May 18th HUGE update for Blue Mars!

Before we start, I would like to apologize for my absence from the scene in recent days, as life over her eon my side has gotten a bit hectic and has prevented me from being as involved as I would have liked to have been over the past few months. But moving on from that, wow! Just look at this update. The Blue Mars Marketplace has opened, which allows developers to list their shops for sale and their blocks for sale. Blue Mars got voice, using the excellent Vivox service (which also provides Second Life with their voice). Users are now able to preview items before they buy them, and it is now possible to upload shapes and skins! Quite alot has happened in my absence, but I am coming back full force! One of the things that I will be focusing on in my return, is volunteering. When I first signed up for Blue Mars, I had also applied to become a volunteer because I had been a Mentor in the past in SL and always had a great experience with that venture. Although I unfortunately missed Monday's meeting, I will certainly be at thursdays, so if any of my fellow volunteers are reading this, I'll see you there! Also expect to see some city reviews and more updates from me as I make my rounds to new cities and new places.

As always, love my readers and i'll keep you updated!

Till next time,
Your friendly neighborhood blogger Zetsu.

Blue Mars secures another 4.2 million dollars in investment!

Wow everyone! I dont even know where to begin with this article. This is such great news! I knew when i first signed up for Blue Mars and actually spent the time getting to know Avatar Reality and the beta community so far, that the future really was in Blue Mars, and this additional investment just goes ahead and re-assures and proves my initial thoughts! For all those who haven't read the blog post about it yet, here's the link to the Blue Mars official blog, the post was made by the CEO of Avatar Reality, Jim Sink.

Further good news is that Avatar Reality just hired a new member to their team, Trent Ward. Here are some excerpts about him from the above mentioned blog post.

"I’m thrilled to announce that Trent Ward, former Creative Director at Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, has joined Avatar Reality as our new Vice President of Design. Trent has a track record of creating fantastic games and designs and is leading our efforts to make the developer and user experience more intuitive, effective, and fun."

"Trent will help ensure that core features in Blue Mars like communication, navigation, interactive events, and discovery meet the needs of the community and provide new frontiers for innovation and creation. His work along with our talented development team will help us more rapidly respond to requests from the community and continue to make Blue Mars even better for users and developers."

For more information about Trent, the new 4.2 million investment dont forget to go read their blogpost @

Also readers! I know I've been inactive for a little while (unfortunately Real Life does have to happen at some point haha) but I've got a Body Editor tutorial that I've been working on that I will be crossposting on Koinup and here!

Until next time, love my readers <3


February 18th/19th Big update for Blue Mars!

Hey everyone! Its your friendly neighborhood blogger Zetsumei! We've got a big update for Blue Mars that came to us late at night on the 18th/19th of February. Both the client and the developer tools got updated this time around.

Here are the release notes for the developer SDK update:

Changes since the 0.0.7366.0 (Feb. 11, 2010) build:

All Editors
• Developer tools and client now identify themselves as "developer build" as opposed to "city_developer build".
• Materials created by bmImport and bmImportCmd properly assign a default Surface Type ("mat_blank" for a physicalized/proxy sub-material, otherwise no Surface Type assignment).

[NEW] Body Editor
• Import custom shapes.
• Import custom skins.
• Test custom shapes, skin, clothing, and animations.
• Upload custom body data (coming soon).

Shop Editor
• Clone instances of decorations.
• Control for camera speed.
• Enable saving of work in progress.

As I'm sure its obvious to anyone reading this right now, the biggest part of this update was the new Body Editor! The body editor is the very first stepping stone towards character customization in Blue Mars. Like several other things in Blue Mars, documentation is a bit light at the moment but if you are interested in what the Body Editor can offer you at the beginning stages of development, please dont hesitate to check out the developer forums at myself and a few other developers have asked some questions, started some threads and there is some good information going around about what we can do so far with the Body Editor. Also, this coming Tuesday there is going to be a developer Q&A with Andrei, the genius programmer that has been creating all of the editors for us. Check out this thread for more informatoin

Moving on, the release notes for the client that we also recieved are a bit to long to post here, so you can find those here:

Some notable highlights however are:

Shade City by eFrontier now has a Shop! Purchasable T-shirts will be available on the second floor of Shade City.
Welcome Area 2010 has been added.
The old welcome area has been retired.
AR_Shelter has been added. This is a minimalist level to be used as a meeting area in case there are problems with the new welcome area.
VSE_TERC has been added.
Avatar names are now displayed above the avatar instead of the avatar ID.
If you change your Avatar Name display option in the User MyPage, it will now be reflected in the overhead avatar name display as well as the chat box.
New and updated City data can now be downloaded directly from the Places Browser--no need to install City patches.
User interface update
New look for the Places Browser!
Preferences Menu update
New Click Sound option in the Settings menu will let you turn the pointer sound on or off (default: Off).Refresh button in the Places Browser allows you to enter your downloaded City (except New Venice) without having to close and reopen Blue Mars.
New Display Name option will let you hide the overhead Avatar Name display of your avatar and the avatars around you.

