Journey to Mars
Develop a game that simulates conditions in an off-Earth located permanent or temporary colony. The game could be a sandbox that offers the possibility to simulate various facilities that would support a reduced gravity environment far from earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere. Users could be given power allowances, atmospheric conditions, and in situ resource options (using resources available on site for life support or other needs). The game could include a variety of scenarios including:
- Arranging a GPS-like system on the Moon or Mars to support navigation for the human inhabitants. The simulation could allow the users to explore different solutions such as a constellation of satellites, a network of masts or other Earth based methods at the challenger’s discretion.
- Players could build a habitat that could withstand the Lunar or Martian environment while also taking into consideration that its inhabitants need to have adequate power and supplies, be able to produce food, have locations sleep, live and work.
- Build a Virtual Moon telescope. The simulation could allow the user to conduct a research mission using a telescope on site near their habitat. Explore what instruments make sense for the location of the telescope (and what the user wants to observe). Game players could explore settings such as exposure times or wavelengths to observe. Observations could vary based on the position of the telescope on the Moon or Mars, and the relative position in the sky of the pointed object. After each simulated capture, show an appropriately generated image reflecting the exposure and wavelength settings.
Space travel is an expensive and dangerous endeavor. The total cost for NASA’s shuttle program through 2011 was $196 billion. Imagine the time and resources needed for researching and planning the colonization of planets like Mars. Enter SimMars 3003, a Mars survival simulator that tests optimal conditions for colonization and crowdsources aggregate data on interactions within the martian environment. In the game, players learn to balance the factors needed to sustain their Martian colony, such as food and energy, while planning for incidents, such as dust storms. With each new user who plays the game, we receive relevant data that can increase safety and efficiency of future Mars missions.
- Unity 3D
- NASA’s PostGIS Data
- Google Maps API
- Simple JSON
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator