A downloadable game

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Christina is the first person on Mars, but she wasn't supposed to be.  She was supposed to be the fourth disembarking from the ship in a mission by the International Aero-Space Organization.  She's the only survivor of a crash landing on the Martian surface, and now, she has to survive on her own.  She needs to operate equipment she had minimal training to operate.  She needs to run botanical experiments she has no comprehension of.  She needs to carefully maintain her food and water supply.  The worst part: this was a two year mission.  There's no turning around.  There's no rescue.  At Mars' distance from Earth, any transmission she sends will take a minimum of half an hour to reach its destination.  She's completely and utterly alone.  Until she receives a mysterious transmission.

She doesn't know where it comes from, and she can't understand the language.  Her first thought is that someone from another country has made it to Mars also, without IASO knowledge.  However, the fact that she always loses contact at daybreak and resumes contact near nightfall disproves that theory.  Is her mysterious visitor on a ship in orbit?  On one of the moons, or more improbable, on another planet, communicating by improbable means?  As Christina and her friend slowly learn to communicate with each other, Christina comes to realize the unimaginable.  This is an alien, she's made first contact, and through the most unlikely circumstances imaginable, they have been bound to each other by fate.   They are solar systems, or possibly entire galaxy's apart, and yet they are two women, from two different worlds in a near identical situation: astronauts hopelessly stranded on the nearest planet to their homeworlds.

  • Food and water are carefully rationed to make sure you have enough to survive, but it may be possible to add to your food supply through the botanical experiments.  If you can't find a way off Mars, you may need to be to able to grow food to survive.
  • You will need to establish line of sight in order to maintain communications.  You need to be in constant contact with Earth so that mission control can continuously advise you.  Also, this will help you maintain contact with the alien.  Without line of sight, you will have long periods each day in which you cannot communicate with Earth.  Establish line of sight by taking the Mars Explorer vehicle and installing antenna relays across the planet.
  • Christina will need to learn to communicate with the alien.  Learning each other's names will be simple enough.  Teaching Christina and the alien each other's languages will be harder.  Even without knowing each other's languages, communication isn't impossible.  Christina will need to be creative.
  • You're both in this together.  Worlds apart, as distant as two people could possibly be, you're both astronauts stranded alone on two barren worlds, and you can talk to each other; not prerecord messages, but actually talk to each other.  Sometimes, just knowing you're not alone can mean the difference between life and death.



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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Across the Universe - Tech Demo and Title fix.zip 30 MB

Development log


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Ahoy there pianotm,

We are Balloon Co. [gaming division]! We heard you talkin’ smack about our game we made last year without @ing us on discord. Our research team has informed us that this behavior, on twitter, is known as “sub-tweeting.” Since this happened on discord, we shall take to calling it “sub-dissing.” Anyway, when we saw all those things you said about us in your sub-dis, IT HURT! (However, it did not hurt our bottoms, but did hurt our brains and pancreases). SO, we decided we did NOT like nursing a pain filled brain/pancreas, and that our best option was to fight back. We came up with a FANTASTIONDERFUL PLAN! We would play your tech demo, find all the things done badly with it, and then WE WOULD GO ON DISCORD AND SUB-CORD YOU!


First off, you start off with a nicely done description of the events leading up to the incident, which allowed our imaginations to fill in the details. It gave us a chance to prime our understanding of Christina before meeting her.

The tech demo deals with very relatable themes. Living in a hostile location? Check! Managing our food, water, and sanity? TRIPLE CHECK! Language issues? Well, we’re fortunate enough to have a translator, so we don’t have to worry about that. It’s GREAT. We can say whatever we want, and people can understand us thanks to them! Like, even if we just type a bunch of gibberish, they can get our point across! LIKE THIS: [translator’s note: I’m not translating gibberish.]

That said, we can imagine what it would be like without a translator, and it’s SCARRIFYING! Not only would we have trouble promoting our games, we would have trouble talking with each other. So, it was comforting to see Christina found a work around. We also like how quickly she was able to empathize with someone who looked different to her.

We enjoyed the music in the game. One of the art school drop outs who work here even commented on how interesting it was that the darkness of the setting was balanced by the whimsy of the music. We don’t know what that nerd was talking about, though, we just liked it!

So, with all those good qualities, going on discord and not @ing you became a terrible idea. We were still in pain though. But then, as we made sure Christina got the sleep she needed, we realized WE HAD BEEN STAYING UP SUPER LATE TRYING TO COME UP WITH A PLAN TO HURT YOU FOR HURTING US! So, we decided to get some sleep and NOW OUR BRAINS FEEL FINE (some of our pancreases are still a little sore but overall feeling better). Thanks for reminding us that the best way to deal with pain is to take care of ourselves via taking care of a person on our computer, and nice job on your demonstration of your tech!

Just saying "Thank you" seems an entirely inadequate response.  Thank you for not hating my game!...?

It's an awesome review, though!  Seriously, thank you!

As for the smack talk...all we were only talking about was how you made a troll game last year.  Pretty sure you did that, unless I'm mistaking you for someone else.  Sorry, didn't mean to offend, but if I made a game like that, I'd be surprised if people didn't talk about it negatively.

Yeah this maker has been a troll the entire time in a good way.  Its hilarious.

This game looks really, really interesting! I'm a fan of space exploration and games that are about discovery, like finding new worlds and learn about these worlds. A survival game in a space exploration setting is a killer concept! Looking forward to it, Piano!

Thanks!  I'm hoping to be able to offer a demo in the near future.  What I offer to IGMC will not be much of a game, but I'm trying to give it something.  So, in the immediate future, you'll at least be able to sample a build that will at least tell you what the game's all about.