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Easter Eggs with Jacob

Jacob Fryxelius, designer of Terraforming Mars, reveals some of the easter eggs hidden in Terraforming Mars in this weekly article series.

When Isaac created the logos and artwork for Terraforming Mars, many small details were put in that may not be obvious to most people. There are references, cameos, corporation logos, logos from our printing partners, real landmarks, and more. Now that Easter is upon us, we want to give you a taste of this, so we will present some of them in this article series, starting with everything Ecoline.

We like small actors playing big roles, and Ecoline is one such example. It has a typical sea shell icon as its logo, and with an interesting note that it also symbolizes a flexible fuse in the field of electronics. These meanings combine to say that Ecoline engineers lifeforms to withstand the harsh environment on Mars.

The tag line ‘Evolving Your World’ just seemed appropriate.

Ecoline is one of the more featured corporations in the game art, and can be found on cards such as Grass, Earth Office, Zeppelins, Micro-Mills, and Soil Factory (and Lunar Exports and Venus Soils from the expansions).

The zeppelins carry their message, the grass is sown by them, and they already pop up on electrical fuses today.
Spoiled with soils, Ecoline manages growth both on Mars and on Venus.

The picture from Grass, done by brother Daniel, was once suggested as part of the box cover art, but Isaac made a much more fitting art for the box. We’ll talk more about that next week.

Micro-Mills represents the first terraforming method employed in the Red Mars book series by Kim Stanley Robinson. Soil Factory includes 3 cameos, which are just as difficult to spot as the corporation logos, while Earth Office features 6 corporation logos, 2 of which are not released yet. Zeppelins has the tagline on its side, also fairly difficult to see. These things were done for our own entertainment, but also for anyone taking out the microscope to scrutinize our pictures. Isaac hid things even I didn’t know existed in the artwork… trying to keep some of the fun for himself!

As you can see, there are even more things to see than can actually be seen.

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Cubes are back

Hello all! Just wanted to say that the cube sets are back in stock!
Within a few weeks, we will also get a restock on the Dual Layer Player Boards and the promo pack, which will make the NUTZ Bundle and the Goodie Bag Bundle also available again. Cheers!

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Web Shop Update

For a long time, we’ve been negotiating a decent shipping contract for the US. Well, we’re still negotiating, but we’ve got so many requests from US customers that we felt compelled to offer shipping at the prices we do have. We’ll try this out for a week or two, and if it works well, we will also add more countries.

The shipping cost for a package up to 1kg is 200 SEK (approx $20).
The shipping cost for a package up to 2kg is 300 SEK (approx $30).
We cannot send packages over 2kg at this point.
We also offer untracked shipping for the smallest packages only containing promo cards. For up to 100 grams (enough for both promo packs), shipping is 50 SEK (approx $5). For up to 250 grams (enough for more sets of the promos), shipping is 88 SEK (approx $9).

The weight of each item can be seen under the “Additional Information” tab on the respective product page.

Hopefully, these prices will become better soon and hopefully, we’ll have prices for heavier packages. But for now, we just wanted to say: welcome to our web shop, dear Americans!

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Cubes for everyone!

Time flies, and we’re deep into the process of getting the production of Turmoil started. This includes coordinating the translation of the expansion into more than 15 languages, setting color profiles for the printer, double-checking grammar, iconography etc. Since Turmoil is our first Kickstarted expansion, we also have a lot of new tasks to handle, from sorting out who will send which package to which backer to preparing packaging materials, labels, tape, markers etc. For me, it means I will prepare my home to have 19 fully loaded pallets of games and packing material delivered to my front door in Karlstad, and try to fit them in whatever room possible, even in the bathroom if necessary (no worries, I have 2). From there (my home, not my bathroom), over 4000 packages will be sent to backers in Scandinavia and many other European countries. I am so pumped for this, and really look forward to hearing all your feedback on Turmoil, which has been my favorite expansion since the release of the base game in 2016. Since then, we’ve maintained and enriched the theme of the expansion, but have reworked the mechanics to make a worthy follow-up to Colonies. I recently searched my computer folders for old prototype versions of Turmoil, and came up with a few cards I would like to share. This is the oldest one I found, a global event from long before the release of the base game. These cards were shuffled into to project card deck (the project cards also had this design back then. Good thing Isaac came along to make something better!)

