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Information Requested for NASA-Based MMORPG

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-games-are-developed-in-a-vacuum dept.

NASA 144

Teancum writes "By now, most people are aware of the U.S. Army's video game, America's Army. It turns out that NASA has submitted a Request for Information for what would be a NASA-themed MMORPG of its own. The deadline for the proposals is February 15th. NASA's plans focus on education. 'A NASA-based MMO built on a game engine that includes powerful physics capabilities could support accurate in-game experimentation and research. It should simulate real NASA engineering and science missions in a medium that is comfortable and familiar to the majority of students in the United States today.' This certainly doesn't deserve to get thrown onto the traditional dust heap of educational proposals for a half-baked game that nobody will actually play."

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zerg rush kekekeke (5, Funny)

Pvt. Cthulhu (990218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090120)

this of course will result in the Koreans being the first on Mars.

Re:zerg rush kekekeke (2, Funny)

Karthikkito (970850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090214)

Or a whole legion of schoolchildren who are really really good at linear algebra. Pre-game talk: "prepare to get row reduced!"

Re:zerg rush kekekeke (4, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090278)

I can't wait to upgrade my Standard Rockwell Pressurized Helmet for a Savage Gladiator's Space Suit Helmet of Justice +3. Along with my Merciless Lunar Boots of the Fox and my Wrathful Life Support System of Stealth, that will increase my chance to find life on Mars by 13%.

No Lisa Nowak jokes yet? (3, Funny)

Axis of Weasel (700706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22092594)

I would think quest items would be more along the lines of +5 Diapers of Great Storage and Sacred Binding Rubber Tubing of Torture.

or maybe green (2, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090128)

It turns out that NASA has submitted a Request for Information for what would be a NASA-themed MMORPG of its own.

Red-shift is the new purple.

Oh good! (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090132)

I want my avatar to be the director of NASA and propose budgets that get shot down by congress!

Re:Oh good! (3, Funny)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090312)

Easy enough: F-U-N-D-S

Re:Oh good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22094372)

Oh, my RPG has a first name
It's S-P-A-C-E
My RPG has a second name
It's F-U-N-D-S
I love to play it everyday
And if you ask me why I'll say...
Cause N-A-S-A has a way
With astronauts on lousy pay.

Re:Oh good! (1)

Xinef Jyinaer (1044268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090382)

Hello Congress, I wish to request funding for new computers- We have noticed that several of your recent missioned have ended in failure. Yes well, calculations tend to take a long time with a 5mhz processor. Actually, most people were just doing them out by hand. Well if you can do them by hand why do you need new computers. Funding denied. ... Then could we atleast get some money for new pencils and erasers? Ummm, no.

Yes, but... (1)

hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090136)

I think NASA is greatly overestimating the appeal of this. I mean, how would your average gamer "pwn n00bs?" Beat them to Mars? Meh, I'd play it though.

Re:Yes, but... (1)

Pvt. Cthulhu (990218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090276)

think of the research possibilities! NASA gets servers chock full of people dogfighting in space and uses the number crunching to further our understanding of spaceflight. the average user's bug report could effect how real spacecraft are designed!

games (1)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090152)

Suddenly video games are the route to the intricate human mind ! why ?

Re:games (4, Insightful)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090754)

Yes, it's not easy to look at the world through paper windows.

Virtual worlds with scientifically accurate simulations could permit learners to tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity - making it easier to grasp complex concepts and quickly transfer this understanding to practical problems.
I've been wanting something like this for years now. It sounds like a damn good idea and I'd probably lose a few months to it if it wasn't going to be shot down before the first line could be typed out.

It would be ungodly expensive to teach everyone the science behind it all. (And not just for NASA/schools, either.) What better solution than to allow anyone even slightly interested in space flight to learn all about it for under $200/year? Hell, NASA could even try to make use of all the idle cycles on every player's machine to run simulations (with users' permission, of course).

Re:games (1)

estar (261924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091906)

Of course there already a kick ass simulator called Orbiter Space Simulator for free at http://www.orbitersim.com./ [www.orbitersim.com] If NASA had any smarts they would contact the guy who built that and try to save themselves some $$$.

