Help/Support

What do I need in order to run the game?

You will need the following to run the University of Mars video game from AstroVenture and related components:

How do I purchase the game?

You can purchase the game here

Be sure to use the same email that you want to use to record your progress in the AstroVenture database when you play the University of Mars game. Choose a password that you will remember in order to be able to download the game after filling out the form. If you forget your password and cannot download then you can request an email to reset it.

How do I download the game?

After you have purchased the game, log in with the email address and password you entered on the purchase page. You will be taken to a page where you can download the game.


How do I install University of Mars once I have downloaded it?


To Install on macOS (10.12 or newer):

First check if your operating system is Catalina or later. On the pull down menu on the top left of your screen under the apple select About this Mac and see if it says MacOS Catalina or something different. If it is something different follow these instructions and if it is Catalina use the ones that follow.

For non-Catalina Macs (OS version 10.12, 10.13, or 10.14):
  1. Download and locate the UniversityOfMars.zip file.
  2. Unzip the files (double-click on the ".zip" file, and the macOS "Archive Utility" or your preferred utility will do this) to a location you will remember and will be able to easily access on your computer.
  3. Inside the unzipped folder ("UniversityOfMars"), double click the ".app" file to start the game. Depending on your Finder and/or System Preferences, the ".app" extension may or may not be visible by default, but the .app should be in the folder called "UniversityOfMars" with a little Earth-Mars globe icon.
    • If you see a notice that the app cannot be opened because it is from an "unidentified developer," try right clicking the app and then selecting Open. For more detail on this method see this site (steps given about 1/3 the way down that page -- valid for macOS versions from 10.8.x/"Mountain Lion" and onward)
  4. Upon clicking "Start" on the startup screen:
    • For students enrolled in a class: Enter your OFFICIAL college/university email as your user ID in the first prompt. This is how you will be graded, so you must correctly enter your user ID and not another name.
    • For others: Enter a preferred email as the user ID at the prompt.
For Macs running Catalina or newer (OS version 10.15 or higher):
  1. Download the UniversityOfMarsMac.zip file using Chrome as your browser, if possible. Chrome does not automatically unzip the file. If using Chrome is not possible, then set your Preferences so that the zip file is NOT unpacked during download. "Safari," for example, has a Preferences/General checkbox for "Open 'safe' files after downloading," which we suggest disabling.
  2. Locate the UniversityOfMarsMac.zip file, most likely in Downloads.
  3. Go to the App Store and search for "The Unarchiver". Download the App and open The Unarchiver.
  4. On the upper left of the entire computer screen it will say The Unarchiver and the File to the right of that. Pull down the menu under File and select Extract to Desktop. Select Download on the left of what pops up and locate UniversityOfMars.zip (most likely under Downloads). Double click UniversityOfMars.zip and confirm with the blue Extract button on the lower right.
  5. Once that finished double click the University of Mars folder Double click the Mars icon. Wait for about 30 second for a window to pop up saying it can't be opened and hit cancel. Then hold down on control and click once on the Mars icon and a menu will come up and select Open at the top. Confirm with the middle button that says Open. In about 30 seconds the game will open.
  6. Upon clicking "Start" on the startup screen:
    • For students enrolled in a class: Enter your OFFICIAL college/university email as your user ID in the first prompt. This is how you will be graded, so you must correctly enter your user ID and not another name.
    • For others: Enter a preferred email as the user ID at the prompt.
For computers running Windows (7 or newer)
  1. Download and locate the UniversityOfMars.zip file.
  2. Extract / unzip the files (right-click on the ".zip" file, and choose "Extract..."). You may have "7Zip" or another preferred utility installed to handle this. Extract the ZIP archive's to a location outside of the .zip "folder" that you will remember and will be able to easily access on your computer. Important Note: This ZIP-extraction step is important to ensure your game progress data is saved reliably. It may be possible to run the game from within the "ZIP[.zip]" file itself without extracting the files to another location, first, but you will lose data-saving and other functionality. Be sure to extract the files to another location outside of the downloaded .zip archive, and run the game from the extracted set.
  3. Inside the extracted / unzipped folder ("UniversityOfMars"), find and double click the ".exe" file to start the game. Depending on your default folder views or system options, the ".exe" extension may or may not be visible by default, but the .exe should be in the folder called "University of Mars" with a little Earth-Mars globe icon (alongside, rather than inside, the folder called UniversityOfMars_Data).
  4. If you get a warning about malicious software when you try to start the game then select "More Info" on the warning window and then say "Run Anyway".
  5. Upon clicking "Start" on the startup screen,
    • For students enrolled in a class: Enter your OFFICIAL college/university email as your user ID in the first prompt. This is how you will be graded, so you must correctly enter your user ID and not another name.
    • For others: Enter a preferred email as the user ID at the prompt.
For computers running Linux
  1. Download and locate the UniversityOfMars.zip file.
  2. Unzip the files (use your preferred unzip utility) to a location you will remember and will be able to easily access on your computer.
  3. Inside the extracted / unzipped folder ("UniversityOfMars"), find and run "UniversityOfMars" to start the game. It may have a little Earth-Mars globe icon and will be alongside, rather than inside, the folder called UniversityOfMars_Data.
  4. Upon clicking "New Game" on the startup screen,
    • For students enrolled in a class: Enter your OFFICIAL college/university email as your user ID in the first prompt. This is how you will be graded, so you must correctly enter your user ID and not another name.
    • For others: Enter a preferred email as the user ID at the prompt.
To Install on Chromebook (requires enabling Linux, and using the "Terminal" app)
  1. If you have not previously done so, you will need to first install/enable Linux on the Chromebook, as follows:
    • (if you have already done the Linux-installation steps, you can skip down to step 2, below)
    • Open the Chromebook's "Settings" menu, which can be done opening a new search window (from the "Launcher" button in the very bottom left corner), and typing "settings"; then the settings "app" ("gear" icon) may be the top result, to click to open.
    • Near the bottom of the settings menu navigation list on the left, click on "Linux (beta)."
    • If there is no "Linux (beta)" option showing up, try clicking on "About Chrome OS" at the bottom and check to see if there are Chrome OS updates to get, first.
    • If even after any applicable Chrome OS update(s), there is still not a menu item in Settings for "Linux (beta)," then it may be that the Chromebook model is too old for the OS that would include it (skip remaining steps).
    • In the Linux settings window, click "Turn On."
    • Then click "Install" — and expect to wait a few minutes for the process to complete.
    • When the installation step is done, the newly-enabled "Terminal" app should automatically open with a command-line input window. Leave it alone for the moment.
  2. Download the Linux copy of the game (e.g., "UniversityOfMarsLinux.zip") file.
  3. In the ChromeOS folder views, this seems to behave similar to Windows — where you can double-click to "open" the UniversityOfMarsLinux.zip and examine its contents without actually unzipping it; do that (open the .zip file in a folder view), and then drag/copy the contents of it to a new linked drive/folder called "Linux Files" over on the left side of the window; this has the effect of unzipping the files and moving them to their needed location.
  4. To run UniversityOfMars:
  5. Later, when you return to play the game you do not need to go through all of these set-up steps all over again. Just repeating steps 5 ("cd UniversityOfMarsLinux") and 9 ("./UniversityOfMars.x86" or "./UniversityOfMars.x86_64") is enough to re-open the game.

Additional Notes

Please email info@theastroventure.com for help with any aspects of the game purchase and installation or any questions not addressed here.