NASA-backed ‘Mars 2030’ Gameplay Preview

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By hatakeDate: Aug 02 2017 Views:


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The education-focused Mars 2030 launches today on SteamVR for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, soon to come to PSVR. With 40 square kilometers of explorable terrain, the experience successfully achieves its main objective: to make the user feel like they are on Mars. However, while its stunning canvas has great potential, its execution currently suffers from a lack of features, and a number of technical problems.

Unquestionably, Mars 2030’s greatest assets are… its assets. The vast landscape is covered in detailed geometry and textures, and the habitat, vehicles, and other equipment are modelled to a high quality. Combined with convincing lighting and shaders, the result is, at times, very impressive.


The Mawrth Vallis region has been reproduced using satellite data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE, with topographical data accurate to within 30cm of the actual elevation. As described in our first experience of Mars 2030 at GTC 2016, the team went to great lengths to represent the martian terrain in the most realistic manner, using Unreal Engine 4’s physically-based rendering. “Our lead environment artist actually worked with a NASA geologist to find the correct reflectance factors to really get the materials to be as photorealistic as possible,” said Justin Sonnekalb, a designer on the project.

Source: roadtovr

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