Something I noticed when walking around. My fear of dying in-game has been calories, and less with hydration, though I just found radiation. I have no fear of walking around in the dark. As my calories drop dangerously low, I find that I set a marker to the HAB, aim and auto-walk and/or run to "beat the clock". Possibly adding hazards, such as falling, un-passable dangerous terrain, (of course, weather, which is already planned), EVA malfunction or puncture/tear (w/ ability to repair), meteorites, cold, and other hazards could add to the experience.
Once I figured out caloric management, the rest is pretty easy. At first, I also thought food/water consumption was too fast, but I hardly had any resources. Once I discovered that there are plenty of resources available ( and in some sense, too much available), it made the rest of my play "easy".
I think the sandbox should be more difficult due to the harsh conditions of real life Mars.
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