|Release date(s)||Open Beta Sept 2, 2009, full release incrementally during 2010|
|Genre(s)||Virtual World / (MMOG)|
Blue Mars is a 3D massively multiplayer virtual world platform.
The Blue Mars platform and development tools being developed by Hawaii-based Avatar Reality allow 3rd parties to create virtual worlds, MMOG games, simulations, shops, businesses, entertainment venues and virtual homes.
Blue Mars utilizes the CryEngine 2 rendering engine developed by Crytek. The video game Crysis also runs on CryEngine 2. Content can be created on many 3rd party 3D and graphics programs so long as they can output the COLLADA interchange file format. It is then converted to CryEngine specific format via the provided development tools.
Blue Mars was inspired by a vision of the future when the power to terraform whole worlds is within our grasp. The name Blue Mars represents possibility and hope. A teaser trailer video was created by 3rd-party developer Virtual Space Entertainment (VSE) as a showcase for their planned Blue Mars development.
In June 2009, Avatar Reality started closed beta testing; and on September 2nd, the game reached open beta status. On December 17, 2009, version 0.6589 of the beta software was released. This version added a "places browser", which allows selective downloading of city data, and Flash functionality within the player client. At the same time the website was revamped, new cities opened, and pricing was announced for city hosting.
The development roadmap plans release of more features incrementally through 2010 The next developer update is expected in mid-February 2010.
Avatar Reality reports that they are working with numerous developers who are creating cities, games and 3D environments for Blue Mars. Most of these developers are individuals, small groups or indie game developers. Developer registration is free  as is the developer kit, although some external 3D graphics software may require purchase.