are there plans to allow fan created art/models/modifications to be used in future?

There were some questions about modability, but to be honest we don’t know yet how it will work out. I think in some ways the game will be moddable (for example you will be able to create your own interface), but on the other hand we don’t plan on big mod support, yet. In future? Maybe.

With 40+ days to go you are almost 50% of the way completed do you have any thoughts of Stretch rewards?  How do you plan to keep the energy up for the remainder of your campaign?  

We have some plans for our video updates which I mentioned before, and yes, we are thinking about stretch goals. We will reveal more soon on this matter.


Is there anything else you’d like to tell the audience about your project or the Kickstarter campaign specifically?  

Yes, At first I want to thank you all for your support! It’s great to see that people share your vision of game and appreciate your work. Thank you again.

Only one request: if you can, please spread the world about our project. We have a very low budget on KS, but the game is doable at this level. But if we get more money, we can hire additionals graphic artists, musicians and programmers which will give you more game content.



Thank you for your time I look forward to speaking to you again after the successful completion of your campaign!  

Thank You






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