Paradox and Tropico devs announce colonial management game Surviving Mars

In a new partnership with Tropico developers Haemimont Games, Paradox have announced a Matt Damon simulator / colonial-management-city-builder Surviving Mars [official site]. It’s a “hardcore management game” about the colonisation of Mars and if the short trailer is anything to go by, it’ll be leaning toward the EVERYTHING GOES WRONG end of the management spectrum. One for Brendan, then, who does like to put poor little colonists through the wringer.

Producer Jakob Munthe announced the game alongside Haemimont, describing it as an in-depth near future city-builder.

“Tropico is a game series with a lot of fans at Paradox and one of those games that always felt like it should be a Paradox game. When Haemimont contacted us we were extremely happy. We want to make more management games.”

Despite the humour in the trailer, Haemimont say the game will be a “serious take” on the colonisation of Mars. I’ll be talking to Paradox and Haemimont to learn more this week.


  1. Chitzkoi says:

    Startopia without the cartoon edge?

    If so, fine by me!

  2. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Have Paradox got no money left, because that is a terrible trailer, even the encode is dropping frames left & right.

    • ColonelFlanders says:

      Nope they have likely got more money than ever before, they can just think of better things to spend their money on than shoving friggin marketing down people’s throats. You don’t need a slick advert when your products speak for themselves; see all modern major publishers.

  3. poliovaccine says:

    This makes me think of the article I think from this past week’s Sunday Papers feature, which talked about NASA tapping the devs of Homeworld to help them engineer a workable simulation of what might one day be a real Martian colony. So now, anytime a game like this comes out I’ll be forced to wonder, “yeah but.. is this the game NASA would play..??” Haha.. for real though.

    I mean, they sure didnt hit up the devs of Planetbase..

    • bills6693 says:

      Man, I wish they had! I love planetbase, can be a little obtuse sometimes but it’s just a fun game!

      • poliovaccine says:

        Oh I dont mean to complain, I love Planetbase, I was only feeling a little left out of NASA on its behalf haha. Btw – if you didnt already know, there’s a mod that lets you inhabit the view of any one of your units to have a looksee inside the buildings. It’s not exactly Talos I in there, but it’s a cool little thing if you like the game.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I haven’t been reading up on it closely, but I was under the impression that since Kim Stanley Robinson wrote his great Red/Green/Blue Mars trilogy based largely on plausible science, things have changed. The more we’ve learned about Mars, the harder it’s become to find any workable strategy for any kind of base let alone a self-sustaining colony. The winds are fiercer, the canyons less protecting, the atmosphere less shielding from cosmic rays, the water much harder to unlock etc. Even the simplest and most ubiquitous thing, the dust, has turned out to be finer and more abrasive.

      That pretty much guarantees colonists would not be able to eva on the surface because the suits would wear out fast and the dust would inevitably get into the living spaces and start degrading them too, so its looking more like a process of teleoperated (or remotely programmed, more accurately) robot craft throwing dozens if not hundreds of meteorites at the surface to increase the accessible surface water ice, give it some useful rotation and a thicker atmosphere, followed by a long period of robots and nano-machines performing tasks on the surface. Spacesuited colonists setting up windfarms isn’t going to be practical any time soon. A realistic game would play more like Sim Earth than a colony manager game.

      • Lukasz says:

        Correction on that post

        Mars doesn’t have strong winds. It might have fast winds because of the gravity but they do not have the power to do much. The atmosphere is to thin to actually affect anything. A mars man can walk through the strongest sand storm without a problem just occasionally wiping off dust from visor.

        The post greatly exaggerates the danger of winds and sand. We have rovers operating in those conditions for decades without cleaning and maintenance while fully exposed to the environment.
        Same thing would apply to colony equipment. It would take years before sand starts causing any problems.

        • Someoldguy says:

          I was starting from a position of how easy they thought these things were to overcome initially. Rovers aren’t doing EVA and needing to maintain an internal breathable atmosphere. Hence the suggestion that they do the colony setup with teleoperated/programmed machines. The difficulties start to ramp up when you want to stop dust getting into your airlocks or EVA suit joints, or actually start wanting to manufacture a planet-wide breathable atmosphere, like the KSR books described.

  4. dethtoll says:

    I need this.

  5. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Can I science the shit out of it?

    • Don Reba says:

      Nope. Wind turbines on a planet with almost no atmosphere.

      • Canadave says:

        Mars is a pretty windy planet, actually, and massive dust storms are a major part of the climate there. The atmosphere is much thinner than Earth’s, of course, so designs would need to be very efficient, but wind turbines are certainly a viable power source on Mars.

        • Dachannien says:

          NASA says that wind turbines would work during dust storms, which is pretty much the only time the wind is strong enough. So the turbines in the promo video shouldn’t be turning.

          link to

  6. criskywalker says:

    I wanted Paradox to make a game like The Sims, since EA mostly killed the franchise, as they always do.

    • CartonofMilk says:

      its insane the amount of great franchises EA is sitting on and doing nothing with. Like they don’t give a shit.

      Wing Commander, Ultima, Syndicate, The saboteur and the list goes on.

      When they DID use syndicate it was to make a FPS with it that nobody who ever liked the franchise wanted.

  7. Harlander says:

    Eventually all Paradox-published games will be merged into one colossal Grand Campaign Simulator where you run from antiquity into the distant future and can zoom in to any level of detail at will.

    This is just one more step…

    • bills6693 says:

      Is this the step in stellaris when your colony ship has landed and it’s developing your new colony?

      I agree that’s their overall plan…

  8. BobbyDylan says:

    Looks fantastic! Colour me Red with Excitement.

  9. Solidstate89 says:

    Fantastic. I kind of bounced off of Tropico because I couldn’t see a real reason to move off from Tropico 3, but the core of the game mechanics still produced some of my favorite SIM/management moments.

    I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this.

  10. Alehr says:

    I really hope they just drop in the Tropico soundtrack for this. At least for distorted mars buggy radio music.

  11. Demakustus says:

    The link to the official site is not working.

  12. Cross says:

    Tropico 5 was absolute stoolwater, so i will reserve my excitement for after launch opinions. At least haemimont got away from those snakes at Kalypso. Omerta is still not forgiven.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      They’ve earned my eternal enmity after they published Dark, the pathetic attempt to rip-off VtM: Bloodlines. That it’s the closest we’ve come to a spiritual successor to one of my favorite games makes me hate them even more. Kalypso really have no games worth getting (though Vikings: Wolves of Midgard doesn’t seem bad and it has a demo).