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Surviving Mars - Start a Colony on Mars, from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

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Surviving Mars - Start a Colony on Mars, from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:24 pm

Surviving Mars comes out on Steam in a week, so I figured I'd start a thread. First of all, if you own Cities: Skylines you get 10% off Surviving Mars, just wanted folks to know that and this deal is good till March 31st.

Haemimont Games brought you Tropico 4 and 5, among other games, although it is not doing Tropico 6. And Paradox Interactive is, well, Paradox, and has brought you Hearts of Iron and Crusader Kings II and, probably most applicable, Cities: Skylines, plus bunches of others.

Here's the main Steam page blurb:
Colonize Mars and discover her secrets, with minimal casualties.
Welcome Home! The time has come to stake your claim on the Red Planet and build the first functioning human colonies on Mars! All you need are supplies, oxygen, decades of training, experience with sandstorms, and a can-do attitude to discover the purpose of those weird black cubes that appeared out of nowhere. With a bit of sprucing up, this place is going to be awesome!

Surviving Mars is a sci-fi city builder all about colonizing Mars and surviving the process. Choose a space agency for resources and financial support before determining a location for your colony. Build domes and infrastructure, research new possibilities and utilize drones to unlock more elaborate ways to shape and expand your settlement. Cultivate your own food, mine minerals or just relax by the bar after a hard day’s work. Most important of all, though, is keeping your colonists alive. Not an easy task on a strange new planet.

There will be challenges to overcome. Execute your strategy and improve your colony’s chances of survival while unlocking the mysteries of this alien world. Are you ready? Mars is waiting for you.
There are also two other versions, Digital Deluxe Edition which has a few more bells and whistles and the First Colony Edition, which adds a season pass.

I've tried to not spoil myself for the game by watching a bunch of previews, since heck, I know I'm going to get the game on release day pretty much no matter what; the things I do for you people :D. There is a short fifteen minute video by Scott Manley that loads up a few saves that give a nice idea about how a colony looks later in the game. I've taken a few peeks at other videos and the game looks reasonably complex enough to provide some hours of gameplay but doesn't look like a spreadsheet game, for which I am too damn old.

As I said, I'll be pre-ordering this game and posting impressions, so check out this thread in another week.
Last edited by jztemple2 on Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Greybriar » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:37 pm

jztemple2 wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:24 pm
Surviving Mars comes out on Steam in a week....
Surviving Mars will also be available from GOG.com on March 15th, and can be pre-ordered now for $39.99.

(Surviving Mars - Digital Deluxe Edition - Pre-Order is $49.99 and Surviving Mars - First Colony Edition - Pre-Order is $74.99.)
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:47 pm

Greybriar wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:37 pm
jztemple2 wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:24 pm
Surviving Mars comes out on Steam in a week....
Surviving Mars will also be available from GOG.com on March 15th, and can be pre-ordered now for $39.99.

(Surviving Mars - Digital Deluxe Edition - Pre-Order is $49.99 and Surviving Mars - First Colony Edition - Pre-Order is $74.99.)
Good catch, I forgot I received an email from GOG today about that. I'm going with Steam just to get the 10% discount.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Montag » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:52 am

I am all in because of the theme. Watched Scott Manley's plays. Could be good. Some fear of it being empty. But won't know until I play it. Some of the radio station stuff looks to suck. That will be a taste thing and completely avoidable.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:02 am

perhaps mods will give new stations to listen to.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Lorini » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:36 pm

I'm all in and I mean all in as I bought the biggest package. Worked at JPL for nearly 30 years, loved The Martian, of course I'm all in!! I did watch quill18's tutorials, but other than that I've not watched anything else. I'm going to be on vacation when it comes out but there's free wifi there so I'll be downloading and playing ASAP.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:03 pm

Lorini wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:36 pm
I'm all in and I mean all in as I bought the biggest package. Worked at JPL for nearly 30 years, loved The Martian, of course I'm all in!! I did watch quill18's tutorials, but other than that I've not watched anything else. I'm going to be on vacation when it comes out but there's free wifi there so I'll be downloading and playing ASAP.
I know what you mean, I worked in the Space Shuttle program for almost 35 years, so I have the space bug too. I might settle for the Deluxe Edition, since I can always pick up the Season Pass later on.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Lorini » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:29 am

Steam gives you 10% off if you already own Cities Skyline so that’s why I went ahead and got the full package.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by LordMortis » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:26 am

Bought the game this weekend not realizing I could buy it pre-release but no play it pre-release. Doh!