A wealth of good educational proposals just end up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090156)

Well, step aside my friend
I've been doing it for years
I say, sit on down, open your eyes
And open up your ears

Put a tree in your butt
Put a bumblebee in your butt
Put a clock in your butt
Put a big rock in your butt
Put some fleas in your butt
Start to sneeze in your butt
Put a tin can in your butt
Put a little tiny man in your butt
Put a light in your butt
Make it bright in your butt
Put a TV in your butt
Put me in your butt
Everybody say

I, hey, that's, man, I ain't putting no trees in nobody's butt,
no bees in nobody's butt, putting nothing--
You must be out your mind, man,
y'all get paid for doing this?
Cause y'all gotta get some kind of money
Cause this don't sound like the kind of--
I'd rather golf, to be perfectly honest,
than put somethin in somebody's butt
to be truthful

Well step aside my friend and let me
show you how you do it
When big bad E just rock rock to it

Put a metal case in your butt
Put her face in your butt
Put a frown in your butt
Put a clown in your butt
Sit on down in your butt
Put a boat in your butt
Put a moat in your butt
Put a mink coat in your butt
Put everything in your butt
Just start to sing about your butt
Feels real good

Meanwhile, NASA launches still make me yawn (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090186)

and I'm a rocket buff. Compare this to, say, Arianespace [videocorner.tv] who manage to put together an educational and entertaining presentation for every launch and show it intermixed with live footage and reporting of every launch, and in two different languages.

How realistic? (4, Insightful)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090194)

How realistic do they want the simulations? So realistic that the technology becomes classified?

Anyway, the basic of what NASA is known for is space and rocketry missions. So for STEM (Science/Tech/Eng/Math), this covers most of this. I do not know how they will cover engineering - designing rocket engines? Heat shield tests? Vehicle-debris impact simulation?? The incredible-machine-like workshops?

Math is the most hopeless area to try to stimulate. Since they want to gear this towards regular school (high school and younger) students, not PhD math students, all they can hope for is arithmetic. Sure, they can have "difficult problems" like "solve linear system of equations", but that is not what higher level math is about. Math is about logic and nothing else. Not arithmetic.

I wish them luck. They should really think *hard* about what they want from something like this. The American Army (AA) game is a relatively simple shooter with emphasis on some "formal" training and more realistic combat (which is less fun, BTW). The NASA game may be ok only if it targets people already interested in science and allows these people to interact with each other. If the game is dumbed down to the "regular student" level, they'll end up with no one there. The geeks will think the game sucks as it provides not enough challenge and the others will think it is just some stupid "educational" game.

NASA, design it for geeks first please, and maybe you'll get what you want in the end.

Re:How realistic? (4, Insightful)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090426)

Honestly, there are plenty of "educational" things they could stick in this game other than actually simulating what a rocket scientist does.

If you think about it, most Americans don't really understand space science. They don't understand the basic theory, they don't understand the pragmatic limitations, and (perhaps most importantly) they don't necessarily see the long-term benefits of advanced scientific research. Maybe setting up the game as more of a high-level Sim type game would work.

So you want a framework for a game? How about a Space Race. Players form guild-like Research Groups, all vying for achievements. The Groups would be striving for various achievements, like building a space telescope, landing a person on the Moon, mapping out the surface of Saturn, etc. To succeed in any of these tasks requires a lot of research (which takes in-game time and money), but you are rewarded in several ways. First off, you gain Prestige when you do something headline-worthy, especially if you're the first Group to manage it, but the Prestige is only instrumental - it earns you more funds and qualified manpower (because kids who saw your Moon Landing grow up and study astronomy), which you re-invest into new research.

The real goal of the game, though, is unlocking Knowledge, which you do in all sorts of ways. Some achievements (Hubble) might give you not very much Prestige, but they'll continue to accrue Knowledge over time. Others (space shuttle stuff) might give you a good boost in Prestige when your Group needs it, but aren't a great investment long-term because they don't give as much Knowledge. And as the Knowledge rolls in, players start to see the consequences. Ten game-years after your telescope launch, for example, you might get a note about how medical researchers have adopted your optics research to revolutionize heart surgery (based on a true story, I think).

