Earth is dying. In a desperate effort to save humanity, all the nations of Earth pool their dwindling resources together one last time to construct and equip three space ships. The mission: Terraform Mars and pave the way for human settlement of the planet.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (19 reviews)
Release Date: May 7, 2014
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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“Although, Terraformer Expedition to Mars is totally playable, it is still being developed.
This means the game will be improved on a regular basis, through updates that add new features, content and bug fixes.

We've decided to opt for an early release on steam to mainly get user feedback,
this will help us steer the further development of the game.
We are planning on having the first really solid release early fall of this year.

These are the 'biggies' we're currently working on:

We are currently working on a MOD/DLC interface, this will be featured in the first follow up version.
(This will probably be completed by the time we get OK'd by steam).
The MOD interface supports:
- Adding new planets and/or moons.
- Adding new game objects.
- Adding new planetary features.
- Adding new levels.
- The plugin interface will support alternative 3D rendering for game objects.
- The plugin interface will support adding new physics for game objects.
(Most of this support is actually in this version, but no docs, and not many examples,
so we're holding off on actually supporting this until the next version).

We are also working on changing the rendering algorithm stack.
Currently, the current stack filters games objects using a 'cone pointing' matrix, followed by a horizon filter, followed by ROAM modeling, followed by geo-mipmapping.

We have prototyped just using an environment map in lieu of the ROAM and geo-mipmapping,
and the performance benefit is embarrassingly better.
So we'll be switching to this.

Meanwhile, the code supports quad trees, but this is not enabled, 'cause of the added vertex performance hits.
so when we have the new stack enabled, we'll also enable quad trees.

What does all this (blah ,blah, blah) really mean?
Better and faster 3D graphics.

Currently, when you play the game, the whole planet Mars resides in the PC's memory.
This is a lot of memory!

In order to support much bigger planetary bodies, we'll be adding a memory cache.
The active area of the world will reside in memory, and we'll load in areas of the world as needed.
This will allow us to support really big worlds.

This is a little more long term, perhaps a version 2.0 item.
Instead of crafting 'canned' items, we'd like to be able to support attaching components together.
And, the have their physics properties define the behavior of the crafted object.

Lastly, I've been asked a number of times, what made you decide to write this game?
I'll try to explain myself:

My son turned me on to 'Dwarf Fortress', at the same time I was working on a point cloud re-engineer project.
For the project I was using a marching cubes alg. over a convex hull voxel set.
It occurred to me that all I needed to do was add this a marching cube alg. over 'Dwarf Fortress' and just like that I'd have a 3D version.

In my spare time, I fiddled on this for awhile, but, the 3D performance was never going to happen,
unless I could get under the covers of the code.
And, I kind of got bored w/ 'Dwarf Fortress', too.

Ever since I was a kid, reading science fiction, the idea of terraforming Mars has been very interesting to me.
(What a geek)
One day it occurred to me, I could use this 'Dwarf Fortress' code and use it on top of a 'Mars simulation', I'd have a game.

So that's what I did, the more I did, the more fun it was for me, friends and relatives to play it.
I said 'what the heck', lets try to make this a commercial game, there must be other 'geeks' out there?

And, just for the record, I have never played 'MineCraft'.
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Recent updates View all (45)

March 28

Terraformer Expedition to Mars Update 3/28/15

- This update is mostly a graphics update

- We've added quad trees for more detailed terrain.

- We've improved performance by improving the polygon and vertex filters

- We've changed the lighting/shading model, fixing shading issues while under ground

- We've changed the bump mapping, bump mapping is now implemented correctly when underground.

- We've fixed edge blending,
- There were cases when hard edges were used when a smooth edge would be desirable.
- There were cases when blends were not depth biased correctly.

- Added new distance fading

- Added a new adaptive vertex distance filter

- Fixed world wrapping normal vector issue(s).

- Fixed jump bug

- Added number of iron veins left to melt/remove, in order to get core rotating, to the planet magnetic field achievement.

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February 23


Do not put off buying any longer.

Sale Ends Today 2/23/15 at 10:00 am PST.

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“I think I have made it clear that I whole heartily support Terraformer being green lit and brought to the masses”
Greenlight Gaming

About This Game

Terraformer Expedition to Mars is a first/third person 'Hard Science' based 3D simulation of survival, exploration and terraforming set on the planet Mars.