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:36 pm

Don't know how many of you are aware of this, but you can go to the website https://www.survivingmars.com and log in, either with your Paradox log-in or create a new one. Then you'll see a dashboard with a unique URL. If you can get other folks to select that URL then you can get rewards as shown. My unique URL is https://www.survivingmars.com/invites/hjRLWK so if folks here (after logging in at that site) will click that link I can get the rewards and if you chose to also log in there and post your URL here, I'll click on your link :wub:
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:57 pm

Was already a member . I'd be playing this because Ive been in a rut and I love space and Mars and scifi and normal and and...but cant afford it.

Link clicked. Heres mine. I will get it one day...I hope :(

Well I cant paste my link. It says its copied to clipboard but it wont paste here. Still trying.

EDIT: Ill just copy paste your's and ad my unique id at the end..hope it works. Silly thing.

https://www.survivingmars.com/invites/7iRgMZ
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:00 am

Is yours working? You seem to have been able to copy paste it at least. I clicked it so it should show 1 colonist for you.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:11 am

No, I still show zero. I did click yours and also copied and pasted the link. Maybe it's no longer active since we're so close to release? Anyway, I also went over on the Steam discussions and posted in several threads that had recruitment links. So we'll see.

I pre-ordered the deluxe version, I'll order the season pass if I find I'm staying with the game.

Also, over on Reddit, they are giving away keys. As of right now there are two keys left. It's a long shot, but who knows?
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:20 am

Thanks. Signed up.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:59 am

Watchign videos of it I see it has a mod manager built into it. Cant wait to see what mods people create for it.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by LordMortis » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:01 am

Firefox 57 won't let the login screen pop up
IE 11 lets the login screen pop up but doesn't log me in.

If I go to Paradox, both browser show me as logged in. If I log out, I still can't sign in. If I go to surviving mars through the paradox page, it takes me to order page with not link to your URL. Giving up...

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Montag » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:28 am

This is to get skins. I totally expect a mod to come early to let you rename the colonists. I am not sure this is worth the hassle.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:25 pm

Daehawk wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:59 am
Watchign videos of it I see it has a mod manager built into it. Cant wait to see what mods people create for it.
The Steam store page was updated a few days ago to show Steam Workshop support. I'm wondering how versions bought through GOG and the Paradox Launcher will interface with that. Perhaps they will use the in-game mod manager interface in a way similar to Cities: Skylines.

I found this YouTube video through the reddit Surviving Mars page, which shows a mod already made for the game, and early on I do see the words "Steam Workshop" on the screen.

Regarding the colonists page, I also found it didn't work with Firefox, so I just copied the URL down old school :D. However, as of this morning I'm still at zero colonists, so either I've got the system wrong or it has expired. As Montag said, it's not worth the hassle.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Montag » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:32 am

Instructed the wife to do the install at 12:30 PM eastern. Should be ready for me when I get home.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:25 am

Montag wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:32 am
Instructed the wife to do the install at 12:30 PM eastern. Should be ready for me when I get home.
It may not be there at 12:30p. According to a post over on the Paradox Surviving Mars forum, the Steam countdown timer on the store page got messed up because of Daylight Saving Time (doesn't everything?) and the release time is 17:00 UCT or 1pm EDT. The reddit subpage also shows 12:00 EST which is 1pm EDT.

It's crap like this that has driven us in Florida over the edge and have voted to stay on DST from now on :D

Also, apparently no pre-load and supposedly the game is 6GB, so that's going to slow thing down a bit too.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Tampa_Gamer » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:43 pm


It's crap like this that has driven us in Florida over the edge and have voted to stay on DST from now on :D
Amen!

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:03 pm

Downloading now, just under 5 GB shows about 4GB.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:01 pm

So I've got in about 90 minutes on the game. There's not really a tutorial, but in the menu there is a button that says "Easy Start" so I went with that. There are hints pop ups, but some of your progression just relies on you going to the build in Encyclopedia and poking around. Nothing too difficult.

I had avoided pretty much all the Let's Play and Paradox diary videos so I don't really know what to expect, but I'm not unhappy with what I'm seeing so far. You scrounge metals from the surface, collect solar power with turbines and panels, and pull water out of the air. You put out blueprints for your little constructor drones and they build stuff using the resources you brought on the first ship or you scrounged. Right now I've just built my first dome so I figure I'm going to start seeing some hints about putting stuff in it for human habitation. More later.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by naednek » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 pm

JZ,

Since you haven't reported back I'm assuming it's good.

I started watching Quill play and damnit the guy can make you want to buy a pile shit.


