Dev Diary 3 - Dome, Sweet Dome! By Boian Spasov from Haemimont Games

Hi, folks!

I am back with the final dev diary for you this year, this time focusing on the human habitats and the lives of the colonists in Surviving Mars.

While setting up an automated colony staffed by the little drone guys can be a fun experience by itself, it also serves a larger purpose - paving the road for the first human settlements on the red planet.

But why would you need humans in your colony at all?

Thank you for the excellent question, Mr Skynet. The human colonists are required to perform many complicated tasks such as producing most of the advanced resources, managing complex underground mining endeavours and doing research. There are over 100 technologies, all unlocking new benefits for your colony. So, plenty of research to keep you busy!

The flipside is that your colonists are somewhat more delicate than the lowly drones. They tend to need functional life support, for example. And they kinda like medical care, food, entertainment... To sum it up - you need some kind of habitable settlements protected from radiation, the harsh Martian climate, supplied with all the necessities and, ideally, at least a few of the luxuries, that your colonists may want. I present to you... the Domes:


Beautiful, aren't they? The Domes are, at least in my eyes, the most iconic pieces of art in the game. Inspired by the classic somewhat naive, somewhat optimistic retro sci-fi aesthetics, these points of light in the Martian night represent our idealized idea for the first human settlement on another planet.

Our goal was not hard realism. Realistically, a manned colony on Mars would almost certainly be at least partially underground, and even if dome-like structures are employed, they would probably not look like our Domes. However, an underground colony will not be very appealing to live in, and we wanted to create a place that invokes the sentiment "Wow, I really want to leave Earth and go live there!"

j7RWveJMFLh5TNHWRRvQnTpwFF3Xzz-mZd8ff-2PmKGIycRxZkUaOmf14g7wIj7D5x2ci1d6DbstteRtb9GN5OXF6ozB32KIY0HUtXFKnN48A1DaxnV-7Nk3YoGbI5ITVJiHA6HyN1cGo_djsw


Building utopia

Domes come in various sizes, but all of them are mega-structures meant to house other buildings. Most of the buildings related to colonists can be placed only under Domes - this includes living quarters, research labs, certain factories and service buildings. Domes are expensive constructions, and space underneath is premium, so you are solving a spacial puzzle with every Dome you create.

Placing any building takes valuable space, and you have to maintain a careful balance between residences and workplaces. Food production, research and production of advanced resources can be distributed between Domes, but you can also create specialized Domes focusing on one particular gameplay aspect.

A dedicated farming Dome can feed a significant portion of your colony. A luxury service and residential Dome will provide comfortable conditions for the Colonists living inside, increasing their birth rate and morale. A mining Dome may be meant to service nearby resource extractors, located just outside the Dome, providing plenty of living space for miners and the facilities to handle the stress caused by their work.

QonJK2TyXucckYKZKDP0Ew_gIm4UQOFHPNl2Gg79KcTPeEKvBBi8XiWh7AkiRXRzaVdn71-o_ZiNX59wmUBssHydnosmkH0TA6RKup2g2xrJ62a-yo7zDrDTthCfJSOCDH2bygW3YyfWjZpRoA


The monumental central structure in a Dome is called a Spire. Most Domes can have only one single Spire, but the Spire grants a powerful benefit to the entire Dome, specializing it even further in a chosen direction. An Arcology provides residential space for numerous colonists, a Water Reclamation System recycles vital H20, while a Network Node boosts all research conducted in the Dome.

DXq16Is_CEIND-VMDkVWMulmRLlAjM9gFZfFKq0IuJL9QkKrhl3t04-xsXndTDax__ALimSlugYb4_McIEmhtoOV_WDPj6WCwAwX742aEd4ynJROk3Q2x5OIVkno5GAp99JnOxb48YCs8w-uSQ


Livin' the Mars life

So, we've already established that you will need Colonists to keep many of your buildings operational. It is good to keep in mind that some of your Colonists have individual specializations that allow them to perform much better in certain workplaces. To get the most of your buildings, you will have to either cherry pick the needed specialists from Earth or secure a way to train them in the Colony. Generally, workers are assigned to their workplaces automatically, but you have the tools to micromanage their assignments and work shifts if you wish.

