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6 – Made in Mars

6 – Made in Mars: A new name – A new school year.

Hello again. It’s the start of a new school semester, and there is a lot to do (like taking CS111A, NS110U, SS110, etc.), but before that here is a new update.

Here are some gifs showcasing the game’s progress:

1. Drone
2. Building
3. Selling
4. Inventory
5. Crafting

So first, the drone. One thing I really love about Factorio is how much manual labour you need to do at the start of the game. You have to mine ores yourself, do a lot of crafting by hand, put coal in the machines etc. This is very important, as this makes it really satisfying when you automate those steps one by one. And it makes sense, you need those machines, because that’s the only way you can progress at a reasonable speed.
A lot of mobile factory building games forgo that step, and you are immediately thrown into making a simple factory. This also messes up the learning curve, as you can automate the tasks one by one. You need to automate it all, without any of the steps you can’t progress at all (instead of progressing really slowly in Factorio).
Hence comes the drone. At the start of the game, you will have one base of operations, and one drone. This drone can be used to mine the iron or concrete around you, and later it will be your hands building the buildings and destroying them. I’ve also added some ‘handcrafting’ from the menu (seen in the last gif) which also exists for similar reasons, or can be used to craft items that you don’t particularly need automated. 
The drone can’t really do much yet, it can only mine, but it does have a lot of potentials!
On other notes, the game is technically playable now. You can start, plot down some buildings, make a production line, etc. But there isn’t much to do… My next stop will be to start constructing some story elements (get some basic infrastructure ready, create living quarters for colonists, etc.), a way to buy materials from the Earth, and some way to earn money and research new technologies, probably both with a science system. People from back Earth send you there for a purpose after all.
Another idea that I will be implementing at some point is to have you–the player be actually in the game. You will have a nice custom command center where you lead the colony from back Earth, and when the time comes you can build yourself a bunker on Mars, or a penthouse. The possibilities are endless!

A timelapse-ish of a factory!

After being called out on reddit about the obvious similarity to Factorio in the codename I’ve been using (Dactorio) I went ahead and picked a better name for the game. There were a lot of amazing contenders:

  • Colonio
  • Mars Stonks
  • Age of Mars
  • Mars Buildy Build
  • Space Factorio
  • Big Mars Energy

But the name that won at the end was: Made in Mars
The name is easy to remember, has a nice sound to it, makes a little play of words by using Mars as if it’s a country (it will be!), and there are no other games named that way!
You can find a temporary website for the game here: MadeinMarsGame.comI will put more things there as time goes.
Thanks for reading as always. Wait for the next post, which will most likely come with an alpha testing invite 🙂