As you’ve probably heard, we’re making a game about the first manned mission to Mars. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a whole lot of talk around the office about space. Of all the things we’ve discussed, there’s one topic we've returned to multiple times:
If you were given the chance to go to Mars, would you do it?
Now keep in mind that, were you to go to Mars, you'd likely end up staying on the planet for the rest of your life. You’d be playing an important role in one of the most amazing feats in human history, but you’d also have to say goodbye forever to all your loved ones. Tough one, right?
I figured it might be fun (for lack of a better word) to have some people on the Tharsis team write up their thoughts on the subject. Here’s what they had to say:
Erin - Would I go to Mars… that's a tricky one. When my son was born one of the first things I said was, "he's going to Mars." Kinda weird for a first reflection about a newborn, but my family has always had a healthy dose of science fiction coursing through our veins. It seems even more likely given that my brother has spent the last decade working on rockets that are intended to do just that: eventually ferry people to Mars. I don't personally feel compelled to hop on a ship to the red planet... so little green for our terrestrial eyes. Never getting to breathe outside of structures or space suits; enduring the crazy month-long storms and the ever-present rust dusting the entire planet… It would be a lot to handle.
However, if my kids were going, I would do everything I could to make the leap. And I know I would never tire of jumping in the low gravity and seeing the geographic sights that dwarf our own. The Valles Marineris, the second longest rift in our galaxy, would definitely be on my to-do list. As well as a visit to Olympus Mons, a volcano three times taller than Mount Everest. And what an amazing opportunity, to be a settler of a new land in an era that seems devoid of that experience.
So, to answer the question... I wouldn't go of my own accord, but I would surely find ways to entertain myself if I did.
Danny - As much as I would like to see other planets, I have not seen enough of this one to say goodbye to it quite yet. The regrettable part about a one-way journey is that you would come to appreciate Earth so much more once it was gone. You would be separated from society in a way that no one has experienced before, and as such it is hard to foresee your own reaction.
The first colonists will be brave and determined people, but they are also putting the advancement of knowledge above their own life. They will be admired by many, but envied by few. For the time being I would rather explore these themes in my mind, yet in the years and decades hence I may well change my decision.
Alex - A year and a half ago, my answer was an immediate and resounding yes. In fact, my wife and I have had multiple conversations about it as if it might actually happen someday. In NeuseTown, USA, the topic of going to Mars—even with no promise of return—is one that comes up at least bi-monthly.
Trying to explain the gut-wrenching yearning—nay, longing—to travel the stars and live on another planet to your wife, who quite rightly reminds you of how much there is on Earth that you've yet to experience is hard enough. But as two relatively smart and rational adults, I feel the conversation is manageable, if even only just so.
But a little over a year ago, my son appeared on the scene.
How do I justify leaving Earth forever when my time with him has only just begun?
If the opportunity actually presented itself, I think that ultimately I would still go. But now instead of having an "I can't wait" mentality, I hope that the opportunity doesn't present itself until my son is old enough to understand why I'm going, and even then I would try very hard to convince my family to come with me.
Patrick - Landing on Mars would be the greatest accomplishment in human history, but I would never be one of the people to do it. I'm too selfish! Going to Mars means you never get to see your friends and family ever again, and it means no more video games EVER! That's not a life I want to live, especially when I can just watch a documentary about it on Netflix.
Mike - I would never have imagined that I would turn down a trip to Mars. It's the only thing I have wanted to do for, basically, my whole life. If asked this same question two years ago, I would not have hesitated a second. But some hecka magical shit happened to me two years ago and I will not be leaving Earth. I have a kid. That being said — if I could tape her to my chest like Kuato, then YOU GOT A DEAL!
Dant - Although I consider myself a curious person, I don’t think I could ever talk myself into making the trip to Mars. Being completely honest, the thought of going to space terrifies me. It would also be very depressing to have to say goodbye to all my loved ones.
I do hope that a manned mission to Mars occurs in my lifetime. And if (when?) it does, I know that I will be very appreciative of those who embark on it. It’s an incredible sacrifice for a person to make, even if the reward is something as amazing as being a part of one of the most incredible feats in human history.
