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Terraforming Mars: Venus Next» Forums » General

Subject: Curious about this expansion's new thematic direction. rss

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Victor Ferreira
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One of the things that's so interesting and attractive about Terraforming Mars is that the thematic direction feels about as realistic as such an endeavor could, at least without being over-complicated. Sure, there are some more fantastical, speculative elements here and there, particularly when it comes to high-science-requirement cards like anti-gravity technology and faster-than-light interstellar travel, but because of their rarity, their relatively high requirements, and the time-frames assumed by the game in general, they feel appropriate enough, and the game overall feels well-rooted in science and practicality.

But then here comes Venus Next with cities that float in the sky and another that travels around a circum-global rail. Don't get me wrong. Stratopolis and Dawn City are super cool, I love them, and I'm super excited for them to be added to my game, but part of me can't help but see it as a bit of a shift in thematic direction. They just don't strike me as practically and scientifically-grounded as what we saw in the base game. I would think that if we're considering colonizing Mercury, something subterranean would be far more practical than a colossal rail system, no?

Have the designers talked at all about this? I can't stress enough that this isn't exactly a criticism but just an observation that I'd be more curious to know their decisions behind.
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Silver Fang
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I think the game should be renamed "Terraforming Venus", but I'm just crazy nitpicky about things like that.
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Hahn Arama
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I had a guide, a Bedouin man, who called me 'Abu el Banat'. And whenever we'd meet another Bedouin, he'd introduce me as Abu el Banat. And the Bedouin would laugh and laugh and offer me a Pint of beer. (cont below)
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And I'd go to pay them for the beer and they wouldn't let me. "Abu el Banat" means "father of daughters." They thought the beer was the least they could do.
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The designers are fans of the Red Mars series.

They are using it as a reference for expansions, though in the book the global train, aka the Capitol City of Terminator, is actuall on the planet Mercury.

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Brian Dressner
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It has actually been discussed. See this article:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/539jj5/why-we-sho...

I think the idea is a certain part of Venus's atmosphere is actually quite earth like in its conditions, so it would take minimal terraforming to live there. The density of Venus's atmosphere, and the slightly lower gravity make it easier for balloons to hold up mass.
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Ken Brown
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Additionally, the goal isn't to completely terraform Venus; looks like the board is to represent the beginning of terraforming Venus' atmosphere. If memory serves, while Mars has a thin atmosphere and therefore the biggest hurdle to terraforming is creating a more robust one, Venus has plenty of atmosphere, but it's hot and poisonous. We'd have to remove a lot of the greenhouse gases from its atmosphere to begin terraforming the land.
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Sean Woods
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hahnarama wrote:
The designers are fans of the Red Mars series.


I have just read all these books and noticed that as I was reading them. They took a lot of what was in that series of books and put it in the game.
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Örjan Almén
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SepiaPenguin03 wrote:
Additionally, the goal isn't to completely terraform Venus; looks like the board is to represent the beginning of terraforming Venus' atmosphere. If memory serves, while Mars has a thin atmosphere and therefore the biggest hurdle to terraforming is creating a more robust one, Venus has plenty of atmosphere, but it's hot and poisonous. We'd have to remove a lot of the greenhouse gases from its atmosphere to begin terraforming the land.


The Venus track don’t have to be done for a game end, it’s only a side project which can add a lot of different paths to points and variations in strategies. The main focus is always Mars. Even if some corporations might try to focus on Venus, they can not ignore Mars.
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Matthieu Fontaines
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Twilight_Sonata wrote:

But then here comes Venus Next with cities that float in the sky


This one is based on real scientific studies by real world space agencies, and may even be more easy to perfom than a lot of the base game projects

Twilight_Sonata wrote:

and another that travels around a circum-global rail.


This one is a big difficult project, but not less acheaveable than a big electric wire around all mars (don't remember the exact name of the card, but it deals with converting energy prod --> TR by restoring the magnetic field), you just need to put the necessary fundings and some minor material technology progress to ensure your rails can withstand the temperature variation on Mercury

It is surely less difficult than "terraforming Ganymede"


Twilight_Sonata wrote:

Don't get me wrong. Stratopolis and Dawn City are super cool, I love them, and I'm super excited for them to be added to my game, but part of me can't help but see it as a bit of a shift in thematic direction. They just don't strike me as practically and scientifically-grounded as what we saw in the base game. I would think that if we're considering colonizing Mercury, something subterranean would be far more practical than a colossal rail system, no?

Have the designers talked at all about this? I can't stress enough that this isn't exactly a criticism but just an observation that I'd be more curious to know their decisions behind.