Bought @ GreenmanGaming for 20% off, downloading tonight.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm

naednek wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 pm
JZ,

Since you haven't reported back I'm assuming it's good.
Look up :D
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Stefan Stirzaker » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:57 pm

OOeffect kicking in dammit

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:17 pm

Stefan Stirzaker wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:57 pm
OOeffect kicking in dammit
Same but I wanted it before it released lol.

As for quills vids. I am not sure if it was hi mor another guy but they were really annoying in their speech patterns. I dont think it was quill but I know I watched some of his stuff.

For some reason I feel this is the game I need right now to just sit and play calmly with no huge fighting and tension. At least not until later game lol.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:30 pm

It is a very calm game. I've got four hours now in my first colony. It's different than, say, SimCity or City: Skylines. Your first ship lands with robotic drones and three larger vehicles, but no humans. You start exploring and also setting up infrastructure to collect power, water and oxygen. And you collect metals from the surface and also concrete.

Sid Meier would love this game, because he's the one that told game designers to give a player interesting decisions. Right from the start I was debating on how much to build, because I only brought a limited number of supplies in that first ship and I didn't want to call for a second supply ship for just a few items. In the end I was completely out of polymers so my power accumulators couldn't receive maintenance, which meant that every night I ran out of power, which caused me to fall behind on my plan of accumulating resources needed by humans. So I had a second supply ship come and bail me out and that got me back on track, but then I was having to face that I was running out of concrete from my surface mine. That meant opening another resource elsewhere on the map, which meant I had to decide whether to make it an isolated, bare-bones outpost or add the infrastructure to support more facilities in the future there. More decisions!

Eventually I decided I was ready for my first humans. I got a dozen pioneers, most of whom I selected (another decision matrix) to be botanists. That would have been really useful except I also had the same ship carry a bunch of food, so now I have tons of it but not a single scientist (oops!) and one security officer who now works at the diner since I didn't build a security office.

And now's the wait, they have to survive ten sols (Mars days, which take a good twenty minutes realtime) without dying or going crazy. And two are alcoholics, one is lazy and one is an overachiever. It's never dull on Mars! Once the ten day wait it over I can start bringing in more settlers, but I'm still hazy on what profession is good in what building.

Obviously the passage of time isn't really realistic, but it works well in terms of gameplay. When it gets dark the solar panels quit producing but the wind turbines are OK, and you try to plan your accumulators to be able to power you during the dark. It doesn't matter too much if your fuel factory has to shut down, but if your water collectors run out of power and you don't have a good backup supply, things can turn ugly.

Overall I'm having a good time. I have found one really annoying bug. Hints pop down from the top when you should do something important but can be closed by clicking on an "X". Except I have one hint that won't close. I save, quit and restart, but in a few seconds that damn hint shows up again. I've reported it but I'll try to find a workaround. It's just annoying, not fatal.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Freyland » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:34 pm

Sounds persist-hint.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:48 pm

jztemple2 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:30 pm
Sid Meier would love this game, because he's the one that told game designers to give a player interesting decisions. Right from the start I was debating on how much to build, because I only brought a limited number of supplies in that first ship and I didn't want to call for a second supply ship for just a few items.
Maybe, but if this game is like most builders, this decision is only interesting for your first, or maybe first few games. After that, you know what you want and what you need and what you're capable of and the decision goes away as you utilize the best opening moves that play out the same way each game.

Sure it's possible to make a game where your first decisions depend on factors unique to each new game, but those are pretty rare. Builders almost always have priority build orders and once those have been established, there is little decision making at the beginning.

I know nothing about this particular game, I just found the suggestion that this game has interesting decisions when you first land to ring a little hollow, given the zillion of builders that have come before it.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and more power to the game.

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by naednek » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:06 pm

jztemple2 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:46 pm
naednek wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:31 pm
JZ,

Since you haven't reported back I'm assuming it's good.
Look up :D
I did... you didn't add more :P
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by jztemple2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:09 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:48 pm
jztemple2 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:30 pm
Sid Meier would love this game, because he's the one that told game designers to give a player interesting decisions. Right from the start I was debating on how much to build, because I only brought a limited number of supplies in that first ship and I didn't want to call for a second supply ship for just a few items.
Maybe, but if this game is like most builders, this decision is only interesting for your first, or maybe first few games. After that, you know what you want and what you need and what you're capable of and the decision goes away as you utilize the best opening moves that play out the same way each game.

Sure it's possible to make a game where your first decisions depend on factors unique to each new game, but those are pretty rare. Builders almost always have priority build orders and once those have been established, there is little decision making at the beginning.

