This is the first trailer for Terraforming Mars, we hope you’ll enjoy!
Can’t see it? Click here.
This is the first trailer for Terraforming Mars, we hope you’ll enjoy!
Can’t see it? Click here.
Now lets talk about how to kick-start a terraforming process. Mars is very cold and very dry, so let’s do something about that. You’ve discovered a really big asteroid almost entirely made of ice. It’s orbit isn’t really close to Mars, but add a few huge rocket engines to it and fire them at strategic times so that the orbit gradually comes to cross that of Mars and voilà!
One day the people of Mars will look up and cheer at the burning star slowly crossing the sky, descending behind that horizon. Then a few minutes later they will feel the shock-wave of its crash many miles away. Some houses may not make it. Some other corporation’s experimental forests may not make it. But oh my! If it is terraforming you want, then this will do it! The heat will equal the detonations of half of Earth’s nuclear arsenal, and the water could make a Sweden-sized glacier once it freezes again.
And if it’s money you want, then this will do it too, since your terraform rating will rise 4 steps, increasing your income too. And don’t forget the VPs.
Now what could be cooler that getting Victory Points for using Symbiotic Fungus together with Decomposers? Using it to help genetically designed bacteria produce greenhouse gases to raise the global temperature instead – of course!
Science project indeed! Through a series of artificially designed reactions, these microbes can turn carbonates and other minerals into molecules that are very efficient at absorbing infrared light, thus preserving the global heat from escaping into space and instead allowing it to accumulate even more. For2 generations, you’ll accumulate microbe resources on the card, and in the 3rd generation you may exchange them for a rise in temperature. This will cause the Terraforming Committee on Earth to raise your terraform rating, thus raising their regular payments as well as being worth another VP at the end of the game. And with the Symbiotic Fungus at work it will be much faster. Bring it on! I say.
These small cellular chemical factories require oxygen though, for energy, so first you will need that. Hmm, terraforming is becoming quite a science isn’t it? Decomposers benefit from Symbiotic Fungus, which requires a certain minimum temperature. Greenhouse gas-Producing Bacteria can help you reach those temperatures but require a certain level of oxygen in the atmosphere. Where does it start? To get the terraforming started, we clearly need some other means…
Now it’s time for another card and this time it’s… mushrooms! Again.
Well, with over 200 different cards, some of the cards are bound to be a bit similar. Can you imagine how many different kinds of bacteria there are? Anyway, we all like mushrooms, don’t we? 😉
Last time we promised you a card that would work together with Decomposers. Believe it or not – Symbiotic Fungus can work symbiotically with Decomposers, not only adding 1 microbe on Decomposers when played, but also adding 1 each generation as an action! Wow! Won’t you look at that! Now you don’t actually need to play any bio cards to get decomposers – you just wait for them to accumulate with the help of the helpful Symbiotic Fungus. You first have to wait until it’s warm enough for them to thrive though.
Not impressed? Well, there are of course cooler things you can do with Symbiotic Fungus…
It’s been a long time now, a very busy time! As we are finalising much of the layout, we can now release more cards and let you see more of the game.
Terraforming Mars is a long game. In fact each round in the game is considered a generation long. Everyone lives, everyone dies. But life goes on, much thanks to these little fellows:
Decomposers are bacteria and fungi that feed on dead organisms and excrete nutrients in forms available to other organisms. This is of course very valuable from a biological perspective, awarding you VP’s. Decomposers need oxygen, though, leading to an oxygen requirement on this card, and to multiply, they also need a diversity of other organisms to feed on, giving you 1 VP for every third resource you get on it.
This can be a good card to play if you hold several bio projects on your hand that you want to play later, because you will not get any bonus for the ones already played. And not from your opponent’s projects either.
Next time we will see another card and how it interacts with Decomposers. And as a recompense for the long wait, the next update will be already this weekend!
Last week, we released a sample of the new graphics for Terraforming Mars. For those of you who are unaware of what Terraforming Mars is, we thought we would give you a small introduction to the theme, and to the anatomy of a card.
