After the Rush

Essen is over, and it’s been a blast! As always. The annual October trip to Germany is the highlight of the year for us at FryxGames. Distributing new prototypes, showing each other new stuff in the works, discussing our business, setting up the booth, ripping up boxes of new deliveries from the factory, demoing, selling, meeting new and old fans, meeting other companies, and for a short while have time for a stroll through the fair.

 

 

Here are a few highlights:

* This year saw the release of two expansions for Terraforming Mars. First Hellas & Elysium during the summer, and then Venus Next was released at Essen. In Venus Next, players can diversify their strategies and start to work on the terraforming of Venus, building cities and industries in the clouds! With new project cards, new corporations, a new track and an additional milestone and award, Venus Next packs a punch.
* Another new release was our cooperative zombie deckbuilder After the Virus, where more zombies invade your deck with each reshuffle. Gear up! Save survivors! Mow down the zombies! And above all complete the mission before you get overwhelmed! Tense fun for 1-3 players, where you can be an old lady with a shotgun…
* As is becoming a tradition of ours, we also had a beta-test event where we presented coming releases and invited people to become FryxGames beta-testers. This time we presented two great games for the future – Fate: Defenders of Grim Valley, a cooperative fantasy tower defense type game, and Angels & Demons, a battle game between armies of… angels and demons… We are so excited about getting these games ready for publishing in the coming years!
* To our great delight, Terraforming Mars won the Deutcher Spielepreis, and Enoch and Jacob attended the ceremony, receiving the trophy and displaying the biggest Terraforming Mars box ever! (1 x 1 m)

Now back in Sweden, we are beginning to get back to normal, continuing to work on new games and expansions. Expect to see new great releases from FryxGames in 2018!

Useful Clouds

The dense atmosphere on Venus presents a definite challenge to colonization, but at the same time it also offers buoyance for floating structures and materials for building and export. In Venus Next, cards such as the Floating Habs can assist other projects in the clouds. For example, they can help out in extracting deuterium for use in fusion power plants. Because of its higher mass, deuterium stays on Venus while the solar wind slowly strips away the lighter hydrogen atoms in the atmosphere. The higher concentrations of deuterium make it worthwhile to extract in industrial scales. The cloud community can also help the terraforming effort by working on projects to get toxic and acidic components out of the air. Finding new uses for these materials is a main focus for scientists on Venus.

Deuterium Export Extractor Balloons

Survival lesson #4

Gear up and team up! People who are prepared for the worst survive. Jennie is one such person. Growing up as the ‘tough girl’ in class, she then joined the army and learned how to handle guns. When the world collapsed in the Virus, she and a friend got away in time, teaming up to survive and save whoever is left to save.

In After the Virus, you play a character with its own personal starting deck. Jennie, as all other characters, starts with a card in play. Her specialty is the Weapon Skill training, allowing her to be extra efficient with weapons. This combos very well with her Pistol, that can be used two turns and then goes back into the deck, only to be used again later in the game. If she can find more weapons, it will be even better. She also has Scout, her friend who is really good at finding useful things in this chaotic world. The Scout will often go off (discarded) to search for supplies that they can use. Besides these very useful assets, she also starts with 3 Survivors in her deck, as well as 3 Run and a Safe House so she can save people and get out of messy situations.

To round the deck off, players will also add a few zombie cards to their starting deck and they are good to go.

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So what are the numbers around Jennie used for? They are used to track how many people you’ve saved, as well as which zombie wave you’re on. You see, each time you reshuffle you’ll increase the wave number by 1, and add that many zombie cards to your discard pile for the reshuffle. You need to complete your mission before you are overwhelmed by the ever-increasing number of zombies!

And the spaces with ‘leg’, ‘arm’, and ‘brain’? You figure it out.

Essen – Here we come!

These weeks are some of the most hectic weeks of the year for FryxGames; with travel preparations, checking factory production and delivery to Essen, as well as making our own big yearly prototype printing. We are so excited for Essen, and really look forward to meeting you – old friends and new.

This year’s big releases for us are Terraforming Mars: Venus Next, and After the Virus, and we hope you’ll enjoy both.

We will also, as has become a custom of ours, have a beta-tester event in Essen, where we will present and find beta-testers for our next two big games that we hope to release in the coming years. We can’t reveal too much about them until the event, but let’s just say that they have less space and more minis than you are used to from FryxGames…

See you in Essen!

P.s. We’ll also have our other products of course: Space Station, Brawling Barons, Fleets, and Terraforming Mars with Hellas & Elysium and the 4 promo cards.

Ruling Venus

When the World Government adds more terraforming funds, it also requires a measure of control. Lucky for you, they are ready to make you their governor of Venus! Besides giving you a sizable paycheck, it also allows you to tax e.g. the sulphur exports, an important industry on Venus.

Sulphur Exports Venus Governor

The fast way to get your application approved is to first build a Venus Waystation, making the Governor title free.

 

Survival lesson #3

A central theme in After the Virus is to save survivors. It is part of many missions, and it is even part of your starting deck!

