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Checking up on M.O.R.E. – About 1 Year After Kickstarter

By on January 8th, 2014 1:49 pm

M.O.R.E. | Turn-based space 4X strategy game by IdeaLcenter

M.O.R.E. (for military, organization, research, economy) is another space 4X game that Kickstarted roughly a year ago. About one year and two months to be more precise. Promised main features include turn-based gameplay, a 3D galaxy map, 3D space battles, 20 playable races, ship design, single-player, multiplayer, among many other things.

So, what have the IdeaLcenter guys been up to lately? Where are they in terms of development?

From what I understand they are somewhere in pre-alpha stage, with what seems to be a long road ahead still. But what about concrete progress, screenshots or videos showing off gameplay? Well, look by yourself.

There’s definitely something cooking in there. The races look interesting and the features list is quite impressive. A bold plan indeed. But, how good of a game it will be in the end it’s definitely too soon to tell. They’re aiming for a 2014 release, but with such an apparent gigantic scope in mind, will they make it?

Here’s a short interview we did with Marcin Bednarski, MORE’s lead designer, about their release plan, pre-orders and expected DLCs.

SS: What’s you current estimate to reach Alpha and give Alpha instance access to people who pre-order the Platinium Digital Version?

Marcin: As always, all things take longer than we expect them to take, so our dates have unfortunately moved forward too. We want to send a first partly playable pre-alpha to our backers at the beginning of March. Alpha should be available around end of March/April 2014.

SS: What’s your current estimate to reach Beta?

Marcin: At now, we hope to release beta around May/June 2014.

SS: According to your website, your current estimate points to a June 2014 release. Will this release support Windows, Linux and Mac?

Marcin: We think that our final release will be again moved forward in time… but we want to create another stage – we call it “Gamma” ;) It’s a stage where all Kickstarter Backers, and other players which bought or will buy the game key will gain full access to it. M.O.R.E. will have all the functionality by then, but there still can be some minor gameplay bugs. In this stage we also want to improve the AI. So I think that, the “Gamma” release will occur somewhere around July/August. And our final release will be… when we will be ready for it :) As you can see in our video, the quality of our product is of great value for us. We are indie but we aim for the highest quality and gameplay.

We also want to release WIN/MAC/LINUX versions at the same time. Right now we’ve already conducted successfully testing of the MAC version. Linux tests are planned for this month. Our ALPHA/BETA/GAMMA releases may be different for all those operating systems, but we do our best to release for all at once. Our final release will be for all 3 operating systems at the same time.

SS: The “Digital Version” pre-order costs $15. How much can people expect to save by pre-ordering now vs buying the final game on release? Do you have a final price set already?

Marcin: Yes, we have a price set. Right now the basic version costs $15. After ALPHA release it will be $20. After BETA release $25. From GAMMA/FULL version release our price should be located at $30. So right now you can buy our game with a 50% discount of its final price.

SS: About the DLCs. How many are already planned and what kind of content can people expect to get from those?

Marcin: We’ve planned 6 DLCs, no more, no less. We want to create a vast universe around our game and add more functionality to it.

Additionally, right now we are offering a gold digital pack for $70, which is a great option for people who appreciate our work. With this pack you will get a game key, access to the BETA stage and all future DLCs for M.O.R.E., for free. So it’s a very tempting offer, especially that this option will also be more expensive while our game hits the next game release stages.

SS: You mention No-DRM. Do you exclude a Steam release? Are you planning to self-publish, or to seek out an agreement with a publisher to help you distribute your game?

Marcin: We are thinking about publishing on Steam too, but that will be determined in the future. For us our priority is to sell the game in our website. We’ve already talked with 3 publishers companies, which are interested in selling MORE but for now we don’t have any agreement with anyone.

SS: Thanks for your time.

M.O.R.E. is a turn-based space 4X strategy game that is being developed by indie studio ideaLcenter for Windows, Mac and Linux. It’s currently on pre-alpha stage and is expected to release somewhere in 2014. The studio is already selling (non-instant access) pre-orders starting at $15. More here.

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  1. Ermdog says:

    Wow, this looks absolutely amazing and different than anything else I’ve seen. Out of Horizon, Star Lords, and M.O.R.E., this one I anticipated the most.

    • Kordanor says:

      Yep, it just looks the most “epic”. Atmosphere/realism and size-wise.

