Dev Diary - Space Race by Boyan Ivanov from Haemimont Games

Dev Diary - Space Race by Boyan Ivanov from Haemimont Games

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Hello, fellow Martians! I am Boyan Ivanov and today I’m here to share some juicy details about the cool new features coming in Space Race - the first expansion for Surviving Mars.

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New and Improved Sponsors (paid feature)

With Space Race, we wanted to improve upon the variety of each playthrough and make the choice of sponsor matter even more. Each sponsor in Space Race has a new unique building and a unique new vehicle that may be a Rocket, Rover, Drone or even new type of Probe. All of these dramatically change the way the individual sponsor plays and develops their strategy.

Instead of spoiling all the changes to existing sponsors, I’m going to showcase my favorite sponsor – the Blue Sun Corporation.

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The Blue Sun Corporation is all about making money and having additional uses for Funding. Their new unique building is the Corporate Office – which generates funding each Sol based on the number of workers in the office. This provides a good alternative to mining Rare Metals, however working in an office is not really the life colonists imagined on Mars and they take Comfort penalties when stationed there. Of course, you can offset the Comfort loss with additional services.

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Blue Sun’s vehicle goes in a bit of a different direction. The Harvester is a new Rover that can harvest concrete from concrete deposits without the need for an extractor building. It works similarly to how the Transport rover can gather surface metals deposits. Buying two or three harvesters and setting routes to harvest far away concrete deposits allows Blue Sun to play without the need to expand to new concrete deposits as the initial ones are depleted.

As you can see the sponsor unique buildings and vehicles can allow for new and interesting approaches to colony building and provide a unique playstyle. But that’s not all – Space Race will also add two completely new sponsors – Brazil and Japan.

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Japan utilizes the cute new Wasp Drones that can fly and focuses on automation and stronger specialists. Brazil has the Rare Metals Refinery building which allows you to convert Waste Rock into Rare Metals combined with Brazil’s high export price of rare metals and receiving funding from arriving colonists they are one of the wealthier sponsors allowing you to rely more heavily on imports from Earth.


Sponsor Goals (free feature)

Continuing on the topic of sponsors, there is another new feature that further improves on the sponsor variety that will be free for all Surviving Mars players and is included in the free Gagarin patch that accompanies Space Race.

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Each sponsor now provides you with a set of five goals unique to that sponsor. Completing those goals awards various rewards – from Funding and Applicants to free prefabs of Domes and even free Rockets.

The five goals have varying difficulty and can push you to play in a specific direction if you want to get their reward quickly. The more difficult sponsors have tougher goals which sometimes even have a time limit.

Sponsor goals are an improvement and an overhaul of the current Mission Evaluation mechanic which will be retired with the update. Completing all five of the goals will award you a milestone as your sponsor acknowledges the viability of your Martian colony.


Rival Colonies (paid feature)

You are no longer alone on Mars. Other sponsors have decided to send their own missions to the red planet and are building their own colonies. With Space Race you have the option to start a new game with 1 to 3 rival colonies which will land on other coordinates around Mars.

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While you can’t observe the colonies of your rivals directly you can see their position on the new Planetary View at any point during the game. There you can see your rival’s status, resources and information about their recent actions – did the USA colony just research Productivity Training – interesting, perhaps we should exchange some technologies.

You can contact other colonies and exchange technologies or open trade routes. You can even build your entire economy based on trade with other colonies – specializing in producing one resource while bartering for others. You can also request help or provide aid to another colony.

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You have standing with each other Martian colony and your relations can improve or worsen. If you have good relations, colonies will be more likely to trade and help you. If your standing with a colony is low they will refuse to cooperate.

All colonies on Mars compete with each other for milestones and planetary Anomalies (more on this a bit later). Only the first colony to achieve a milestone will receive that milestone and any benefits that come from it. When another colony nears completion of a milestone you will get a notification to inform you and give you an opportunity to try to race them to the milestone. When the race is tight you may help yourself by sabotaging the rival colony.

Covert Ops is another way to interact with other colonies on Mars. You can steal their Drones and Tech, sabotage their buildings and even attract their best Colonists to your own colony. For that, you will need some Security Officers and a Rocket. Be warned - your standing with the rival colony will plummet and as they tighten security measures, you might lose the covert ops team and even the Rocket!

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Planetary Anomalies (free feature)

With the introduction of the Planetary View in the Gagarin update, we have also added a new type of Anomaly. To analyze a planetary anomaly you will have to send a rocket to those coordinates on Mars. You will also need Drones, Rovers or Colonists for the expedition. Planetary Anomalies can yield research points, new Techs and Breakthroughs, as well as resources and in general, offer bigger rewards than local Anomalies

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Supply Pods & Rockets (free feature)

With all the new uses for rockets for planetary Anomalies, Covert Ops missions and trade with other colonies you will often find yourselves in need of an urgent delivery from Earth but without a prepped Rocket. This is where the new Supply Pods come into play. Supply Pods are one-use delivery space vehicles that can transport a limited payload from Earth. They are faster than Rockets and can land in any conditions, even during Dust Storms, but incur $100 M extra cost on launch.

