A group of game developers under the name Random Seed Games from Dubuque, Iowa are almost a week into their Kickstarter for Lacuna Passage, a Mars exploration game where you play the only survivor of a manned mission to Mars.
The game is classified as “a story-driven exploration and survival game set on Mars, drawing inspiration from titles like Dear Esther, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and even Pokemon Snap.” according to the Kickstarter page. The team has collected over $10,000 from backers during their first week on Kickstarter, which puts them on track to reach their $40,000 goal by the end of July.
Lacuna Passage does not focus on survival, even though that is a key element of the game. It’s more centered around documenting and exploring everything you can find, whilst managing your resources for survival. Walking around and exploring blindly without charting a path will not work in this game. The only way to find out what happened to the rest of your crew is with careful planning and logic.
The red planet in Lacuna Passage is modeled after actual Mars satellite elevation data. Random Seed used images from an experiment at The University of Arizona under the moniker of “Mars High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)”. Mars isn’t the only thing this game tries to recreate. The man-made structures, capsules, and vehicles are all accurate to proposed and potential Mars expeditions. Random Seed is even collaborating with several aerospace engineers and scientists to help with mission designs.