Some time after the release of the base game, we had time to come back to the development of Turmoil, and Jacob had the idea to have one event lead to another event a few generations later. We referred to the events as “sow” events and “reap” events. The essential ideas from the above card were carried over to the new system. In the following example, which made it all the way to the final version, Separatist Movements start gathering support, which leads to War on Earth 3 generations later.

A war on Earth would drastically change the amount of funds available for the terraforming efforts (“Waning funds”), which reduces the Terraform Rating for all players equally. As you can see, in the first version, all players lost 8 TR, without any possibility to protect themselves. Back then, the political system was completely different and players didn’t have “influence”. The theme was there, and it was great. But the mechanics were not interesting enough, and too harsh. The real break-through for Turmoil came after some heated discussions about the expansion in 2018. That’s when the game mechanics started falling into place. The middle card above was the last prototype before the final version. By then, we had added delegates, ruling policies, the chairman, and some cards to interact with those. Suddenly, Turmoil was much more dynamic, allowing for a range of new tactical moves, long-term planning, player interaction, and an ever-present narrative of the growing human civilization on Mars.

Cubes for Terraforming Mars

In other news, we just received a batch of extra cube sets for Terraforming Mars, and we have started to offer them in our webshop. It is the same set that comes in the game, so just over 400 cubes. If your cubes are worn out, or if you want extras, you can order them here.

If you haven’t seen the Terraforming Mugs there already, go check them out as well here.

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Kickstarter and Space Station

Hi everyone!

Things are happening fast right now, so we have 2 great news for you. The first one is that the Kickstarter campaign for our 5th expansion for Terraforming Mars: Turmoil, is soon finished. It has collected over 1,000,000 USD in funds from over 20,000 backers from all over the world! With approximately 40 hours left, this is your last chance to support the campaign and be one of the first to receive the new expansion with the bonus dual layer player boards and the new massive promo pack. Visit the Kickstarter Campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strongholdgames/terraforming-mars-turmoil

 

The second thing is that one of our oldest games, Space Station, will get a face lift and be published as a new edition by Hexy Studio.

We have streamlined the game mechanics, and Hexy Studio will make the new graphics so that the game fits their Star Scrappers universe. We think that this collaboration will be a great benefit for the game, and hope you’ll enjoy it a lot!

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Octoberfest

Fellow terraformers! October is here, and that means new releases! Our own Octoberfest, so to speak.

The first release is tomorrow, when the digital version of Terraforming Mars is released for PC on Steam. It’s been a great journey together with Asmodee Digital and Luckyhammers to bring our flag ship Terraforming Mars to the virtual world. We hope to see many terraformers there, both rookies and veterans.

 

But even though this is huge – this is our first digital release – we also have the 4th expansion for the game being released next week in Essen, Germany. Colonies brings players to the outer solar system in pursuit of new resources to import and new frontiers to push for the sake of humanity. The first copies of the expansion are shipped directly to the fair, so we look forward to celebrating this new release together with our fans at the fair.

After Essen, we will also have local release events in Sweden. For those of you near Stockholm, Västerås, Linköping, Trelleborg, and Karlstad, the Colonies will be waiting in the following times and places:

November 2nd – Release at Dragon’s Lair in Stockholm
Time: 16:00 – 19:00
Address: Sveavägen 118
Your host for the evening is Jacob Fryxelius, the one and only

November 3rd – Release at Seriecentrum in Trelleborg
Time: 12:00 – 20:00
Address: Hedvägen 155
Your host for the evening is Enoch Fryxelius, important CEO

November 5th – Release at Studiefrämjandet in Linköping
Time: 18:00 – 22:00
Address: Platensgatan 25
Your host for the evening is Daniel Fryxelius, enthusiastic gamer

November 6th – Release at Leklust in Västerås
Time: 18:00 – 20:00
Address: Vasagatan 16
Your host for the evening is Jacob Fryxelius, beardy gamer

November 10th – Release at Karlstad University
Time: 18:00 – 23:00
Address: House 12, Karlstad University
Your host for the evening is Jonathan Fryxelius, some baby brother

We hope to see you there!

