I wonder if we'll ever see a colony on Mars? It's certainly something sci-fi authors seem to believe will happen at some point or another, but I wonder if it will really -- and if so, will it happen in our lifetime?
Polish developer Intermarum is working on the assumption that yes, one day mankind will indeed set foot on the Red Planet and colonize it, and its upcoming game Race to Mars follows one fictional space agency's efforts to get there first.
The team at Intermarum is aiming to achieve two things with Race to Mars: to promote the outer space industry through compelling gameplay based on reality, and to provide an approachable, accessible but deep game for fans of economic and strategic simulations.
The game is turn-based, and over its course you'll build up your headquarters with various buildings and research facilities, gradually working your way up through aerospace technologies. You'll begin simply by getting into orbit; later, you'll reach for the stars and the ultimate goal of the Red Planet. Along the way, you'll have to deal with the National Space and Air office, the military and play the market to ensure that your efforts don't run over budget.
Race to Mars has been developed in cooperation with Polish space industry company Kosmonauta.net to ensure the experience is as authentic as possible -- though Intermarum is keen to stress that the game will be approachable for casual players as much as those who have cut their teeth on hardcore economic simulations over the years.
The game is currently running a Kickstarter funding drive, and is asking for £30,000 (just under $45,000 at the time of writing). The money will go towards improving the game's visuals, balancing the gameplay and research to ensure everything is as detailed, realistic and accurate as possible. The aim is for the game to release on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android in 2014, but exactly when will be determined by how much money the funding drive raises.
£30,000 may sound like a somewhat modest target for a game of this scope, but the team at Intermarum explains that the low cost of living in its native Poland means that overheads are generally lower. The project is also partially funded by the studio's consultancy work for other companies; Race to Mars is its first standalone project.
Find out more and pledge your support on the project's Kickstarter page.