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"The gameplay is fast and addictive and immediately makes you want to invite your friends to play for hours of fun."
"It’s a great time sink and breath of fresh air compared to RTS games that try to needlessly over-complicate their mechanics"
- Indie Game Insider
"I’d strongly recommend this game to all strategists out there, 1) so they can enjoy the game and 2) so I have people to play against."
"Pulling off a successful pincer movement is as satisfying as ever, and there's something oddly cathartic about watching a sea of enemy tanks meet your own resulting in a spectacular array of explosions"
"This is supposed to tell you if this game has got some potential. And I'm here to say it does, and it deserves your money to support."
Conquer Mars is a multiplayer game of massive drone armies and cunning strategy designed with the goal of having a lot of fun whether you win or lose.
Win the game with the best strategy; outmaneuver your opponents with the best tactics, and convince the other players to fight each other instead of you.
All the unnecessary micro-management has been cut out. No hidden map or fog of war that demands tedious scouting. No placing of buildings and sentry towers. Build 20 units at a time for each mine you control, base-building limited to upgrades and defensive towers, and a gameplay focused on armies rather than individual units. It’s build and go!
This makes Conquer Mars more like a fast-paced game of Chess or Risk, but with 8 players and explosions.
- Feel powerful when you beat your friends in massive 8 player battles
- Insanity mode with thousands of units (example)
- Play in seconds, under 7MB for the entire game including sound
"Load times were indeed near nonexistent" - Eurogamer.dk
- Share replays with instant online playback to boast of your victories
- Awesome post-game graphs and analytics for your inner nerd (example)
We are a small, self-funded indie studio called Zero Blood Games with just two people, Jonas and Thomas, who are both programmers by profession and aspiring game designers.
Conquer Mars has been our passion for the past many months, and we have hired freelancers to create quality art for the game and enlisted friends and family to help in any way possible to make Conquer Mars a reality.
To power Conquer Mars we have created our own 3D multiplayer game engine from scratch, implemented most of the gameplay and are well on our way to prove that we can pull off an ambitious project like this.
We have previously worked on big government and corporate projects, but we have always dreamed of making awesome games - and we hope that dream can come true with Conquer Mars.
This is a flexible funding campaign because we have already invested so much time and money in Conquer Mars that we will definitely release it - but the result of this campaign means a lot for how great the final game will be.
So please help spread the word and make Conquer Mars all it can be :)
A Giant Leap for Mankind
In the early 2000s, discord and random acts of war and terror stole the headlines of newspapers and the minds of politicians. The first response was war, surveillance and suspicion, but results were meagre and indecisive. After a few decades, a series of financial meltdowns and several minor wars, the governments of the world were ready for a previously unseen level of cooperation. The Earth Assembly was formed in 2032 and under a transnational leadership the countries of the world saw peace and prosperity.
The force of this cooperative effort was too large for one planet and the nations formed the Solar Consortium in 2037. The Solar Consortium coordinated the fledgling space mining industries of the individual nations into a large, effective mining consortium. It built infrastructure and ensured effective tech and knowledge sharing, creating a massive mining operation that spanned moons, asteroids and the planet of Mars. Rare metals and minerals soon flowed to earth.
The Solar Consortium grew and expanded mining operations across the solar system, but on earth the Earth Assembly slowly deteriorated and it finally fell apart in 2068. Turmoil and wars claimed the attention and resources of the Earth nations once again and without the support and leadership from the Earth Assembly, the Solar Consortium fell apart as well.
By 2068 half a million people were living in space, and they had no intention of returning to Earth. Their homes were the capital control ships, colonies, mining squads and beam transporters that were built for the mining effort and the distribution of resources. No nation on Earth had the resources to claim the space mining corporations for their own and as the supply of metals and minerals was largely uninterrupted, they saw no need.
7 years after Solar Consortium disintegrated, they are still there, mining. On Mars the competition for the best mines is fierce. Rival corporations and rogue mining gangs fight over the mining facilities using droids and AI-controlled war machines, claiming the resources mined and beaming them to the Capital Control ships that remain the neutral backbone of the space mining infrastructure. Welcome to 2075. Welcome to Mars.
