Mars Crisis MVP

I’m happy to announce the release of the Mars Crisis MVP. MVP meaning minimum viable product, in other words, you can now play a complete game and experience a full story of Kelly Parker’s time on Mars as special advisor to the colony.

  • Drink coffee with the Mayor!
  • Appear in the popular talk show 24:37!
  • Save the children!

And much more in the Mars Crisis MVP release. There are lots of locations to explore and characters to converse. Play Mars Crisis now! Can you save the colony?

Mars Crisis. Can you save the colony?

MVP milestone reached

Mars Crisis is a one person project developed on Twine and inspired by the story game Mars Colony. I started the project on August 24th as a personal challenge. The list of ideas of content and features to add grows long as always. However, I’m pleased with getting the project to this stage. I had a longer break in the middle but was privileged to be able to put in the mental focus and time needed to reach the MVP.

I think I will continue to expand and elaborate on the game. However, at least for the next weeks and months, I will turn my attention to other priorities as I’m starting a new job. This likely also means fewer updates on the blog. If this suddenly leaves you with a bit of extra time, play Mars Crisis and let me know what you think!

Reflections on Twine/Harlowe

I can highly recommend Twine as a powerful tool for creating interactive fiction such as story games. Based on JavaScript means runtime validation so be prepared to test a lot. Put in the effort to get regression tests with high test coverage once you start adding custom macros. 

It’s super nice that the output is a single html file with the engine embedded. Everything runs client side in a browser. Deployment is easy and the game runs on most devices without any fuzz.

You will find quirks in the editor and the language (I have reported a few suggestions), but the feature set and quality are quite mature (I’m on Harlowe 3.2.2 and Twine 2.3.14).

Performance and UX of the editor and the runtime is very acceptable. I’m at 271 passages and 30k words with Mars Crisis and can still find my way around in the editor canvas without any slowdown.