Many more and more detailed pictures and details can be found by following the link above.

Well thats all for this update guys, Ill be doing some further updates after this with some pictures and reviews of the latest additions to Blue Mars, and hope you all have a great day!

Life In Blue Mars: My introduction / Short Guide to Blue Mars Cities

(Crossposted from the Koinup Blog!, for all my followers here as well, I have recently been given an opportunity to blog for Blue Mars on Koinup as well)

Hi there everyone! My name is Zetsumei Ieyashi, and I'm a new blogger around here. I'm going to be providing a lot of awesome articles about Blue Mars while I'm here and I hope you all enjoy what I have to give!

Just so you guys can get to know me a little better, I'm coming from my own personal blog

( (As a homage to my original blog I have named my column here after it ) that I started several months ago for Blue Mars after I fell in love with what it had to offer and the potential of where it is headed, I will also be crossposting all of my blog posts here, over there(If you like my style, Don't hesitate to follow me over there as well, I will be blogging there still as well on some more localized topics not deemed to be blogged about here) . My hobbies these days are exploring Blue Mars, finding the best places to go and taking a lot of pictures while I'm at it! If you guys are interested in some photography of mine from Blue Mars you should check out my Koinup works (, I've got over 100 photos there that I've taken!

Besides my introduction, I figured for my first post I would do a simple guide to the current cities that are available in Blue Mars, my future posts will provide in depth reviews, many pictures and tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Blue Mars!.

The Welcome Area: The welcome area used to be the place where everyone logged into when they first signed on, and from there you were able to access all of the currently available cities. A few months back(around December or so) with one of the bigger updates to Blue Mars, we got the Places Browser, which is the screen you now see when you sign in. The Welcome Area still exists, and has been expanded to a larger area with some nice tables, chairs and a terminal that allows you to edit your avatars shape/face and features. The Welcome Area is currently being developed behind the scenes into a better detailed area and a more welcoming environment. Progress of the new welcome area can be seen in this thread at the Blue Mars forums (

Beach City: An Avatar Reality owned and created city to demonstrate how nice cities can look when work is put into them. Beach City is also home to the bowling alley minigame and the golfing minigame. Both of which can be accessed by a map that teleports you to the various different areas of the city at a bus stop you'll see when you log into Beach City.

New Venice: New Venice, a city owned and created by VSE, one of the companies interested in Blue Mars and a close partner to Avatar Reality is a futuristic city that also demonstrates the very high quality possibilities that Blue Mars presents it's developers. A beautiful sight to all who visit there, New Venice is one of the best cities currently available that demonstrates the power behind the CryEngine.

Shade City: Shade City is a simple, but nice area that has an interesting outdoor structure, very modern that adds to an overall futuristic feel of the city. Although calling it a city might be an understatement, as the nice structure is all that is there, but nonetheless it is a very nice place to checkout. It has two levels, one with a lot of chairs and tables and a nice monument at the center of the building, and then a walk way you can reach by a ramp.

Waterfall: This area was made for a minigame, that involves you piloting a cool mini spacecrusier through rings all over the level. The area is a very lush level, one like you might find in a tropical environment.

Digital DNA: Digital DNA is one of the newest additions to Blue Mars, Digital DNA currently provides a very nice atmosphere and some cool areas to traverse through the pathways that are in place right now (and if you explore a bit you'll find some really nice beaches and a cool cave.) Currently a work in progress, we can expect to see some great things coming out of this city.

Dragon City: Dragon City is another one of the newest additions to Blue Mars, and currently offers a very nice modern/futuristic welcoming area with some high quality models. Dragon City is also a work in progress but like Digital DNA we can expect some great things to come out of this city.

Gridrock City: Gridrock City is a scifi/futuristic city that was introduced October as the first user created city. Although currently still in development, Gridrock City offers a lot of places and areas for the users to check out already through their unique teleporting system, a Nikola Tesla inspired sphere that emits electricity when you click it and transports you to one of many different areas in the city depending on which one you click in the central hub (which is accessed by clicking the first sphere at the entrance to the city. Their website can be found at (

Caledonia: Caledonia is the extension of the popular and well known Caledon estate of sims in Second Life, owned by Desmond Shang. As the Caledon in SL is, Caledonia is themed in a Victorian/Steampunk style and will be offering rentals and shops in the future. Their website can be found at (

Pavonis: Pavonis is a rental city that is also owned by Desmond Shang that is currently in the theme of a tropical area.

Soeswaewon Garden: The name for this one is pretty much self explanatory, Soswaewon is a garden area with a few interesting structures and a unique environment.

Well that's all for my first post here on the Koinup Blog and I would like to thank you all for reading, and hope to bring you many more articles in the future!

Blue Mars on Koinup!

Hey everyone! Its your friendly neighborhood blogger Zetsu!

