In what can only be described as a Mars-a-thon week, we've witnessed not only the release of Ridley Scott's book-to-film interpretation of The Martian, but also the news that science boffins have discovered evidence of water up there on the Red Planet. On the ball as ever, Arma makers Bohemia Interactive have now added to the Mars Madness by releasing a Power Update to their Early Access-residing space exploration and survival sim Take On Mars [official site].
The update looks to pull from Hollywood groundings, less real-life science news - because, unfortunately, we may've jumped the gun a wee bit with that - as players are now offered electricity, or 'power simulation' as it's known in Take On Mars. This means that your martians can generate power via solar arrays and can plot an electric grid to bring buildings and machinery to life.
The update adds:
Machinery, such as the drilling rig, and buildings can be connected to the electric grid via a newly added cable spool, which holds up to 50m worth of cables. These cables can be connected to special wall panels that contain power sockets and/or the power connection points on equipment. The cables are also physically simulated, meaning you can print a spool of 5 cables, and then unwind them from the spool, and physically drag them across the floor, connecting the ends.
Besides making sense from financial and practical perspectives, I love the fact that Take On Mars is in Early Access. With every update, it feels like humans have pushed the boundaries of technology and discovery - just as the process is portrayed in the movies. In reality, Mars is probably a barren, monotonous, atmosphere-less wasteland where none of this is ever possible; but the former is obviously more exciting.
Here's the Power Update trailer: