Space Miner: Space MORE Bust!

Hi everyone! Alex here — Senior Designer and chief wordsmith on all things Venan related. It’s been a good few years since our last blog post, in which Brandon posted up the game design document (GDD) for Space Miner: Space Ore Bust. You can still check it out here, if you’re interested.

While the Venan crew has been prioritizing our free-to-play RPG Book of Heroes for the last several years, a change is sweeping the office — a change that sounds an awful lot like banjos.


That’s right: SPACE MINER: SPACE ORE BUST is coming back, and it’s coming back in a big way. It’s so big, it wouldn’t even fit inside the old logo, so we had to bolt some extra signage to the top.

Platinum,” you think. “Why, that certainly suggests some manner of improvement or polishing! Some new level of shininess that was not there before!” You would be correct in thinking so, good sir or madam, for the words “Platinum Edition” were picked specifically over other such candidates as Remastered Edition, Special Edition, Game of the Year Edition, Deluxe Edition, Anniversary Edition, and “HD-er” Edition because we didn’t feel that any of them truly encompassed the scope of additions in this new update. It’s also possible we just picked Platinum Edition right from the start and went with that. Possibly.

Anyway, we pretty much had one goal going into the update:

1.) Make Space Ore Bust more awesome

So we filled whiteboards upon whiteboards with ideas. What would we do? What COULD we do? This was one of the first iOS engines we wrote, so dusting off the code could’ve unearthed more gremlins than game enhancement possibilities. Fortunately, this turned out not to be the case.

The first thing we wanted: graphic updates. The power of the hardware we play this game on has improved by orders of magnitude, so why shouldn’t the game follow suit? That in mind, the Venan art team updated every ship, weapon, and asteroid in the game, bringing it a little closer to what folks expect in an iOS game these days.


That’s the original Jalopy on the left, and the new one on the right. Improved model, improved textures — that ol’ junker never looked so good! You can expect similar graphical updates throughout the entire game.

The second thing we wanted: more story. The madcap space odyssey of Space Ore Bust could always benefit from another chapter, so our definitive version features an entirely new chapter in the story of the Gritstone Mining Company, bringing back the Space Miner, Uncle Jeb, Penny Frost, Space Trader Galactus, and Quark (who had maybe a grand total of four lines in the original game, but has WAY MORE now)!

“Scar’s Revenge” is a brand new expansion in the Space Miner universe that takes place immediately after the conclusion of Space Ore Bust. By completing the main story (or if you have a save at the end of the game) you can begin this new tale of treachery, revenge, and learned elocution.

Of course, we can’t have a new story in our original space system. We already used it all up! We crowded it full of asteroids and missions and giant piñatas — so to make a new story work, we needed a NEW space system.


Once you complete the main story, a wormhole will open in the Gritstone System, allowing you to teleport yourself to a brand new system map full of 16 new high-level sectors to explore, along with more challenging missions and fun new cutscenes.

Of course, if we’re adding more high-level content, we need higher LEVELS. So we also added two brand new license levels to earn.

And then once we had new license levels, we realized Galactus would need higher-level GEAR in his shop for each of those. So we also added a whole suite of brand new top-level gear.

And then once we had the new top-level gear, we realized you’d need some harder ENEMIES and ASTEROIDS to use it on. So we created a set of new asteroids and more powerful enemies to take down in the new sectors.

And lastly, once we had all that planned out, we realized that the best way to let people play it was to make the app UNIVERSAL and play nice with iOS 8! That’s right, no matter which version of the game you have, you’ll get all the content and bonuses of the PLATINUM EDITION! If you’re mining for the first time though, we HIGHLY recommend going for the universal Platinum Edition — we’ll be sunsetting the iPad version in a month or two, just to avoid confusion.


So, without further ado, I present to you the full list of update notes for the upcoming Space Miner: Space Ore Bust PLATINUM EDITION:

  • Added a BRAND NEW STORYLINE after years of haggling with space miner unions to get members of the original cast back in the studio.
  • Added 16 brand new sectors to mine and explore following our discovery that we could create entire space systems with mere lines of code.
  • Recruited a brand new villain and army of bad guys from Mega Space Corp’s prestigious Accelerated Villainy Programme.
  • Sculpted new asteroids from pure space dust and hid numerous treasures around the new system.
  • Added two new license levels and top-tier gear to match following intense negotiations with the Space Miner’s Association.
  • Added a new ultra-powerful level 8 ship designed by billionaire madman Bancroft. It’s possible he was planning to use it to dominate the galaxy.
  • Made the game play nice with iOS 8, as it is used by a majority of our space mining fleet.
  • Remastered ship models, weapons, and equipment. Space Trader Galactus was happy about the improvements, we think. It’s hard to tell with him.
  • Fixed a huge chunk of all those little things that bugged us over the last three years.
  • Now a UNIVERSAL app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch after we realized that most games on the App Store are technically “HD” now anyway.