I think it could definitely work as a high-level game like this; the question is how in-depth you can get. Would it make sense to have players in the Group actually playing as Aerospace Engineers, Electronics Experts, Optics Researchers, Physicists, etc.? Maybe they could manage it through a sort of abstracted skill-based minigame system: for example, the Physicist plays his minigame for as long as he wants, racking up Physics Research points (which the Group leader is responsible for funneling into the various projects the Group is running) but costing his Group money by the minute. That way, Groups could have managed budgets and so on without forcing players to play a certain number of hours every day. (The hot-shot "Physicist" players would be the ones who really excel at that minigame, so they have the best ratio of Research earned to time played.)

Re:How realistic? (2, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091410)

I thought of not only trying to simulate the manned spaceflight missions for something like this, but also unmanned missions such as allowing players to send "probes" to various planets, moons, and asteroids.

You would have to contend with a budget, payload mass, various instruments that you may or may not be able to afford, computer architectures (we all know that there is more computing power in a PS/3 than a typical NASA probe.... show the kids why), ability to "program" the probe both before and "in flight", and in general show what the process is to get the thing built.

And all that more importantly.... show the kids how little we really do know about our Solar System, and provide through hard experience in actually playing the game why NASA is still an incredible value to our country.

While I've been a strong advocate for manned spaceflight and have been a dogged defender of the concept against those who would scrap manned activities in favor of exclusively doing robotic probes, I think such a game that ignores the robotic probes is also doing everybody a huge disservice. There is no way that the Apollo project could have successfully performed its goals and accomplished successful landings on the Moon without the eariler Ranger and Surveyor missions that paved the way in understanding the nature of the lunar surface, chemistry, and general environmental conditions that existed there. Sure, there was some conjecture before hand, but getting physical hardware to there made a huge difference.

There are so many possible options available to really accomplish something here along so many different lines of thought that I can't even begin to describe what could be put into a game like this.

As I hinted in my post I submitted to /., I have seen some incredible bombshells of games that have come from (generally) the academic community based on similar RfI/RfPs. All that NASA is looking for right now is a five page treatment that shows you know a thing or two about video games... and if all you accomplish is to get the folks at NASA to think outside of the box and come up with something more than they were originally considering and make it a really cool game, I would consider that alone to be a huge accomplishment.

I really want a game here that doesn't suck... regardless of whoever comes up with the idea.

Re: I'll settle for just one factoid... (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091454)

"most Americans don't really understand space science. "


When you click the "External Viewpoint" button, you'd better get total silence. Millions of people have raged at Hollywood because fake explosions sell tickets.

Re:How realistic? (4, Insightful)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090506)

Slow down there, space cowboy...

Your points are absolutely valid in your context, but I think we are dangerously placing the cart before our collective ass.

Just like the military, NASA has experienced declining general interest. This is not a SETI-esque venture to solve the great mysteries of space travel, nor is it some kind of "Last Starfighter" quest for an Alex Rogan [imdb.com]. It is a valid, overdue tossing of kerosene onto a thirsty and faltering flame; a genuine attempt to generate interest among young people regarding space exploration, and we both can support something like that.

It's sort of a "hook em' while they're young" deal, and the casualty-to-mission rating of NASA is nothing like that of the Army. The excitement factor of NASA pales in comparison to that of the Army. Hopefully, this game lands where these demand curves intersect.

Last Starfighter kicks ass!

Nothing NASA does is classified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090708)

NASA is a civilian agency, everything they do is released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Re:How realistic? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22092734)

As long as I can give really satisfying eWedgies to the nerds who 'play' this, I'll be happy.

Project: Space Station? (2, Informative)

Myself (57572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090208)

Anyone remember this gem [lemon64.com] of a game [the-underdogs.info]? I played it for the C64 but the PC screenshots [mobygames.com] bear a pretty close resemblance.

Re:Project: Space Station? (1)

Skreech (131543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090432)

Ah, as a matter of fact, I do. That was a while ago, I think I played around with that when I was about 7. Thanks for reminding me! I can't remember the gameplay but I instantly recognize those screenshots.

Re:Project: Space Station? (1)

An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090984)

I'm actually more partial to this one [lemon64.com].

Seriously, this game [mobygames.com] still is one of the deepest, most engrossing games I've ever played. =) Especially fun when you're trying to out-compete an opponent's station. This game cries for a modern remake. =)

Re:Project: Space Station? (1)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091616)

I pull that out and play it on emulator every few years. I could never get one of the damned biology missions to work.

