Harnessing Energy in Extreme Environments

Establishing a human settlement from scratch involves generating everything necessary for human survival, translated into a fundamental unit of energy. This is encapsulated in the concept of a Development Unit, which represents all the resources—food, materials, and other necessities—one human needs, expressed in terms of energy. This holistic approach underscores that with sufficient energy and basic materials, virtually anything required for life can be produced.

In practical terms, the Development Unit is a theoretical measure used to plan and sustain settlements, particularly in harsh or extreme environments. It encompasses everything needed to support one person, including the energy to manufacture and transport these necessities.

Transitioning from this broad concept, the Futuverse™ introduces the Power Unit (PU), a more tangible representation of energy within the game. The PU serves as the cornerstone of the ecosystem’s economy, acting as both a currency and a measure of a player’s ability to sustain their avatar and infrastructure.

The balance of energy, therefore, is not just a survival mechanism but a strategic economic tool within the game:

  • Energy Efficiency: Each avatar’s existence and prosperity in the game depend on efficient energy management. The better a player manages their energy resources, measured through their EROI (Energy Return on Investment), the fewer PUs are required for maintenance and growth. This mirrors real-world energy economics, where efficiency can significantly impact sustainability.
  • EROI in Game Context: In the Futuverse™, EROI is a critical metric. It measures the ratio of usable energy gained versus energy expended to obtain it. High EROI values are essential, especially in extreme environments within the game, where resources are scarce and conditions are challenging.
  • Gameplay Implications: Players must strategize their energy use to improve their EROI, which involves choosing the right technologies, managing resources wisely, and optimizing their activities to ensure that their energy expenditures yield maximum returns. This strategy directly affects their gameplay success and ability to expand their settlements.

In essence, the Futuverse™ transforms the abstract concept of the Development Unit into the actionable Power Unit, making energy management a central gameplay mechanic. This approach not only makes the game more engaging and strategic but also educates players about the importance of energy efficiency and sustainability in resource management.


[1] Hall, C. A. S. et al., “What is the Minimum EROI that a Sustainable Society Must Have?,” Energies, 2: 25-47, 2009.

[2] Lambert, J. G. et al., “Energy, EROI and quality of life,” Energy Policy, 64: 153-167, 2014.

[3] Nuwa City, by SONet. See: Anglada et al. “The Nüwa Concept. A development model for a self-sustainable city on Mars”, 2021