A meteor strikes, damaging solar arrays and life support systems, and as you watch the billowing dust cloud move ominously toward your lunar camp, you have to restore critical systems and oxygen flow. Starting July 6, a new NASA video game will let you save the day, in 3-D.
NASA is releasing a multi-player game called Moonbase Alpha, wherein players assume the role of a moon exploration team member living in a lunar settlement.
Gamers will have to get used to running with a moon-bounce loping gait while wearing a bulky moon suit -- atypical for first-person video game missions. You can play alone or with a team.
The game includes VOIP chat, text chat, and pretty cool 3-D graphics. It's only supposed to take about 20 minutes.
NASA's Learning Technologies division built the game to prove the space agency can make cool video games that will inspire kids. Ultimately, the game could be used in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs.
And if Congress decides to end NASA's moon-return program, this might be the only way to have a lunar adventure.
NASA actually built the game in conjunction with developer Virtual Heroes who uses the Unreal Engine 3.
..... so this is NASA new focus point? They are making video games now, oi! I guess its one way to keep from laying off engineers. Well, I hope it does keep many TOP engineers employed. I remember when McDonnell Douglas lost out on a governmental bid and so domino effect occurred to the company.
I wish NASA do a inner focus agenda for awhile. Rather than look to the stars, put all the TOP engineering skill to solving our USA energy woes, cleaning up the oil spill and the enviroment. Seeing the best engineers make video games it not the best use of gray matter for the benefit of USA.
I suggest a little decaffeinated coffee for ' a_good_american ' or at least some quiet time and a bowl of ice cream to relax. Geez, chill dude! I agree completely with you. I am so happy YOU live in another place too. Now why don't you take all that extra anger and to something positive for what ever community you do live with. Or do you just sit hiding in come remote cabin someplace, hating all the world, contemplating why the whole world is against you and all that is wrong in your life, is somebody’s else doing? You need to find the cartoon channel on TV, loosen up, take a walk, smell a flower, do something nice for yourself or some else.
Im going to get really good at this game, so maybe NASA will recruit me.
I suggest a little decaffeinated coffee for ' a good american ' or at least some quiet time and a bowl of ice cream to relax. Geez, chill dude! I agree completely with you. I am so happy YOU live in another place too. Now why don't you take all that extra anger and to something positive for what ever community you do live with. Or do you just sit hiding in come remote cabin someplace, hating all the world, contemplating why the whole world is against you and all that is wrong in your life, is somebody’s else doing? You need to find the cartoon channel on TV, loosen up, take a walk, smell a flower, do something nice for yourself or some else.
Then you must depend on the US for something, paradoxically named "a_good_american." If you live in Europe, don't forget to celebrate that time we bailed out the CONTINENT. World War 2, might want to look into that a little.
Inspiring people to explore the moon via virtual reality is a great idea for creating long-term support and funding. I hope NASA's still active to build on that future interest.
....hmmmm, thinking to myself as i am bored at my desk job, reading popsci..... i guess NASA is like me, they are bored at their deskjob too and are making games at work. GEEZ! Its the boss, I gotta go.... see ya!
Earth's real estate and resources will only last for so long. If we decide not to return to the moon or to end the space program, that will just be another nail in the coffin...
"CO2 is warming the planet."
"Pollutions is destroying the environment."
"The resources of the world are being depleted."
Sounds like I have isolated the problem, doesn't it.
Humans are the creators of these things.
So the real solution is not to look outside for solutions, but to look deep inside our selves.
We the smartest bug on the planet and we are over populating it enough and using up the resources and polluting it. We will eventually destroy ourselves.
The world population is 7 billion now. Less than one hundredth of a percent have a college degree. However, over half of the world's people are literate and know how to read and do basic math. If all these people started starving at once or began suffering at once from pollutions, no, I do not think the college graduates will fix this problem.
We humans population growth will be our own doom.
Of course, we are all eventually going to die, via young or eventually old. My purpose in life is be a good person and be decent to those around me. And not let the world around me, corrupt me in the process. So my goal in life, is to simple die, being a good person, helping others in the process.
@bubbagump - It's probably part of their outreach program. And by the way, they're rocket engineers, not environmental control. Also assuming that someone with a degree in aerospace knows how to code and create video games is pretty stupid.
I can easily imagine one or a few aerospace engineers being smart enough to create a computer game. But why, oh why would NASA delegate for them to focus on such a project is beyond me.
Here is a out reach project, solve cleaning up the gigantic oil slick in the gulf. I imagine this would get a lot of political monies coming their way, hmm.
And in the process do some real good too.
Now, thats a out reach program, I vote for!
Is this the most expense job application or what????
40 years ago we but boots on the moon, today we put buts in chairs and dream about going to the moon hmm
you guys make sure and right your president, thank him because this game is the closest we'll get to going back any time soon!
I think they removed the post by 'a_good_american' which is a shame because I do love a good rant about the great devil America, it always reminds me of a little sibling complaining about their cooler bigger sibling... Anyways,
I'm not entirely sure why people are freaking out about a 20 minute video game... Yes NASA did delegate some resources to its development, but I don't think they sat everyone down at JPL or Mission Control and said drop everything, they probably outsourced the game. And let us not forget America's Army... Put out by the US Army as a recruitment tool, it became one of the more popular games ever made, and the most powerful recruiting tool since Hitler being a douche bag.
Everyone commenting here is in some way interested in science and for most, that interest was probably cultivated by some stimuli when they were young. Stuff like this is important because it gets kids into science albeit subconsciously, and will help provide the next generation of engineers and scientists.
I agree that it's also important to find a way to reach todays kids in regards to space exploration. More and more, as we get further from the 1969, people are accepting the exploration of space as a normal event. The truth of the matter is, when you forget what an extraordinary accomplishment something truly is, you don't appreciate it as much and because you don't appreciate it, you won't give a damn about funding it.
Regardless of what you think about the Constellation program decision, you have to think that without the amount of funding that can only be offered by government, we wouldn't have been able to make the gigantic leaps in space technology that we did 50 years ago. The idea of a private sector driven space program makes sense in the short term. There is money to be had in short range operations (launching satellites, etc...) but where the risk far outweighs potential profit (Mars and further), there is no incentive to invest.
P.S. Saying NASA should be sending engineers to work on the oil spill in this case makes as much sense as sending doctors down to the Gulf. Yes, they are learned people in science, but it doesn't have anything at all to do with their professional expertise.
It amazes me that no one considers that the game is probably partially a result of simulation testing. The terrain and all the models have already been built in 3D. Why not leverage all that info in anyway possible?
I wish we'd had these capabilities back in the '60's and '70's when I worked for NASA.
"If all these people started starving at once or began suffering at once from pollutions, no, I do not think the college graduates will fix this problem.
We humans population growth will be our own doom." - So one might suggest educating the youth. That would be an excellent idea. Wait I have a good idea too, you should use video games to do it, because thats what the kids like nowadays, right?
Shouldn't it show real Chinese explorers on the moon?
Because they, unlike the USA, are actually planning on going there.
I will be waiting to play this game.
so cool to build on the moon an work on the moon hope it is for ps3
Very interesting but I must first play it...
I 'm afraid it will be for the PC!