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So how do you go about saving survivors? Well, first you have to find them (play them sideways from your hand) and prepare them (discard 1 card each to raise them to a vertical position). It is often best to do this in advance, because you can’t save cards in hand between turns, and you never know how many cards you can spare when you get Safe House into hand. By saving several Survivors at the same time, you gain both speed and efficiency, but it requires your focus, which can be difficult with all the zombies moving about.
Savings survivors is a tough job, but it gets a lot better if you have a pub to relax at when the job is done. Instead of a whine – whine situation, you get a wine – wine situation… I know, that pun was terrible. Beer with me…
So, what do you do on missions where you don’t need to save survivors? You can still save them! Because when you save survivors, you can, instead of counting them as saved, get cool gear from them. You just ask nicely, and each of them will give you the top card from the area deck as an unprepared card in front of you! They’ll do anything for your protection. Hehe.

See you in court… or Essen!

Venus Next expands the scope of Terraforming Mars, giving a broader view of the colonization of the solar system, and when mankind expands, conflicts of interest inevitably arise between corporations. Such disputes can be settled in the Omnicourt, the universal judicial system for things outside of national territories. Of course, having widespread influence in the solar system increases your chances of winning disputes.

OmnicourtMining Quota

Survival lesson #2

If you don’t know how to handle a shotgun yet, you’re in trouble. Never fear, though – Ruth is here to help you, and she’s been using hers for decades.
First, you need to draw it to your hand and play it sideways in front of you. Or retrieve it if you’ve found it while scouting. Then it needs to be prepared (loaded) so you can use it. Insert as many bullets (cards) as you can from hand to fill it with ammo. Don’t be shy about it, because these are the only shotgun bullets you have. Now your shotgun is prepared and can be used. The nice thing about a shotgun is that it can be fired repeatedly without pause with great effect. Ruth knows.
So when the zombies show their ugly belly buttons you’re ready. Aim and fire (discard ammo cards from the shotgun) and watch the dead die… more…
When you’ve used up your last bullet, there is no use  keeping the shotgun around anymore. Hopefully it bought you enough time to get another weapon.

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Essen preparations

It feels like we’re working around the clock with everything that needs to be prepared for this years trip to Essen. This year will see the release of 2 expansions for Terraforming Mars (Hellas & Elysium and Venus Next) as well as a brand new game, After the Virus. But we’re also printing new prototypes of yet unreleased expansions and games to distribute to beta-testers all around the world, many of whom we’ll meet in Essen. We hope to meet you there too! And we hope to fill your bags with our games :)

The price list for this year’s fair is as follows:

News:

  • Terraforming Mars: 55€
  • TM: Hellas & Elysium: 18€
  • TM: Venus Next: 25€
  • TM: Promo pack (all 4 existing promos): 5€
  • After the Virus: 20€

Other items:

  • Fleets + expansion: 50€
  • Space Station: 20€
  • Brawling Barons: 5€

All new items can be preordered for pickup in Essen. Send an e-mail to info@fryxgames.se, and simply state which items you want to preorder along with your name, and we will reply with a confirmation. Please note that all preorders must be picked up before Sunday.

We just uploaded an official page for After the Virus, where you can download the rule book to start to explore its mechanics.

Down to Earth… kind of

One of the few attractive features of the Venusian surface is the possibility of finding interesting compounds in the soil. Those compounds can be interesting as additions in Martian soils, allowing for new specialized organisms, and exotic nutrients. This was Aphrodite’s main business until they joined the terraforming process and got a contract for developing Venus. Now they are also looking into making the Venusian soil itself fertile, for use in the new colonies there.

AphroditeVenus Soils

Survival lesson #1

When dealing with zombies, you need to know some basic facts:

A) You definitely need weapons.

B) Unfortunately, weapons have a tendency to run out of ammunition.

C) In those circumstances, you may have only one option.

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What? A zombie FryxGame?

Yes, apparently. Just like Jacob one day thought : ‘I should make a game about the terraforming of Mars’, he had another revelation: ‘I should make a game about zombies’. Not quite as unique a theme as terraforming, but he managed to get FryxGames to like the game enough for publishing, and now the time has come for…

Framsida med text

A cooperative deck building game where your deck is invaded by more and more zombies each time you reshuffle, your tension building  while you desperately try to complete the current mission. In most deckbuilders you mainly add cards to your deck to get stronger, but in After the Virus many cards stay in your play area and you have to deal with your deck getting worse as the game progresses.
How it plays? You figure it out (for now):

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You may have noticed that our heroes (and zombies) have rather large heads. Our graphic designer for this game, Daniel Fryxelius explains:

When I first got the challenge to make the art for After the virus I was into some kind of comic book style. Kind of like what they used for Zombicide. Blood, slime, decay, but in a comic style so that it will not be too scary if younger kids happen to walk by and watch. I played the early prototype of the game with my daughter when she was only 11 years old, and she was really into this game for a while. I started to draw a few zombies and thought I was making a good job… until I showed her my sketches.
Dad, I don’t like them. They are too scary. I can’t stop thinking about what happened to them and who they were before.
This was a problem. As for myself, I have no problem with killing soulless monsters in games, but if these zombies had too many characteristics they would tell the story of how they died and who they were before. They had to be less realistic, and something that makes you feel like it really doesn’t matter what happens to them. Like they were toys!

