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moonbase alpha



Fly Me to the Moon: NASA Launches Moonbase Alpha Game

Yes, you can be an astronaut based on the south pole of the moon! How? With NASA Moonbase Alpha (link opens new browser window), the first installment in NASA’s massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. NASA released the game in July 2010 on Valve’s Steam network (link opens new browser window). Developed in partnership with Virtual Heroes, Project Whitecard Inc., and Army Game Studio, Moonbase Alpha is part of NASA’s “Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond” MMO—a game that is not only fun but also inspires kids’ interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Fuentek's Role

This game launch is the culmination of a significant effort by Fuentek as part of our open innovation work for NASA’s technology transfer program(link opens new browser window). When NASA began its search for partners in the gaming industry, Fuentek led marketing efforts at various industry conferences to solicit participation from the gaming industry, then developed print and online materials to promote the partnership opportunity. We also provided pre-, during-, and post-event support for the April 2008 MMO Workshop, which included more than 130 attendees vying to participate in the project. Fuentek’s efforts helped lead to a joint Space Act Agreement with the three partners. Additionally, Fuentek introduced Virtual Heroes, the lead company in the partnership, to NASA.

About the Game

Players of Moonbase Alpha assume the exciting role of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research. In the game, NASA has once again landed on the lunar surface with the goal of colonization, research, and further exploration. Shortly after the return to the Moon, NASA has established a small outpost on the south pole of the moon called Moonbase Alpha. Solar energy and regolith processing have created a self-sufficient moonbase, and plans for further expansion are underway.

Suddenly, a meteorite cripples life support. With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the settlement.

Team coordination along with the proper use and allocation of available resources—including player-controlled robots, rovers, repair tools, etc.—are key to players’ overall success. There are several ways in which you can successfully restore the life support system of the lunar base, but since you are scored on the time spent to complete the task, you have to work effectively as a team, learn from decisions made in previous gaming sessions, and make intelligent decisions in order to top the leaderboards.

The game won top honors in a serious gaming challenge held Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2010 at the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Key Features

  • Team up with your friends: The fate of a lunar colony rests on the shoulders of you and your team. Communicate and coordinate efforts with up to six players (LAN and internet) by using voice over communication.
  • Utilize the latest in NASA technology: A fully functional rover that utilizes lunar physics is available to transport both players and supplies to all reaches of the lunar colony. You can build and pilot your own repair robot in order to fix crucial systems before time runs out.
  • Immerse yourself in an awe-inspiring lunar environment: Take your first steps on the moon's surface in a truly accurate lunar moonscape that is unmatched in any other application.
  • Compete with your friends to reach the top of the leaderboards: Do you have what takes it to be number one? When you win, your score will automatically be posted to the leaderboards for everyone to see.
  • A unique experience each time: With multiple paths for game success, you'll need to learn to work effectively as a team, learn from decisions made in previous gaming sessions, and make intelligent decisions in order to top the leaderboards.
  • Tailor your game to fit your gameplay style: Do you want to play with two players or six? With multiple game maps you can select the game environment that best suits your team's needs.

You can view NASA’s official trailer for the game (link opens new browser window) or download Moonbase Alpha for free (link opens new browser window) and start your adventure today.

For More Information

To learn more about this success, contact:

Fuentek, LLC
(919) 249-0327


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