Dark Horizons, a most unusual ‘Mech game

by expack3

A couple years ago, I had the privilege to participate in the development of Dark Horizons: MAV, created by Max Gaming Technologies (MGT). It’s most unusual in terms of ‘Mech (walking tank) games in that the control scheme is arcade-like, requiring only 8-15 keys to properly control your ‘Mech – instead of needing an entire keyboard like most ‘Mech games – while still having many of the simulation aspects of more traditional ‘Mech games like the Mechwarrior series and the Earthsiege series, like having the damage to your ‘Mech’s parts being individually-tracked and needing to manage your ‘Mech’s heat levels.

One of the better definitions of “Stuff Blowing Up” in a video game.

Plus, Dark Horizons: MAV allows you to completely customize a wide variety of ‘Mech chassis, right down to the individual weapons!

Yeah, it’s been done before, but this is a rarity for a modern, PC-based ‘Mech game.

Unfortunately, MGT’s Kickstarter campaign for Dark Horizons: MAV just so happened to be released right when MechWarrior Online, the much-vaunted successor to the hallowed Mechwarrior series, was launching into open beta and the arcade-style ‘Mech game Hawken was becoming very popular. Thus, in combination with other factors to which I’m not privy, their Kickstarter failed miserably, with only 39 backers pledging 1,612 USD (US Dollars), approximately 1/10 th of the desired 15,000 USD. Given this development, MGT moved on to contract work.

Recently, though, much of this has changed. MGT has given permission to Mr. Adrian Wright, a MGT employee, to work on continued development for Dark Horizons: MAV, now known simply as Dark Horizons due to the “MAV” part of the original name being copyrighted. Mr. Adrian’s (yes, I know Mr. Wright is more proper, but I guarantee you that people will mistaken it for Will Wright) new vision for the game is to make it into a freeware game – aka a completely, utterly, and no-strings-attached free game – first, which will be released as an “open beta” soon. Then, at some point in the future, Mr. Adrian will transition the game into a F2P (Free to Play) monetization model. As the few active members of the Dark Horizons community and I have now effectively been drafted into Mr. Adrian’s development team, I’m helping out in any way I can – ranging from advertising in forums I know will have an audience for this game to this very blog post.

I also plan to advertise Dark Horizons by asking you, my readers, this: if you’re interested in Dark Horizons, register now at http://www.playmech.com so you can play the open beta when it’s released. I know Mr. Adrian would also appreciate it if you could please advertise the game in any way you can to your friends, family, or anyone you think might be interested. The advertising campaign for the game is very much a grassroots one, so we need all the help we can get!

The future looks interesting for Dark Horizons, and, as a fan of the game, I can’t wait to see where it goes – especially since I am among the privileged few who can truly shape that future.