      • Chuki792 says:

        Agreed. It have to say, seeing some of the recent offerings that are on their way, the likes of this, Predestination and DSS I’m starting to worry a bit about Horizon. It just looks so dated compared with these offerings, especially M.O.R.E. and its still a long way from release (may be a good thing but i hear the aesthetics are as they will be on release… disappointing to say the least)

    • IdeaLCenter says:

      I’ll answer here:

      Thank you for all your warm words, and for other opinion.
      We are trying to do our best – deliver you the best content as we can. That’s why we have delays… but I hope, that at least 90% of our customers will say in the end: “It was worth to wait.” This is our aim. And also our aim is to release this game in 2014.

  2. Njordin says:

    Epic trailer! Good luck M.O.R.E !

  3. Lodewijk Gonggrijp says:

    As a backer, I feel proud of this team

  4. BTAxis says:

    I was a little skeptical about MORE’s ability to get finished, but it’s good to hear something from them. I sure hope they’ll end up putting out a solid title in the end, and it doesn’t have to be this year as far as I’m concerned.

  5. AstralWanderer says:

    Nice to hear an update with projected release dates, though it would have been better to keep KS backers more in the loop.

    They do mention a “Gold” pack (including all DLCs) for $70 – it would be good to have clarification as to whether backers will gain access to that DLC, as the home page does say $50+ backers get a 100% DLC discount.

    • IdeaLCenter says:

      We do ~monthly updates. We post more info about our progress on our forum.

      Our “Gold Pack” with all DLC’s was available for $50 during our Kickstarter Campaign. Now it cost $70.

      • AstralWanderer says:

        “Our “Gold Pack” with all DLC’s was available for $50 during our Kickstarter Campaign. Now it cost $70.”

        Thanks for the confirmation – it might be worth adding a note on your pre-order page for KS backers (or maybe just point it out in a KS update). An option for KS backers to upgrade to a higher version (perhaps with a pledge amount x 1.2 discount?) might be worth considering.

  6. alex says:

    looks pretty decent, I am positively surprised. looking forward to the beta.

  7. Jonas says:

    This looks great! I love that the galaxy map seems to be real 3d. I hate the 2d maps in most games. I also like that it will work on mac.

    • Ermdog says:

      I wasn’t a big fan of the 3d map like SOTS had, but I’m curious to see how this will work. I think they said you can switch between 2d and 3d views, but I’m not sure if it was this game or another one.

      • IdeaLCenter says:

        No official comment on this ;)
        (Unofficial – all people should be happy – 2d and 3d :) )

        • Chuki792 says:

          Good to hear, I’m really not a fan of the SOTS/SOTSII:EE 3D map, its just the worst, especially the ‘padlock to star’ view they’ve gone for, at least give us the freedom to move the camera to a position that doesn’t desynch my eyes from my brain o_O

  8. Jeff P says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here as I’m not impressed with M.O.R.E.

    I was a KS backer, and had high hopes for this title after viewing the original KS presentation. Unfortunately, after succeeding in obtaining funding, the original design team fell into disarray and several left the project.

    The monthly updates provided to KS backers have not been reassuring (to me, at least) as they detailed continuing delays, bugs and money problems while pleading with backers to “…please don’t fight with each other.” Hardly reassuring stuff.

    Perhaps the design team over-estimated their abilities or that of the Unity engine. Perhaps they underestimated the time and money needed for such an ambitious project. Perhaps they will eventually finish the game and it will have been worth the wait.

    What I do know is that I will think twice before supporting another KS project.

    • JohnR says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more about the problems with Kickstarter. I think it’s way overrated and far from the Nirvana that gamers seem to think it is. Sid Meier summed it up best when he said that with Kickstarter it’s easy to paint yourself into a box. That is, you promise certain things to backers, then later on down the road in the development process you may find certain things you promised are not do-able, at which point you risk badly disappointing your backers when you can’t deliver what was promised. In other words, the whole process is rather inflexible. On a related note, I’m amazed at all the millions people have dumped into Star Citizen, a game that isn’t much more than a wish machine at the moment.

      • Chuki792 says:

        The thing about SC is that people are buying into Chris ROberts himself, if not the game! Imagine if this game or any other was headed by say Sid Meier, people wouldn’t hesitate to throw millions in his direction because they ‘know’ and trust him to deliver. Not so much with the Indies I guess.
        The problem is Kickstarter is an investment not a ‘promise’ per se, and like any investment should be thoroughly risk assessed before handing over any cash.
        It’s like gambling, the only sensible way to do it is to only pledge what you can afford to write off.

      • AstralWanderer says:

        “I think it’s way overrated and far from the Nirvana that gamers seem to think it is.”

