Marooned: The Mars Colonisation Simulator

Journey to Mars

Develop a game that simulates conditions in an off-Earth located permanent or temporary colony. The game could be a sandbox that offers the possibility to simulate various facilities that would support a reduced gravity environment far from earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere. Users could be given power allowances, atmospheric conditions, and in situ resource options (using resources available on site for life support or other needs). The game could include a variety of scenarios including:

  • Arranging a GPS-like system on the Moon or Mars to support navigation for the human inhabitants. The simulation could allow the users to explore different solutions such as a constellation of satellites, a network of masts or other Earth based methods at the challenger’s discretion.
  • Players could build a habitat that could withstand the Lunar or Martian environment while also taking into consideration that its inhabitants need to have adequate power and supplies, be able to produce food, have locations sleep, live and work.
  • Build a Virtual Moon telescope. The simulation could allow the user to conduct a research mission using a telescope on site near their habitat. Explore what instruments make sense for the location of the telescope (and what the user wants to observe). Game players could explore settings such as exposure times or wavelengths to observe. Observations could vary based on the position of the telescope on the Moon or Mars, and the relative position in the sky of the pointed object. After each simulated capture, show an appropriately generated image reflecting the exposure and wavelength settings.

Project's keynote:

According to SimSpace challenge requirements, we've created a game for Android smartphone and Google Cardboard. Marooned is a strategic game, featuring not only scientific and technical challenges the astronauts face, but also the concept of team work in extreme conditions, and the importance of caring about your teammates.

According to our scenario, the team of the astronauts arrives to Mars to create a GPS-like navigation system using CubeSat's and ground transmitters. The Team Leader's mission is to coordinate the astronauts' actions, and the other team members' are supposed to accomplish their individual missions within the deadline.

Marooned can be a real conditions simulator for those who prepare for a journey to Mars, or an inspirational challenge for the dreamers, who want to understand the concept of human mission on Mars and it's importance in terms of the history of Solar system and Space exploration.

Resources Used

HiRISE Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

GDAL - Geospatial Data Abstraction Library

Unity Game Engine

Basic Mars info:,

Mars missions:

Mars Direct Mission description:,

Mars colonization concept documentary:

The Mars society:

Global positioning system description:

Martian maps:

Geological map of Mars:

Topographic map of Mars:

Ray Bradbury, “Martian Chronicles”:

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