I played the IBM CGA graphics version. I've tried getting the C64 version on my GP2X, but it seems glitchy.

It's about time (1)

erichmj (836535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090210)

I don't know what I should credit for my tastes in games but I am leaning towards boredom. I use to love playing UT2K4 or World of Warcraft, but after playing games since I was 12 I tend to play games now that make me think. If I don't want to think, I play popcap games. I picked Gnome as my desktop because it ships with chess. After reading this though, it gives me hope that a real game is finally going to be created.

MMO or MMORPG? (3, Insightful)

Erpo (237853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090218)

Persistent immersive synthetic environments in the form of massive multiplayer online gaming and social virtual worlds, initially popularized as gaming and social settings, are now finding growing interest as education and training venues. There is increasing recognition that these synthetic environments can serve as powerful "hands-on" tools for teaching a range of complex subjects, including STEM-based instruction. Virtual worlds with scientifically accurate simulations could permit learners to tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity - making it easier to grasp complex concepts and quickly transfer this understanding to practical problems.

Notice that it refers to MMOs and not necessarily MMORPGs which, IMHO, is the most common kind of MMO. The two primary activities in MMORPGs are questing and grinding, and I don't think those activities lend themselves to accomplishing the goals NASA has set out.

So, how are they going to make this fun?

Re:MMO or MMORPG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091058)

So, how are they going to make this fun?
Maybe introduce a few aliens..

Re:MMO or MMORPG? (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091140)

I think a traditional MMO structure would be a waste of money (which, as I understand it, NASA isn't normally accused of compared to most other government agencies.) Perhaps a co-operative physics based game on something like the PS3 Home or 360 Live networks would be better vfm. A Little Big Planet for scientists, if you will.

Re:MMO or MMORPG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091664)

The two primary activities in MMORPGs are questing and grinding, and I don't think those activities lend themselves to accomplishing the goals NASA has set out.

So, how are they going to make this fun?
Well, cutting out the grinding does seem like a good start.

Re:MMO or MMORPG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22092452)

The two primary activities in MMORPGs are questing and grinding, and I don't think those activities lend themselves to accomplishing the goals NASA has set out.
This got modded insightful? Are you fucking kidding me? Besides the utter lack of imagination as to what an MMORPG could be, you clearly never played Ultima Online in its heyday. The "role-playing game" is a huge genre, the MMORPG potentially even more so.

Re:MMO or MMORPG? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22093730)

I actually gave a presentation on a mmorpg NASA game at a class I had in college last year. The class was run by professors from the Oregon space initiative which is sponsored by NASA. I wonder if they passed the information along. I should dig out my work on it and submit it as a proposal.

Re:MMO or MMORPG? (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22093776)

I think you may have seen a little bit too much World of Warcraft and not nearly enough of, say, A Tale In The Desert [atitd.com]. Online RPGs aren't just about killing thousands of orcs and then stacking up their bodies and building a little fort out of them. Sometimes you can, you know, actually interact with other people in a non-hacking-and-slashing way.

Re:MMO or MMORPG? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22093906)

Notice that it refers to MMOs and not necessarily MMORPGs which, IMHO, is the most common kind of MMO. The two primary activities in MMORPGs are questing and grinding, and I don't think those activities lend themselves to accomplishing the goals NASA has set out.
So, how are they going to make this fun?

That's a tough question - because a great deal of what NASA does bears much greater resemblence to questing and grinding than it does to any other aspect of gameplay.

What's it going to be called? (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090220)

>> a NASA-themed MMORPG of its own.

What's it going to be called, My Space?

Next headline: NASA buys Myspace (1)

itamihn (1213328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090488)

Next headline: NASA buys MySpace After Sun buying MySQL and Oracle buying BEA, this was the next logic step...

Orbiter - free space flight sim (4, Interesting)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090224)

They should talk to the guy from Orbiter [orbitersim.com]. It is absolutely incredible what this man has achieved. His (free!) space flight simulator not only does a great job with the physics involved (yes, orbital rendezvous' are really tricky), but also looks incredibly good on screen.

Re:Orbiter - free space flight sim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090394)

Agreed, Orbiter is an amazing piece of software.