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I settled for the blob-head style. My brothers were not too easy to convince, and still today I’m not sure if they would rather have a more serious style. But I’m pleased when I see my kids 10- 12 years playing the game and other kids hanging around, knowing that I have taken away the edge of the otherwise very serious and terrifying theme of zombies.

We hope that both young and old will enjoy this game!

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And now something for our Terraforming Mars fans:
Last week we showed you how to live in style on Venus. In order to live among the clouds though, you need fancy transportation between the floating structures:

Dirigibles

Living in the Clouds

Last week we visited the surface of Venus, a quite unpleasant place. Now we take a look at the more benign conditions in the Venusian atmosphere. Where the surface confronts you with a smouldering 462 degrees centigrade, and a pressure 92 times higher than on Earth, the clouds at an altitude of around 60 km offer a relatively pleasant 25 degrees and a pressure equal to that of Earth!
Still, you need to deal with the strongly acidic atmosphere, and make sure you don’t lose buoyance, or you’ll go to hell. Literally. It takes some science to build there and to make it work properly, but a cloud city is actually not as impossible as one might have thought.

In Venus Next, you can build many different structures for projects in the clouds. Some are for very specific purposes, and some for supporting various other projects. For example, people working there need to live somewhere:

Stratopolis Floating Habs

To represent structures floating in the Venusian atmosphere, there is the new ‘floater’ resource. There are quite a few cards using this new resource, which mechanically works very similar to microbe cards. Floating Habs and Stratopolis are great in any floater strategy, since they can both enhance other cards and use their own effect. If you get them together, Stratopolis is a fantastic support for Floating Habs, accumulating Victory Points at an incredible rate.
And by the way, [Maxwell Base] down on the surface can also help your floater cards. They really have expertise on how to handle Venus!

Next week, we will have a special announcement, so stay tuned!

The furnace

Settling the surface of Venus is a difficult affair; the pressure is crushing and the heat unbelievable. In fact, it’s too difficult. You need to do a bit of terraforming first, unless you want to just make short landfalls in corroder suits. But when conditions improve from impossible to only hellish, the surface has a lot to offer in terms of resources and science. Atalanta Planitia harbors the lowest point on the planet, perfect for research. In the north, the mountains of Ishtar and Maxwell offer milder conditions and an abundance of metals.
Oh, yes, the Venus surface will be an extremely dangerous place for a long time, only accepting the bravest and toughest of residents. But people will come, if not for the challenge, then for the super-sized paycheck.

 

Thermophiles

Corroder Suits

Maxwell Base

Approaching Venus

With one more day of transit before reaching Venus orbit, you can already see the giant strip across the white planet through the viewport. As the hours pass, the strip slowly separates into a broad orbital ring and its shade on the cloud cover. It’s still too far to see the waystation or any of the dozens of arriving and departing ships.

Next morning, the waystation is visible as a small button against the blackness of Venus’ nightside, becoming almost invisible when it moves in across the glaring whiteness of the dayside. The space wheel slowly grows like zooming in on a pebble, with the solar shade as the broad band of the beach, filling the sky.

Ships are visible now like grains of sand against the pebble. Big freight ships that bring in hydrogen from Jupiter, and leave with greenhouse gases bound for Mars.

Smaller still are the shuttles that ferry people and goods between the ships, the station, and the planet. But they are not really small either. You are.

The loudspeaker announces: “Welcome to Venus!”

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Venus Next!

Great news was delivered at GenCon. Asmodee Digital will make Terraforming Mars an app for mobile and tablets. For now, we stay silent on what specific features it will include, but the app is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2018.

As we wrote last week, Hellas & Elysium has finally been released. With two new game boards, who could ask for more replayability, right? So here we go, producing Venus Next, the second expansion for Terraforming Mars. It is scheduled to be released this year at Essen, and just as we gave some thematic background for cards before the release of the main game, we will present some exclusive content that will appear in Venus Next along with some thematic context. Enjoy!

When the World Government realized that the terraforming of Mars would succeed, they set another lofty goal: the terraforming of our sister planet Venus. Venus is similar in size to Earth, but there the similarities end. Venus has extremely long days, a crushing atmospheric pressure, and a furnace for a surface. It is a huge project indeed, and it is expected to take a millennium to complete, but the WG is determined and ready to devote even more resources to the terraforming process!

Venus Next adds a new global parameter to your game of Terraforming Mars, similar to the oxygen track but signifying the progress on Venus. The terraforming of Venus is complex and has many different aspects, and many of those are totally different from those on Mars. Therefore, 49 new project cards are added to the deck (as well as 5 new corporations!) to represent this completely new arena where corporations can compete and contribute.

Before we go there, let’s take a look at our own back yard, because our Moon is being developed too:

Luna Metropolis

Gameboard