ShootMania Storm has an official release date, for what it's worth, and that date is January 23, 2013. Why that may be a bit underwhelming of an announcement is because ShootMania Storm is employing the Minecraft style "preorder for purchase" business strategy. As in, if you preorder now, not only do you get a discount off the full release price, but you gain access to the game, well, forever.
It shouldn't surprise you then that the bigger news is a huge patch will be hitting in December, marking the launch of ShootMania Storm's "Beta 2." There will be both gameplay updates as well as changes to the ManiaPlanet hub in Beta 2. Here are the notes:
- New moves (Laser Jump, Wall Jump, Grappling Hook and more)
- New Game modes: Victory and Fortress
- Opening of the “Welcome Build”: The “Welcome Build” is a specific game build especially designed to offer an easy introduction to ShootMania Storm for newcomers, giving free permanent access to the Royal and Elite game modes. At launch, it will be free and available to all, but from October on, it will allow all ManiaPlanet existing players to send invitations to their friends who will then be able to download that client. This experience will remain on invitation until ShootMania Storm launches.
ManiaPlanet Hub 2.0:
- 3D Objects imports in the map editor
- ManiaCup: This “eSports 2.0” tool allows all players to easily create tournaments inside ManiaPlanet, including player registration and prize pool management
- ManiaTeams: Players will be able to register their team inside ManiaPlanet, track the team statistics and register teams to tournaments
As a ShootMania Storm player myself, I can't tell you how big of a deal the 3D object importing in the map editor is going to be. The game is already gaining traction as a competitive eSport, but the more casual FPS crowd has yet to really catch on. The trick, I think, will be in allowing fans to dig deep into map editing to create experiences you can't find anywhere else. Beta 2 may be the start of that.
ShootMania Storm early access is currently available for $16 through the ManiaPlanet store. It's a PC exclusive multiplayer FPS that has a lot of potential -- now with Beta 2 more than ever. Look forward to more news soon.
Beta 2 teaser - Youtube