Thursday, 17 December 2009

Blue Mars New Release: The Main Details

The new Blue Mars release is now much smaller, at around 320MB compared with the previous download size of 1.3GB. This is mainly due to no longer bundling Cities in the download. See the City Browser section below for further details.

City Browser
The new City Browser lists all cities that you currently have on your HD and lists all the other cities available on the AR servers. Selecting a city in the browser will now download it in the background. The time to download will depend on your broadband speed. City file sizes will typically be in the 200MB - 500MB range. You must restart Blue Mars to be able to visit any City you have downloaded.

New Cities
The new Blue Mars release comes with two new Cities to explore, an update to an existing City, and a new bowling game.

Desmond Shang, well known in Second Life with his Caledon Victoriana sim, has established a colony now on Blue Mars, and named it Caledonia.

There is a very nice article on this new venture at the Prim Perfect website, and Desmond has created his own website for Caledonia that is well worth checking out.

Desmond has not stopped there, as he says on his website:
If Victorian Caledonia isn't quite your cup of tea, check out Pavonis, a tropical archipelago under the same management but with large islands available for development, not subject to Caledonia's 19th century thematic restrictions.

Grid Rock City
In addition to the two new Cities, Grid Rock City has a new look. Several new buildings and other interesting developments, such as a Twitter interface, so check it out!

Beach City

There is a new Aloha Golf Clubhouse, and if you click on a golfbag you are teleported to the Golf Course.

Also new is a bowling game.

Blue Mars Client
The new client has a number of new features and improvements:
  • Improved Communications Panel
  • Purchased items go into Inventory
  • Clicking the ground to walk no longer makes a sound
  • New icon set

The first icon takes you back to the City Browser to select another destination to teleport to. The second icon brings up the screen resolution and graphics rendering quality preferences. The third (?) icon takes you to the flash tutorials, while the last icon Exits Blue Mars.
    New and Improved Websites
    There are now new websites for Blue Mars: > >

    Updated developer tools (editors)
    All the Wiki pages for Item, Cloth, Shop and Furniture Editors have been updated, with new examples on how to create cloth and furniture.

    All Editors will now display version number, build type, and build date on the window title bars, and you can also see this information in the Editors' splash windows and About windows.

    Right-clicking on the Bluemars.exe file and viewing the Properties should now show the same version information.

    Blue Mars City Editor
    The City Editor is now available to everyone though the Dev MyPage. City developers can now:
    • Load block layer files and export pak files.
    • Upload pak (CTY) files to Avatar Reality through Dev MyPage.
    • Upload pak (CTY) files to Avatar Reality through FTP
    • Set an area that requires an item.
    • Define a block
    Flash functionality
    • ARFlashEntity makes it easy to incorporate Flash anywhere in Blue Mars.
    • Just drag and drop the entity to create a resizable panel, type the URL, then hit the Enter key.
    How-to included on the wiki.
      Blue Mars Block Editor
      • Block Developers can now use Flowgraph.
      Blue Mars Shop Editor
      Shop owners can now:
      • Create custom Shop interiors in the Shop Editor.
      • Set Shelves on leased Shop through Dev MyPage.

      Blue Mars Furniture Editor
      • Developers can create furniture items and upload them for QA approval through MyPage, in the same way as in the Item and Cloth Editors.
      New Female Avatar Mesh
      Updated female avatar face and body mesh included in this release:
      • Beautifully-formed
      • Better animation
      • Optimized for skin texture matching


      Pricing information
      Expected tomorrow, 18th December. Check this page.

      User MyPage ( )
      This will enable you to:
      • Change your User account email address.
      • Change your User account password.
      • See a list of friends in your Friends List and their online status.
      • Download the latest Blue Mars Client and patches.
      Edit Avatar feature:
      • Change your avatar's first and last name.
      • Choose how you want your avatar's name to be displayed in the chatbox in Blue Mars (hiding both avatar names will show your User ID).
      • Reset Face: Reset your avatar's face to default, while keeping customized cosmetics, animation and clothing intact.
      • Reset Avatar: Reset your avatar's face, cosmetics animation, and gender to a default state. You will then be able to change your avatar's gender.

      Even More
      • Buy Blue Mars currency (BLU) to purchase items and rent Residences.
      • Inventory page will show items you purchased with your BLU.
      • Room page will show Residences you are renting, and a Guest List where you can give your friends access to your Residence.
      • Message page to send and receive messages to and from your friends.