I’ve really been aiming to use Red Planet Farming as a way to get people excited about sending humans to Mars someday, and with this comes a need for the game to be as scientifically accurate as possible.
I’ve been working with Dr. Jacob Cohen of Nasa out in California to discuss some of the features of the game and how we can make it more accurate. When I originally designed this game for the game jam back in October, accuracy wasn’t my top priority, and I sacrificed accuracy for gameplay. Making the transition over has been in some cases smooth, and in some a bit difficult. For example, as Dr. Cohen has stressed, plants would typically not be placed on just open fields. My artist and I are working together to see if we can get a dome asset placed over each of the fields to try to stress the need for protection in the Martian atmosphere.
In addition, I’ve been trying to add in some more features, or details, to really stress that this is not only a game about farming, but about the Martian environment and climate. I’ve attached an image below of some early-stage work I’m doing with having dynamic temperature and wind speed data for the player that coincides with the various weather hazards in the game.
I’m really excited about the way that its looking so far!
Anyways, over the next couple of weeks I’m trying to really focus on the scientific accuracy of the game, as well as pulling together the UI. I’m upset because there are a lot of other features (Quests, more content/seed types) that I was hoping to implement, but I think that I need to prioritize making what I have at the moment as clean and accurate as possible.