Too bad it doesn't run on Linux, though... :(

Re:Orbiter - free space flight sim (3, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091486)

If you dig through the documentation, it seems as though the lead administrator behind this request is very much aware of Orbiter. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if the Orbiter dev team (there certainly is more than just one person who has been involved with writing that game, but like most FOSS projects one or two leaders really stand out) is on the "fast track" to getting the winning bid... if they decide to step forward.

All that NASA is looking for right now is a 5 page treatment of different ideas they can use for developing such a game, and suggestions like the one you just made is precisely what NASA is looking for. Even if you don't necessarily even desire to be involved in writing a game like this, presenting a whole bunch of excellent ideas that can be used by others who are willing to take it further can only be beneficial.

I certainly hope that by posting here on slashdot, that the potential talent pool can be substantially increased and give some excellent suggestions. Unfortunately, by posting here on slashdot it is also going to give a whole pile of trollish submissions as well, so I hope I haven't killed this poor NASA admin with a mountain of ideas.

Orbiter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090232)

They should consider licensing the freeware space simulator Orbiter (http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/). It already supports realistic orbital (Newtonian) mechanics, and can simulate craft such as the space shuttle and the Apollo capsules, including satellite deployment, lunar rendezvous and landings.

anyone want to join my hardcore raiding guild? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090268)

I wonder what the encounters will be like? What kinds of character classes will I be able to roll?


Eve-online? (3, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090288)

Are they thinking of something like Eve-Online but more "realistic"? That'd be awesome.

Re:Eve-online? (1)

Saikik (1018772) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090678)

More realistic how? EVE is already a market simulator. Hopefully it won't be a mouse driven game but more something like the old wing commander games.

Re:Eve-online? (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090800)

Hopefully Eve Online + Orbiter - Several Thousand Years. As an Orbiter and Frontier Elite fan, I find this very interesting. I look forward to seeing what NASA cooks up.

Re:Eve-online? (1)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091352)

Ever since I tried Eve, I've wanted a similar game but set in our solar system with most events still happening around earth and maybe 50-100 years from now.

Also, it would be cool if it had an unlimited research system, so that it was player based research that allowed access to new, more distant places.

Re:Eve-online? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091628)

Unless you are talking about complex economic theory (of which there is some debate) I don't believe realistic and Eve Online belong in the same sentence.

"Hey! We can make Eve but more realistic! All we need to remove is interstellar travel, space combat, and immortality."

New game with new memes (4, Funny)

xPsi (851544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090322)

Guild discussion before a major raid as the team prepares to set their lander down on Titan:

Player1: 32.33--repeating of course--percentage of survival.
Player 2: That's a lot better than we usually do.
Player 3: Ok. Take'er down steady. Contact in 3, 2, ---
Leroy: All right chums, let's do this with English Units! LEEROOOOY JENKINS!
<lander strafes across the surface of Titan in a violent tumbling explosion, missing the landing zone by 62.137 km, killing everyone on the team>
Player 1: Goddammit, Leeroy!
Player 2: Leeroy, why do you do this shit?
Leroy: It's not my fault. <awkward pause> At least I've got chicken.

Re:New game with new memes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22092646)

Ahh that'll be the Brits using those silly old SI units again. What ho!

Uhhh, yeah (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090352)

"This certainly doesn't deserve to get thrown onto the traditional dust heap of educational proposals for a half-baked game that nobody will actually play."

You're right. This will be thrown on the dust heap of educational proposals for a well-cooked game that nobody will actually play. This game is toast before it even gets off the floor.

Time to cut the PR budget (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090364)

The thing NASA does best is PR. Of which they do too much. Their PR budget should be cut back, and NASA's funding for non-flight projects should be shifted to NSF.

Re:Time to cut the PR budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090576)

Perhaps ALL of the NASA budget will be moved to a game?

Evidently, using the poorly designed, exorbitantly costly "Shuttle" was only good for putting up military satellites at more than twice the cost of conventional rockets. Now that the farce of a space station is scheduled to be abandoned, NASA can return to the business of investigating plane crashes. And perhaps they can advise the TSA that everyone should remove their shoes not only before every flight, but also for the trip to the airport, and the entire flight. Better yet, have everyone shave off all their hair and fly naked, so they can't hide weapons very easily.