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Events (free feature)

I am sure that all Paradox fans are well acquainted with the idea of events from the grand strategy games. We are big fans of events as well and have always wanted to include them in Surviving Mars.

Events are story elements that depict different situations arising in the colony. They allow us to explore the daily life of colonists on Mars, to show how people cope with life in extraterrestrial conditions and how they respond in case of emergencies.

We have added more than a hundred Event chains, each telling a different story of life on Mars, with more than 250 individual Events. Perhaps a Dust Storm caused a major malfunction in a Fusion Reactor, or a Renegade sabotaged the launch of a Rocket returning to Earth... Sometimes it’s just interesting to see how people may relax and have fun on the red planet.

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Most of the rare and special Events are designed to make you wonder what course of action to take. Your choice of Commander Profile and Mission Sponsor may offer alternative resolutions.

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We also use Events to give more weight and variety to certain game mechanics. Having lots of Renegades in the colony may lead to an entire Dome going rogue and declaring independence. When a Colonist snaps due to low Sanity an event may pop up with the colonist barricading himself in a building and refusing to come out.

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And so much more!

These were just the major features that the Space Race expansion and accompanying Gagarin free update will bring to Surviving Mars. Both will also include a number of smaller, yet fun, features like new decorations, the ability to colorize your buildings using different palettes, "Research site" and "Vista" locations on maps, which boost respectively Comfort and Research in nearby buildings and Domes, new Dome skins, new Achievements for the expansion, as well as a number of bug fixes and balance tweaks.

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That’s all from me for now. Let the Space Race begin!


Join us for the Space Race Launch stream tomorrow at 17:00 CET. Susie and Niki will be joined by Haemimont on stream to take a good look at the expansion and celebrate its release (it will release at 18:00 CET and we have an awesome release trailer which we will also show off on the stream! You can watch the stream here: https://www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive
 
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Auztin

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This will certainly add more life to the game, I'm looking forward to it!
 

DominusNovus

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I don’t see any reason not to spoil the other sponsors’ unique features. This is a strategy game, not an M Night Shaymalan movie. Not to mention that the console players have access to them already.

I’m very unimpressed with the PR on this expansion, even while I’m very interested on the actual features. Everything has been done with a veil of secrecy, even today, the launch day for console players and the day before launch for PC players.
 
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Tavior

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Two by Two; hand of blue! *scream in terror*


All joking aside I am looking forward to this DLC now that I know a bit more about the upcoming features.

P.S. If you don't get the reference google it!
 

dkurage

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you have the option to start a new game with 1 to 3 rival colonies which will land on other coordinates around Mars.

What about starting a game with 0 rival colonies? Is that still possible?
 

priamossz

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wont trading, extra rewards, and unique buildings make survival rather easy? especially that office building. I mean who actually going to care what penalties the colonists going to suffer if it makes the big bucks for you?
 

dkurage

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wont trading, extra rewards, and unique buildings make survival rather easy? especially that office building. I mean who actually going to care what penalties the colonists going to suffer if it makes the big bucks for you?
I don't really care about trading either, or pushing for milestones and stuff. I picked up the game cause it looked like a chill builder, and it was. I liked the slower pace. The survival part was never a challenge anyway, so I don't see how it'd be any easier now playing solo with the extra features than it was before.
 

priamossz

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I don't really care about trading either, or pushing for milestones and stuff. I picked up the game cause it looked like a chill builder, and it was. I liked the slower pace. The survival part was never a challenge anyway, so I don't see how it'd be any easier now playing solo with the extra features than it was before.

so you say that if say you low on food it wont make it easier if you can quickly buy some from your neighbour? currently if you push up the difficulty enough and put some extra difficulty rules on the game it can be a bit more challenging until you get the resource wonders at least but this makes it even easier if you can barter for resources you need with your rivals.
 

Gvaudan

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What do you mean by "paid feature" and "free feature" ?
Does this mean that the player will have to pay in game with real money (microtransactions) in addition to having bought the DLC?
 

Blizzard_Haemimont

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What do you mean by "paid feature" and "free feature" ?
Does this mean that the player will have to pay in game with real money (microtransactions) in addition to having bought the DLC?

No. Just no.

Free features become available to everyone with the update that accompanies the release of the expansion. Paid features require owning the Space Race DLC, i.e. buying the expansion.
 

Gvaudan

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No.

Free features become available to everyone with the update that accompanies the release of the expansion. Paid features require owning the Space Race DLC. .

Ok, that's more clear for me now and it explains the 800MB steam update.
THX
 
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Napean

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  • East India Company
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • 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: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Deus Vult
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
Just spun up Space Race, not even five minutes in, and am loving it!
Sponsor goals are cool!
The fact that there are competitors for milestones is making me think a little more seriously about how best to play this game!
And I haven't even gotten to all of the other content yet!
Thanks Haimemont and Paradox!