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Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond is the brand new expansion with Paradox Interactive reviving the game under a new developer with Abstraction and there's a free update too.

“We have one of the most supportive and creative communities in gaming. We know that, with these expanded features, our players will blow our minds with their ingenuity,” says Magnus Lysell, Product Manager for Surviving Mars at Paradox Interactive. “We give our players the tools they need to overcome challenges and create their story. With Below & Beyond, we’ve given players a lot to work with and I’m sure they will come up with some incredible colonies.”

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Main DLC Features:

Underground
  • A new area to explore right beneath your colony. Uncovering what the Martian Underground has been hiding from us, perhaps we can even find something rivaling our wonders.
  • Expand your colony into the Underground, providing shelter against the hazards from the surface and bringing you closer to richer deposits.
  • Be careful, as there may be underground marsquakes that can lead to dangerous cave-ins.
Asteroids
  • Venture to asteroids as they fly past Mars, giving you a limited window to visit them.
  • Set up temporary mining outposts to extract as many rewards as you can from each asteroid.
  • Bring back Exotic Minerals, a new resource exclusive to asteroids, to improve your colony on the Martian surface and its underground.
  • Some asteroids may not be as they appear and have a mystery to solve while you are on them.
Recon & Expansion tech
  • Unlock multiple specialized buildings, rockets, and upgrades in the underground and on asteroids.
  • Gain benefits and upgrades for your entire colony.

The free update available for everyone adds in a new building for colonists and tourists, some UI improvements like leak icons, more options for colony control and some balancing adjustments. See the full patch notes for more.

In true Paradox style though, it's come with plenty of bugs across all platforms. On Linux specifically, it will repeatedly pop up error message boxes. You need to tap the ignore all button to continue the game, otherwise (in my testing) it keeps taking focus away from the game. A bug has been reported on this. Until they solve this, I would wait on it.

If you don't own Surviving Mars it's available for Linux from Humble Store, GOG, Paradox and Steam.

Update - after the article was published Paradox Interactive made Surviving Mars free to claim and keep on Steam until September 8th at 7PM CEST / 5PM UTC.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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15 comments
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NeoTheFox 7 Sep
Yes! I love to see more support coming for Surviving Mars, I absolutely love this game and I want to see it getting the Stellaris treatment. Going to play this one ASAP
Quoteit's come with plenty of bugs across all platforms

This is something I was especially concerned about for this release. Paradox has had a lot of quality problems in the last few years and IIRC this is the first update for Surviving Mars not being done by the original SM team. All of the good SM work up to this point was done by Haemiont Games but for whatever reason they're out and someone called Abstraction is in.

This is definitely a release I was excited for but also definitely one I'm waiting on. :(
Liam Dawe 7 Sep
Update - after the article was published Paradox Interactive made Surviving Mars free to claim and keep on Steam until September 8th at 7PM CEST / 5PM UTC.
Supay 7 Sep
Quoting: FergleFergleson
Quoteit's come with plenty of bugs across all platforms

This is something I was especially concerned about for this release. Paradox has had a lot of quality problems in the last few years and IIRC this is the first update for Surviving Mars not being done by the original SM team. All of the good SM work up to this point was done by Haemiont Games but for whatever reason they're out and someone called Abstraction is in.

This is definitely a release I was excited for but also definitely one I'm waiting on. :(

Paradox sacked their entire publishing QA department last year with very little warning and didn't even tell their other departments. They outsourced the work instead. They kept their own development QA who I believe work on their own PDS titles but there seems to have been some overlap on work and overall Paradox release quality has really suffered since then with significant bugs in most titles.

EDIT: There have also been issues reported with interal problems including bullying and harassment, and their CEO just suddenly quit citing irreconcilable differences with the board over the company strategy. Seems their incredible growth over the last few years is resulting in some issues, along with similar abuse and discrimination coming out of most game companies.


Last edited by Supay on 7 September 2021 at 5:57 pm UTC
Quoting: Supay
Quoting: FergleFergleson
Quoteit's come with plenty of bugs across all platforms

This is something I was especially concerned about for this release. Paradox has had a lot of quality problems in the last few years and IIRC this is the first update for Surviving Mars not being done by the original SM team. All of the good SM work up to this point was done by Haemiont Games but for whatever reason they're out and someone called Abstraction is in.

This is definitely a release I was excited for but also definitely one I'm waiting on. :(

Paradox sacked their entire publishing QA department last year with very little warning and didn't even tell their other departments. They outsourced the work instead. They kept their own development QA who I believe work on their own PDS titles but there seems to have been some overlap on work and overall Paradox release quality has really suffered since then with significant bugs in most titles.

EDIT: There have also been issues reported with interal problems including bullying and harassment, and their CEO just suddenly quit citing irreconcilable differences with the board over the company strategy. Seems their incredible growth over the last few years is resulting in some issues, along with similar abuse and discrimination coming out of most game companies.
It's so often trouble when some good outfit grows big enough that the suits come along and start making it over into a "proper" corporation (which is to say, a bunch of aggressive, short-sighted greedhead assholes).
Alm888 7 Sep
The update (GOG version) does not work at all on Fedora 30 for me. It initially launches and even gets to the main menu, but SIGSEGV's a few moments after. On subsequent launches the crash is even earlier -- before the main menu is fully loaded.

The previous version is fine.


Last edited by Alm888 on 7 September 2021 at 8:08 pm UTC
Anza 7 Sep
Quoting: SupayParadox sacked their entire publishing QA department last year with very little warning and didn't even tell their other departments. They outsourced the work instead. They kept their own development QA who I believe work on their own PDS titles but there seems to have been some overlap on work and overall Paradox release quality has really suffered since then with significant bugs in most titles.

EDIT: There have also been issues reported with interal problems including bullying and harassment, and their CEO just suddenly quit citing irreconcilable differences with the board over the company strategy. Seems their incredible growth over the last few years is resulting in some issues, along with similar abuse and discrimination coming out of most game companies.

I was curious and looked up some sources as I wanted to know more. There's this moderately lengthy article in Rock Paper Shotgun: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/paradox-interactives-qa-staff-allege-poor-treatment-low-pay-and-mismanaged-layoffs

For CEO changing, there's this: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2021-09-02-paradox-ceo-ebba-ljungerud-leaves-due-to-differing-views (there's not that much detail in that one)
Alm888 7 Sep
UPDATE: The game runs fine if I disable Internet connection. Which means the crash occurs when it tries to "phone home" in order to display Paradox' "Privacy Policy". Maybe other reported errors are also associated with the game's "internet awareness".
STiAT 7 Sep
They really impress me. They have the paid DLCs, but they throw in the odd free one and they tend to be good ones.

I never liked DLCs, but in this case they add value, and they have to pay the development to continue somehow. And for our mone they drop a free DLV here and there.

It's for me the model how DLCs should work, for the creator and the customers to keep the product fresh and the studio paid.
Supay 8 Sep
Quoting: STiATThey really impress me. They have the paid DLCs, but they throw in the odd free one and they tend to be good ones.

I never liked DLCs, but in this case they add value, and they have to pay the development to continue somehow. And for our mone they drop a free DLV here and there.

It's for me the model how DLCs should work, for the creator and the customers to keep the product fresh and the studio paid.

This DLC isn't free, it is the basegame that is temporarily free. Paradox always do a patch alongside their paid DLCs which is free but those are mostly bugfixes and small tweaks that fit with the new DLC. I listen to their podcast and they have been having success with giving away the basegame or making it incredibly cheap then making money from the expanded DLC.
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