Or maybe I'm just ornery because I got my carry on luggage x-rayed and searched in great detail, my checked luggage searched in detail, my belt removed and x-rayed, my electronics were "bomb sniffed", and my body "wanded" AND patted down, on my last flight. And I'm about as dangerous as a toddering geezer. The last "explosion" I caused was a small firecracker and a "sparkler" for a 4th of July celebration.

Martin Schweiger's Orbiter? (1)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090370)

Anyone thought of contacting Martin Schweiger over his Orbiter Simulator?

http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/orbit.html [ucl.ac.uk]

I would **LOVE** to see the ideas implemented in his simulator (real Newtonian physics, Multi Function Display orbital computers, Interplanetary transfer orbits, great physics engine) implenented in a MMO environment.

Re:Martin Schweiger's Orbiter? (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22094036)

great physics engine

That should be *the* primary feature of this MMO. Forget graphics, gameplay or anything else. The physics engine should be solid enough that this becomes more than just a playground. Something like a highly capable sandbox for newtonian physics that could allow budding aerospace engineers to block out everything from mission plans to designing basic spacecraft for other players to use.

My favourite part (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090418)

My favourite part is the realistic simulator of being in the control room while astronauts are on their sleep cycle. It's like you're really there!

Five stars, will definitely play again.

- RG>

Will There Be Quests? (0, Troll)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090438)

I can't wait to play the female astronaut and go across country after my lover from mission control wearing nothing but a pair of adult diapers!

Re:Will There Be Quests? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22092664)

Fuck you Slashdot....typical fucking faggot assclowns, you make a joke and if someone doesn't like it you mod it as a troll post....get some humor you goatse bitches.

realistic, eh? (0, Troll)

TheSpengo (1148351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090462)

Realistic NASA game, eh? I know how to do that... You are a low-mid level engineer. You job: design a space station. Someone higher up decides to make a tiny change, so you scrap the current design and restart from scratch. Repeat this over 9000 times, waste as much government funding as possible for the high score. Since everyone's work is made useless every time something is changed, why bother working at all? Play the built in solitaire and minesweeper minigames for extra fun! The less progress made the better. Hey, the space shuttle works right? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Who cares it's over 20 years old and still a prototype? Who cares that it uses equipment from the time of the dinosaurs!? Sorry, I had to troll a bit. The real progress is being made by private companies these days and NASA is just old, bloated, and generally useless.

First thought: (4, Interesting)

xx01dk (191137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22090542)

Ooh, neat! A space-science-based MMO! I can party with other astronauts and take quests like growing tomatoes in space or repairing that busted solar cell array! "Watch out for those meteors! Oh no, I've aggroed too much cosmic radiation! Do I have enough oxygen to survive an extended spacewalk?"

But then I thought about it. I'm a huge supporter of shutting down the shuttle program--IMHO, it jumped the shark a long time ago. My taxes could be much better spent on newer and more innovative space programs or even could be better spent here on earth. Who needs NASA anyhow? It's a DINOSAUR. A relic of the space race and the cold war. Let Richard Branson and the private sector innovate the "next stage". Let capitalism fund the new space race; they will do it better and cheaper than any bloated, corrupt, and inept government agency ever could.

BUT THEN... I thought about my childhood; I remembered how important the space missions seemed at the time, how important they were to our national identity. We had the Space Shuttle, and We we doing Important Things. In Space. I thought about it again. I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor in Mrs. Bartlett's class when I watched the Challenger crew "slip the surly bonds". I thought about the congressional hearings and the first time I learned what an o-ring was. I remember hearing that perhaps Christa Mcauliffe and the other crew members might have been alive during their inexorable plunge back to the ocean and how horrible that must have been. I remember seeing the reconstructed orbiter in that hangar on the news.

Since then I have followed the goings on at NASA with a somewhat skewed perception. I though it was cool how they were able to land that craft on that asteroid, and I smugly laughed at how much longer those Mars rovers have lasted down there than anyone had expected (yeah I know the engineers purposely underestimated the lifespans). I also recall with sadness the Columbia, but how we would not let that deter us. I've viewed every flight since with skepticism, but still. Space is The Future, and we're still there. I often wonder when the next mission to the moon will occur and who will undertake it. I'm a fan of science fiction, and the space program is sci-fi turned reality.

