For this main Gamasutra feature, three officials from Intel Corporation's development team discuss the development of Mars Sucks
, a prototype game project built upon Google Earth that attempts to marry immersive gameplay elements with the popular application.
In this excerpt, the game developers offer their reasoning behind the project, which was begun as a way to explore the gaming potential for Google Earth:
"We wanted a game concept that was simple and fun. Since the primary goal of our project was to explore the possibilities of gaming on Google Earth, we didn’t want a complicated concept that might distract from the technical exploration at hand. Ultimately we chose a classic concept that fit Google Earth—aliens invading our planet:
Martian robotic spacecraft are invading Earth and sucking up humans for experiments! We were able to capture one Martian spacecraft, which we need you to pilot in an attempt to blast other Martians out of our atmosphere. The Martians are being sent messages that direct them to their next target. Your mission is to decipher the messages, and blast these Martians before they can suck people off the planet. Stay tuned for intercepted Martian messages!
The game play would need to be as simple as the concept; a short prototype project can’t require complex functionality. We decided to overlay an image of a Martian craft cockpit over the Google Earth window and let the standard Google Earth controls handle moving around the globe. In the cockpit, players see a sequence of clues about the location of each Martian invader."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
on the topic, which follows the development of Mars Sucks
, as well as offers the source code and art assets from the project, so that others may pick up from where the team left off (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).