Crikey, look at this lovely indie RTS: Unclaimed World is "a single player game which takes cues from Dwarf Fortress and The Settlers but with more emphasis on survival, improvised crafting and research." There's a video of its beautiful rolling, living landscapes below in a video that shows scientists observing wildlife on an alien planet. Developers Refactored explain that they're aiming to enable us to "plan and manage a human settlement on an alien planet." So basically they have opened up my head and emptied out my videogame desires onto their design doc.
Thanks to everyone who mailed this in, yes it is exactly my "sort of thing". Excited! I have contacted Refactored for an interview.
The game is scheduled to arrive in the summer.
Update: I probably should have posted both videos, eh?