Blue Mars Open Beta

blue mars
Blue Mars is a new, three-dimensional online world with an ambitious agenda to build a diverse, global community.
The developers tout Blue Mars as a ‘next generation’ 3-D environment, one supposedly unfettered by the legacy limitations of earlier efforts… (presumably meaning Second Life). I’m writing about Blue Mars today because they recently went to “Open Beta,” so you may want to go take a look.
Here’s one of the promo videos:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
The sign-up is free, but (cough) the installation package is over 1 GB.  I also had to wait several days before my “application” was approved, and  it was  more than a little irritating  jumping through all the hoops to set up  my beta account.
Having said that, I admit it:  Blue Mars graphics are very pretty… and actually it was easier and quicker getting approved at Blue Mars than it is to SLSailing.org.  On the other hand, I guess, once you are “in” to Blue Mars, it’s pretty obvious this is still an early beta; the  resources and user development tools are largely nonexistent at the moment!

But if you sign up, you’ll find out that Mars DOES indeed have water!
Here is a screenshot from one of the (very few) regions currently open:

water on mars

I’ve only spent a few hours on Mars today, mostly getting my bearings and looking around. It certainly looks as though there’s a potential to develop a multifaceted sailing community there. It doesn’t look like it’s presently on their agenda, however. If sailing develops there, it’s going to take a rich, cooperative interaction between Blue Mars and the large group of fantastic, creative developers and single users from the sailing community.

As soon as I wrote that sentence, however, I admit I smiled… I asked myself “Which sailing community?”

RL Sailors?
SL Sailors?
The ‘best and the brightest’ who are all now on OSG?

Grin. The answer was obvious… there is no difference. We all are sailors, and a new grid is just one more challenge, a new horizon waiting to be conquered.

Until then, I’ll be at the Royal Aloha Golf Club

But Jacqueline? Moth? Alan? Caf? Everybody?
I HATE GOLF.
Let’s see if this place can SAIL!

blue mars golf 700

22 responses to “Blue Mars Open Beta

  1. jacquelinetrudeau

    I’ve been in Blue Mars … Even signed up as a dev. But building a functional boat? That’s a ways off – I can’t even figure out how to walk there!

  2. oooooo lookat the cat at about 3:56 into the video…I wanna boat that moves like that!

  3. Yes, Yes, Yes, Blue Mars.

    I miss the easy in-world building-tools for the masses. As well as i like the idea that they looking to “establish strategic partnerships”, i ask myself in which role they like to see their costumers. As i understand the customers role is to consume and not bring their content in.
    Sure its nice that the the developers can use their nice Maya or 3d Studio and maybe blender too but I were not able just to rezz (import) a cube from blender to Blue Mars or color my dress in pink.

    But the graphic/graphic-engine is real nice, even if it may need to have some more pixels to be cool.

    Someone toke a sail video at Blue Mars:

    Ciao
    Dil

  4. I think it is very very pormising and signed up as a developer. Just imagine sailing a boat by using the Crysis game engine? Wow.

    Here’s how you can import something from Blender Dil. I found it on the BlueMarsDev forum

    So I finally found a working workflow to import Suzanne from blender :

    In blender 2.48a,

    add a monkey
    scale it up 100 times
    apply scale ( CTRL A,1)
    Unwrap it
    triangulate it ( select all faces, faces-> convert to triangles)
    add a material

    EDIT — Set the alpha value to ZERO for an OPAQUE material
    (the collada exporter considers ‘alpha’ as ‘transparency’)
    add a texture channel ( map input: UV, map to: col )
    assign a .dds texture to this channel

    duplicate it
    name the duplicate copy “$lod1”
    add multires, 1 level
    ( ok, this is not a good way to make LODs, but this is to make a quick working example)
    apply multires

    parent $lod1 to Suzanne

    select Suzanne

    file->export->collada1.4(.dae)
    ( http://colladablender.illusoft.com/cms/ , v0.3.159)

    in the exporter, make sure you have clicked ‘triangles’, and ‘relative paths’, and nothing else.

    export to \Game\objects\dae
    ( “dae” could be anything, just make sure this folder exists, that it contains your .dds texture, and that you will use the same folder in the bmimport step )

    open the generated dae in a text editor
    replace every instances of “i$lod1” by “$lod1”, (and do this for “i$lod2” , 3 etc etc if you created more levels of detail )
    ( for some reason, the collada exporter prefixes a “i” to the children object names, go figure. this is at the end of the file, in the Node layer tag , but ‘replace’ does the search for you )
    save the corrected dae

    launch bmImport
    open the corrected dae as input file.
    make sure you have the following settings:
    * checked ‘generate mtl file’
    * subpath to texture maps : “objects/dae/” ( remember ? dae could be anything, as long as its a subfolder of ‘Game’ )
    * checked ‘merge all nodes’
    * checked ‘run ressource compiler’
    * output type : cgf
    * leave the export path default ( it will use the directory where the dae was )

    press start !

    now, launch the viewer

    open the generated cgf,and..

    enjoy the lovely monkey in colors, scaled ok, with lods !
    go have a well deserved beer .
    find someone skilled to modify the collada exporter so that it does not prefix the damn “i” anymore.

