We've been thinking of changing the designs to support many of the ideas people have commented on below.
(check here for some moon facts: http://www.astro.uu.nl/~strous/AA/en/antwoorden/maan.html)
I'm thinking that we should maybe change the ideas of the "sun damage" for two reasons: it's very hard to program to look realistic, and it might not be technically accurate. We might either ignore the 2-week day-night cycle, or have a countdown and force the player to go inside during "day" periods. Another option is to just assume that the equipment made is tough enough to survive the 500 degree F difference.
Another option is to have much of the construction be in the form of underground tunnels and rooms, which will offer the best protection from radiation, micro-metiorites and temperature damage. When the day approaches, the astronaut would have to be in the tunnels or get to them before taking too much damage.
I think the best idea would be to have "scenarios" and missions that the player gets. When playing, a random mission will be given to the player, probably in the form of a sound file... a voice transmission from Earth that gives the player their task. Any ideas for missions? I'm thinking things like:
- Go find a meteorite that just landed at X,Y and take a core sample
- Go repair a malfunctioning piece of mining equipment
- Build a new tunnel somewhere
- Get a certain amount of various types of minerals
- Dig a hole
- Fight martians? :)