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Surviving Mars [Steam, Official Site] is the new city-builder from Haemimont Games and Paradox that sees you build a colony in a harsh environment. It's not due for release until next year, so details have been light, but they're finally ready to talk about it some more.

In their first dev-diary, they've written about how it is very much a city-builder, but not quite a traditional one. This is because of environmental hazards, scarcity of materials, failing systems and lack of vital resources.

Unlike Tropico, which Haemimont Games previously worked on, they're going for a more sandbox approach instead of following some sort of campaign. This should give us freedom to experiment and keep coming back to it, which sounds nice. Considering they've teamed up with Paradox, I imagine it will be supported for quite some time after release.

On the topic of fun versus realism, they said this:

Surviving Mars was inspired by the old, idealistic sci-fi stories. You know the ones - from the time when the Galaxy was full of mystery and wonder, and humanity was striving to build a better future among the stars, instead of fighting its own inner demons. This lighthearted and somewhat nostalgic source of inspiration shines both in the game aesthetics and narrative.

We wanted to keep the science in the game plausible without diving into minutiae. Barring some purely fantastic elements that are best saved for a future dev diary, the scientific aspect in Surviving Mars is realistic, but the game is not thematically centered on science. It is about the dream of the first human settlement on another planet.

Also, they included this video. It seems it was uploaded in early October, but they've only just linked it as it's unlisted (so I'm pretty sure it's new to us):

For those that can't watch the video, they sum up their own thoughts about what the game is and will be. They also mention that they've studied real photographs of Mars to make the maps, which is awesome.

I'm seriously excited about this one, cautiously so though, as I don't want to end up too disappointed. I just hope they really take their time with it and create something great.

12 Likes, Who?
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MayeulC 1 November 2017 at 4:42 pm UTC
QuoteBarring some purely fantastic elements that are best saved for a future dev diary, the scientific aspect in Surviving Mars is realistic
* Sees wind turbines in the trailer *
* Facepalm *

(Well, this could be plausible if it is a game about terraforming, but the atmosphere there is too thin to have any real use; even VTOL aircraft and storms as seen in the trailer are more fantasy than anything else. But then, I think I also saw some open-sky plantations, and shields, so I guess terraforming is a thing )
Looks pretty interesting otherwise
Beamboom 1 November 2017 at 4:47 pm UTC
Surely they must be inspired by the book the Martian too?
Sir_Diealot 1 November 2017 at 4:48 pm UTC
Haemimont made pretty decent games in the past, so let's see what comes of it.
Mountain Man 1 November 2017 at 7:38 pm UTC
MayeulC
QuoteBarring some purely fantastic elements that are best saved for a future dev diary, the scientific aspect in Surviving Mars is realistic
* Sees wind turbines in the trailer *
* Facepalm *
I didn't even think of that. Good catch. That was one of the big mistakes in The Martian, when a storm blew the space ship over to kick off the plot. In reality, the Martian atmosphere is so thin that even a 100 mile-per-hour wind would feel like a gentle breeze.
TheRiddick 1 November 2017 at 8:45 pm UTC
The Martian surface isn't actually this red, those were/are doctored images by NASA (unknown reasons). No tinfoil, real.
Philadelphus 1 November 2017 at 9:06 pm UTC
TheRiddickThe Martian surface isn't actually this red, those were/are doctored images by NASA (unknown reasons). No tinfoil, real.
Anyone with a telescope can look at Mars by eye (as I've done, as an astronomer) and verify that it actually is that color. No conspiracy theories needed.

You can also visit Mauna Kea in Hawaii if you'd like an example of someplace that red here on Earth (it's the best Mars-analog we have, they test rovers there before sending them to Mars).

Mountain Man
MayeulC
QuoteBarring some purely fantastic elements that are best saved for a future dev diary, the scientific aspect in Surviving Mars is realistic
* Sees wind turbines in the trailer *
* Facepalm *
I didn't even think of that. Good catch. That was one of the big mistakes in The Martian, when a storm blew the space ship over to kick off the plot. In reality, the Martian atmosphere is so thin that even a 100 mile-per-hour wind would feel like a gentle breeze.
The dust devils also wouldn't be a threat in terms of wind despite their appearance in the trailer (though they'd get dust everywhere, which could present its own problems).
Kels 1 November 2017 at 9:34 pm UTC
PhiladelphusAnyone with a telescope can look at Mars by eye (as I've done, as an astronomer) and verify that it actually is that color. No conspiracy theories needed.

You can also visit Mauna Kea in Hawaii if you'd like an example of someplace that red here on Earth (it's the best Mars-analog we have, they test rovers there before sending them to Mars).

The famed "bright red mud" of Prince Edward Island in Canada (excellent potato growing soil) comes to mind as well.
Philadelphus 1 November 2017 at 9:39 pm UTC
KelsThe famed "bright red mud" of Prince Edward Island in Canada (excellent potato growing soil) comes to mind as well.
Interesting, hadn't heard of that.
Patola 1 November 2017 at 10:24 pm UTC
QuoteUnlike Tropico, which Haemimont Games previously worked on, they're going for a more sandbox approach instead of following some sort of campaign.

Oh, come on!!! I hate open-ended games like that, a Campaign is the way to go. I like to play games like if I was reading a book, follow along an interesting, captivating story, not arranging random pieces of loosely coupled fragments of tales here and there. I guess I'll have to buy Maia instead.
Kels 1 November 2017 at 10:49 pm UTC
Patola
QuoteUnlike Tropico, which Haemimont Games previously worked on, they're going for a more sandbox approach instead of following some sort of campaign.

Oh, come on!!! I hate open-ended games like that, a Campaign is the way to go. I like to play games like if I was reading a book, follow along an interesting, captivating story, not arranging random pieces of loosely coupled fragments of tales here and there. I guess I'll have to buy Maia instead.

Oh, I missed that part. Personally, I'd rather have the choice between campaign and sandbox, given the choice.

Of course most city builders haven't got much in the line of a story, just a tutorial, but I think a science fiction concept like this is more suited to one.
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