This game is now available on Steam!

Thanks for your help in getting this game selected for distribution via Steam. More information including a link to the Steam store page can be found below.

Greenlight is being retired. For more information on how to submit games to steam, refer to this blog post.
39 Days to Mars
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Jun 24, 2014 @ 4:13pm
Apr 25 @ 9:27am

View 39 Days to Mars in the store

Store page
Recent Announcements View All (10)
Diving into Art
What's New this Month?

It's been a while since the last update, but things have been moving along. I've been starting work on ship decorations, improving useability after more playtesting, and wrapping up the last of the puzzles (at least for the first stable release).


Now that the puzzles are all laid out, I've started shifting focus to how the final game is going to look at feel. Up until this point, most of the artwork has been temporary (albeit in the style I'm aiming for), and I need to shift gears and start locking down content. This is especially important for the ship, because if the scales and sizes are going to change, I have to do that now before everything gets drawn.

One of my biggest concerns at the moment is that the ship is very content-heavy and busy, and the monochrome color scheme makes it difficult to read. I don't want to change the art style, but I do need to find a solution to this. I spent an afternoon sketching out some ideas:

This is the original.

Playing with colour grading and using different lighting could be a way to slit up areas of the ship and draw the eye to the current problem.

Using subtle tones or colours give a bit more depth to the ship and help make sense of the drawings.

One drastic option is making the ship white, which separates it nicely from the decoration & background behind, but almost hides the characters.

I've got a few more ideas to try, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts or suggestions about this below!

What I'm working on, in 140 characters.

Jul 2
Diving back into puzzles for 39 Days to Mars after a fortnight's vacation.

Jul 7
Today I started work on some art to turn the square boxes into a real spaceship!

Jul 8
The ship decoration is starting to fill out the scene, albeit with temporary artwork.

Jul 9
Replacing the old "inspect" cog animation with a more readable, updated version.

Jul 21
Started integrating animations for 39 Days to Mars! I'm shifting some of these from the old format to the new, and starting to animate the ones I don't have yet.

Jul 22
Animation blending for Albert's walk cycle. It's still missing the idle state though.

Until Next Time

39 Days to Mars is drifting in and out of a playable state. It's very rough, but if you're interested in giving your feedback or helping me to test it out, get in touch!

Don't forget you can follow @philipbuchanan on Twitter for more regular updates and development pictures!

Odds, ends, bits, and pieces
What's New this Month?

With enough content for one storyline already finished, I took a step back this month to work on the game as a whole. This involved fixing up the worst of the user interface problems, ensuring that all the puzzles worked, and writing some much-needed dialogue.

Progress in 140 Characters

I'm using Twitter as a type of development diary, and it's fun to look back at the last month and see how much (or how little) I've achieved. This month, I implemented a new puzzle, fixed lots of bugs, and worked on the overall game flow.

April 14
Today I`m working on dialogue, and fixing activation problems in the puzzles.

April 16
This evening I`ve been fixing pop-up icons so that they don`t appear in front of the character`s faces.

April 18
Something`s on fire, and that`s usually a bad sign when you`re in a spaceship.

April 19
Working on the controller selection screen : keyboard, mouse, xbox controller. Am I missing any? For the first builds, only the xbox controller and keyboard will be supported.

I`ve also been working on an ink-style effect for the graphics. It needs tweaking, but it`s a start.

April 20
I`m hunting down a problem where puzzles duplicate themselves in the ship layout. One of each is quite enough!

April 21
I`m currently replacing a tutorial involving pillows with one about dirty laundry. Space Travel!

April 25
This tiny activity is my benchmark for how badly I`ve broken the current build. It's been in the game since the very start, and every time I make major changes to the game code I can see how much I've broken things by brewing a cup of tea (or not, in this case).

April 27
Schedule for the last month, extending into the next fortnight. Playable version soon? Hopefully :)

May 3
The ship felt boring when nothing was going wrong. This usually only happens at the start of a voyage, so I implemented a quick disaster with no serious consequences, but that encourages the players to move around and explore the ship. Hopefully this will help ease players into the adventure.

