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 (8 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:



MODS
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).

GRAPHICS
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.

CACHING
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.

CRAFTING
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.


Background
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 (8)

November 19

New Update 11/18/14

- Memory usage has been decreased
- Various small performance improvements
- Fixed a couple of game crashing issues
- Added support for DLC:
- Support for new planet definitions
- Support for new block/item types
- Support for new features and levels
- Plugin 'C++' API support for new types of physics
- Plugin 'C++' API support for new rendering
- Plugin 'C++' API support for new user defined achievements

- Free DLC content with source code will be available shortly

0 comments Read more

October 30

Happy Halloween from VTSS.

20% off for the next 4 days. Sale Ends 11/2.

Many new updates this week.

Check out Update 10/27/14 for a complete list.

Improvements include:

Aliens
Temperature
Door Placement
Battery
Evaporation

0 comments Read more
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Reviews

“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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Early Access Review
its a great game with a lot of potental but its kinda buggy
Was this review helpful? Yes No
16 of 30 people (53%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
Early Access Review
Still buggy, I'd call it late Alpha rather than early Beta. But really quite fun. Caution - this game is HARD.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7 of 16 people (44%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
24 of 99 people (24%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
Early Access Review
Needs SERIOUS WORK

Also take off "mars" so you can add dlc like Titan IO etc
Was this review helpful? Yes No
94 of 115 people (82%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
52 of 65 people (80%) found this review helpful
62.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 28
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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72 of 148 people (49%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 25
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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