Sometimes, you pick up a game and think, “this looks interesting, I’ll just play a couple of hours and see…” And then you look at the clock and it’s one in the morning… ‘Stranded: Alien Dawn‘ is one of those games.
Published by Frontier (‘Jurassic World: Evolution 1 & 2’, ‘Planet Zoo’, ‘Planet Coaster’), and developed by Haemimont Games (‘Surviving Mars’, ‘Tropico’ series), ‘Stranded: Alien Dawn’ is a planet survival sim that places the fate of a small marooned group of people in your hands. Crashing onto an alien world, you are responsible for keeping these survivors alive by building them somewhere to shelter, finding food to eat, clothes to wear, and protecting them from the hostile creatures that roam the potentially deadly environment, along with the hostile environment itself.
I have around 60hrs of gameplay listed on Steam at the moment since the game was released last week. Despite this being an Early Access game, ‘Stranded: Alien Dawn’ is extremely stable and has plenty to keep you occupied. You can read more about my first impressions of the game here.
I had the opportunity to put a few questions to Bisser Dyankov, CEO of Haemimont Games about what inspired this new game, and where things may go in the future… Although he was somewhat evasive on the latter…
Geektown: How would you describe Stranded: Alien Dawn?
Haemimont Games: Stranded: Alien Dawn is a planet survival sim, where the player takes control over a group of marooned survivors and must brave an alien environment to ensure their survival. Every action of the player matters, as he builds, crafts, feeds, fights, and masters the survivors’ new environment.
Where did the inspiration for Stranded: Alien Dawn come from?
HG: Substantial part of our core creative team is interested in both system-driven simulations as well as survival games. Some form of the idea behind Stranded: Alien Dawn had been on our list of “next-game-to-create” for quite some time. We are happy that we are finally able to bring our vison into reality with the help of our publishing partner Frontier Foundry. We believe our fans will find Stranded: Alien Dawn as an interesting title with fuses our strength as developers with interesting new ideas and mechanics.
There are a lot of building/survival games on the market at the moment. What makes Stranded: Alien Dawn unique?
HG: The combination of lush and inviting 3D world, varied alien life, compelling and flawed characters, combined with the system-driven gameplay with emergent challenges that can be built upon is what we believe make Stranded: Alien Dawn unique.
You previously worked on Surviving Mars and the Tropico games (both of which I loved!) Are their elements of those which have come across into S:AD?
HG: There are a number of exciting new features and mechanics to explore in Stranded: Alien Dawn, including modular base-building, combat, crafting, social relationships, and the survivors themselves and their background effects.
Certain elements however will be familiar to players of our older titles – for example, we’ve drawn upon the management of the physical resources, similar to that of Surviving Mars, as well as the simulation of the needs of the survivors, which (while quite differently implemented) can be found in our Tropico titles.
The game is in early access. Will you be releasing a “roadmap” for the development?
HG: We are looking forward to bringing some exciting updates to early access over the coming months, but we aren’t quite ready to share specifics just yet.
Do you envisage an “end goal” for the gameplay? E.g. getting everyone off the planet? Or multiple end goals? E.g. Survivors opt to stay and grow a settlement into a city?
HG: We don’t want to give too much away, but who ultimately wants to be stranded forever? The rest is up to the player…
Will there be more automation in the game? (factory machines of some sort?)
HG: Unfortunately, we don’t have anything to share regarding future features right now.
I know you won’t want to reveal everything yet, but what are some of the features you currently have planned to add to the game which are not yet in early access?
HG: We hope that soon we will be able to share more details of what’s to come. As players get their hands on early access we are also actively looking at everything the community is discussing and considering their feedback.
The survivors in the game are an interesting mix. Are any of them based on real people? (I know sometimes the developers use themselves as characters in this sort of game.)
HG: We can neither confirm nor deny the fact that our survivors are based on real people; but we can safely state that no developer was harmed in the process of creating them. Unless they volunteered for it!
Currently, survivors can form relationships and get married. Are you considering adding children to the game?
HG: Life in Stranded: Alien Dawn is hard as it is. As a parent myself, that sounds like it would be even harder for the survivors! So no, there are no plans to add children to the game.