Mars 2050

Journey to Mars

Develop a game that simulates conditions in an off-Earth located permanent or temporary colony. The game could be a sandbox that offers the possibility to simulate various facilities that would support a reduced gravity environment far from earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere. Users could be given power allowances, atmospheric conditions, and in situ resource options (using resources available on site for life support or other needs). The game could include a variety of scenarios including:

  • Arranging a GPS-like system on the Moon or Mars to support navigation for the human inhabitants. The simulation could allow the users to explore different solutions such as a constellation of satellites, a network of masts or other Earth based methods at the challenger’s discretion.
  • Players could build a habitat that could withstand the Lunar or Martian environment while also taking into consideration that its inhabitants need to have adequate power and supplies, be able to produce food, have locations sleep, live and work.
  • Build a Virtual Moon telescope. The simulation could allow the user to conduct a research mission using a telescope on site near their habitat. Explore what instruments make sense for the location of the telescope (and what the user wants to observe). Game players could explore settings such as exposure times or wavelengths to observe. Observations could vary based on the position of the telescope on the Moon or Mars, and the relative position in the sky of the pointed object. After each simulated capture, show an appropriately generated image reflecting the exposure and wavelength settings.

We created a board game inspired by the SimSpace Challenge. In addition to creating rules and a prototype of the game we experimented with a augment reality version of the game using awe.js. The following are the rules for our game:

Number of players 1~3

Game Story

Mars 2050 is a creative cooperative solution that loosely follows the requirements for survival on Mars incorporating the requirements for survival (power and supplies, production of food and locations to sleep, live, work) into the design of the game. In the game your crew has crash landed on Mars in 2050 sprinkling survival supplies across Mars’s surface. Players must work together to survive and signal for help before the communications satellite passes out of signal.

Game Objective

Players ‘discover’ items and resources on Mars by turning over tiles on the board. The objective is to collect parts to repair communication relays while surviving the harsh conditions of Mars. Players must work together to accomplish this task within three days before the satellite is out of range.

Game Assembly

The players have a standard set of thirty cards that are arranged in a random

order face down. Each deck has 3 habitat cards, 3 power stations, 3 power chips, and 15 communication relay parts. The majority of the deck are ‘dirt’ cards with no special actions associated with them. Half the tiles randomly have a communication relay part that is ‘discovered’. Power Stations have one power chip. Randomly select a tile and place the characters on it to start the game.

Game Play

Players move across the board ‘discovering’ energy supplies, habitats, communication parts and power. Players take ‘actions’ that are defined as:

  • 1)Movement: Each character has specific movements described below
  • 2)Turning over tiles: If the tile that the character on hasn’t been turned and they still have actions left a player can use an action to ‘discover’ the tile by flipping it over
  • 3)Trade: Players can trade items in either inventory to either repair relay stations or activate habitats

Players can choose to play as either the Electrical Engineer, Commander or rover.

Each character has a unique role and movement:

  • Electrical Engineer: Can perform three actions each turn. Can activate habitats with power and repair communication relays. Receives one exposure damage for each action. Can move forward and backward on the board.
  • Commander: Can perform three actions each turn. The commander only needs three parts to repair a communication tower. Receives one exposure damage for each action. Can move forward and backward on the board.
  • Rover: Can perform two actions each turn. Can turn over tiles and carry one item. Rovers are inactive at night. Rovers are not damaged by exposure.
  • Activating Habitats:

Players uncover habitats and power stations that are hidden across the board. The electrical engineer and the rover can collect power chips from power stations that can be used to activate habitats.

Keeping Score:

Players must keep track of the turn, their inventory and the human character’s exposure:

  • Inventory: Players ‘discover’ items (power cells or communication relay parts) when turning over tiles on the board. Characters can carry communication relay parts and power cells. Rovers can carry only one object at time. Humans can carry up to five parts.
  • Exposure: For every action the Electrical Engineer and the Commander receive one exposure damage point. If a character reaches 12 exposure points outside of a habitat that character becomes immobile for the rest of the game. If players are inside activated habitats exposure is reduced by half (round to the ceiling) for each turn.
  • Rounds: Each round (day) consists of 6 turns: 4 during the day and two at night. For every turn each character can perform the actions described above.

Repairing Communication Relays:

Each habitat has one communication relay. If the Electrical Engineer or the commander is inside a habitat whose communication relay hasn’t been repaired they can repair it if they have the required parts. This will take the remaining actions in the turn to repair.

Expanding the game:

The game is designed so that players can design their own boards by adding obstacles and unusual paths. They can add and remove habitats, power stations and game items to decrease or increase difficulty.

The AR system is still in development, but eventually all tiles will have AR markers on them to create a more immersive experience. Players could scan their player tile and track their player status on a HUD played on their tablet or smartphone.

Resources Used
Made inPasadena, CA USA
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