Faked Moon Landing: Moonbase Alpha Soon

By Kieron Gillen on June 27th, 2010 at 6:42 pm.

I bet real Astronauts crave after such fashionable colour schemes.

Picked up from Craig Pearson, but this excites my ever-over-excitable space-geek. You know that NASA are actually working on Astronaut: Moon, Mars And Beyond? A team-based hard-science space-MMO? Well, that’s not here yet – but Moonbase Alpha is. It’ll be hitting on Steam on July 6th, and seems to be one-small-step towards that larger vision. The site’s a place-holder at the moment, so literally all the information we have is watching the video and wondering…

I have no idea how good this will be, but it’s as different as it can get. I’m really looking forward to trying it. I suspect it’ll be co-op. Which means that I hope we’ll be allowed to accidentally-on-purpose puncture our space-chum’s suits and send all their innards jettisoning out. Though the “E” rating makes me suspect it may not actually play to my sociopathic fantasies.

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70 Comments »

  1. Mr Labbes says:

    I was wondering why they’d put an alpha version of a game on Steam….ouch.
    Anyway, that looks totally boring and totally cool at the same time, and I’m looking forward to it.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Boring?! Look at how they have their arms extended!

      ASTRONAUT ZOMBIES!

  2. Navagon says:

    There is definitely a question mark over how they’re going to make this interesting without making it so sci-fi it’s like a prequel to Startopia. Not that it would be a bad thing… but hardly appropriate for a NASA game. It’s original in an industry in which that’s a rare quality indeed, but that alone does not a good game make.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      You know, I dunno how “Interesting” they need to actually make it. I mean, I’d go for a flight-sim-esque approach to the topic. It’s Astronauts! How does it work? I’d love to know.

      KG

    • Nyst says:

      Oh lord, Startopia the MMO. Now that’s something I would love to play!

    • Chaz says:

      Well I’ve always wanted to play a sort of 2001 themed MMO, where you build space ships at the moon base and then go on missions throughout the solar system, so personally I’m going to be quite interested in how this turns out.

    • Navagon says:

      A sim could work, sure. Or at least a game that uses a lot of simulation elements. This looks like it could be very cross-genre though. Or simply not applicable to any established genre at all. Who knows?!
      -
      There needs to be another Startopia. I don’t think an MMO would do it for me, personally but I can see how it could work. Either way, we definitely need to see another single player Startopia.
      -
      Actually constructing your own ship, rather than just modifying it, would be a cool feature for a space sim, no doubt about it.

    • Sic says:

      That didn’t make much sense. Actual sci-fi is based in science and philosophy, not teletubby-esque space aliens.

      Oh, and this looks extremely interesting, as long as it’s convincing regarding the science, and it doesn’t try to be anything like other MMO’s. I agree that going some sort of middle road with this is out of the question. Either it’s a sim, or it needs to include attacking space monkeys shooting brightly coloured made-up rays.

  3. The Archetype says:

    Why all the commenters being so down on this? It’s a space-game where you play a space man or space lady. IN SPACE.

  4. Nenad says:

    Well, I am really looking forward to it… It looks like it will be a different experience, but I will have to wait and see if I will enjoy it.
    Finally a hard sci-fi mmorpg!

  5. Alexander Norris says:

    That actually looks really interesting. I’m keeping an eye on that.

  6. Anodyne says:

    The “Developed in partnership with America’s Army” badge at the beginning of the trailer has me worried. Very worried.

    Still looking forward to bunny-hopping across the surface of the moon. :)

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      The US spends more money on military space projects than they do on NASA so its not surprising really.

    • MWoody says:

      Well, I’m just guessing here, but wouldn’t that make sense? They’ve got a government-funded, well-tested game engine available. Working with the devs who made AA doesn’t mean this will be a game where you napalm space villages and blow up the moon, if that’s what worries you.

    • Matt says:

      Did somebody say blow up the moon? No need to worry about that; those Finns already have it covered with Shattered Horizon.

    • subedii says:

      I’m pretty certain that was done by an Australian.

    • TeeJay says:

      “If in doubt, blame the French”

      http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1164/1

      /joke

  7. Tei says:

    I think the plan is to build a robots base on the moon. Robots can rest there forever, and feed from solar power.

    Also, I fail to imagine what we can do at the moon at this point. Maybe a telescope on the dark side? is the moon appropiate for that?

    • Taillefer says:

      We could/should populate it with Tei clones.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Make it a forward base for space. With water, you got the potential for hydrogen fuel, or liquid oxygen (aka, rocket fuel).
      There are rare elements up there that might be useful for fusion later on. We need to have something to harvest them.

      The japanese are planning to have a robot base i think around 2012, though that seems soon.

      But as for the game, dunno how fun it will be, unless you get to design the stuff yourself, so if you do it wrong, no pressure, do it right, giant domes with lasers!

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Plus, it’s much easier to launch a ship from the Moon than from the Earth. Smaller, shallower gravity well and all that.

  8. Torgen says:

    Free Realms… IN SPAAAAACE!

  9. bakaohki says:

    the question is: will there be a monolith?

    • Wooly says:

      It is the year 2010 after all!

    • sfury says:

      and not 2001

    • Pew says:

      Or maybe if you go into the living area, your dead wife will be there. When the stress of dealing with her again, you can kill her but she will respawn. After 3 kills, your co-op player will unlock a random midget. Finally, it turns out the moon can communicate with you on a level you cannot understand as a measily human, and as you start to grasp it… it starts talking to you as you sleep.