I know nothing about this particular game, I just found the suggestion that this game has interesting decisions when you first land to ring a little hollow, given the zillion of builders that have come before it.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and more power to the game.
I see where you are coming from and I agree that if it is a set series of priorities it could get boring. In Surviving Mars so far I have found some varieties of building sequences. For instance, when you land, you might be near a water source, or like in my case, there wasn't and I had to survey and finally find one a bit away, which required me to decide whether to prioritize putting up at a distance a water mine, a tank, power lines, pipes and a drone hub, which basically is a home base for worker drones, *or* to hold off on all that and use local water vaporizers that pull water from the atmosphere for the immediate future. Not very efficient, but maybe a better choice early on when I have other things to build. And as it turned out, it was a good decision, because a later survey uncovered three concrete sites farther beyond the water site, plus a second water site. This was all good, except it was far away from my starting base so I had to decide on whether to build the infrastructure for a whole industrial region, or just piecemeal it.

I had something similar happen with a couple of nearby sites. One was an underground metal source, which required a mine which requires human miners. So I would have to build my second dome nearby. Except that there was a rare metals source in the opposite direction, which also needs humans which again means another dome. The problem now was that I didn't have the resources to build two new domes. Getting metals is good for building, but rare metals are exports for cash, which is also good in the long run.

Another aspect that drives decisions is the research "tree", which isn't really a tree but five different areas you can research, plus a pop-up "breakthroughs" branch which come up randomly or perhaps are triggered by some discovery. Some research projects just make things more efficient or happen faster, but some unlock new facilities, so that's another place where you have to decide which is more important.

A lot of what will drive decisions is the random distribution of resources on the map. If you really crap out and don't have, for instance, easy access to metals, you can fly them in from Earth. But that costs money, cargo space and just as importantly, time. So that's something else to think about.

There is a lot more micro-management in this game than say SimCity and so far it feels appropriate. There are a lot of balls to keep in the air, especially once the colonists start to arrive. I'd say that this is where the fun lies for me in the game. I've always liked builder or systems games that required me to stay hands on, rather than achieving some equilibrium point where I could just sit back and let things run, again something I see in Cities: Skylines. There is no equilibrium point anytime soon for me in this game and I'm fine with that.
"A plan is a list of things that go wrong. I like to keep my lists short. Just be ready." - Rico Rodriguez

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:22 pm

I wish in the old days the builder games would be pure sandbox. Some I loved but gave up on because when I started having fun si when a neighbor would demand 50 stone or a leader wanted 30 gold. Something lame that interrupted me flow. Ive owned City Skylines a long time and gave it two little tries..where I built a road..bout it. Ive reinstalled and will give it a go.

Would rather play this. One of my troubles is by the time it goes on sale everyone else has moved on so theres no one to talk with about the games lol.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:37 pm

Oh this is very neat! I dont have Mars yet but Im trying to play Cities Skylines and I am picking up Mars Radio! Its from the other game and its like having the station in my game. Neat.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:51 am

If your landing site is randomized and what you build depends on what the randomizer says, then that adds some nice variety.

I hope the game is good. I'm reading along.

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Kraken » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:11 am

GreenGoo wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:51 am
If your landing site is randomized and what you build depends on what the randomizer says, then that adds some nice variety.

I hope the game is good. I'm reading along.
+1. The real test is whether this thread goes dark in two pages or keeps on truckin'.

I was all would up about the Civ6 expansion until it died after a page.

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Daehawk » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:22 am

I was all would up about the Civ6 expansion until it died after a page.
Your enjoyment of a game is based on how long a thread about it is? Or do you mean your happy hype and not own it?
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I guess Ray Butts has ate his last pancake.
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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:21 am

While it's not quite the test it used to be, if OO is not enthusiastic enough to reach page 2, chances are it's not a game worth playing.

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by coopasonic » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:14 am

I'll help you get to page two by saying I watched close to an hour of Scott Manley's play through on YouTube and to me it looks about as dry as Mars. He didn't get to colonists in the time I watched. The things jzt is saying about them (personality traits and skills) piques my interest a little bit more but I think I'll give it a pass for now and wait for a deeper discount. Too much sandbox - in this case, literally.
-Coop

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Re: Surviving Mars - A Mars City Builder from Haemimont Games/Paradox Interactive

Post by Montag » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:18 am

Got a few hours in. Initial impressions positive. City builder with purpose. Much more reaction to setup and events. Must do planning or may face cascading failure path to death. Resource location and tech tree randomized so gameplay will definitely vary. I am trying harder setup with Europe on the first go and I am doing "OK" as I only have had one founding colomist go insane.

Don't run your outside stuff at night.

I do greatly like the ability to toggle working shifts so you can have certain things only run in the day for solar power.

Barely touched radio stuff so far.
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