The current condition of any individual colonist is represented by four key stats - Health, Sanity, Comfort and Morale. Letting any of this drop too low has negative consequences. Colonists at low Health can't work, and if their Health depletes, they will die. Colonists with no remaining Sanity will suffer mental breakdowns and may gain negative traits such as alcoholism or gambling addiction (more on traits - below). Colonists at low Morale may become Renegades and start causing trouble in the Colony. Conversely, high stats may grant positive effects - for example, citizens with high Comfort are more inclined to have children.

Ezk1tgnd7GRRMs6ZeBezT1JJqDVXodCErohcGcjD2TVAQcYjUxrHjW5rXePEcM-UagE-3C-LZWOVuiBv4NkzWEykRDe1BcbCZuKkAuVYCd__VUYmcqZb1Pmz1mvfd9mkh5Y9cWpguy7sckjsGg


Unlike the drones in the automated colony, your colonists are not created equal. Each possesses a different set of traits with each trait granting some different effect to the colonist. A hardworking colonist performs better at his workplace while an idiot may cause a catastrophic malfunction, shutting down the building. Some traits are exceptionally rare and may benefit the colony as a whole - having a Celebrity will secure additional funding from Earth, as long as the said Celebrity survives on Mars.

Just as a teaser, here are few more example traits with their current in-game descriptions:

  • Survivor - Loses less Health without food, water, oxygen or when living in an unpowered Dome

  • Nerd - Gains a temporary Morale boost every time a new technology is researched

  • Hypochondriac - Will randomly visit Medical buildings and take Sanity damage if unable to do so

  • Chronic Condition - Loses Health each day

  • Guru (rare trait) - Randomly spreads other traits of this colonist to persons in the same Dome

As your colony grows, you will gain the options to cultivate certain desirable traits and treat some of the negative ones. And no, the definition of treatment doesn't include setting up domes without Oxygen supply and encouraging the colonists with the undesirable traits to move there. You monster! :p

You can filter the traits and specializations of colonists coming from Earth (but not of children born on Mars), as well as the individual Dome populations - if you want to create a Dome populated by Fit Middle-Aged Survivors and Sexy Nerds, you have the tools! You can even find some perfectly valid in-game rationalization to do so. Probably.

2pmUMtDEnlYTlU17Aa9qvnmLp5Gfr7A7kFCSxJK9iEEssajLE08B1vNnxjHRZxwMWCAS1hElYRk6eGcuClDrYZM_sqroXSdD-lsUpOlAZVCfVMy_hCI2dgvGJQkEjJaeskN9zTqOWigV4FY6xQ


As you can see, I love the traits and their effects - it is a wonderful, expandable system that will only get richer as we continue to work on the game.

That's all for today's diary! Thank you for reading and have a wonderful holiday! See you in 2018, when I plan to write about something very mysterious.

*****

Thanks to Boian for another awesome Dev Diary - just tacking this on as I think it will also be of interest... :)

Surviving Mars will be out in SPRING 2018

Also, Boian has been interviewed by PC Gamer - read it in full here!
 

Keizer Harm

Swamp German
40 Badges
Jan 28, 2013
2.704
3.906
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Victoria 2
SPRING 2018
YES YES!

This is the first P'dox game I've followed right from the announcement, and it is a very pleasing surprise to see it being rolled out in less than a CK2 DLC production cycle :p
 

gigau

Imperare Orbis Universi
Demi Moderator
215 Badges
May 4, 2005
42.659
7.255
46
www.twitch.tv
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Diplomacy
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Magicka
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Paradox Order
  • PDXCON 2017 Gold Ticket holder
  • PDXCON 2018 "The Emperor"
  • PDXCon 2019 "King"
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
Looks really great. Looking forward !
 

Darksaber501st

The Water Must Flow
92 Badges
Aug 19, 2009
100
80
steamcommunity.com
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Semper Fi
  • For the Motherland
  • Surviving Mars
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Prison Architect
less than a CK2 DLC production cycle :p

Lol.

In any case, another very exciting DD. That release date does surprise me, I hope this isn't rushed. It's looking great though, keep up the good work!
 

