Terraformers Game

<< April 2022 All posts

May 2022

Updates since EA, and a look at what we are working on

Dear Martians, we hope you are doing well! Welcome to our first devlog since the release of Terraformers into Early Access!

On April 21st, the moment was finally there. At 19:00 CET we pressed the button that we were looking forward to pressing for over 3 years. It was a very exciting moment, as this is the first game we released as a studio. We were overwhelmed with all the responses and constructive feedback we’ve received, and would like to take a moment to thank you all for that. It will help us to develop this game further into the best version we can make it.

Patches since the launch into Early Access

With all the engaging feedback you gave us on the initial release, we identified some elements where we could quickly make improvements and we’ve already done 4 patches with bug fixes, difficulty changes and quality of life improvements. To have a good overview of all of the bug fixes and improvements we’ve done, please have a look at our patch notes on steam. The most significant changes though, were tweaks to the difficulty of the game:

  • We’ve lowered the frequency of expectation rises of your population, and therefore the difficulty of the game. We’ve had reports that the first scenarios of the game were too difficult for new players, and we want to offer everyone the freedom to learn the strategies of the game at their own pace.
  • We’ve lowered the amount of damage that you’ll receive in a game, as that also contributed to the high difficulty.
  • Even though we lowered the difficulty, we found it important that the game is still challenging for the players who are veterans of the strategy genre. Therefore we’ve added 4 extra difficulty rolevels, making sure there is an appropriate challenge for everybody.
  • What’s coming in the first major Early Access update

    We have now shifted our focus towards work on future updates, following our roadmap and specific improvements requested by the players. The features that are planned for the first major Early access update are:

    Technologies

    Technologies are the aspect of the update that will have the most impact on the gameplay. They are proposed like projects, but only cost science. A technology provides a global benefit that will allow you to specialize your strategy further. Some examples of benefits that technologies can give:

  • Artificial intelligence: New robots provide +1 support income.
  • Enhanced Photosynthesis: Newly planted trees produce double the oxygen and gas.
  • Megastructure Construction: When constructing a building that costs at least 40 resources, gain 5 random resources back.
  • Example of upcoming technology project.

    Marsyclopedia

    We will also add the first iteration of a “Marsyclopedia” to the main menu. Here, you will find all projects, lifeforms, leaders and locations that you’ve encountered at least once in the game. You can read up on them here and have a good overview, which can help you get a better understanding of the different potential strategies in the game.

    Design conceprt of the Marsyclopedia screen.

    Custom Mode

    This might be our most requested feature since the launch, so we’ve decided to include it in the first major update as well. In custom mode, you’ll be able to set up the game to exactly how you want it by defining the victory condition, expectation rise frequency and severity of damage you’ll receive during the game. You can even choose not to select a victory condition and fully remove expectation rises and damage, allowing you to play a stress-free endless sandbox version of the game. Some mechanics might not hold up in very long runs, but it will be part of the Early Access journey to discover and address that together.

    Custom mode screen, you can set it to be “endless”.

    More improvements for future EA updates

    We’ve also listened to your feedback, and two much requested improvements are better information on where you can spread lifeforms, and a way to easily see a summary of all your cities and climate zones in a single place, without needing to go over the planet to view them one by one. They are planned for more distant early access updates, but we can already share our first concepts on them.

    Lifeform information improvements Mode

    When having a lifeform selected, the different climate zones will have a green or red color, depending on whether the lifeform can survive there or not. This will allow you to see at a glance where you can spread the lifeform, and prevents you from needing to check each climate zone’s parameters individually. We will also work on improving other aspects of the lifeform spreading, as not all players understand how it works exactly.

    Design concept for improved lifeform spreading UI.

    Summary screens

    We are also working on summary screens. Opening this screen will allow you to have a good overview of all your specializations, space projects, technologies, cities and climate zones. In this way you can easily check which climate zones have lifeforms and which do not, or which city is currently suffering from damaged buildings.

    Early work in progress design concept for an “overview” screen.

    We hope to have given you a good insight into what is coming to Terraformers in the first update, and a little bit beyond that if we don’t manage to include everything directly.

    We would like to thank everybody for playing Terraformers, and we are excited to be on this Early Access journey to Mars with all of you.

    Terraf Team

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