1 Year Anniversary of Successful Phase 1 Kickstarter

Greetings CrowdExplorers,

It’s been a whole year since we successfully ended the MarsVR Phase 1 Kickstarter.   I’d like to provide you some updates on where we are and our future plans.

  • We successfully captured all the buildings at the MDRS using photogrammetry in June 2018.
  • We flew a drone several times to acquire a square mile of terrain around the MDRS during June/July/August 2018.
  • Our initial development team processed the data and created a Unity project in summer & early fall 2018.
  • I demoed an early build of the rooms at the Mars Society Convention in fall 2018.
  • We delivered the Early Access build to our backers in November 2018.
  • We continued working on the final Phase 1 build, which includes all processed & cleaned up assets — buildings, rooms, and terrain.  That’s still where we are with the project.

We ran into some problems with the scanned versions of the tunnels, which have necessitated us removing the original tunnels that were captured with photogrammetry and replacing them with 3-D models.  That work is nearly complete.

I showed the Early Access build at several events including Space Expo 2019 at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, the Seattle VR Meetup at Pacific Science Center, and also regularly at our monthly Seattle Chapter meeting.  Other chapters have also shown the build at events in Southern California and Norway.

I showed a more recent build last month at Seattle’s Pluto VR as part of the Seattle VR Meetup.

We are hoping to complete the Phase 1 release this summer, which will include a large PR push and our first public release of the Unity project on Github.

From there we will begin Phase 2 planning and add additional capabilities to the core application.

If you are interested in helping us during this final push, and into Phase 2, please do reach out to me — jburk@marssociety.org. 

Thanks and I’ll see you on Mars (in VR!)

-James Burk
Program Manager, MarsVR
IT Director, The Mars Society