    I hope this works for you too. Starting from this basic workflow, one can begin thinking about making more complex and interesting stuff 🙂

    • even if i miss all this collaborative (maybe not best but inworld-learnable) tools SL has but BM not, i had for sure find and test the sailing vessel (or what even looks a bit like one) i saw
      http://tr.im/bm_sailing

      /me smiles over to Jane and thanks Per for His cool tip which will be tested on weekend 🙂

  5. Dil Spitz said: “Yes, Yes, Yes, Blue Mars.
    I miss the easy in-world building-tools for the masses. As well as i like the idea that they looking to “establish strategic partnerships”, i ask myself in which role they like to see their costumers. As i understand the customers role is to consume and not bring their content in.
    Sure its nice that the the developers can use their nice Maya or 3d Studio and maybe blender too but I were not able just to rezz (import) a cube from blender to Blue Mars or color my dress in pink.
    But the graphic/graphic-engine is real nice, even if it may need to have some more pixels to be cool. …”

    Jane Fossett said: Hi Dil! I think your comments summarize my view and the opinion I’ve received form many, many sailors over the last few days on this. Blue Mars holds promise; but it will clearly take time for us to see how well the Martians’ goals match the shared vision of our own sailing community.

    What’s our common vision? 🙂
    That’s complicated to describe, I think…
    But thankfully it’s easy to explain.
    Our vision is the message conveyed through each and every one of your images…
    Thank you so much for that.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dilspi/collections/72157622047641519/

  6. Per Ashdene said:
    “So I finally found a working workflow to import Suzanne from blender :
    In blender 2.48a, add a monkey, scale it up 100 times … “

    Jane Fossett replied:
    Per, one hour before I read your post I learned about “Blender” for the first time and downloaded it… 🙂
    As far as I’m concerned, a Blender is still the best way to make Margaritas … (I’m sure Kanker Greenacre would agree, and mixed drink recipes should be part of the SecondSailing Wiki consensus protocols).
    But Per? All kidding aside, I think you taught many of us something very helpful today with your post… and it’s MUCH appreciated. I’d truly love to post more of your writings and comments here, as your time permits.
    (but Per? drop the ‘monkeys.’) 🙂

  7. next time i will even test Blue Mars, with my beta Account.
    and yes i am registered as an Developer in Blue Mars, my newest Sail Yacht “Explorius” will even sail in SL and BM.

  8. oh and i think the cryengine 2 has the best physics, Blue Mars will bring Virtual Worlds to a new Level, and the Idea with the registered Developers is to have the best Quality Level in Blue Mars.
    If you can work with Pro Tools you can do awesome things in BM.
    Sure not all can do that but
    we’ll see what happens in the future.

  9. Those videos really look wonderful and having professional content creators designing the virtual world will probably result a very high-quality environment. Still, as some on pointed out, what will be role of “players”? Will Blue Mars have similar virtual economy as Second Life has? And how about Mac and Linux users, will the doors of the new world be kept closed for them?

  10. i think even Mac´s and Linuxe can play it.
    the Player is only a Consumer or a Creator, what you want you can do, ist like a real World, either you create things or you buy things. but i think you will even find many free items and stuff for avatars. Big Company´s will use it to connect the Internet with Vitual Wolds, in the Future the both things will be One, a 3Dimensional Internet. this is just the Beginning, and Secondlife was the Genesis.

  11. Alan, CryEngine2 has not been ported to Max and/or Linux.

  12. i am sure they will do it, so all people can travel to Blue Mars.

