Community > Blog

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Blue Mars Client and SDK Release Coming Soon!

--Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

Our engineers have been working hard the last 6 weeks to make some big improvements to Blue Mars, and to give us some new features! So what do we have for you this time?

New Features and Feature Updates for the Blue Mars Client:

•New and improved Welcome Area: Check out our beautiful new Welcome Area! Complete with a brand new stage, dance floor, streaming music player, beach area, ball game and tutorial links to help our new members get started!

•New Avatar Customization Menu: An aesthetic boost to the UI, as well as new features! Now you can wear many more items at once!

•Changes to Avatar Movement:

New WASD avatar control scheme:
o A: Current control scheme (with avatar pivoting in place)
o B: New control scheme (avatar moves to direction of key click without pivoting)

•Press the "R" key to turn "Always Run" function on or off. When turned on, the avatar will run even if you click a short distance ahead.

More Option Control:

•Press Ctrl+H to hide the UI (Menu Tray, Exit icon, your avatar's and other avatars' name display). Much better for taking screen shots and creating machinima!
o If you also want to hide the chat box, close it (by clicking the button in the upper right corner of the box) before you press Ctrl+H to hide the UI.
o If the chat box is open when you hide the UI, the chat box will still be displayed, but it will be disabled. Press Ctrl+H again to enable chat.

•Cosmetics: You can now save versions of your cosmetics and face paint!
o Export and import your cosmetics data to your computer as a .csd file.

•Hate the Blue Cone? Good news! The blue pointer cone can now be turned off from the Options menu.

•Want Blue Mars to look even better?- Very High mode has been added to Rendering Quality option. This setting is recommended for very fast computers with high-end rendering cards only.

•Click the wrench icon on the bottom menu tray or press Ctrl+O to open the Options menu, then go to Display > Rendering Quality. oFeatures that only work on Very High mode:
 Motion Blur
 Depth of Focus
 Parallax Occlusion Mapping

•"Buy BLU" button added to Menu Tray. You can now buy BLU for your user account in-world! No more searching for an ATM!

•Shopping just got easier! -Nearby shop names are now displayed when you zoom out to the overhead map view.

Changes to Chat:

•Copy/Paste and Multi-language Support for Local and Private Chat!

•Private Chat and Local Chat windows are now integrated into one.

•Multi-Person Private Chat: Drag a user from the Friends List into an existing chat tab to start a conference chat.

•On/Off button for voice chat added to chat box.No more microphone scuffling noises! With Voice Chat turned ON, click on the Voice icon next to the chat text box to Mute/Unmute your voice.

•Bug: When you enlarge the chat window and then shrink the resolution of the client, the chat window doesn't shrink with it.
o Solution: Double-click the top of the chat window to go back to default size.

Download the new Client here when the update is released!

We also made exciting changes to our Developer SDK and Dev MyPage, including releasing the brand NEW Animation Editor! Follow the links below to see all changes and new features for the developers once the new update is released:

Client, Developer, and Dev MyPage Release Notes:
  • Release Notes

Follow us on Twitter:   |  

Friend us on Facebook:

Bookmark and Share

Friday, August 20, 2010

Help spread the word about Blue Mars and be eligible for 2,500 BLU$ per day during our New Member Promotion!

--Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

To celebrate our upcoming release, we are offering 1000 BLU$ to new members! From August 23 to August 30, if you are not already a member of Blue Mars, create a new Blue Mars account and log in to win 1000 BLU$!

Sign up for a Blue Mars account at! It only takes a minute to register! Then just follow @bluemarsonline on Twitter, and tweet us your Blue Mars UserID!

That's it! After you log into Blue Mars for the first time, we will credit your account with 1000 BLU$!

Already a Blue Mars member? GREAT! Help us spread the word about our New Member Promotion, and you will have a chance to win your share of 10,000 BLU$ per day! Here is how to do it:

1) Post about our New Member Promotion via facebook, plurk, twitter, flickr, koinup, youtube, vimeo or your own blog or website! Be creative!

2) Send a link or a screenshot to @bluemarsonline on twitter, or Facebook, along with your Blue Mars User ID (the actual ID, not the avatar name).

3) You will be entered to win 2500 BLU$! We will be giving away 4 prizes of 2500 BLU$ each day during this event!

4) Post as many times as you want. You will be entered to win each time! Be sure to send us a link or screenshot and your Blue Mars User ID!

Here are some examples! Feel free to use these ones, or come up with your own!

Twitter: Sign up for BlueMars by August 30 & get 1000BLU$! RT this to enter to win 2,500BLU$! @bluemarsonline

Facebook: Check out Blue Mars!! Create a new account this week and receive 1000BLU$ when you log in! More info on the blog:

Official Rules:

• Post about the Blue Mars new member promotion (1000BLU$ for new members!) to be eligible for one of the four 2,500 BLU$ prizes we will award each day!

• If you are not already a member of Blue Mars, create a new Blue Mars account during this week and log in to receive 1000 BLU$. Remember to tweet your Blue Mars UserID to @bluemarsonline!

• Anyone found making duplicate accounts will be disqualified, and will not be rewarded the 1000 BLU$ for a new member account! Come on guys, we can easily see when you try to fake it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where We're Headed

--Jim Sink, CEO

Everyone here at Avatar Reality believes in the potential of immersive high-definition 3D to revolutionize the way we play, learn, and explore online. Given the rapid advancement of computing technology and our nature to want to connect and interact with each other and the things we enjoy, it’s inevitable that a platform will emerge that will make compelling interactive 3D content easy to develop and simple to share. That is our audacious goal for Blue Mars.