The premium membership has three main benefits:
You earn game credits at 3x the speed of a free player, enabling you to unlock units and upgrades faster
You get to build a greater variety of units in the game
You can chat in public games
You get instant Alpha Access to play Conquer Mars when you support us!
The game will be ready for hours of fun but the game will still have missing features. However, you will be able to provide valuable feedback to the developers to help shape the game.
Starts: Instant (We send a key to your email within 8 hours)
Duration: 1-3 months.
When Conquer Mars has all the essential features completed we will open up for beta access. The game will be more complete but you can still provide feedback and help shape the game in its final phase.
When the game nears completion we will slowly open up for all alpha/beta players to invite new players to the game until Conquer Mars is ready for everyone.
Starts: When the Alpha ends.
Duration: 2-3 months.
Own the game / Instant unlocking of current and future units
You can unlock units either by paying with real money or in-game credits, but with instant unlocking you don’t have to spend anything on new units as they will be available to you as soon as we make them.
Everything that affects the gameplay will be immediately available to you - always. This is why it's called "own the game" :)
This doesn’t mean your hard earned in-game credits are useless though. We plan to make different visual upgrades and other things that don’t affect the gameplay which you can then spend your in-game credits on.
All players will have a badge associated with them, both in the lobby and in the game. We will probably even display them in 3D on the mines you control in the game. The special badges that you get here can only be obtained from this Indiegogo campaign.
Conquer Mars is designed and programmed by two people (Jonas and Thomas), and we really want to dedicate all our time to releasing the best possible game.
Most of the art is created by talented freelancers. This includes the 3D models, sound, music, and concept art.
Conquer Mars is an online multiplayer game at heart, so there always has to be servers available for you to play on. Making sure the servers can run 24x7 is what the premium membership helps pay for.
Our dreams for Conquer Mars aren’t limited to what you see in this campaign. We’re just trying to be realistic. With enough support we would love to expand the story in the universe and create a campaign. We also want to make a version of Conquer Mars for tablets which we intend to make free for backers - but we only want to promise the things we know we can deliver.
Everything in this list will be delivered if we reach the $100.000 goal.
We have a basic AI in Conquer Mars that is quite fun for beginners. But we need a much smarter AI that can play at all levels, utilize all units intelligently, use missiles and avoid them, defend or attack on multiple fronts and so on.
All the maps in Conquer Mars are currently auto-generated. This gives a nice variation, but it will be great to have player designed maps to play on.
We already have models and textures ready for two new units: Attack buggy and The Pincer. With your support we hope to supply a steady stream of cool new units for you to play.
Replay and sharing
You know that awesome game where you were a total underdog, but still beat 7 other players with cunning and manipulation in a huge final battle? We have prototype functionality ready so you can replay that game, but we want to make a polished replay system for sharing online and even embed on your own website or blog.
High scores, achievements, profiles, badges
You need to be able to customize your profile, select a badge to represent your style, get achievements for destroying the armies of your enemies and claim your spot on the high score charts.
Add your friends, invite them to games or send them chat messages. When spectator mode is available you can also follow your friends and follow the games they play.
Ranking and matchmaking
Unlike many other games, Conquer Mars can still be a lot of fun when playing against players better than you. But it’s still better to be matched against players at roughly your level, so we need a ranking and matchmaking system to make sure you get the most fun out of playing.
We also want to make a handicap system, so you can make games where players of different skill are automatically handicapped to give everyone a fair chance.
The gameplay in Conquer Mars works really well but there is still more to do. For example, we want you to be able to influence your fellow players by telling them to focus on a player who is starting to dominate. You may also have an idea for a great and necessary feature that we just have to get in the game before it’s released. Let us know!
Balance and polish
Making Conquer Mars is a huge project just to make the basic 3D, multiplayer and gameplay. But it’s not worth much if the gameplay is unbalanced or there are too many bugs. We’re good at making bugfree and polished software, but it’s still a very time consuming process.
To motivate you a bit we are promising two cool features that we will implement if we reach our goals.
