Release Date: 12.04.2023
The Mars4 team is pleased to bring you several new additions to the 3D game. These include the first implementation of productivity score, drop pods, and a sneak peek into the upcoming farming system. The introduction of agriculture on Mars is a big step towards boosting self-sufficiency for our players and represents a new milestone towards creating Mars4’s full survival experience.
This, coupled with the introduction of the drop pod, ties in the new progression system where resource rewards and unlockable items (such as higher tier materials or crafting stations) are tied to the activities performed by players. This forms the initial basis for the future full tie-in with the Mars Control Center’s productivity score and represents a step closer towards the full integration of both 3D game and the MCC.
In addition to the new items, there have been improvements to existing mechanics. The first is a major update to the Minimap and Maximap. These maps are now rendered in real-time and will show every object placed. While vehicles now experience additional weight depending on their cargoes which in turn will affect handling of the vehicle.
Finally a reworked tutorial has been included which will help introduce new players to the productivity score system. However, if you feel sufficiently prepared for Mars, you may opt to skip it!
We look forward to hearing your feedback regarding these new systems!
Productivity Score counts both the 3D game and the MCC’s productivity scores together. This score features milestones that allow players to call down drop pods that provide players with valuable items, resources, or unlock further progression.
- Players earn productivity score in the 3D game through:
- Placing and upgrading building parts. Each building part improves the score.
- Placing machinery. Each machine also improves the score.
- The Productivity Score represents players’ land development. The more land is developed, built, and progressed, the higher the productivity score of the player.
Drop Pods are called from an orbiting space station by players when they reach certain milestones on their Productivity Score. There are two types of drop pods:
- Major drop pods — A drop pod that contains specific items shown in the new drop pod UI.
- Minor drop pods — A drop pod that can be called once every 10 productivity scores that provides a random reward such as resources, items etc.
Farming System Preview
Cultivation of plants on Mars is not at all simple. Mars naturally lacks decent soil, atmosphere, and has reduced sunlight. This means plants need to be initially cultivated indoors. This additional required space will result in colonists needing to plan grow rooms and more within their colonies. We look forward to seeing how you handle the additional logistics issue of providing for your new plants (which in turn will help provide for you!)
Farming starts with the following categories of items:
- Grow Plot — The first stage of the sneak peek into agriculture, a small growing plot allows players to grow vegetables.
- Seeds — Seeds are placed within grow pots to cultivate plants.
- Vegetables — Full grown vegetables that the player will be able to pick and eat to restore health.
- Watering pot — Used to water vegetables in order to keep them healthy and alive
This initial preview involves mostly manual labour regarding cultivation, but more advanced mechanised agriculture is also planned.
Minimap and Maximap
Prior to this update, the minimap and maximap for Mars4’s 3D game only used pre-rendered landscapes and some static actors. This new update is introducing full realtime rendered mapping. What this means is that they also display additional information such as:
- The position of vehicles and colonies
- The working status of generators
- Weather conditions and patterns.
Vehicle Mass Changes
Vehicle mass now increases alongside the weight added to the vehicle’s container. This may seem a relatively minor change, but this will affect vehicle handling (notably high-mass objects will affect acceleration rates and manoeuvrability) and as a knock-on effect will also affect the power usage rate of vehicles due to the lower performance when encumbered.
The UN’s guidelines for rover weight distribution is strict, but some people will point out that additional weight increases momentum and that an adventurous colonist might want to experiment with drifting*.
*Mars4 is not responsible for any damage that may occur to colonists or vehicles should they choose to operate their vehicle in an irresponsible manner**.
**But do let us know how it goes if it works out, ok?
- The new version of the tutorial can be skipped by experienced players or played on its own. For beginner players or players that want more information about the new productivity system, the tutorial features new steps that will introduce the score system and explain how everything works.
Updates and Bugfixes
- Updates made to some of the 3D models, most notably the huge wind turbine. The huge wind turbine’s more detailed model now features 9 electric sockets.
- Fixed a bug related to the huge wind turbine where it was difficult to find a suitable place to install it.
- The circuitry displays are more readable now. Reading glass requirements have been reduced.
- Fixed an issue where destroying an 8-socket splitter incorrectly showed the destruction of an electrical pole.
- While in a vehicle, holding the “Alt” key displays the driving controls.