To drive the growth and evolution of Blue Mars, we’re focusing on making content in the world easier to find and easier to access. To help people discover and explore the growing world of Blue Mars and the amazing content in it, we’re providing new avenues to link to Blue Mars content directly from the web, building new options for in-world mapping, improving avatar movement, overhauling the Places Browser, providing new control schemes, offering new display and rendering options, simplifying registration, and streamlining downloads.

In addition to the improvements to the client and websites, we are also releasing new updates to the developer tools including a new animation editor and expanded documentation and tutorials. Many of these enhancements are scheduled for our update later this month. Later in the year, we’ll offer the ability to customize private residences as well as new platform wide expansions targeting gameplay, music, and dancing. We’re constantly working to improve the Blue Mars developer and user experience and will continue to release updates to the platform on a regular basis. The ongoing constructive feedback from our passionate user and developer community has been an invaluable resource that has helped us improve Blue Mars and prioritize new feature development.

Beyond direct platform development, we’re working closely with an extremely popular game IP to connect their web content with a new game area inside Blue Mars. In conjunction, we’re also developing a remotely rendered version of Blue Mars that users will be able to stream to their computer without worrying about application installations or 3D hardware and Windows OS requirements. These efforts are designed to attract a wave of new users to Blue Mars who may have never experienced the magic of virtual worlds and 3D games. We look forward to announcing the partnership and demoing a streaming version of Blue Mars in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please join our Twitter feed and Facebook page for the latest news and attractions on Blue Mars.

See you on Mars,

Give us your thoughts and feedback on our member forum.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

5 Minutes with Takayuki Niwa, Avatar Reality's Senior Server Programmer

-Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

Takayuki Niwa a Senior Server Programmer at Avatar Reality, Inc, has been helping to build Blue Mars for just over 2 years. Niwa focuses on creating server applications and databases.

Blue Mars isn’t the first game he has worked on, Niwa was also a main battle programmer for “Final Fantasy IX” and “Parasite Eve”, both for Playstation. He is originally from Kanagawa prefecture, Japan, and attended KEIO University in Kanagawa, one of Japan's top universities.

Niwa is hardworking and quiet, at least on the surface. But he has an extreme side when it comes to hobbies.

Believe it or not, Niwa has skydived more than 1,250 times! He was inspired to take his first leap out of an airplane when he watched the movie "Point Break."

More recently, he has gotten into base jumping, widely considered to be one of the most dangerous activities in the world, and has made 5 base jumps.

When he isn’t working, or diving out of planes, Niwa enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, listening to music, preferably Underworld, The Prodigy, or Limp Bizkit, and eating his favourite foods, sushi and sashimi.

Favourite movies include The Thing, Desperado and Reservoir Dogs. His favourite book is The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene.

He also enjoys travelling, and names Los Cabos, Mexico as the best place he has ever visited.

Niwa would like to see some great new content in Blue Mars, everything from Cities, to Shops to Items, and is excited for the future of the platform. “Server side is an unsung part of Blue Mars, but we are working hard to make a better environment for all Blue Mars Members and Developers.”

Check out the links below to see Niwa in action, skydiving and base jumping!

Base jumping:

Sky diving:

Follow us on Twitter:   |  

Friend us on Facebook:

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Behind the City: Caledonia and Pavonis' Desmond Shang

--Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

Desmond Shang believes that everyone has the ability to make something beautiful. “You can tell when something was made with every ounce of effort and joy that a person has in them, regardless of skill level. It's infectious,” he said.

Shang is the inventive mind behind Blue Mars’ Caledonia and Pavonis. He describes Caledonia as "a themed steampunk Victorian environment."

Pavonis is "tropical, and big enough to allow people to experiment in different artistic styles and visions without tripping over each other."

Shang hopes to use his own creations to inspire creativity in others. “Quite frankly, I see everyone as a developer. I know people who do live performances, storytelling, all sorts of things, and they are no less creative than someone who makes three dimensional shapes,” he said.

3D virtual worlds are the future, according to Shang. “It's an efficient green tech, it's largely inexpensive, it's as intimate as a village while being global at the same time,” he said.

And where does Blue Mars fit into the picture? “I checked out easily a dozen other platforms before settling on Blue Mars. This is the one with the most potential, bar none,” said Shang.

Although Shang has big hopes for Blue Mars, the things he would most like to see in-world are a bit more subtle. “The small things. The ability to pick a flower and give it to someone, who in turn might pick the petals and see them waft away on the wind,” he said.

According to Shang, being part of a virtual world can make us appreciate our real lives even more.

“I think it teaches us what's important. Material things, virtual or real, don’t matter all that much," he said. "It's the people and what they stand for that matters, their stories, their goals, and their finest moments.”

Visit Caledonia and Pavonis in Blue Mars to see Desmond's fine work for yourself!

Shops are open in Caledonia, including Mako Magellan's Clothes and Shoes, Irkmade, CandyBytes, and recently opened, the new Adam and Eve Shop!

Follow us on Twitter:   |  

Friend us on Facebook:

Bookmark and Share