Your comments

Well, you could easily assume the water reclaimer (partly) recycles water from e.g. the toilet (it probably would) and therefore is more efficient. Alternatively, the habitats are probably located on those specific spots for a reason, and that reason could well be an underground ice deposit which would also make water production much more efficient.

As for the other systems, it's always easy to assume something is less efficient, so I think 10, 10, 10 and 5 kWh would be a plausible estimate, especially since the values I mentioned above are those necessary for survival, while you'd generally want some surplus to survive long dust storms etc.

The values are indeed close to each other, and especially for the water reclaimer and oxygen generator, I feel reasonably confident. I did make an awful lot of assumptions for the heater, but heating physics are very dependent on things like isolation, external temperature etc.

You do have a point here. However, I feel that this particular solution obscures rather than solves the problem. Someone wanting to address the realism of LP would still be able to say "hey, the water reclaimer takes 10x as much energy than the heater, that's not right!" To me it seems you try to improve realism by removing the link with the actual world, which IMO is a bit counterproductive. People know that it's a game, so I think most people wouldn't have a huge problem with the figures being not 100% realistic. The ones that are put off by unrealistic numbers, I think, would be equally put off by a non-realistic quantity such as "power units".

Anyway, let's see if we can come up with a scientifically justified estimate for the power consumption.

Water reclaimer:

From the following source I found the estimate that it takes 2.4 kWh to extract .4L of water from Martian soil. Source:

Oxygen generator:
I just saw an experimental technology mentioned with 95% efficiency, although I can't seem to find it anymore. You could assume such a tech to be in use when the game takes place. 95% is close enough to 100% to not take efficiency into account.
From what I could find on the internet, I've come up with the following estimations for the amount of energy required to get oxygen from water.
~4 kWh per L of water converted (~0.78L liquid O2)
~5 kWh per L of liquid O2 (=622L gas)
~6.2 Wh per L of gas O2

I assume you use the second measure (liquid O2) in the game?

Heating 1 m3 of air by one deg C costs 1.006*1.225=1.232350 MJ = 342 Wh.
I think you could safely assume a very well above 100% efficiency as any such system would most likely use residual heat from the other systems rather than produce heat itself, so let's say a 1000% efficiency. A quick estimate of the habitat volume as 150m3 would result in some 1.5MWh or so to get the habitat to reasonable temperature, an increase of 30C or so. HOWEVER, once the habitat is at temperature, almost no energy would be required to keep it there. So IMO you could average it with, let's say, a 5% duty cycle so combined with the 1000% efficiency that would be around 7.5 kWh. You could for the sake of easiness assume the heater has an internal battery to heat the habitat from atmospheric temperature.

How it all comes together:
Let's first assume the various systems of the habitat itself (lighting, 3d printer etc. takes 3.5kWh of energy.
Now a human consumes about 550L of O2 a day, which happens to more or less correspond with 1 L of water. Add 1.5L water for consumption, and you end up with (1+1.5)*2.4/0.4+4=19kWh of energy to maintain H2O and O2 reserves. Add this to the heating requirement and habitat and you end up with some 30kWh of total energy requirement per day. Divide this by the 12 hours of sun, multiply by sqrt(2) or so to compensate for the low solar power at dawn and dusk and you end up with 3.5 kW of power required on average. That means that you'd need a little over 20 m^2 of solar panels using the above estimate of 150W/m^2 to keep the battery energy at a steady level and survive. Which is not too far from what you've got now, I think.

So here you are, a (very, very quick) scientific justification of your power system. You'd perhaps only have to change the relative power consumption of the three different systems (H2O: 19kWh, O2: 4kWh, heating: 7.5kWh, habitat: 5kWh), and I think you have an excellent approximation of the energy requirements of surviving on Mars, without making any substantial changes to your new energy system.

Well, the *performance* is pretty good indeed. While my hardware struggles on many other games, with LP I get pretty good framerates. Which is why it's even more of an annoyance, and an even stranger issue; I could understand if it overheated when working hard, but this game should be a walk in the park.

Although I'm an experienced programmer, I know little about graphics so I haven't really got an idea what could be the problem either. Perhaps for some reason it runs other instructions when it's supposed to idle? It's also worth noting that when I run it on my integrated chip, the temperature barely exceeds 60 degrees, even though it constantly runs at 100% usage. That suggests it could indeed be a hardware-specific issue.

You use Unity, right? I remember Unity had a bug a while ago that caused graphics to update all the time, as opposed to only when necessary. Although it might have been an editor-only or even a Linux-only problem, at the time it caused my laptop to get pretty hot too. Perhaps updating Unity to the latest version would fix things?

I know how hard solving these issues is, so I can fully understand if you're not able to fix it. At least now you're aware, for if you run into something that may cause this.