    • Pew says:

      Sadly, because the Moon was talking to me, a few words were missing in that last comment. OR WERE THERE?

      I will have to discuss this with my pack leader Lem if I can find him at the mall. I guess I can always vent my confusion by screaming at the Moon to stop talking to me.

    • sfury says:

      It just started raining in my room.

    • the wiseass says:

      @Pew: Brilliant, I’d totally play a solaris MMO or anything based on Stanislaw Lem.

    • YogSo says:

      I guess I can always vent my confusion by screaming at the Moon to stop talking to me.

      I’m not sure that is a good idea, the Moon is a harsh mistress, you know… :P

  10. EdgeSauce says:

    This came as a surprise for me, when I fired up the video I was expecting to see guns and not so top-notch graphics, but this was quite pleasant, some sort of simulation thing on the map, I like it alot.
    Definitely gonna keep track of this one as it looks possibly worth a buy.

  11. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    I had two thoughts on this, when I saw the picture before the I thought “ooh shatter horizon!” Then when I saw the video I imagined one of the tasks will be getting a space toilet online and then I giggled.

    I fear I am not astronaut material.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      On the contrary. You remembered the toilet. Imagine the fate of the recruits who didn’t!

  12. sonofsanta says:

    “Good day to you stranger! Your passing is fortunate indeed. Moonbase Alpha is running low on flags to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day, so we need you to go out to the landing sites of the old Apollo missions and bring back 6 flags for us to decorate the base with! Should you return within 3 Earth hours, I will provide you with: Rusted Robot Claw of Frenzied Digging (+3 archaeological find)”

    • TeeJay says:

      “The moon unit will be divided into two divisions: Moon Unit Alpha and Moon Unit Zappa.”

  13. The Archetype says:

    @Anodyne

    I believe the astronaut program is connected in some way witht the Air force, so this sort of makes sense.

  14. shinygerbil says:

    Looks like fun! And apparently they give away a lot of beta keys through the Facebooks and Twitters too.

  15. Torgen says:

    speaking of robots…

    RPS needs to install reCaptcha or some such.

  16. Gap Gen says:

    If it’s Wurm Online in space, I may well have to play this.

  17. clive dunn says:

    Will there be an option to just run blindly off towards the horizon as your crewmates yell, ‘where the f… are you going?”

  18. plasticsaint says:

    they had me with the RC robots…

  19. Alphie Noakes says:

    “Faked Moon Landing”

    Made me chuckle. It amazes me that the vast majority of people still believe men walked on the moon.

    This game looks like a sloppy throwaway exercise in myth propogation.

    • Koozer says:

      It amazes me how many people still don’t believe in the moon landings. I’ve personally analysed moon rock samples and their features just aren’t seen on Earth.

    • Dr. Derek Doctors, DFA says:

      @Koozer: Well, now we know what side of the lunar-spiracy you’re on. In the pocket of Big Cheese, are we?

  20. UsF says:

    Hello RPS, do you think that you can gain some keys for interested people, similar to the Keys to the City event? I’d appreciate that and getting a key of course. :)
    I don’t use twitter or facebook, so the other options are out of the question. Might write an e-mail.

  21. Bozzley says:

    I hope there’s a robot voiced by Kevin Spacey that cuts your character’s hair with a hoover. That would be nice.

  22. Dolphan says:

    This isn’t actually true unless you can build stuff on the moon itself, which isn’t exactly overflowing with raw materials. Robert Zubrin gives a really good explanation of why the moon as a forward base is more superficially appealing than actually useful in ‘The Case For Mars’ (I think that’s the name, been a while since I read it).

  23. Dolphan says:

    That was @ PRFP and PleasingFungus, meant to be a reply …

  24. Helios_Five says:

    I think cracked pretty much summed up on the topic of the moon landing being a hoax.

    http://www.cracked.com/funny-44-conspiracy-theories/

    http://www.cracked.com/funny-74-moon-hoax-conspiracy/

  25. MadMatty says:

    I dunno, thats what Bowie wore in space, innit?

  26. MadMatty says:

    Hard Sci-Fi for the win.
    The cinema line to get in and see 2001 was a couple of blocks long- Publishers whaddya say about making more games like that….?
    Yeah- punishing the moon buggies to their max in a drunken race with your co-astronaut (the deleted Apolla tapes)

  27. Torgen says:

    So guys…. July 6th? Rock, Paper, Space?

  28. Jayt says:

    Looks awesome. Exactly the kind of thing I want to play.

  29. UsF says:

    @Kieron Gillen:

    If you want a flight sim esque approach, I suppose you do know Orbiter, right?
    http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

    I hope the game contains some realistic resource management and distribution systems as well as modding possibilities. Imagine that…A garrysmod Spacebuild mod for a NASA game. :D

  30. PoorMuffin says:

    It gives me the COLOBOT tingle…

  31. BallisticsFood says:

    What is that music from? I’ve heard it before (maybe in a trailer for something else?) and it’s confusing me.

  32. Mik says:

    Americas Army? Oh dear, I can already confirm with much assurance that this game will have bugs.

  33. dogsolitude_uk says:

    Wow!

    A SPACE GAME, where space is BLACK!

  34. Adrian says:

    Developed in partnership with americas army : ok its gonna be crap

  35. Zanchito says:

    I wanna play this, and so do my friends. So will it be free and open on the 6th?