The simulation unfolds in three parts:

•The first phase is to survive on Mars using only a few canisters of oxygen, hydrogen and water and the shattered remains of your initial space craft. You will use these and the resources of the planet itself to create your own light, heat, water, air and food.

•The second phase is exploration of the planet itself: where are the other ships? Who shot you down in the first place? You will do so in a beautiful and realistically rendered 3D environment complete with dynamic interactions of light, heat, day/night cycles, and Martian geology and volcanology.

•Third and most challenging, you need to transform the lifeless, desolate and frozen wasteland into a new home for Mankind. You will do this from scratch, using constructed tools, machinery, and Earth born bacteria and plant life carefully nurtured and strategically placed. You will create a complete atmosphere, hydrosphere, and a complex biosphere - step by agonizing step - as you fight to stave off the cold, the hunger, and the loneliness of a world that will kill you without a thought, with no one to hear you scream.

Save Earth, terraform Mars.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
    • Processor: 2 GHz Single Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 compatible, 256 MB (Shader Model 2.0 required)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Yes
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
    • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Dual Core 2.60 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Dual Core 2.13 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 1024MB graphics card or better, ATI Radeon HD 4830 10242MB graphics card or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Yes
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
107.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
Early Access Review
absolute fantastic game to pass the time with.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
Early Access Review
If you are space/mars exploration enthusiast, this game will leave you sweating and gasping for air. You will come to appreciate the availability of oxygen, water, and food (which most of the time is just a spacesuit-not-needed-bus ride away).

If you are not a space/mars exploration enthusiast, you will sweat and gasp even more (and possibly experience mental breakdown at some point), but even in your despair, something amazing will happen. You will discover a new kind of appreciation for your life on Earth (because you will realize how ****ty everything is millions of miles in every direction from Earth).

Self-help taken to the next level.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
106.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
Early Access Review
I like the direction it's going. I really do. The only real issue I can see so far is its early stage of development. When you are constantly living in fear of the "Falling" glitch, that's something to be said for a game that tries to be so immersive that it plays you the song of your respirator's people. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll explain... You have to constantly listen to your own breathing.

Oh, you meant the game-breaking and ever-lurking bug? Why, that's when you hit terrain funny, or the edge of such, or the game just gets a wild hair up its ♥♥♥, and decides that you aren't touching ground. You can 'float' along, stuck in the falling animation and gaining digital momentum, until you manage to trigger either the same or a different bug, which forcibly helps you meet the ground directly under your boots, at terminal velocity. For me, it happens about once every hour. Could be more, could be less, and I often forget to save. That... is what makes this game unplayable in its alpha state for me. That one bug.

Does that mean I say the game sucks juevos grande? No, of course not! Like I said, I like the direction it's going. I like having to care for the suit and all your needs, (power, water, oxygen etc.) and feel it's a nice touch to differentiate it from other block-mining games, as well as giving the term 'SURVIVAL' its meaning. The enemies, once you find them, I couldn't help but laugh at when I glanced through the forums and first found their lairs. The crafting system, while not very intuitive or flashy, works well, (I'd recommend mentioning to people that turning on a forge while holding it will kill them... and a better guide of what to do to advance your tech wouldn't go amiss. Particularly iron. Maybe some sort of mission parameters and planned actions tab on the PDA, like proper space missions. Could even tie in the milestone achievements in-game to it.) As with all early-access games, especially alpha-builds, this thing needs work. A lot of work. But... if this all pans out right, I got a good feeling about it.

It's tough... but I'm gonna say I DO recommend the game, not for what it is now, but what it looks like the dev wants it to be.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
Early Access Review
I am a fan of this game, as a si-fi fan, I really enjoy the idea behind this game. The graphics remind me of a sort of Source Engine game such as; Half-Life or Portal. Although, I did find a jumping/sprinting bug while playing through the tutorial where after your character jumps, it glitches and you find your screen jerking around, opon zooming out, I see my character somewhat, in a mid jump. Once this bug is fixed, I think this will be a great game :D.

Although the menu could use some work, I rate this game a 8/10, due to a few bugs. A definant pickup for fans of open sandbox games and things of that sort :D.

