Greetings from the Mars4 team!
Today, we'd like to update you on our development progress so far and share some exciting news for the near future.
The biggest news we’d like to share is that we will be providing a teaser single player survival game ahead of the full single player release in Q3 this year. This teaser, named Mars1, will give our community the opportunity to explore and develop their own settlement on Mars and immerse themselves in some of the survival mechanics that we will be bringing to both the full single player and later multiplayer releases.
This reflects our efforts to involve our growing community with the development of the game by bringing this extra teaser ahead of the scheduled single player release. Mars1, Mars2, and Mars3 are not connected to the blockchain as we intend the single player releases to gain feedback from our players and do not wish to punish them for exploring the game in this early stage.
So let's get stuck in!
Mars1: Base-ic* Survival on the Red Planet.
Mars1, set to be released this quarter Q2, is a teaser to the full single player immersive survival game that will be released in Q3 this year. The features and content in Mars1 include the core of the game's base and machine building, resource harvesting, and refining systems with an aim to provide players an opportunity to fully explore the construction system ahead of Mars2, the full single player game release.
Mars1 also features survival mechanics in the form of air and temperature requirements as well as the tools to mitigate and negate them. The teaser takes place across a large playable area, modelled using the Houdini procedural generator.
Players will need to ensure their bases are designed to create a safe, workable temperature and breathable atmosphere for their colonists, their player character.
We look forward to getting feedback on the mechanics and systems we introduce in this upcoming game and also look forward to the many and varied base designs we hope you’ll all sink your teeth into.
Development Highlights: Breathtaking* Survival
On Mars1, players will only need to concern themselves with their air and temperature needs. The air on Mars is not breathable for two reasons: firstly, there is insufficient oxygen in the air and secondly, there is insufficient atmospheric pressure on Mars.
These two issues are the chief reasons a spacesuit is required on the Martian surface. Spacesuits are refillable in pressured atmospheres with suitable air supply which necessitates the construction of bases.
It goes without saying that securing a supply of air on Mars is key to survival.
The temperature of a player depends on the environment and time of day as well as additional heaters. These operate additively and begin to hamper colonists on a gradient if they exceed the range of their colonists comfortable temperature.
Mars2 will see the introduction of the needs for food and water, as well as the production chains that support those needs.
Colonists are controlled in the third-person and have a limited inventory, encumbrance, and stamina system.
The encumbrance system operates with a tier-based approach with heavier inventories slowing down a colonist (by removing the ability to sprint) and immobility occuring when over-encumbered. Colonists have more compact inventories than those of constructable storage spaces and machines.
Every colonist on Mars1 comes with a set of standardised tools with which to exploit the resources of the planet. These tools are used to extract resources from rocks across the surface that provide different amounts of raw materials, by first mining them and then refining them via constructable machines. Players can also scan rocks and seams to determine their resource values to better target specific materials they need to obtain. The refined goods created are able to be used to assemble shelters, upgrade bases and construct machines that handle larger scale processes.
Weathering* the environment
Mars1 will take place under a mild dust storm to simulate less inclement weather conditions that take place across the surface of the red planet. Mars2 will feature the full blown* weather system bringing the more dangerous hazards and Mars’ varied weather patterns to bear across the surface of the planet. Mars is not as stormy as we would have you believe in Mars1, but we use the stormy conditions in Mars1 to capture the atmosphere.
An additional complexity to handle is Mars' ambient temperature which can vary significantly depending on the time of day and location.
The construction system is fully functional and the core part of Mars1. Mars1 will allow players to assemble bases using the materials they have extracted via a series of attachable segments, similar to games like Rust or Conan Exiles. The buildings come in several tiers of quality with the lowest and cheapest being scaffolding. This material allows a very basic frame to be assembled by a colonist, but does not provide a pressurised atmosphere or insulation. Refined materials created by colonists can be used to upgrade building segments allowing for a proper shelter to be put together. Machines can be built to supplement a player's base, adding air and temperature control to an airtight structure while supported by a basic electrical system.
It is this system that we wish to see our community adapt to and why we have brought forward this teaser ahead of the Mars2 release (the full singleplayer).
We would love to see how you fare on Mars and what sort of bases you create to survive and thrive on Mars.
Hint: You'll probably want to design an airlock.
Prepare for the game, get yourself Mars Land now.
*The man responsible for these puns has been punished**
**The man responsible for the punishment has also been punished