NASA has opened the moon to gamers with an online single and multiplayer game that lets players battle the elements and run a 3D outer space outpost.
NASA's Moonbase Alpha is a free online video game where players must work to restore critical systems and oxygen flow after a meteor strike cripples a solar array and life support equipment. The game includes an interactive command center, lunar rover, mobile robotic repair units and a fully-stocked equipment shed, NASA stated.
Moonbase Alpha is actually a precursor to a planned NASA-based massively, multiplayer online game project. The project is being designed to have content and missions that require players gather all manner of online information from other virtual worlds, games and software applications to succeed.
According to NASA, with Moonbase Alpha, players assume the role or roles of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research. Returning from a research expedition, players witness a meteorite impact that cripples the life support capability of the settlement. With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the settlement, NASA stated.
Team coordination along with the proper use and allocation of your available player controlled robots, rovers, repair tools, and the like, are key to success. There are several ways in which players can successfully restore the life support system of the lunar base, but since players are scored on the time spent to complete the task, they have to work effectively as a team, learn from decisions made in previous gaming sessions, and make intelligence decisions in order to win.
NASA said it released the game on Valve's Steam network. The agency will use the Steamworks suite of services for server browsing, leaderboards, statistics and more. Steam has more than 25 million accounts and has released more than 1,100 games.
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