So. Perhaps the thought of a NASA-based video game, let alone an MMO, brought back the thought of my innocent childhood, back when NASA meant The Space Shuttle, and I had a three-foot-long paper model of Columbia hanging in my bedroom. How awesome would it be to explore our near-Earth environment, or maybe even the solar system without repercussion? No Challenger disaster, no Columbia breakup; no launch-pad fires and no explosions. Let me take the wheel, don that space suit, and explore the cosmos right here from my comfy chair. Let me fly through Google Sky in a realistic simulator, and let me turn over rocks on Mars; I want to go ice-fishing on Europa.

Yeah, I'd buy into that. Ooh, neat!


Similar game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22090558)

I think you guys might this game interesting
http://rise.unistellar.com/ [unistellar.com]
Its the only game I know that claims to be an MMOSIM.

You are a 41 year old woman named Lisa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091086)

...armed with nothing other than a wig, trench coat, steel mallet, $600 in cash, and a bag of diapers. Your mission is to drive across the country from Houston, TX to Orlando, FL...

more important: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091100)

Will it feature PvP?

Realistic? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091534)

You can't do any worthwhile experiments in any modern physics engine. It's an approximate simulation of reality, not a actual recreation. All current physics engines are working on simulating real life as close as possible and use hacks to do so.

I love the idea of a NASA MMO... But I don't think it's got -any- scientific use at all.

WOOT! (2, Funny)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22091846)

One more shuttle disaster and I'll ding lvl 60!!!

SWEET! I just looted a Nosecone of Negligence off A Disgruntled Engineer! ...I'm going to be coming up with these all day... Thanks /.

Oregon Trail In Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22091890)

Hear me out on this one. One of the most popular "edutainment" games in recent years has been Oregon Trail. Fun for kids, and maybe, just maybe they'll learn something from it. NASA should build a massively multiplayer Oregon Trail in space. Something like Mission to Mars where you have a line of space stations between Earth and Mars, and you have to plan for supplies, deal with space junk, and other such things. Make it multiplayer so players can trade with each other at waypoints and learn the concepts of supply and demand, let them "hunt" in space somehow (not quite sure how that would work), and you'll have a generation of kids wondering exactly how to get to Mars.

Hey, it worked in the 50s with television.

Re:Oregon Trail In Space (1)

untree (851145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22092334)

One of the most popular "edutainment" games in recent years has been Oregon Trail.

I think the added emphasis explains my confusion sufficiently.

Simulating new propulsion models (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22092086)

Imagine a space vehicle powered by thousands of Asian children, riding stationary bicycles for 10 cents a day.

can't wait to be a PK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22092366)

I think my PK's name will be Columbia...that way I'll start with 7 kills :-) Is there a character class "space shuttle?"

/too soon?

My PK will be named Columbia... (1)

imyy4u1 (1222436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22092712)

...and I'll start with 7 kills :-D /accidentally posted this first under anonymous coward, mods you may delete that post.

Umm... (2, Informative)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22092720)

People don't play Americas Army so they can learn about how our miltary works, and what it would be like.

They play it because it's a free online FPS game that was well made.

Re:Umm... (1)

Ours (596171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22093498)

"People don't play Americas Army so they can learn about how our miltary works"
Not that I support a game used to recruit people in the army but played it once and for some reason I had to watch a medic training presentation in order to become spec ops or something. I actually read somewhere on the net that some guy helped save two people involved in a car accident using that training.
It doesn't teach about the army but is more like a military training tool to teach you the basics and perhaps a little bit about team work in combat.

NASA Grand Theft Auto (1)

SpasticWeasel (897004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22093202)

You drive cross country wearing astroDiapers so you can do the beat down on the skanky ho doin' your man.

Secret Weapon (2, Funny)

Myself980 (1222482) | more than 6 years ago | (#22093686)

This project was probably suggested by the NSA, and the trip to Mars will be in real time. Imagine all the technologically elite Chinese that will give themselves heart attacks trying to accomplish the 700 day trip to Mars by eating speed at the local internet cafe. That'll solve those covert data-mining issues they're having with them!

