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Keep an Eye on Mars | The Metaverse Tribune
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Editorial: Keep an Eye on Mars

by Skylar Smythe
Published May 1, 2010

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Blue Mars is the virtual world that blew us away with by far the most superior in-world graphics and simulations.  There is simply no comparison to the realism of the graphic rendering in that environment.

When trying to understand why the platform has not taken off in user popularity one often hears negative feedback regarding system requirements.  If Blue Mars is the mecca of immersed digital reality then your computer had better be a top of the line performer.  If it’s not, it simply will not be able to handle the demands of running the interface.

According to the Blue Mars Wiki, the recommended minimum operating requirements are:

  • CPU
    • Minimum: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, AMD Athlon X2 (5000/6000/7000 series)
    • Recommended: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.83GHz or higher, AMD Phenom X2 or higher
  • Video Card
    • Minimum: NVIDIA Gefore 9600 GT, ATI Radeon 4830
    • Recommended: NVIDIA GTX 260 or higher, ATI Radeon 4870 or higher

The average user is not accessing entertainment at home with a system able to meet those bench marks.  This is a limiting factor for Blue Mars.

The few times that I have ventured into the platform I have found the place to be utterly empty.  I surmised that no matter how beautiful the place was, I had no desire to live out a “last man on earth” fantasy and given the fact that operating the software made it possible to “fry an egg” on my Mac Power-book, I like many others lost interest quickly.

But lately there has been a resurgence of interest and discussion around Blue Mars which has potential users speculating we may see some interesting new developments on the horizon.

Avatar Reality Inc. (the makers of Blue Mars and the hit game Tetris™) announced in March 2010 that they had raised another $4.2 million USD.  It appears that the strategic plan for the virtual world was to create a reliable grid for users as a priority first and then focus on establishing the user base.  Unlike other virtual worlds whose crux was to popularize the medium and then “iron out” the issues ad hoc.

There is something to be admired in a quality focused approach where the organization is dedicated to perfecting the product first.   The San Francisco and Honolulu based Avatar Reality is customer focused.

“For the past three years, we’ve been laying the foundation for Blue Mars so developers can create extraordinary 3D experiences and share them in their own personalized virtual world that is scalable and secure. This investment is a strong endorsement of the progress we’ve made towards providing the next generation in virtual world platforms,” said Jim Sink, CEO of Avatar Reality.

Avatar Reality has added new hire Trent Ward as the new Vice President of Design.  Ward has an extensive portfolio of successful game development including being named as one of the Hot 100 Game Developers of 2009 by Edge Magazine. Click here for the article.

In December of 2009 Avatar Reality has announced “the world’s first system for rendering fully interactive Adobe Flash 10™ content in a high-definition massively multiplayer 3D environment. Developers can now create immersive 3D worlds in which thousands of users can experience and interact with Flash™ content simultaneously in any given world.”

I like to think of Blue Mars as a “sleeping giant”.  Grossly underestimated and poised to emerge as the next generation virtual world.

_________________________

Source: Web May 1, 2010

http://www.bluemarsdev.com/wiki

http://www.edge-online.com

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