Mars to Stay: Available now

I am pleased to announce that Mars to Stay: A story game about an almost impossible dream is now available for purchase on Lulu: Lulu Ebook

Previews and game resources are available at thoughtfulgames.com/marstostay.

At the end of the game, players get to decide for their character if they will stay on Mars or return to Earth.

It has been a long journey and I am very pleased with the result. The 2021 edition distills the complex sandbox game from 2017 into a structured story game that produces a consistent play experience. Covid added the online play constraint which worked out well: The loneliness you experience from sitting alone at the end of a fragile video connection to your fellow players adds to the immersion. Add to this the evocative illustrations by Claudia and you get a game that plays like a movie. 

Kill your darlings and keep it simple

If there is anything to learn from the process, it is that the old classics are as true as ever. Easy to preach, hard to follow. Take out stuff and trust that players can and will find the cues and handles that will make it their game. Less is more. There is a budget of mental effort for any game. Make every word count and trust that players will connect the dots. 

I would like to thank all the play testers and people who gave feedback along the way and helped me produce the best possible game. The game has been 5 years in the making and it feels great to finally put it out there. Enjoy.

What’s next?

I will move on to other projects for a while. A new release of Montsegur 1244 and develop a couple of ideas that have been brewing. Let’s see.

After that I might return to Mars to Stay and create editions in other languages and maybe a print edition.