22 February 2009

First Look at NASA Video Game

Posted by Ryan

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Remember when I posted a while ago about NASA’s plans to develop its own Massively Multiplayer Online video game (MMO)? Well, the first glimpses of the game have been made public, and it sounds promising. Some quotes from the article over at Big Download:

the goal is to allow gamers to create their own content, including missions and spacecraft, and then share that with others online.

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“We have access to all of the digital assets from NASA that do not compromise national security concerns,” said Heneghan. “I was blown away by the creativity, the coolness factor, and just the sheer excitement of seeing some of the systems that are being researched, prototyped and created in terms of how parts and pieces fit together and how equipment will work with redundant mission critical systems for robustness and survivability .”

Rather than having to spend time and money conceptualizing the futuristic technology being portrayed in the game, Heneghan said the team will make good use of the assets being provided by NASA.

“This game is going to be a fresh look at the future circa about 2035,” said Heneghan. “This is a huge opportunity for us as a development team to leverage the work of brilliant NASA scientists who are creating the technology, systems and procedures of tomorrow and really pump up the cool factor so that game players can experience something that hasn’t been possible before.”

As a nostalgic former gamer, I am thrilled at the prospect of a NASA game, especially one that might be (gasp) good! There’s so much potential, and it sounds like they are doing their best to make the game better than the average “educational” game. I especially think that the idea of user-generated content is a brilliant idea. Who knows, by pooling the creative content of thousands of gamers, NASA might actually get some ideas for future missions!