So there is some big news today for all of us Blue Mars users! Koinup has just added us as a virtual world to their community/social networking site for games and virtual worlds! I'm currently busy uploading all of the photos that i've taken over the course of my membership so far and I encourage you all to do the same! There is a group on koinup as well called Blue Mars that everyone should join as I am crossposting my photos into that group too and I hope to be doing alot of updating for everyone on Koinup!

My name on Koinup is ZetsumeiIeyashi, but you'll see me as soon as you look for the Blue Mars group (I'm the one who's uploaded the most pictures haha). Theres much more where that came from, and hopefully soon I'll be uploading some videos for everyone!

My Koinup Page:

Blue Mars Group Koinup Page:

Blue Mars Official Koinup Page:

I hope to see you all there very soon!

Blue Mars Update! Two New Cities!

Hey Everyone! Its your friendly neighborhood blogger Zetsu! Blue Mars just got a small, but still awesome update yesterday! For all those who haven'tchecked out the newest update or been to the site yet, two new cities have been added to the places browser!

Dragon City by Lex4Art


Digital DNA by VRHacks

I had the chance to go in and take some pictures and video of both of these cities! (these are coming at the bottom of the blog post)

First of all, I would just like to say that both of these cities are getting off to an absolutely great start! Although these are only the first versions of Dragon City and Digital DNA they look pretty good so far.

Dragon City: As stated in the city description, Dragon City is a futuristic city that is a Work In Progress (WIP) and although it is a WIP the welcome area to this city is certainly a great showing of what is to come here. The detail in the small preview area of this city is absolutely amazing, i beleive we are really starting to see how great things can look in Blue Mars with the CryEngine backing it up and the amazing toolset.

Digital DNA: Although this city may not be as detailed as Dragon City is when it comes to structures, the detail that Digital DNA offers with it's amazing foliage, fun pathways to walk down and check what's available in this first glance of the city, is pretty cool in its own right.

Overall, I enjoyed both of these cities and cant wait to see them grow as Blue Mars does as well.

As promised, here are the pics/vids of the new cities:

(If the videos look a little slow, thats cause I lost some FPS through recording, so I apologize for that.)

Dragon City Video:

Life In Blue Mars Presents - Dragon City Walkthrough from Zetsumei Ieyashi on Vimeo.

Dragon City Pictures:

Digital DNA Video:

Life In Blue Mars Presents - Digital DNA Walkthrough from Zetsumei Ieyashi on Vimeo.

Digital DNA Pictures:

Comprehensive Feature and General Improvements Request

Hi everyone! Its your friendly neighborhood blogger Zetsumei!

Today i posted on the dev forums a thread about alot of the features that i believe would be amazingly helpful and useful for both users and developers.

For those who do not go to that forum, i will post it here. Original Thread @

Comprehensive Feature and General Improvements Request:

Inworld Profiles

Inworld communication such as Instant Messages

Groups and Group chat similar to those of Second Life

Friends Lists that not only let you know if your friends are online, but the ability to click on the names to initiate an instant message, send a teleport, and find where they are (if they have not enabled a privacy thing that disables that feature.).

A city rating system that denotes what types of content you may run across (PG, G, R, PG13) With this could even been an Age Verification System like Second Life has to prove you are 18+ and then you can access the mature content. I will emphasize strongly that mature content be allowed in the future. This is a very large market, and if it is not allowed it could attribute to the loss of many potential users.

The ability to sell packages in shops like you can in Second Life. Selling one item at a time is an extremely bad idea because many products that developers will be looking to sell will involve several pieces. Having to sell each piece individually is entirely too tedious and is quite counter intuitive considering the level of technology we are at right now.

The ability for developers to be able to give out their products if they wish without having to have a shop.

Have it so that when a developer's items get uploaded that they automatically get a copy of their own stuff in their inventory. Any other way (such as making them buy their own stuff) is completely counter intuitive and in this day of technology we have the tools and the resources to make things smooth and easily accessable for everyone.

Changable avatar movement systems! The current avatar movement system is absolutely unacceptable. Point and click is so 20th century. Controls like Second Life utilizes (and several other games utilize, hell what CRYSIS utilizes are better than the movement system right now in Blue Mars). If you MUST keep this system in, atleast have the option for a better movement system and the ability to map keysets to it.

Having a camera system across the board that is more free like the Second Life cam would be great, the source code to it should also be available so that cities who do not wish to have that in their city can modify it to work for them how they want it to.

Many attachments points on the body for those who wish to create avatar acessories and changes (for example, a robotic arm that replaces your normal arm, or an entire android avatar that replaces most of your body parts) Attachment points on the hands is a must for weapon usage and holding things.

Support for the flowgraph system from the original sandbox2 editor, there are many modules out there that would improve Blue Mars functionality by many many fold. I believe it would be wise to try and impliment this technology for Blue Mars. .

Microsoft Silverlight functionality (i've seen this requested on the forum, and i also believe it would be a good thing to have as well, but only if flash and silverlight can be optimized well enough to run together and not tax the computer more than necessary)

Will add more to this thread when more comes to mind.