Also, I’ve seen Ghosts of Mars. There’s no way in hell I’d go into space if I didn’t have Ice Cube with me.
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 - 4:15pm
As you’ve hopefully seen by now, we recently released our game Woah Dave! on 3DS, iOS, and Steam (PS4 and Vita to come). Since then, people have been asking us for tips and tricks on how to achieve higher scores. Being the kind people we are, we couldn’t possibly deny such a request.
I reached out to everyone at the studio and asked them to offer a tip or two on how to collect as many of those precious pennies as possible. Follow these tips, and you’ll be a pro Dave in no time.
FAIR WARNING: Some of these tips are completely useless.
- In normal mode, if the bottom platform hasn’t disappeared yet, you can stand directly under the center platform and dodge all aliens. This only works until either UFOs arrive or the aliens evolve into flying eyeballs. - Dant
- Rather than picking up a skull to throw it at an egg, try throwing eggs at a skull that’s about to explode. - Dant
- If there's a large amount of coins surrounded by eggs and skulls, pick up a recently dropped item before running in and grabbing them. This will prevent you from accidentally picking up something that's on the verge of killing you. - Andy
- In the beginning, try to collect 4 woah blocks on screen at once, so when you throw the fifth one, you get 40 pennies instantly. - Alex
- Don't be afraid to use a skull multiple times to clear eggs out of areas you don't want them in. - Andy
- If your game is going poorly, on your last life, get a lot of enemies on screen, throw a Woah Block, then commit suicide. When you start your next game, all those pennies will give you a great head start. — Alex
- Try to keep the eggs to one side of the screen as they drop. - Andy
- Eat weird Swedish cheese. - Danny
- Float a booger. - Alex
- Upgrade to a cyberbrain for faster reflexes - Andrew
- Make sure your marriage has a Woah Dave! clause in it. - Brian
Any other tips you care to contribute? Post them in the comments!
UPDATE: We reached out to our Twitter followers to see if they had any tips they'd like to share as well. Here's what we got back!
- Top left and right corners are UFO magnets (until respective ledges are destroyed). Toss everything asap and don't be greedy! - @zeldana
- Try to fill the screen with a lot of enemies/objects before using the Woah! Block. - @Agentdave7
- Protect the upper left platform at all costs. Losing it hurts your scoring potential more than losing your first life. - @Veloso
- When a UFO stops over the left platform, you can walk under him safely. Risky, but again you really have to protect the plat. @Veloso
- you dont - @zbw2000
Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 2:47pm
“So a while back Rayman was confirmed as a trophy in Smash Bros. Rayman isn't playable, and indeed isn't in the game in any form other than this trophy. However, as he was created by Ubisoft, he's third party: meaning that third party trophies are possible even if they aren't playable. What I'm getting at is this: COMMANDERVIDEO TROPHY?”
A couple months back, someone sent us that question on Tumblr. We didn’t respond, because we didn’t want to spoil the surprise. In fact, I’ve lost count of the amount of tweets, Facebook posts, Tumblr questions, and other such inquiries we’ve received on this very subject. We ignored most of those as well. There was simply no way to respond without either giving it away or making it sound as though we were dismissing the idea entirely.
Fast forward to now, and Nintendo has announced via Nintendo Direct that CommanderVideo will be a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. We’ve known about it internally for a few months now, of course, but our excitement hasn’t deterred one bit since we first found out. We are—as one might imagine—over the moon that a character of ours is going to show up in a series as beloved as Smash Bros. Were we not so hard at work on making awesome games, we’d stop work for the day and crack open the champagne. Maybe later tonight.
For now, let us know what you think! We’ll be hanging out on Twitter and Facebook watching everybody react to the news, and I’ll do my best to respond to everything people say (unless you’re a total jerk).
Thank you so much to all the folks who rallied for this to happen. You have no idea how much it helped!
P.S. - Shameless plug time! Our new game Woah Dave! is available now on 3DS, iOS, and Steam!