  13. i think they will do it, so all people can travel to Blue Mars

  14. What me turns down on BlueMars is the lack of user-generated contend.
    yesyesyes, i know no one can hear this stupid web2.0-nonsense anymore, but that’s one of SLs most advanced features. “go create, You can do it!”, its a user generated world with all its imperfection – sure.
    BlueMars lacks of this inworld building tool. Residents can’t help each other learning it and as i see the (beta) building tools we got, it isn’t planed to give this inworld feature to BM.
    So only some company will build Your world? Where will be all the creative artists? All the You’s&Me’s who just like to build this little anything? I don’t see their room for doing so.
    Sure BM will look nice and clean, they will pay the first time to get Coca Cola and so inside, they will hope to sell their 3d-ad-space later, but the business-model is crap. We saw that in many other 3d-worlds, but BM will be the most nicest looking one 😉
    OK, BM like to sell its platform to online game developers. Cool we get rules for a game?
    Sorry but no.
    Indeed BM is cool and has makes a move we need on the way to a more efficient 3d-world, the cry-engine2 is cool and in many games used (for sure windows only and with a fat complexity. And no, BM isn’t the one who can move it to Mac or Linux, never them), but I see BM as someone which will be left back on that way.
    Sure we look on SL and peek over to BM – “wow how bright and nice, did You saw the shadows?” Yes SL need really to fix some things and Yes LL is a commercial company too, some felt that as the land-price raised!

    So whats the course to sail? – I don’t know.

    Dil

  15. oh you can create content for Blue Mars, its the Wish of Avatar-Reality to involve the Users Creations into the Wold, but you must registered as an Developer.
    Its a special Prevention to keep the World free of Bullshit Content. they want to have userfriendly and funktional Content i think.
    If you have ideas to bring awesome and lovely things into this world you can do it. sure its not the same as SL but i think it will work and many Users will create awesome things for all other.

    • Alan Beresford said:
      “oh you can create content for Blue Mars, its the Wish of Avatar-Reality to involve the Users Creations into the Wold, but you must registered as an Developer.
      Its a special Prevention to keep the World free of Bullshit Content. they want to have userfriendly and funktional Content i think.” …

      Jane Fossett replied: My problem Alan, is I don’t know what “Bullshit Content” is. I think you might agree with my point…
      The more I know about a field of interest, the more complex the issues become and the more porous the boundaries seem.
      I think it’s very hard to predict where the next creative advance will emerge…
      🙂 Or at least, it’s really hard for me…
      xxx

  16. what do i mean with “Bullshit Content”?
    i mean the stupid things we all know in Secondlife, Penis_Hooverbike, all this Griefing Stuff, and all Things its build to disturbing People.
    I think you know what i mean.

  17. Sounds like BM is creating the perfect world without all the BS we see in SL.
    This reminds me of the film scene in The Matrix, when Agent Smith explains to Nero that the first virtual worlds the Machines created were perfect ones, no illnesses, poverty, …
    It just doesn’t work for us imperfect humans!

    Second Life isn’t all that bad and BS, there is still hope and most of all we are All able to improve it.
    Even if you are not a builder you can at least import your favorite picture to hang on your wall without creating a developer account or paying silly amounts of money to do so.
    Just one of many examples why I choose SL is it’s easy tools to create objects.
    Like many people in SL I am not a 3D creator or do I wish to pay 1000’s of $ for a cooperate 3D program, but I am still able to create some fantastic things.
    Besides all the lesser attractive sides in SL, I do see the beauty of many resident creations 🙂

  18. @ Alan:

    Hm … hm hm … who wants to have the unthankful duty to define what is bullshit and what is acceptable content? I guess the ppl who want the job are the last ones who should have it. That much should be clear!
    I guess for 99% of SL’s population empty sims with nothing but BS water in is the most stupid thing they’ve ever seen. And wasting your precious online time with building and sailing crappy sailboats? How completely and utterly unsexy … eeeks! When there are so much more worthwile stuffz to be built, like sexbeds, penises and whatnots.

    So Alan, yes, I guess we all know what you mean. And since you posted to a sailing related site we might even sympathize with you, but please keep in mind we sailors are nothing but a very very small facette of the broad colourful spectrum that makes up SL or any other virtual world.

    Fortunately so.

    In RL I live in a big city. It’s dirty, it often stinks, it’s dangerous. Criminals and junkies, whores and homeless people, poor streetkids and millionaire human rubbish are littering the streets. Not nice. But I wouldn’t wanna swap it for any other place in the world.

    Same with SL. Since LL made up the adult ghetto of Zindra SL has lost a lot of it’s quirky and whimsical qualities. SL is a lot poorer and less alluring now. I guess BM is a gonna be a dead world right from the initial idea on. A virtual Disney World, as if Disney World isn’t artificial and stupid enough already.

  19. i understand, all what we can see now in BM ist not the best, it unfinished, Boats and Buildings at the Horizon are simple Bitmaps, but its a beta, not more, the moving of the Avatar must be better and much more things.
    But BM is offering new options to me, i can build Vehicles with more than 30 Prims and i can make it physical without any attachment.
    BM will grow and im sure, we will find some dangerous and ugly places on this Planet.
    Citys with Outlaws and Canyons full of Animals they want to eat us. I hope so, haha.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s