Ixion is a Frostpunk-inspired space station management sim.

Earth has fallen on even harsher times, as shown in the video for Ixion, which was featured today on The PC Gaming Show. Pollution, global warming, and competition for decreasing resources have all contributed to the necessity for humankind to locate a new planet to call home. Fortunately, the Dolos corporation’s Tycoon Station, a futuristic space ark, can transport us on a cosmic quest for a new planet to call home.

However, there is a minor issue. The first test of the station’s insanely powerful Vohle Engine nearly destroyed the moon. Whoops. If things don’t work out in space, there’s no turning back.

The cinematic trailer for Ixion finishes there, but we can tell you a lot more about what happens afterward. Ixion is a city construction and colony management game containing survival and exploration features, as well as a narrative campaign, developed by Bulwark Studios, the developers of Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, and released by Kasedo Games.

You play as the commander of a moving space station, despite the fact that this great load was not intended for you. You happened to be supervising the engine’s test run when disaster struck. It’s maybe the most extreme case of “I’m not even meant to be here today” in human history. Now it’s up to you to preserve what’s left of humankind.

You’ll need to upgrade Tycoon Station, research and unlock new technologies, deal with narrative events, explore new parts of the star maps, keep electricity flowing through the station, and manage your human staff as you journey around the galaxy in quest of a new home. And it’s not enough to keep your team alive; you must also keep them happy and hopeful. You’ll be making decisions, some of which may be difficult, and if the colonists aren’t pleased with your choices, you may begin to lose their faith. If things become extremely terrible, you’ll be fired, which is similar to the situation in the survival colony sim Frostpunk.

According to Emmanuel Monnereau, Co-Founder of Bulwark Studios, Frostpunk was an inspiration on Ixion. “We were great admirers of what Frostpunk achieved with the genre, especially how they combined the story with the core experience. And that was something we wanted to try from the beginning.”

“One of the things I really like about Ixion, which draws some inspiration from Frostpunk, is that you have numerous distinct displays that you’ll be looking at throughout the game,” explains Christian Woolford, Product Manager at Kasedo Games. “It won’t always be the interior of the station. You will be able to browse solar maps. An exterior system of mining and scientific ships to explore and examine, sending out probes and things, so that it isn’t simply a closed experience [within] the station.”

Monnereau believes the Ixion’s initial notion came from some conceptual artwork from NASA research at Stanford University in the 1970s. The artwork depicts the “Stanford torus,” a giant ring-shaped space station that created artificial gravity by rotating and was populated with buildings, plants, rivers, and even clouds.

“It was the catalyst for the pitch,” Monnereau explains. “What if we built a city within this massive station?”

As you develop your city and explore the cosmos, you may come across the remains of previous journeys to the stars, allowing you to recover resources and even increase the size of your colony by rescuing cryogenically frozen individuals. You’ll even be able to build new spacecraft to explore planets and trade with other groups, whoever they may be. And you’ll need to keep your spacecraft in good shape since hull integrity will be put to the test by perils found in space, as well as sabotage from within.

And if you’re curious about the title, Ixion, here’s a tidbit from Wikipedia:

“Ixion is the heinous ruler of the Lapiths in Greek mythology. In an effort to seduce Hera, he was deceived by Zeus into making love to a cloud instead, from which Centaurus, the creator of the centaur race, was born. Ixion’s everlasting punishment in Hades was to be chained to an ever-spinning wheel of fire for his boldness and total disdain for both humans and the gods.”

A fire wheel that spins? That might very well be your mobile space station. And though you didn’t desecrate a cloud, you did screw up the moon. Ixion is set to be released in 2022.

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