I hope I'm not too pedantic, I understand your point, but the colony ship to another star and the antigrav where, as you told, already far from hard science.
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Duinhir wrote:
Twilight_Sonata wrote:

But then here comes Venus Next with cities that float in the sky


This one is based on real scientific studies by real world space agencies, and may even be more easy to perfom than a lot of the base game projects

Twilight_Sonata wrote:

and another that travels around a circum-global rail.


This one is a big difficult project, but not less acheaveable than a big electric wire around all mars (don't remember the exact name of the card, but it deals with converting energy prod --> TR by restoring the magnetic field), you just need to put the necessary fundings and some minor material technology progress to ensure your rails can withstand the temperature variation on Mercury

It is surely less difficult than "terraforming Ganymede"


Twilight_Sonata wrote:

Don't get me wrong. Stratopolis and Dawn City are super cool, I love them, and I'm super excited for them to be added to my game, but part of me can't help but see it as a bit of a shift in thematic direction. They just don't strike me as practically and scientifically-grounded as what we saw in the base game. I would think that if we're considering colonizing Mercury, something subterranean would be far more practical than a colossal rail system, no?

Have the designers talked at all about this? I can't stress enough that this isn't exactly a criticism but just an observation that I'd be more curious to know their decisions behind.


I hope I'm not too pedantic, I understand your point, but the colony ship to another star and the antigrav where, as you told, already far from hard science.


Interesting discussion!

NASA is planning for manned missions in the Venusian atmosphere (doesn't mean it's going to happen anytime soon though), and I've been in contact with some of them (it just happens that they like TM).

NASA is also examining how space-time can be affected, and there is a hypothesis that space-time itself can travel faster than light (part of the incredible expansion directly after Big Bang), meaning that things inside that space-time moves along with it. So relative to its own space-time it is standing still, while relative to its origin it moves faster that light. So this type of warp drive is not completely inconcievable.

Scientists at Cern are investigating particles such as the quarks and gravitons, as well as anti-particles. If an anti-graviton could be harnessed and used then we'd have anti-gravity too.

Far-fetched? Yes. Impossible? No (or, rather, we don't know).
But it is definitely far in the future, just like the game

Cheers!

Edit: I'd even say that these things are more rooted in science than finding extraterrestial life. We have experimented on particles and such, but never seen or created any life outside what is found on Earth. I still wanted Search For Life in the game though because it's such a popular belief and relevant discussion point.
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Stephen Buonocore
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Ladies and Gentlemen.... This is a REAL thing!

Project HAVOC from NASA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Altitude_Venus_Operationa...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0az7DEwG68A

Truth can be stranger than fiction, huh?

BTW, we were contacted by NASA (or at least by the peeps who are working on THIS project, HAVOC), and they told us that they were big fans of the game, and that the stuff that Jacob added to "Venus Next" was coming in the future. They directed us to check out the project and sent the link to the video. Very nice guys...

That, PLUS the fact that Terraforming Mars / Venus Next takes place 400 years in the future (2400s is when the game starts AND it ends in like 14 GENERATIONS, i.e. 400 years later, so 2800s), you can see that all of this is *possible*. Amazing, but true...

Thanks
Stephen M. Buonocore
Stronghold Games
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Matthieu Fontaines
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Fryxen wrote:

NASA is planning for manned missions in the Venusian atmosphere (doesn't mean it's going to happen anytime soon though), and I've been in contact with some of them (it just happens that they like TM).


So cool :) They maybe even are roaming on this very forum just yet. :)
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Victor Ferreira
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evilone wrote:
Truth can be stranger than fiction, huh?

I guess so! =O

Thanks so much everyone for the info. Things like floating sky cities always struck me as more the realm of fantasy than practical science, and it is genuinely cool to learn otherwise! I'm definitely going to be sharing these links and such with my friends.

Can't wait for Venus Next! =D
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Jacob Fryxelius
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Twilight_Sonata wrote:
evilone wrote:
Truth can be stranger than fiction, huh?

I guess so! =O

Thanks so much everyone for the info. Things like floating sky cities always struck me as more the realm of fantasy than practical science, and it is genuinely cool to learn otherwise! I'm definitely going to be sharing these links and such with my friends.

Can't wait for Venus Next! =D


I can't blame you. Many of the ideas that scientists now seriously discuss today started out as pure science fiction, flying cities being one of them. Without SciFi, I think the technological progress would not even have reached todays hights. We've reached the moon, sent probes to other planets, created holograms, internet and smartphones not very different from the tricorders in StarTrek. Who knows what will be possible in the future?
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