I am excited for future updates.
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102 of 123 people (83%) found this review helpful
38.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 24, 2014
Early Access Review
This isn't one of those games that you sit down and click away with one eye open and half a brain engaged -- this game is HARD. Not hard like impossible for bad reasons, or stupid puzzles. You're marooned on Mars with no support, no other people, and no plan but to survive. How easy would that be in real life? And you have an entire planet to deal with, and explore. You have to change Mars itself into Earth using pretty much nothing as starting equipment. It's a long, long process and you have to really THINK about what you're doing the whole way. This game isn't for the average 6 year old IQ who just wants to blow stuff up. You have to build and maintain everything you need to live, keep it all topped up, hope you are able to grow enough food to survive, bust your butt to ensure you can get enough fuel to just keep from freezing, keep the air flowing, and keep every bit of lichen, or bacteria, or shrub alive in conditions harsher than anything Earth has to offer. Making Mars into Earth isn't easy, but man is it worth it.
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56 of 69 people (81%) found this review helpful
63.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 28, 2014
Early Access Review
Graphics: For a large voxel, i.e. minecraft type game, when smoothed, looks really good, when in construction mode, blocky, still looks fairly good.

Sound: Monotnous. At the moment, I've only noticed one track playing which is very ambient. The breathing you get naturally is annoying, but can be tuned out.

Options: There are no real options at the moment, other than resolution, windowed/fullscreen, texture, and anti-aliasing. Definitely a point that needs worked on.

Gameplay: For 3 arks in this game, the first two are relatively quick, and the third part, is just waiting. Overall lack of depth.

Bugs: It is still beta, but I would say it feels more like a late alpha. Lots of glitches to the game. Certain people get horrendous lag in certain areas. Dissapearing items, and such forth.

Overall: I would recommend this game with one caveat, if you want a polished execution of a game, at this moment, this is not the game for you. But, if you want to have some fun, in an adult form of minecraft, this game could be worth your while. Overall, if you are not sure of the game, I'd wait a while till you buy it, but definitely keep an eye on it
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18 of 32 people (56%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2014
Early Access Review
Still buggy, I'd call it late Alpha rather than early Beta. But really quite fun. Caution - this game is HARD.
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8 of 17 people (47%) found this review helpful
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
Early Access Review
This is an amazing game and I would recommend it to anyone who loves this sort of game, the only real problem which isn't really a problem is that it is buggy but you know what? It's still very enjoyable so if you're feeling daring and want to try a new fun game then this is for you just beware of the bugs. Oh! btw a little tip try to conserve your iron 1. I find it's rather hard to get. 2. it's used in a LOT of stuff.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Early Access Review
Very good game even though its still very buggy it has the potential to be an awesome original game it is "NOT" a minecraft clone it is a terraforming game through and through gameplay that allows a fully destructable environment anything can be destroied collected and used to help you make your own earth or perhaps your own planet with an entirely diffrent atmoshpere from earth and mars.
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
Early Access Review
I LOVE THIS GAME ABESOLUTELY, but I have too many bugs. So my love for this game is wearing thin because I can only play for 5 min.

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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 5
Early Access Review
Terraformer: Expedition to a Tedious Dungeon Crawl.
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
Early Access Review
its a great game with a lot of potental but its kinda buggy
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
85.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Early Access Review
Great game but need a little work like most early access games, however this is a little more progressed the some and is not unplayable.
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 8
Early Access Review
1 Star game

this game is way too overpriced for what it is
I had more fun with rock simulator than this game
don't buy this and for those who have bought it I hope we get refunds for this pile of S*&t game
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77 of 162 people (48%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 25, 2014
Early Access Review
The concept is great, but the game isn't ready and they really shouldn't be selling it yet. Basic mechanics such as digging work only sporadically making the game nearly unplayable.
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25 of 113 people (22%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 29, 2014
Early Access Review

Also take off "mars" so you can add dlc like Titan IO etc
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23.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
Early Access Review
its still a little unstable but has a lot of potintial it is a fun and inturesting concept for a voxel like game and has a great and inovative experiance behind it that i look forward to playing for a long time to come keep up the hard work devs and ill stand behind you till the end
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