Outer Space Shack is all about building your base, and managing resources and people on it.
Choosing an entity
In Outer Space Shack, you can play government agencies or private parties, including companies and rich individuals. Depending on the entity, access to funding, technology and approach to risk will be different.
Import from earth
To build a base, the first step is launching rockets from earth or from other space bodies. You can launch automatic missions with robots, human missions with return to earth, human one-way missions, and payload missions. Depending on the era of the game, and also the entity you choose, starting with the Apollo era, payload and price will vary. Earth-supply missions will be your main cost, so your goal is to optimize and limit them.
A base is made of outside buildings, such as a gas tank and solar pannel, inhabited building modules, and inside equiment inside the inhabited modules. All components can be either brought from Earth, or manufactured locally. At first, only basic construction material can be manufactured locally.
All components are linked together by a network of electrical cables and pipes of the different fluid resources, such as oxygen, water, hydrogen. Components may produce or consume the fluids, and produce or consume physical goods.
Most components need maintenance, done by human, robots, and potentially spare parts. Corrosion from regolith and solar radiations will have to be managed.
To keep a base working, resources will need to be balanced during the day/night cycle, and also between earth supply missions. When resources lack, some equipments may stop working, and humans may weaken or die.
Oxygen can be produced by plants, and also by extraction from regolith and minerals. Oxygen can be used to produce water, for human people to breath, and also as a fuel for rockets, in combination with hydrogen.
Water is needed for humans to drink, for hygiene. It can also be split to produce oxygen and hydrogen, a fuel for rockets. Some locations may allow to extract water ice on the moon, and it is abundant on March.
Hydrogen is needed to produce water, and as a fuel for rockets. It can also be used to store energy.
Food and organic material
Humans need to food, and produce organic material waste. Waste can be made into soil, and soil is used to grow plants that grow food. Intensive farming will be core of Outer Space Shack, and it will represent the majority of inhabited modules. To ensure good astronauts morale, strawberries, watermelons and a strawberry ice cream dispenser will be included in the first release of the game (a request from my daughters).
Electricity is used to control the climate, to power all equipments. It can be produced by solar panels, hydrogen, and nuclear reactors. It can be stored in batteries or by transforming water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Inhabited modules need to be kept at a comfortable temperature for earth-based life, say between 15 and 25 degrees. This requires good insulation, and the appropriate climate control.
Your space shack will be inhabited by a few people. They need to keep sane while spending most of their time in a space as big as an airliner. To keep morale, you need good food, sports, a nice living space, hygiene, and leisure.
Health and medical
Your settlers will need to keep healthy. A priority will be to shield them from space radiations, so to limit outside time, and cover your inhabited modules with shielding material. Your settlers will also have diseases and will need to be cured with the limited equipment available.
Aluminium is easy to extract from regolith, so it should be possible to manufacture simple metallic structures quite early in the base life. While not suited to aerospace grade material, such as inhabited modules. Your first metal production can be used for solar panel feet, feet for external light, structure for the regolith shielding material for the inhabited modules.
Primary construction also includes regolith bricks, a useful element to build concrete surfaces and limit regolith corrosion, and to build shields for radiation above your inhabited modules.
You will need money to buy equipments and launch supply missions from earth. There will be also some opportunities to make money, such as space tourists, performing experiments and testing material, and also supplying some equipment to other space settlements. Do not expect your base to be self-sustaining at first, so fundraising on earth will be important.