May 4
Working on tweening, space monsters, game timing, and bug fixing! It's a fun mix.

May 7
Tracked down and fixed a nasty bug with the event system. Moral of the story : delayed updates are necessary but evil.

Development Build

I'm hoping to get a playable version of the development build up and running for Kickstarter backers in the next week or two. I need to do some localised testing first to ensure there are no major crashes or game-breaking bugs I've overlooked The game still has no real artwork, no sound, no music, and no gameplay balance! But it does have dialogue, puzzles, and I'm looking forward to having the first people other than myself and close friends playing it :).

Next Steps

I'm going to be busy fixing bugs, and then revisiting the minigames, puzzles, and user interface based on playtest feedback. I'll also look at working on some important but non-gameplay related areas (such as generating graphics for the ship).

Don't forget you can follow @philipbuchanan on Twitter for more regular updates and development pictures!

Release date: 2017
39 Days to Mars is a co-operative steampunk survival-adventure game. Help Sir Albert Wickes and The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter pilot the HMS Fearful on its maiden voyage to Mars.

Check out the trailer above, and then read more about the game below.

What is 39 Days to Mars?

39 Days to Mars is a mix of puzzle-adventure and resource management. You play as Sir Albert Wickes and The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter, two 19th century explorers who have been chosen to pilot the HMS Fearful on its maiden voyage to Mars. This spaceship is the pinacle of victorian engineering, designed by the brightest minds of the age. However, Albert and Baxter are not the brightest anything, and are both eminently unqualified to be piloting a spaceship.

You must keep the two explorers alive through the trip by attending to their needs, while at the same time keeping the ship from falling apart and solving the problems that arise. It's fairly clear that steam power is not the most reliable option for interstellar transportation.

39 Days to Mars is a coffee-break game. The individual activities and clear in-game days make it perfect for playing in short sessions. With two lead characters it's possible to play co-operatively with a friend. There's a mix of action and at an estimated 20 minutes per expedition the game won't wear you out, leaving you fresh for a new adventure ...

Most of the game is set in the HMS Fearful. To survive the trip to Mars, Albert and Baxter need to regularly eat, sleep, and amuse themselves (so as not to die of boredom). This would be easier if the fire hadn't run out of coal and if bedsprings weren't so squeaky. The Mechanical Navigation Computer has got a virus, the Interstellar Transport Engine is low on fuel, and Clarence snores. It will take all of your talents and a little bit of good luck to get both pilots to Mars in one piece.

Where can I find out more?

Website :
Twitter :
Facebook :
Popular Discussions View All (4)
Sep 4, 2014 @ 4:12am
Jun 29, 2014 @ 4:00pm
Slice of toast
Jul 20, 2014 @ 11:58am
looks promising :)
< >
gumagabriel Dec 19, 2014 @ 10:29pm 
Ideia diferente e interessante :pill:
sula Dec 19, 2014 @ 9:31pm 
Reikiko Oct 30, 2014 @ 6:54pm 
ЧЕШСКИЙ ПИЛЗНЕР Oct 13, 2014 @ 11:33am 
MIKHAIL Oct 13, 2014 @ 4:25am 
Fearlessfate Sep 20, 2014 @ 6:07am 
Excited for release :)
Velvet Elvis Sep 12, 2014 @ 5:33pm 
Jolly Good!
Finale Sep 8, 2014 @ 12:41pm 
It seems like a good game,interesting story, and this kind of graphics are really original.
Jezza Corbyn Sep 7, 2014 @ 2:53am 
@Surrealix Sounds great! Finally a game that is good for a low price! It's quite hard these days to get an original game for an affordable price!
Surrealix  [author] Sep 6, 2014 @ 4:58pm 
@epicninja5432 I haven't decided on a price point yet! However it'll probably be around the average for an indie game.