        KS has been over-hyped by some (including some high-profile project creators) but it would be unfair to ignore successful projects like FTL or Malevolence, which very likely wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. And projects with little in the way of detail or substance (Your World being the biggest example to date) have tended to fall at the first hurdle.

        “…it’s easy to paint yourself into a box. That is, you promise certain things to backers, then later on down the road in the development process you may find certain things you promised are not do-able, at which point you risk badly disappointing your backers when you can’t deliver what was promised.”

        This occurs with publisher-funded projects also, resulting in either canceled projects that we rarely hear about, or unstable bugfests that seem increasingly common even with AAA titles.

        “…I’m amazed at all the millions people have dumped into Star Citizen, a game that isn’t much more than a wish machine at the moment.”

        I stayed clear of that myself (since it seemed to be principally multiplayer) but MMOs generally do seem risky on KS, since they tend to have higher development costs and much higher support costs. Unless the business behind the project can build up an income stream quickly, any MMO seems likely to die quickly even if developed.

        KS (and similar crowdfunding platforms) provides an alternative way of getting games developed, in the same way as how auction sites provide an alternative way of buying stuff. There will be failures but also a good number of successes. Projects that have done most of their design and playtesting (and able to offer an alpha preview) and which only need funding for better art, sound and music will be the most likely to succeed, and as KS matures, projects will need to be better prepared to get funded. Boardgame projects are a good example, where design alone rarely suffices now – details of rules, components and artwork are pretty much essential to attract interest.

    • IdeaLCenter says:

      We hope Jeff, that when you get your copy of M.O.R.E. you will be satisfied.
      We may not be so active on Kickstarter now, because we want to focus on our work.
      Also, we don’t show you everything we’ve got. There is plenty of graphic/music/software/ideas content which you’ll receive in proper time.

  9. Sledge Hammer says:

    Same thing here, Jeff.

    Im a backer, and I had high hopes, but the updates since then have been …minimalistic…, but at least steady.
    But I highly question there ability to plan ahead.
    I mean, come on. Everybody who ever worked on SW, especially in a team must see that this schedule is totally wack:
    Pre-Alpha – early March
    Alphe – end of March/April (why the pre-alpha then?)
    Beta – May / June
    and GAMMA???? in July/August
    having to crunch a major release out every 2 months is a big task, how can they actually improve anything on player feedback?

    Also a Beta is usually a feature complete code, to be tested for bugs, they call this their Gamma. And they want to “improve” the AI in gamma. Well I always see a problem when the AI is just an addon at the end of the project, because there is really nobody focusing on it.

    Will be another Endless Space, pretty, but laughable AI and strange design decisions.

    I hope they can prove me wrong, but Im not hyped about it all.
    Although I would love an improvement over MoO 2, maybe GalCiv 3 can do that ?

  10. hakkarin says:

    I am not holding my breath for this game. I have seen too many games (the recent X-Rebirth comes to mind) make grand promises only to end up being unfinished, buggy and not very good.

    The fact that the game is only an early alpha after a whole year also doesn’t fill me with hope.

  11. Chris M. says:

    I’m a backer as well. I backed this game along with Void Destroyer, and Limit Theory about the same time. The other games are both already in beta stage. Limit Theory is being produced by a single guy, much less a team. Now, this game does seem much more massive in scope compared to the others, but like most other backers, I’m worried about the lack of information coming from them. The other developers do more or better updates on their games. I like the epic look and feel of it, and I really hope that it turns out well.

  12. Edward Ryan says:

    I think the fact that it might have bugs should be, it will have bugs! there are just too many software and hardware specifications out there for there not to be, but I think the progress that these guys have made in the time frame is a credit to them, and I think the guys should be given some slack I’m also a Kickstarter backer.

  13. TimmY says:

    Looks really nice. Can’t wait to explore those huge galaxies.

  14. whocares says:

    I wish they won’t bite more than they can chew. A 2014 release whereas only the galaxy and planets (as in game content) are shown? Reality check boys!

  15. Rip the Jacker! says:

    This “Fleet” combat mechanic concerns me; I’m worried that it will be an experience which is less that that of MOO2.

    As long as I the game will let me do everything I can do in MOO2’s combat system, then it will be good. However, if they cut corners in the combat system, like so many others have before (e.g. GalCiv et al.), then disappointment will again ensue.

    My hope is that the game will be what I’ve been waiting for all this time, and that I won’t have to sigh and play the Elerians on Advanced in Impossible yet again.