So now, who came here just to see another card from Colonies? Raise your hands!

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Titanium, titanium, titanium

With a focus on trade and colonization of small worlds throughout the solar system, the Colonies expansion for Terraforming Mars naturally features some titanium-producing cards. Not only can titanium be used for lauching your trade fleet, it is also highly useful for building all space infrastructure. Triton is therefore sure to get attention when in play. Trade with it before the competition takes the bounty – or establish a colony to leech off of them even when they beat you to it!

Titanium can also be found on Saturn’s moon Titan, where your shuttles can lift it into orbit, or deliver it to various atmospheric projects.

But you don’t have to go that far though to find titanium. Suitable ship-building materials are found right here on Earth, but are just too expensive to get into orbit in larger quantities. Building a Space Elevator on Earth might change that, and even though some consider the challenges too great, the rewards are more than worth it. The whole of humanity will thank you!

Considerably cheaper, but less glorious, would be to mine the moon.

 

 

Making Lunar Mining efficient will require some Earth tags, but in our next update you’ll be happy to meet the man for the job: the Luna Governor…

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Masters of Trade

The Colonies expansion for Terraforming Mars is all about sending your trade fleet to distant colonies in search of riches. If you can do this more efficiently than the other corporations, you’ll have a strong edge over them. Smart colony placement and timely trades can get you far, but founding a Trading Colony will make your trades more efficient, and space-faring technologies such as Cryo-sleep will reduce your costs. All you need then is a Space Port so that you can host a second trade fleet and utilize your advantage even more!

Each of these cards can give you a distinct advantage, but they also synergize really well. The Trading Colony will allow you to reach higher on the colony tile’s resource track, allowing you to make better profits, and trade with worlds that are not yet beneficial enough for the other players.

Cryo-sleep, on the other hand, reduces the trade cost from 9 MC, 3 titanium, or 3 energy to 8 MC, 2 titanium, or 2 energy. This makes it much more advantageous to use titanium or energy, and at the same time more accessible to do so. And with Cryo-sleep, it will not be so difficult to afford running a second trade fleet, which is where Space Port comes in. The extra trade fleet might seem like a huge deal, but it still needs resources to run, and the increased number of trade fleets in play will deplete the colonies more quickly. Judging when to invest in and use an extra trade fleet is of crucial importance if you want to become the master of trade.

Terraforming Mars Digital coming to Steam on October 17th

Only 8 days to go, Terraforming Mars will soon be launched on Steam. For the iOS and Android versions, we’ll have to wait another month or so.

Add the game to your wishlist already! https://store.steampowered.com/app/800270/Terraforming_Mars/

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Upcoming Essen

We are already working hard to get all details ready for the international games fair Spiel’18 in Essen, Germany, which is at the end of October. We hope to see you there! Our booth number is 3-O103, close to where we’ve been all these 7 years since we started FryxGames. Our new items this year are of course the 2 latest expansions for Terraforming Mars: Prelude and Colonies. We will also sell the promo pack, containing all 10 promo cards released thus far for the game, including the 3 corporations from the BoardGameGeek contest.

This is the price list for Essen this year:
Terraforming Mars: 55€
TM: Hellas & Elysium: 20€
TM: Venus Next: 25€
TM: Prelude: 20€
TM: Colonies: 30€
TM: Promo pack (10 promos): 8€

TM: Everything: 120€ (save 38€)
TM: Expansions: 75€ (save 28€)

After the Virus: 25€
Fleets (few left): 50€
Space Station: 20€
Brawling Barons: 5€ / deck

All items can be pre-ordered for pick-up at Essen. Just e-mail us at info@fryxgames.se, give us your name and the items you want to pre-order.

Newsletter

We have set up an e-mail list for our newsletter, which we aim to send out every three months. We want to send the first newsletter this week, so be sure to subscribe to it by clicking here.

Terraforming Mars Digital App

Soon you will be able to play Terraforming Mars on your digital devices! Although the launch has been postponed to late September or early October, things are falling into place and we look forward to the full release with great anticipation! To learn more, visit the app on Steam by clicking here.

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The image used on the Colonies box. Image by Isaac Fryxelius.