Property Development and Base-building

As discussed, one of the most exciting activities players can get involved with in the game is property development and base-building. This involves purchasing some Martian land, developing it, and adding various elements which enable players to live on or otherwise use the land.

Options for development of land:

  • construction - must first be bulldozed flat, then base modules can be added
  • farming - an area of land can be farmed, i.e. several tonnes of imported Earth dirt is ploughed in with the regolith, then irrigated, so that genetically engineered crops can be grown.
  • mining - an area can be mined, i.e. the regolith collected by mining robots and then processed into minerals/metals
  • add a road, or a train track
  • add a lake or fish-farm (only possible under a dome or other heated structure - Mars is too cold for liquid water on the surface). A lake can be stocked with genetically modified fish species to provide a source of food.

(As you can see, some of these ideas are from Civilization - the difference is that the land will be visible in first person view - it is possible to walk or drive around on the developed land)

Bases can be constructed underground as well as above ground. Underground construction requires time, and expensive robotic diggers, but large spaces can be created which can then be sealed and filled with breathable air (also consider lavatubes). To create large, liveable spaces above ground requires a dome or tent, which can be more expensive. Underground construction enables players to hide some or all of their base if desired. A variety of modules can be offered especially for construction of underground bases.

As you would expect, base-building is ambitious and expensive, so players are encouraged to work together on these kind of projects (see Collectives). Once a base is built, it can be a source of revenue for the collective, and they can recoup their investment and perhaps eventually turn a profit. For example, if they specialized in farming then they can sell food to other bases. If they specialized in mining then they can sell minerals or metals.

Other expenses a base-building collective may need to consider:

  • water
  • food
  • clothing
  • marssuits
  • vehicles
  • robots (for mining, farming, road-building, digging)
  • Earth dirt
  • genetically modified seeds, fish


Examples of base component modules:

  • habitat module - there can be different sizes, for example, 4, 6, 10-person. Hab modules are designed for use in the open air, and are fitted with airlocks.
  • house - yes, a regular house - these are designed for construction under a dome
  • greenhouse
  • energy production units, e.g. fusion reactors, windmills, solar panels
  • garage
  • domes (these are large and expensive, can cover a large area)
  • ISRU plant (combines hydrogen with the Martian air to produce water, oxygen and methane)
  • tunnel - used to connect hab modules, greenhouses, garages, etc. (not needed under a dome)
  • smelting facility - this converts Martian dirt (regolith) into minerals and metals
  • materials factories - create alloys, plastics and other materials which can then be sold or used for construction
  • other factories, for manufacturing of parts, machines, components, equipment, etc.

Modules can be designed by developers or players. If a player designs a module then they can set up a factory to produce it. The design must first be submitted to the developers. The developers (playing the role of engineers or local council) discuss the new module, and decide whether it's realistic enough to include in the game. If so, then they issue the player with a licence to produce that module, and estimate how much materials are needed to produce each one. The player is then able to set up a factory - he purchases the materials necessary from local providers, and sells modules to the base-building community.

Modules designed by developers are standard ones - these will be available before any player-designed modules. Any income from the sale of these modules goes into the government account. The dev team can also purchase designs from players.

SolSys Developers' Site