Caripen GPRV: Final Design

Caripen GPRV

“The Caripen was designed to be used on Earth. Everything from its airtight design to its heavy suspension and wheels was designed with traversing the wastelands in mind. It took very little adjustment to make the Caripen GPRV suitable for Mars. A little more shielding, a little less armour and as the Massif Central Arcology puts it: Voila.”


Hello everybody and welcome to the Mars4 development blog. Today’s article covers the final design phase of the Caripen Ground Penetrating Radar Vehicle. This vehicle is a hardy, long-range vehicle designed to traverse Mars4’s land plots with relative ease and comfort while also providing detailed information about the best spots to mine and secure resources. The Caripen couples well with the Karkanda Exo-Transport and is a useful tool to any colonist looking to extract significant mineral wealth from their lands.


Final Design

The Caripen’s final design was handled by Spiros and his team, turning the original high concept into a completed technical design. As hinted at in the prior article, the Caripen’s final design focused on enhancing the vehicle’s visual durability and cross-country capability. When compared to the original high concept, this can most easily be seen in the widening of the vehicle, its rounder, more bulbous shape and the changes wrought upon its wheels.


Much like the other vehicles designed for Mars4, the Caripen boasts a large cockpit to enhance visibility. This is a feature that helps ensure that each vehicle’s driver is able to anticipate the terrain they’re traversing. Given Mars’ rugged landscape, it is considered an ideal outcome for drivers to be able to easily ascertain the best routes ahead of them. It doesn’t do much good to the vehicle or colonist to have them get trapped in deep craters or ravines. The widened cockpit allows for greater visibility to the flanks as well as directly ahead, which given the Caripen’s size will help reduce incidences of the vehicle getting stuck. It might seem obvious, but the Caripen’s design aesthetic should not interfere too much with the player’s enjoyment of the game.

Caripen GPRV: Final Design

Normally, most vehicles designed for Mars4 are given a sleek aesthetic. The Caripen’s wider body and rounded shape was intended to invoke a ‘heavier’ feel, as if the Caripen bears a significant weight (which is intended to draw the eye straight to the highest point of the vehicle, the ground penetrating radar array). The rounded shape is also designed to hint at the Caripen’s peaceful role where more military-designed vehicles tend towards harder angles and lower-profiled shapes. This design choice also compliments the prominent radar array at the top of the vehicle.


As is usual at this stage of production, the vehicle’s design was passed on to Vlaad, our 3D Hard Surface modeller, who handles the undercarriage and suspension design. Given the height of most Mars4 vehicles, this portion of the design is a shared element across all vehicles. The heavy suspension and undercarriage are built with long-term use in mind. It naturally benefits colonists arriving on Mars to drive vehicles that are not intended to require heavy refits or garage work often.

Caripen GPRV: Final Design

The latter section of the design phase saw additional detailing in the form of air-intakes near the Caripen’s cockpit. This was a detail that played with the Caripen’s origins as a vehicle on Earth. The air-intakes double up as a purification system, allowing the Caripen to handle some of Earth’s more toxic environments. The Struggle for Peace left no stones unturned at its peak and the consequences of the Struggle have left their mark on much of Earth and the UN’s equipment design.


Fortunately, Mars represents a new opportunity for Mankind. It is a chance for Mankind to take a hostile environment and provide a life for the colonists arriving on the Red Planet as well as one day create a new, and possibly better, Earth.


Regardless of the long term future of Mars, in the interim Colonists will need to establish their bases, their homes and larger communities. The Caripen GPRV takes advantage of its scale and range to provide colonists with the ability to roam Mars and find the most advantageous mining spots for themselves and those they work together with.

And so, the completed Caripen GPRV’s design is handed over to the production team whose work brings the Caripen from 2D design to full 3D model.


With the Carpen due to flit across the surface of Mars, we look forward to seeing you make the most of the Red Planet!

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