From Blue Mars Developer Guidebook
The purpose of this page is both to be a guide for players, and for developers to understand the end software which they are developing for. THIS IS AN EARLY DRAFT
- Hardware - To use Blue Mars as a player you currently need a PC that meets the System Requirements. A Render Cloud Server system is in development which will lower the PC requirements by doing the graphics remotely and sending a video stream instead. For now though, a capable system is needed. Since Blue Mars has high end graphics, a fast enough graphics card is the most important requirement. As a general guide, the following models are fast enough: NVidia Geforce GTX220 or higher/newer, and older 4 digit series cards where the first two digits = 15 or more, or Ati Radeon 3000 series cards or higher, with at least DDR3 memory, and where the first two digits = 10 or more. In both cases 512MB or more of dedicated graphics memory is recommended. Slower cards will work, but will have low frame rates.
- Disk Space - You should have at least several GigaBytes of hard disk space available for the Client installation plus cities and assets that are downloaded as you use it. All cities and most content as of Sept 2010 is about 4 GB maximum.
- Software - Blue Mars runs on the DirectX 9 or 10 multimedia API. Since that is part of the Windows operating system, you currently need to be running that OS. It also uses Adobe Flash to display various things, so a current version (10.1) of the Flash for Internet Explorer should be installed. It is always a good idea to update your graphics card drivers to a recent version.
Register either a Player or Developer account from the main Blue Mars Home Page. Developer accounts can do more than Player accounts, but both are free. When registering, you choose an Account Name which always will show to other players in chat, and cannot be changed. You can optionally set up a Display Name which will appear over your avatar's head. The display name can be changed from within your website account page. The email address and password you use to log in will never be shown.
Client Download and Install
Get the current version from the Client Download Page. During Beta (ie now), the software is updated about every 6 weeks with new features, and occasionally in between with bugfix patches. The current version is required to log in, but sometimes you can download a small patch rather than the whole program again. For the current state of the Beta features, please see Status and Features
WARNING: previous installers have DELETED city and asset data, so if you want to avoid downloading it all again, it is safer to move those folders before installing again. Hopefully that will be fixed in later versions.
For info on how the Client program works, please see Building for Blue Mars#The Client Software.
Commands and Settings
General settings: Ctrl + letter O, or wrench icon on toolbar next to "Buy BLU"
Toggle Fullscreen: Alt+Enter
Hide UI: Ctrl + H
Teleport: House icon on toolbar, then select new location.
Movement: left-click = move to target. When chat window is not dark, WASD and arrow keys will work also
Camera: right click + drag mouse to turn view, mouse wheel to zoom (or camera icon on toolbar)
Chat: Type C to open chat window
IM: Friends icon (leftmost), then click name from friends list
Voice: red button in chat toggles mic
Interactions: anything that glows has an action, either left or right click
Play Animation: Type / followed by animation name in chat with no spaces. List is under Animations button on toolbar.
Advanced Settings: Create plain text file named "system.cfg" in folder \Blue Mars\Game\Config and put your custom settings in it with one setting per line.