Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Earthlight: How Devs Are Working With NASA To Create A Virtual International Space Station

As I try to detach a pipe on the virtual International Space Station, which I’ve been scrambling across, I’m suddenly thrown backwards into space. I don’t flinch but apparently most people who play the Earthlight [official site] demo do – it then makes sense to me why one of the team had offered to take pictures of me playing. Earthlight is a virtual reality experience which is aiming to recreate experiences aboard the International Space Station, which sits in low Earth orbit and acts as a research laboratory. The developers are working in collaboration with NASA to shape the experience.

I am flagging up the fact I was unfazed by being thrown off into space in case anyone from NASA is reading this and wants to recruit me as a cool astronaut space reporter, but while I still have a terrestrial job I should probably tell you about Earthlight and the conversation I had with its creative lead, Emre Deniz.

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How Stellar! Search For Alien Life In SETI-JAM Games

*E.T theme music playing as you hover your mouse button* (This one's can't Stop The Signal.)

Space. The final frontier. To boldly go where no man has gone before. Plenty of people have moaned over how we’re born too early to travel the cosmos, and too late to be astonished by the fact the world isn’t flat. I say, bugger ’em with a side of millennium shrimp. We might not be capable of interstellar staycations yet, but we do have game jams where professional alien hunters from SETI show up for intense chatting.

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Game On! Space Sport G-Ball Now Slamming Thunderballs

I'll keep chanting 'Kill!' anyway

The future of sports, some say, will see families crowding into stadiums to hoot and holler and cheer for digital sports. This is, of course, complete tosh. Pity these people and their lack of imagination. No, the future of sports will involve motorbikes and knives and low-gravity and boobytraps and cyborgs and fabulous prizes. Starlite Astronaut Academy: G-Ball may not have all that but it is looking in the right direction.

Made “in conjunction with NASA” and released yesterday, G-Ball is a zero-gravity mix of basketball, American football, and dodgeball and oh, if only I could get the demo to stop crashing.

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Armageddon It: NASA Kerbal Mission Blasts Off

You know you can't stop it, so don't rock it

In its ongoing mission to tag the solar system with flags like a bunch of billion-dollar badboys, NASA plans to rocket off to an asteroid then drag it back over to Earth so we can have a good poke around. It’ll be years before that happens though, so for now we’ll have to settle for recreating the mission in the world’s most realistic space simulator. In collaboration with NASA, Kerbal Space Program has launched an update with missions to capture asteroids and oodles of new spaceship bits to help achieve that.

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Dark Side Of The Jam: NASA’s Grand Game Experiment

We live in astounding times. Not so many years ago, it would’ve been unthinkable for NASA to even so much as glance at our primordial ooze blob of a medium. Now it’s making games and – most recently – endorsing jams that allow creators to do as they please with its technologies and assets. Seriously! That was the premise of Dark Side of the Jam, a mighty brain conglomerate that convened at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Even so, the Nightrover Challenge spin-off wasn’t entirely expected. I mean, the San Francisco Bay Area’s indie-heavy jam scene meets an extension of the US government? How does that even work? I landed my rover that’s shaped like a car that’s shaped like a shoe in NASA’s backyard to investigate.

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Space Jam: NASA Hosting A Game Jam This Weekend

Mars, sans wars or logs.

When the eventual 87-volume book series about my life is written, there will be four tomes and one young adult fiction romance spinoff about stories I chose to write entirely because of headline pun potential. BUT HERE’S THE TWIST: this won’t be one of them. Much as I adore (and gladly take) every opportunity to reference Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny’s final career-defining blazes of glory, not even Space Jam can match my love for, er, space. So it’s basically amazing to see NASA using games to draw more attention to space exploration – especially in light of the fact that people seem determined to ignore it even though it’s perhaps literally the most interesting, mysterious, compelling thing in existence.

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Rover’s Return: Don’t Forget NASA’s Curiosity Sim

Look, I know I already posted about NASA’s Unity-powered Mars exploration sim not three weeks ago, but given those marvellous men and women and their remote-controlled flying machines have just managed to successfully land a nuclear-powered robot on the Red Planet, it seems entirely timely to flag it up again. Particlarly because the game/sim is being updated with the Curiosity rover’s progress and discoveries in something like real-time. Go look!
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Mars On Tracks: NASA’s Unity-Powered Curiosity

Why yes, it does look like Johnny 5. Fortunately not accompanied by a white guy pretending to be Indian

That I’ll never get to visit another planet (or moon; hell, I’ll take moon) is one of the great sadnesses of my life. Maybe, if I’m very lucky, Richard Branson will buy RPS and give me a free ride in his spaceship one day, but he’s probably too busy picking up women. So, for now, I must settle with exploring a Unity-powered, browser-based, explorable recreation of Mars, courtesy of NASA.
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Moonbase Alpha Out. Also, Impressions.

What do you do if you see a Spaceman? Admire their might visage, man.

Hurrah! The previously covered Moonbase Alpha is available to play. You can go and get your copy, for free, on Steam (So has Steamworks supports for leaderboards and similar). Those interested in digging further will see NASA’s press-release here, and have more info on the game’s site and NASA’s portal. Anyway, Jim and I had a crack at the Beta last week, and had a chat about our time on our favourite lunar body…
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Faked Moon Landing: Moonbase Alpha Soon

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…
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It’s All For Astronaut


It seems to be space-walk week here on RPS. We started off swooping about in the Shattered Horizon free weekend, and now we’re performing difficult space-tasks on the international space station, thanks to NASA’s Station Spacewalk Game. If you ever wondered where all that spare money is going now that Obama cancelled the second trip to the moon, well, look no further!

NASA MMO To Get “Demo” In January


We reported a while back that NASA had commissioned their own MMO, which is now called Astronaut: Moon Mars and Beyond. Anyway, it turns out that there will be a demo for this called “Moonbase Alpha” next month. This was apparently announced months ago, but the internet has only just noticed. But better late than never, thanks to Massively. There’s even a teaser video, which I’ve posted below. It’s worth taking into consideration that this is intended to be an educational game, rather than a shiny commercial product, when you subject it to your fizz ing neural soup of analysis. And keep an eye on the official site if this project interests you.
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Will Wright Versus The Spacemen

Spore: even after all those troubling delays, it’s still quite possibly the most exciting game of the coming year. When we hear that Will Wright is even demonstrating it to the spaceheads at NASA, it sounds like we get to nod solemenly at its cleverness as well as clap for joy at its gloopy, many-legged wonders. Here’s a from-the-hip recording of his presentation, which, not unsurprisingly, focuses on the planetary exploration and colonisation aspect of the impending evolve ’em up:

The NASA MMO


Image: NASA.

I heard a bunch of rumours about this last year, but it seems that this procurement document confirms the big space club’s interest in a multiplayer online gaming experience. This is the interesting bit:

NASA is in a position to develop an online game that functions as a persistent, synthetic environment supporting education as a laboratory, a massive visualization tool, and collaborative workspace while simultaneously drawing users into a challenging, game-play experience.

The NASA concept is pretty progressive: have it be a paid, playable game, but also being simulation enough to use in scientific work. Could we see the missions to the Moon and Mars played out by gamers decades before the actual missions kick off?