  16. Njordin says:

    Did not expect that here… but i think many of you actually don´t know what Kickstarter is ? You don´t pay for a finished product or pre-ordering something.

    what do you think you´ll get ? Many development-teams are running through problems in the developement-phase. With Kickstarter or without.

    You are an investor.

    • Chuki792 says:

      Agreed. As I posted earlier, you need to think like an investor, which not a lot of people are doing when they pledge, hence all the QQ when things don’t live up to their “Promises”. And as you pointed out, there are more than enough pitfalls in the development process, KickStarter or no… you get the same with the Steam early access, you should read some of the posts on the StarLords steam community page… it beggars belief o_O

    • True_poser says:

      It is not investing, it’s gambling.
      Emotional-driven stuff.

      Whoa, they’re doing a game I’ll definitely like, take all my monies, take them!
      Oh, devs don’t answer quick enough and they are cancelling my favourite feature, alien ocean surfer minigame, why, oh why did I bake!
      Whoa, new video! They’ll be doing surfing in mercury oceans! Yeah, sure the release had to postponed, but it’ll be worth it!

      • Chuki792 says:

        Semantics, but yeah pretty much what i meant. I only back games that i find interesting but even then, only an amount that; if the game bombed I could just shrug and say c’est la vie and not resort to “nerd-raging” on the forums.
        As they say:

        “The customer is always right… possibly misguided, misinformed, confused, maybe even difficult, stubborn or downright stupid and rude…but NEVER WRONG!”

        • True_poser says:

          Investment is supposed to be rational, but you’re right, it’s only semantics.

          Well, as a customer I’m ok with being wrong.
          Things I think I want may quite differ from what I really want.

          But we went off-topic already.

  17. Klaus says:

    I think as long it has a well thought out, easy to grasp but hard to master, turnbased tactical space ship game included, while the rest is a large clone of MOO2 the whole project is on the right track. Unfortunately the trailer showed not much about the tactical game and its rules…

    Personally I dont care if 6 races or 60 races (except that I have the experience that too much of the same thing gets boring soon) or if 300 or 3000 systems, as long as the rules are good.

    And the rules of MOO2 were CLEAR to the players and well thought out (eg the freighter subsystem which transported colonists and food or the fleet point system which limited your fleet size or the tactical combat system which operated more like a traditional boardgame with easy to learn math and damage/hitpoint ranges) that is what counts.

  18. Boris says:

    Will this be released on steam?

  19. Dudester says:

    I hope this game remains compelling and not have that seeped in feel of a total indie effort. This being archaic UI and buggy and poorly thought out gameplay features. Very few polished indie efforts are common these days. The rule of thumb seems to be more clunky and cluttered UI with needless features that only turn it into a spreadsheet in space. Some please just get onto a Star Trek Birth of the Federation II already.

  20. Thomas says:

    Wow ! Looks like this might be the new ‘moo2’ for me. Too early to tell yet ofcourse, but I do have high hopes for this game. Graphics looks great, love the fact that there are cutscenes included as well. Im a sucker for eyecandy :-) One thing I hate about some of the other 4x games , lets say Endless space and Civilization series is the dreadful processing time between turns. I hope the M.O.R.E team has processing time in mind. Anyways, good luck guys. Credit card ready on release date.

  21. Harry says:

    6 DLCs..
    Meh I hate this!

    I hope you will not introduce an ingame shop for minerals or galaxy money..

    In the last week i played the space 4x game “alien tribe2” I hate them. You only survive by spending ingame “GEO” points. where 10 points cost you 6 $..

    And Klaus is right MORE seem too be to big to be a success.. 3000 stars.. 60 types of planets.. I loved to play MoO on small maps where every star system was important..
    For 3000 stars you need spend a lot of time and when you know you control 30% and your enemy only 20$ you know you will probably win(you have 300 Stars more than your enemy). But it will take weeks to conquer the rest, which does not make any fun.

    • We won’t have any ingame currency/shop/buying items etc.

      3000 stars will be your choice. We think about people which have strong computers and want’s to play very long games with AI for example.

      To be precise, we have 80 planet types ;)

      In MoO you can colonize all planets, and all was profitable for your empire. In M.O.R.E. you won’t colonize all planets – beacause it will be not good for your empire.

      In you play 1 on 1 without random events, and you are even tacticans with your opponent.. I think you are right. But even then, someone can do 1 mistake…

    • ashbery76 says:

      It looks like mock up after how long in development.Where is the gameplay?

      I am very dubious this game is ever getting released.

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