Mauer

Swarmherald
100 Badges
Oct 7, 2012
3.574
1.738
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Season pass
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
I really like this dome system where you can build them up inside with different buildings instead of just being different predefined domes.

I wonder if citizens are able to travel between domes or are stuck to their own for their entire lives.
 

Nikolai II

A bunny with a hat
125 Badges
Nov 18, 2001
9.286
175
www.giantitp.com
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Hearts of Iron II: Beta
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • BATTLETECH - Backer
  • War of the Roses
  • Lead and Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Magicka
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
Our goal was not hard realism. Realistically, a manned colony on Mars would almost certainly be at least partially underground, and even if dome-like structures are employed, they would probably not look like our Domes. However, an underground colony will not be very appealing to live in, and we wanted to create a place that invokes the sentiment "Wow, I really want to leave Earth and go live there!"

The Martian (very close to hard realism) has still taught me that all that is needed to survive on Mars is a tent, some potatoes and Disco Music!
(and some minor odds and ends not really worth mentioning I'm sure)
 

Fediuld76

Captain
37 Badges
Sep 13, 2017
412
218
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Surviving Mars: Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
Interesting stuff.

Having watched the video tonight must say, is true Paradox game. :)

To the point that has intuitive ways to kill the social nuisances. You do not like some, put them in a dome. Cut the air and let them suffocate.
Or better. If you play in an area with many meteorites, turn off the oxygen and the defenses. Let a meteorite smash the dome, and see them suffocating even faster......
 

Asakhra

Captain
63 Badges
Dec 29, 2010
321
325
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Magicka 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
I really like the aesthetics of this game so far :) Will definitely be making a purchase (funds permitting) next year.

Question: how much micromanagement do we have to do with colonists' traits and stats? I like the idea of each individual colonist being... well, an individual (one of the reasons I stopped playing Banished was because every villager felt the same), but it seems like it might be very hard work looking after the individual and varied needs of all the colonists once the population starts getting into the hundreds or so.
 

priamossz

Second Lieutenant
86 Badges
Feb 1, 2016
175
244
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Steel Division: Normand 44 - Second Wave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • King Arthur II
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Nemesis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • War of the Roses
  • Victoria 2
so what did we learned today kids? if you built a large enough colony on mars then build an execution dome where you shove in your criminals and eldery for max production. :p
 

Blizzard_Haemimont

Second Lieutenant
1 Badges
Nov 7, 2017
138
0
  • Haemimont Games Staff
I really like this dome system where you can build them up inside with different buildings instead of just being different predefined domes.

I wonder if citizens are able to travel between domes or are stuck to their own for their entire lives.

The citizens are allowed to resettle in another dome with free living space. If the domes are positioned closely together they will travel on foot, otherwise they will need a transport vehicle. The process is automated and you can set filters to move population between domes.
 

Blizzard_Haemimont

Second Lieutenant
1 Badges
Nov 7, 2017
138
0
  • Haemimont Games Staff
I really like the aesthetics of this game so far :) Will definitely be making a purchase (funds permitting) next year.

Question: how much micromanagement do we have to do with colonists' traits and stats? I like the idea of each individual colonist being... well, an individual (one of the reasons I stopped playing Banished was because every villager felt the same), but it seems like it might be very hard work looking after the individual and varied needs of all the colonists once the population starts getting into the hundreds or so.

I would say that you have some options to micromanage, but most players will opt not to use them. For example, the game is supporting assigning a worker to an individual workplace, but in practice this is not required and I can't really remember using it at all in my past few playthroughs - I prefer to manage the workforce through building priority and dome filters. You can also micromanage the incoming colonists, but I tend to do so only for my first rocket of "founders" and use filters from then on. Ultimately we kept the micromanagement controls for players that like that kind of thing, but at least in regard to colonists and traits I would say that they don't play a big part, unless you like that kind of playstyle.
 

Whitecold

Second Lieutenant
24 Badges
Jun 19, 2016
137
0
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
The art looks gorgeous. ;)

How does the Water Reclamation System Spire works? it sounds more like a late game thing, while I feel a water reclamation system comes about second to an oxygenator. And yeah, I am a The Martian fan...