This article describes the general idea of graphics development in the Race to Mars game, which will soon begin its crowdfunding campaign.
The Race To Mars is a turn based space company manager. The player takes the role of the CEO of a start-up from the space industry. The long-term goal of this game is to create a Mars colony before the competition. Before this goal is reached, there will be many years of R&D activities, contracts, missions, random events and failures. You can read more about the general idea of this game in the previous article.
What is the general idea of graphics development in this game?
Some time ago, when the designers started the concept work on Race to Mars, they quickly asked themselves an important question about the game – should it be 2D or 3D? What would be the game scenery? The following description presents a current concept for graphics in the Race to Mars game.
Generally, on the one hand there are games with a lot of tables and details, which can make it a kind of a spreadsheet-product. On the other hand, there are the full 3d graphics and possibilities to explore the scenery freely, but it very often results in low graphic quality and a bad, not intuitive gameplay.
In Race To Mars the designers are trying to combine the “best of both (graphical) worlds”. There will be no “free-flying” camera, its movements will be limited just to a slight rotation. This will allow to create a good static graphics and make the use of modern computing possibilities, but it is intended to make the main game scenery alive. That is why there will be systems responsible for day and night, weather, intelligent lighting or additional scenery animations. It is extremely important to game designers who are putting a lot of attention to these details. The first graphical effects will be presented soon, together with the Kickstarter campaign launch.
Not less important for the designers is the game graphical user interface, the GUI. The whole game is based on it, so it must be a system easy to navigate and understand – much easier than an average “hard and impenetrable game, so that you get bored when trying it out”. The game designers asked for assistance from Marek Rutkowski, a very experienced 2d graphic artist, who spent the last years on designing the conversion of popular board games onto mobile devices. His work include the popular and acclaimed Neuroshima Hex, Caylus or the recently published Eclipse. Marek’s experience in designing games for a limited tablet screen is exactly what is needed for Race to Mars. The first interface designs will also be presented in the crowdfunding campaign.
The Race To Mars game is created by the INTERMARUM company from the city of Opole in southern Poland. Kosmonauta.net is helping in this venture as a science and technology consultant.