1000 followers on Twitter: Spectator mode
Spectator mode is where others can watch games live without themselves playing it. This is great for making your small tournaments among friends, or simply watching how the best players play and follow them live.
1000 likes on Facebook: Team Play
The only play mode in Conquer Mars right now is free for all, where you compete against all the other players at once. With team play modes you can make 3v3, 2v2v2v2 games or any other combination that you want.
$125.000: Offline play
Although Conquer Mars is an online multiplayer game at heart, it is still a lot of fun to play against just the AI. We will create an installable version of Conquer Mars where you can play against the AI when you are disconnected from the internet.
Conquer Mars is perfect for making tournaments where spectators can watch the games live as they unfold. We will build the tools to host tournaments and we will also make it possible for you to arrange your own private tournaments in Conquer Mars.
We also want to make it possible for you to embed Conquer Mars on your own website, if you want to build a special community or host a tournament. As long as people are playing Conquer Mars and nobody is trying something sleazy, we’re open to anything.
Possible future stretch goals
16+ player modes
Multiview desktop version
Level editor + Custom models for units
Several extremely talented freelancers helped bring Conquer Mars to where it is today.
3D models and textures
Daniel McCarthy: http://www.danielmccarthycgartist.com/
Daniel has been working on Conquer Mars from the start, creating all the awesome models and textures you experience in the game. Not surprisingly, The Creative Assembly recently hired Daniel to work full time on the Total War series.
This also means we need someone to help us create the next wave of Conquer Mars units. If you (or someone you know) can make great low-poly 3D models and texture them to fit with the current quality and style, then please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tapio Liukkonen: http://www.kaamossound.com/
Tapio is an award winning sound designer who has worked on games like Amnesia, Overgrowth, and Xenonauts. He creates many of his sounds from real sources deep in the Finnish woods to build an immersive and powerful soundscape for the battles on Mars.
Mikko Tarmia: http://www.mikkotarmia.com/
Mikko is an award winning composer who has made music for games like Amnesia, Overgrowth, and Penumbra. Mixing the classical with the electronic, Mikko makes great music that really sets the mood for Conquer Mars.
For Conquer Mars, Mikko has helped create a dynamic music system where the game engine fades layers of music in and out to fit the level of action you are experiencing.
Story and universe creation
Lars Vilhelmsen: http://larsvilhelmsen.dk/
Lars is a talented writer with a passion for games. Lars is working with us to create a believable and fascinating universe for Conquer Mars, which goes far beyond the current Martian dirtside action.
Pachin Ivan: email@example.com
Promotional art pieces
Dennis Björk: http://fruktsallad.deviantart.com/
Andrey Egorov: http://egorov-andr-x.blogspot.com/
To power Conquer Mars we have built our own game engine in ActionScript 3 for Flash and Stage3D. The engine is specifically built to handle thousands of units in a 3D multiplayer setting.
Handling lots of units means that many things have to be simpler, but we prefer to have very large armies of simple units rather than small detailed armies.
Runs in your browser
Conquer Mars is a Flash-based browser game, and it's optimized to be as small as possible. The entire game with models, textures, and sounds is under 7MB! The music streams in after the game has loaded.
The small size means that the game loads in seconds the first time, and your browser caches the game and then loads instantly the next time you want to play.
Conquer Mars is powered by Player.IO, a multiplayer game service recently acquired by Yahoo! We have worked with Chris and Oliver, the founders of Player.IO, to make the multiplayer in Conquer Mars close to flawless.
Platforms: Windows + Mac + (Maybe?) Linux
Conquer Mars is made in Flash, and is fully supported on all PC & Mac computers that support the latest Flash with Stage3D.
This means all versions of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera - as long as you have the latest Flash.
You can go to www.conquermars.com - If the website loads without any warnings you should be good to go.
Linux support: We don’t have a Linux box available with 3D graphics to test this ourselves. If you have Chrome running on Linux with 3D support and you want to help please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: Looks like it does work on Linux!
Get ’em before your friends! ;)
- By Dennis Björk
- By Andrey Egorov