I am making a science fiction computer game where you can travel between planets. I would like the planets all to have some kind of differing materials. Now I have no idea about which kind of "materials" exist. I know an element is defined by the number of protons and the only thing that can change then are isotopes.
But a lot of planets would probably also have compound materials. And now I don't understand, do I just have universal freedom to say (while staying reasonable realistic), you have found material XYZ on this planet, it behaves like steel but is twice as light? And can something like plastics be just found on a planet? (And is plastic something special we humans have discovered and other races would likely not have discovered it, but maybe some other group of materials which behave very differently?)
So to make it short: While staying reasonably realistic, what are the kinds of materials I would expect to find on other planets and how much would they differ from what we have on earth?
I don't need to tell the player: The element you found has this and that chemical formula; I just want a rough idea of what is possible and plausible.
EDIT: Based on the comments I will specify my question.
The player starts on some random planet. I want the player to be able to find materials. The important properties of these materials are:
- How good are they for building houses
- How good are they for building spaceships
I will probably abstract all of that away into how hard, elastic and heavy they are and at which temperatures they differ in these properties.
I need to communicate the finding of these materials to the player and here is my problem. On a different planet, is it plausible that the player will find for example an isotope of some material which has some differing properties? Will it be plausible that he finds some very new compound material that humans have never thought of?
Or do the most planets look very similar in what they are made of to earth, such that the finding of new materials should be done with technology. I hope this clarifies my question a bit.