I was considering them to be part of the story also, but their home was definitely not Mars
Then that opened the door to more planets than Mars and it widened my resources search too. Overall, I think I came up with 10 different workable stories, meshed ideas and came out with the one you heard. I really wanted to have the team sent to a point in Earth's mystic past (alternate dimension i guess) that had the innate magical capability to return them to their own time line (multiple ending possibilities out the yang) but I don't know how well that would've worked ... you could've kept the original cast though!
If anyone wants me to work on development of a game, FELL FREE TO ASK, but I can't do the job by myself. I can do art and animation, I can do programming, I can do story and plot, I can even do voice-overs but I can't do it all, lol. Story and plot seem to be the only thing I can do at present that don't impede on my studies too much. I write stories for my characters that I develop all the time. Backgrounds, family, personality notes, sketches, but not full renderings. You get the pic. Thanks for your feedback though, I really appreciate it! It's that kind of help and support that drove me in the earlier parts of this year to start the project, but the hopes of many could not help the efforts of few (1).
P.S. If I have anything to do with it, in my lifetime, Dig 2 will get made