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Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager to Launch in October

By on July 29th, 2014 9:40 am

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager by Polar Motion and Slitherine

Slitherine and developer Polar Motion announced the release date of Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager. The turn-based strategy and space program simulator will be released officially on October 31st of this year.

This release will account for the game’s first episode, which is the Race to the Moon. Episode 2 should be about the International Space Station and episode 3 should complete the experience with a Trip to Mars. The idea is that part 2 and 3 will be sold as expansions packs, but that’s not yet set in stone according to the developer.

Here’s the teaser trailer.

Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager entered in early access mode in October of last year. Chris Salt, our space program simulators hero, played the early access build and has produced some first impressions. In Chris’ opinion “the game had a bright future” but he mentioned the lack of challenge, the absence of multiplayer and the missing campaigns as being lacking points with the game at that early stage.

By mid May this year we had a talk with the developer Ignacio Liverotti about SPM. Asked about these issues, he said that regarding the lack of challenge, he confirmed that the game was indeed “a bit on rails” by then but that has been addressed with a more flexible and more strategic options when choosing projects now. Regarding the lack of multiplayer at early access launch, Ignacio confirmed that “we’ll never say that the game is finished unless the multiplayer is done” and that “the PBEM needs to be working”. As for the missing campaigns, the dev said that they will have “campaigns for the three space agencies planned (Soviet, NASA and GSA, for Global Space Agency)”. Read more on this in our interview with Ignacio.

Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager is currently being sold as an early access build, for which there’s various tiers available offering different rewards. That option will end on August 10th marking the end of the Early Access phase, said Slitherine. You can find more information on the game on its official web page.

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  1. csebal says:

    Well, knowing how much I love Kerbal Space Program, I probably should be checking this out, the problem is this:

    KSP is perfect.. I mean, its one of the most modifiable games I have ever seen, with a modding community that is literally booming and the game in general is built in such a way that its insanely fun :)

    I do not see how a game that is by design limited to just some sort of history reenactment has a chance to even get close to that.

    EDIT: I guess those interested in just the management aspect of a space program and not the actual fiddling with the engineering part of it, this might be a better fit. I am too much of an engineer to be satisfied with simply counting beans :)

    • DrManhatten says:

      Yes you’re asking some questions I am wondering to. In particular how does it compare to Kerbal and also Race to Mars (which is also on Steam Early Access) The only major plus point this one might have that Buzz is actually involved in this one and it is not just his name, but if that will make it a better game is hard to tell.

    • Happy Corner says:

      On top of management, SPM has a sort of educational element to it, too. You might decry the “historical reenactment” angle, but that could be interesting to someone who wanted to learn more about the American or Soviet space programs – and a lot more interactive than a history book. I could easily see this game in schools.

      There’s also the learning curve. I remember the first time I ever tried to play Kerbal Space Program, and it quickly became obvious that it ISN’T a game that you can pick up and learn in 10 minutes. I’m not saying SPM is Tic-Tac-Toe in comparison, but at least I didn’t have to go to Youtube to find tutorials for it.

      Now, do those things make SPM better than Kerbal? Not necessarily. But for those of us who AREN’T armchair engineers, SPM has more going for it than you might think.

      • csebal says:

        Which is exactly why I wrote what I wrote.. I realize that there are people out there who enjoy the big picture, the scenery and the occasional “What has happened in September 1959” trivia bit a lot more, than fiddling with the placement of an ullage booster to ensure proper ignition of their third stage.

        I am quite confident that SPM will find its own niche market for audience. I also realized, that I will most probably not be part of that niche.

    • Mark says:

      I’ve actually found it pretty hard to get interested in Kerbal Space Program and I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying. Whenever I play it, it just makes me feel like I should be playing Orbiter instead. So I do and I end up having a lot more fun.

      I don’t think that KSP is an accurate enough simulation to really interest me. I’ll grant that its certainly an amazing piece of software for what it does, but it seems like a toy compared to Orbiter.

      Maybe Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager will do a better job of hitting my realism buttons.

  2. Smoking Robot says:

    You know how there are some games coming out that you’re excited about?

    This is not one of them.

  3. ACEofHeart says:

    If nothing else, it does have both an historical and educational value that I do like. As for gameplay after watching a few Youtube gameplay videos, the jury is still out on how any strategy decisions you make actually comes into play. I’ll probably buy it though.. :D

    • Ignacio says:

      Hello ACEofHeart, I’m one of the developers behind SPM. Indeed, the historical and educational aspects are quite important to us! Why do you think that the strategy decisions you make might not actually come into play, though?

      • ACEofHeart says:

        Well, having just downloaded the game I have no idea personally on how “strategic” the game is. I think so far it’s played more like a turn-based simulation ( if that’s viable LOL ) As someone already mentioned, it’s risk calculations more that strategic deviations. :) I’m just enjoying reliving the history of space flight for now.

        • Ignacio says:

          Thanks for clarifying your comment. I hope you like the game! Feel free to pop in at the forums if you come across any bugs or would like to make any suggestions.

    • Happy Corner says:

      Strategy decisions…

      The campaign mode of the game features prestige goals and random objectives (both short-term and long-term). Sometimes the objectives are things you want/need to do anyway, but sometimes you have to go out of your way for them. You lose prestige for ignoring objectives, but gain bonus prestige if you do them in time. While there’s usually only one way to go about an objective, deciding whether it’s worth the trouble is a strategy decision, of sorts. So is realizing you’ve outgrown your budget, and maybe risking some balls to the wall mission to win enough prestige to get a raise.

      Besides that, most of the strategy in this game is risk assessment, usually in the form of deciding “Are my components reliable enough for this mission, or do I keep researching?” or “Are my personnel good enough in all the relevant skills for the mission, or do I keep training them, too?” Since you have a budget (and sometimes objectives with deadlines), you might end up having to make a painful decision there, too.

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