Terraforming Mars is a resource management game where several giant corporations (players) compete for Victory Points by making Mars habitable. It is a crossover between science and science fiction, where all aspects are inspired by actual projects discussed by NASA, ESA, Mars Society, Mars One, and science fiction authors. At the start of the game, Mars is a cold, dry planet with minimal atmosphere. This is about to change, as the players introduce plant life (photosynthesis, increasing the oxygen levels), crash comets on the the martian surface (generating lots of heat and accumulating water), as well as numerous other more or less crazy projects to make Earth… eh… I mean Mars, a better place.
To introduce changes, players play cards (projects). The game comes with approximately 200 unique project cards, each with their own project for making Mars habitable. Here is one example:
Lightning Harvest – By sending floating supercondensers connected by wires up into the clouds, electrical discharges can be collected and utilized for energy production. This enhances your energy infrastructure, as indicated by the purple power tag (top right).
In order to research this project, you must first pay 3 MC to buy the card into your hand (this is the same for all cards). Then you need to acquire at least 3 science projects before you can play Lightning Harvest (3 white science tags in the yellow requirement box). When you play it by paying 8 MC, you increase your production of energy and MCs by 1 step each. This will give you 1 additional energy and MC at the end of each turn for the remainder of the game! If the symbols had not been on the brown production box, you’d have recieved a one-time bonus only. Because Lightning Harvest is an environmentally friendly technology, it is also worth 1 VP at the end of the game, as indicated by the Mars globe (bottom right).
Each card in Terraforming Mars has helpful text in paranthesis explaining how the card works. Each card also has a flavor text, giving you a clue to what this project is about. There is also a stamped card number, but who cares?
Because the card has a green banner, it stays on table after being played (it is still running) and its tags can be used in combination with certain other cards.
We continue to work on the graphics for Terraforming Mars. Our brother Isaac has come up with a new layout for the cards, and we just can’t keep it to ourselves. Here is a sample, Interstellar Colony Ship.
Does it look familiar? Long before the Pleiades were colonized, standard colony ships were exploring the systems closer to Earth. These ships were manufactured about the same time as Mars was terraformed. At this point they were merely colonization vessels. Later, some of them were converted into warships (of course, you need to buy our game Fleets and open it to know what we mean 🙂 ). Have a great week!
For the first time we have a world-wide beta-testing project. A dozen play-testing groups are currently helping us develop Terraforming Mars, which we hope to release next year. It is exciting to hear the opinions and suggestions that the groups give us. At the same time, the graphics of the game are improving as our brother Isaac sets his mind to it. The new look of the cards will be brighter, cleaner and awesome:er!
Putting the play-testing to the quantative level brings out lots of special cases which we have never encountered before. This is an example, 5 cities around a commercial district is a view not usually seen.
We are all back in Sweden after an amazing week in Germany. The Essen Spiel fair met all our expectations and has given us new motivation for continuing the development of our games, both old and new. For those of you who were unable to visit the fair, here is a short summary:
Since all four of us brothers in the company live in different cities in Sweden, meeting up for a long one-week trip to Essen is one of the absolute highlights of our year. For the third year in a row, our brother Thomas joined us, so there were five of us. On the ferry over to Germany, we got a chance to try each others’ new prototype games and discuss future development.
On Wednesday, we finally received the printed copies of our new game Fleets – The Pleiad Conflict, this year’s novelty. It was actually finished from the factory on Monday, and was thus one of the newest games at the fair.
On Thursday, the fair opened for visitors and our booth filled up quickly to stay filled for the rest of the fair. There was always something going on, from game demonstrations to our major events, to business meetings. Speaking of events, just as in previous years, we got a winner in our contest. Here he is, the winner of the Fleets final on Saturday:
The other event was an announcement: Our next game will be Terraforming Mars, a resource management game about making Mars habitable for mankind. We will soon release more information about this grand project. An interesting part of our event was to release 10 prototypes of the game to official beta-tester groups chosen among the visitors at the event. Now the game is being play-tested in several countries all over the world to help us reach board game perfection for our planned release next year.
All in all, Essen has been a splendid fair for FryxGames, and we would like to thank all of you who visited us during the fair, giving us great encouragement and inspiration. Thanks also to our wonderful families who have been supporting us all year long.