I can confirm there's some kind of huge mismatch. I went to bed at around 0:00 on sol 1, wanting to sleep until dawn, yet I woke up late in the afternoon on sol 4. I decided to measure all the sleeping/waiting times, and this is what I found out:

start duration end
12:30 0.6h 14:50
16:42 1h 19:46
08:20 1h 12:22
01:50 2h 09:50
15:10 3h 02:27
03:15 3h 15:12
15:53 4h 07:08

It seems to be somewhat random and is not exactly a 4x difference, but it comes close.

Possibly related, how long are radiation storms supposed to last? I'm stuck in one that's been raging for 3 sols straight. Now I don't care much about long dust storms, since you can explore anyway although you have to be a bit more careful, but I'm not looking forward to dying from radiation poisoning and staying inside the habitat for forever gets boring.

"Basically there are just a lot of things that might be obvious to someone who understand the complexities of electrical engineering, but in a gameplay scenario I somehow have to tutorialize anything that isn't super obvious to the average joe. Making these systems sufficiently complex to result in dynamic gameplay scenarios, but simple enough to understand within the first 20 minutes for a new player is a difficult balance."

Well, the electrical side of things is actually nothing different from, let's say, your calorie system, and is that too difficult for the average Joe? It certainly fits with Mr. Fusion's suggestion to make systems use units instead of percents, with the unit being the (kilo)Watt.

Energy stored (battery capacity, or calories in my analogy) is in kWh, or kilowatts times hours. Each solar panel/RTG produces a number of kW ("calories per hour"), depending on weather conditions, time etc. Multiply this with the amount of hours it has been producing, and you've got the amount of kWh ("calories") you can add to the battery charge ("calorie pool"). For example, let's say you want to check what your equipment's new status is after a hypothetical checking interval of 1 minute. If your panel produces 120 kW ("cals/hour") under current conditions, for this 1 min you can add 120/60=2 kWh ("calories") to the battery charge. The connected heater uses 30kW, so it requires 30/60=0.5 kWh from the battery charge. Leaves you with a working heater and 2-0.5=1.5 kWh which you can add to the battery charge to use at night.

As you can see it isn't too different from your calorie system at all: walking uses x calories per second, so walking for 10 seconds requires 10*x calories from the calorie pool. Using a heater requires x kW, so using a heater for 10 hours requires 10*x kWh from the battery charge. Not too difficult, is it? :)

An added advantage is that you can base your power requirements on real-world systems. For instance, a quick google search shows it takes 1kWh to produce 160g of O2 from water ( A reasonably good solar panel produces some 0.2 kW per m2 ( so with today's tech you'd need around 1/0.2=5 hours of good sunlight to produce 160g of oxygen with a 1m2 solar panel. The Tesla Model S 100D has a 100kWh battery, so on a single charge you could produce 100*0.16=16kg of oxygen. Charging the same battery with 10 1m2 panels would take 100/(10*0.2)=50 hours of good sunlight.

Of course you could display the power generation in a percentage of consumption, similar to how it looks now. But I agree with Mr. Fusion that this percentage needs to derive from calculations done in another unit rather than be the unit itself, and the most suitable unit of energy is the kilowatt hour.

Why not just work with kW(h) in your calculations? Physically correct, and shouldn't be too hard.

I'm an electrical engineering student, so if you've got any questions regarding power calculations, don't hesitate to ask :)

I just confirmed it only happens for me if there are parts producing when you go to sleep. Interestingly, the opposite also seems true: I went to bed early (around 1300) with power at ~25% and when I woke up the next morning before sunrise, electricity was at 99%, as if it had been generating power all night. Does this fit the expected behaviour resulting from this second bug?

Your horizontal speed changes, yes, but to me it seems your total speed (sqrt(horizontal^2 + vertical^2)) remains the same. Anyway, I tried moving up near-vertical slopes, and that happens at a speed that's much too high to be realistic (and at slopes that shouldn't even be walkable without some proper mountaineering tools). Hence my comment :)

I think 7-9 days would be realistic, but perhaps you could make it both more difficult and realistic by increasing the calorie intake? Our hero's a lass so she should burn 2000 cals a day. She doesn't exactly have an office job either, so I think it's safe to add at the very least some 500 cals to that, whereas I can't remember ever having even been close to 2000 cals a day. 7-9 days with a higher calorie requirement  would also give what I think is both a more realistic and more fun starving effect: rather than not eating for a day or so and boom you're dead, you'd slowly get weaker each day (thereby increasing your susceptibility to other dangers such as exhaustion) until at the end you're too weak to go on prolonged EVAs, while at the same time food is a higher priority since you burn it up quicker. 

Aye, the effect is the same as what you see in the early/late stages of the storm in the video (so #2 in Mr. Fusion's post. The effect does feel natural except for the speed). A little slower, perhaps 2 to 5x or so, but still way faster than it should be considering how much you sped up the time scale in the video. 

I'll see if I can find me some gaming time the next few days to try and get a video of the effect (if it happens again, it would need a new start).