Virtual Space Camp Perhaps (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 6 years ago | (#22093866)

It is easy to see from earlier posts, that one can quickly drown in the very concept of a NASA based MMO or MMORPG. I think that I would start out with the goal of creating an online version of the Space Camp experience and build up from there doing things that you can't do in Space Camp due to physical limitations. So it wouldn't be exactly like some Second Life version of the life of an Astronaut or NASA engineer. It'd be more mission oriented with minigames meant to train and educate with an emphasis on the teamwork required to complete missions. In the later stages for more experienced players, special scenarios would become available. These would be things like exotic equipment failures, introduction of new technology, asteroid deflection, or first contact, to name a few.

If the game can be fun and appealing to the demographic that goes to Space Camp right now, then it may do well enough to justify the investment.

While I've always loved NASA... (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22094014)

...this could potentially be the most boring video game every created by the hand of man, killing the public perception of space flight even more so than it already is. Please spend some time getting it right, guys.

There is Already an exelent Space Flight Simulator (1)

ktstzo (885924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22094178)

Actually there is already an excellent Free Space Flight Simulator, its called Orbiter http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk// [ucl.ac.uk], you can play the Apollo missions, you can pilot the space shuttle Atlantis, you can do the HST orbit deployment, use the robotic arm. There is even a futuristic plane, the delta glider, which can take u any where in the solar system. i hope maybe this time i can get a +3 informational moderation?, come on this is interesting, wait.. where are u going, im talking to u, I WANT +3 Whatever u want pleeeeease. Thank you very much :) Imagination is more important than knowledge @ Albert Einstein

Asteroids: The FPS (1)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22094202)

No, no, no, not First Person Shooter... Feet per second.

Is there ANY chance that this could become a simulator for Asteroid Defese? Role-play the intricacy, both physics and political of all that it will take, from threat determination to mitigation. Who pays for what? Who does what? Do we get to use nukes? Whose? Whose button? What if if fails, where do the people on the impact ellipse migrate to? "It will impact the Pacific. If we try to move it, we may fall short and it will land on India." US says "ok", India says "we will intercept your attempt..."

Aside from the benefits of simulation, it can also help educate the public on the realities. If nothing else, YouTubes of failed attempts will mass-drive the point home.

Sim Colony (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#22094336)

I think it would be very cool to have a game like Sim City but rather you are creating a colony on the Moon or Mars. You start with nothing and have to build a colony that is at first dependant on a (relatively) small fixed budget from earth, and then slowly ween it off the earthlings, first through trade, and then later as you become large enough to support industrialized economy. The scope of the game would change much more than Sim City as you would start with as little as zero people, and then grow to the size of a medium sized country.

Yah, this one will be fun... (4, Funny)

dghcasp (459766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22094406)

nasagame: use probe messenger
You are now online with Messenger

nasagame (Messenger): where
In slingshot maneuver.
Time to Mercury: 1137 days.

nasagame (Messenger): look
I see stars, albeit not too clearly.

nasagame (Messenger): exit
Messenger is now offline

nasagame: launch rocket
It's too cloudy. And your next rocket launch isn't for 184 days.

nasagame: build interplanetary probe
You don't have Senate Approval to build more probes.
Try going to a Senate Hearing

nasagame: go to senate hearing
You are now at a senate hearing.
Senator Lieberschvine asks you to justify section of your budget.

nasagame (Senate Hearing): quit
Are you sure you want to quit? There's not many jobs for people with Ph.D's in physics.
Senator Lieberschvine is getting annoyed you haven't answered his question.

nasagame (Senate Hearing): exit
Senate rules forbid you from leaving until you address Senator Lieberschvine's question.
Senator Lieverschvine is pounding on his table.

nasagame (Senate Hearing): request bathroom break
You are in the bathroom.

nasagame (Senate Bathroom): climb through window
You have left Senate Hearings.
You have generated +150 Hate from Senator Lieberschine.

nasagame: build interplanetary probe
You don't have Senate Approval to build more probes.
Try going to a Senate Hearing

nasagame: status of voyager2
Status: Processing "take picture" request you submitted 2 hours ago.
Download status: 371 of 22154 bits received (0.0515 bits per second; 117 hours remaining)

nasagame: watch TV
Senator Lieberschine in on TV calling for your resignation.
President Bush has announced a 40% cut to your current funding to help pay for the Iraq War.
You see an ad for "Truck Driving School" and think it sounds appealing

nasagame: down not across
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