Jan 24, 2007

Moon Base One developers phone conference

Hey all, we're getting all of the developers together for a quick phonecall tonight at 7:30pm EST or 4:30pm PST. We'll be having these every week until we deliver the game in June.

If you're available, please call in so we can resynchronize on tasks.

1 877 761-1266
DIAL Password 12345


Derek said...

Hi Jay,
Here is the link to The Formula a long forgotten movie whose plot could be relevant to Moonbase. Feel free to pass on to the writing staff:


Also, for spoke to Buzz recently and he's in a new docu by Discovery US called "In The Shadow of The Moon"

See: http://reporter.blogs.com/risky/2007/01/shadow_of_the_m.html

Ad Astra,

Jay Crossler said...

Great! I think we could use a lot of elements from this plot for inspiration.

Do you have any exact quotes or ideas that we could add into the plot?

Phil Smith said...

I'll start sketching stuff based on the following list you provided, Jay:

- Nuclear Generator
- Carbon storage modules
- Regolith grinders to make minerals
- Liquid Oxygen storage
- Solar cell arrays
- Shuttle Landing Pads
- Water containers
- Mining Robots
- Freestanding Mining Drills
- Solitary habitation modules

I can turn these around pretty fast. If the renderings are too crude, let me know as I can clean them up and add detail as necessary.

Jay Crossler said...

Phil, that's wonderful! Quick sketches are great - we'll turn them into crude 3d models, then get a workflow going where you can suggest improvements.

If you could send one or two in by this weekend, I'll turn them into 3d objects by the next release.

Phil Smith said...

Other ideas to consider, which can all take place at various times:

Natural disasters, such as a meteor impact or solar storm activity. Such scenarios can offer opportunities for young people to learn about certain scientific phenomena, and can also introduce excitement. Related incidents would include decompression, radiation effects, etc. plus mitigation protocols.

Artificial disasters: Hazardous waste leakage or explosions. Also artificial intelligence will be required at the base, and the AI can be an issue (i.e., HAL9000). Biohazard leak (maybe the Moon offers enough isolation to justify military special weapons division - consider a bioweapon running amok)

Personnel conflicts: Guy/gal with "cabin fever" going bonkers in the base - introduces opportunities to address psychology and security (i.e., how will the law and security be addressed on the Moon?).

Earth-Moon conflict (my favorite) - Earth governments impose taxes or other restrictions on the Moon. Moon folks rebel against such levies and decides to hold back on some particular resource to declare its autonomy (like He3 or space manufacturing). Maybe blockades or something like that. This provides an opportunity to address governments and economics of Earth-Moon system.

Jay Crossler said...

Phil, I like those. I'll add in a hazardous spill for the next version.

I think having one of the NPCs have Cabin Fever will provide some good comic relief, and help move the plot forward.

Phil Smith said...

As a side note - I am currently getting up to speed on painting freehand in Corel Painter (using instruction from the Gnomon Workshop at http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/). I'm just about comofrtable with that program, but need a bit more practice. From there, I very much want to learn 3D techniques and animation, since these skills are much more in demand out there than artists who use traditional media (though artists who can do both are ideal). If I can help in the 3D arena I'd like too, but only for things that are not in the critical chain so I don't slow people up :)

Jay Crossler said...

Can someone put together 30-40 good space images? Ideally, we'd like to have them in 512x512 PNGs (if they're larger or smaller, then just make the unused part of the image black).

We'd also like to have the larger versions of these available, which we can post as a screensaver.

We need to be sure that we have the artist's permission before including any of these in the final version of the game, but we can put temporary versions in the development version to show the artists what we are asking for.

Also send me pictures of you all so we can get them in game!

Phil Smith said...

I've been thinking about the mining issue for the Moon. I'm not convinced that Helium3 is the way to go, particularly since it is unclear when fusion reactors will be built and operational in a ubiquitous sense, and because no one really knows what the distribution of Helium3 on the Moon is, nor how to extract and process it.

On the other hand, it is reasonable to expect hydrogen fuel cells to be the power source for the 21st century and beyond, though fusion I am sure will also be introduced at some point.

Having said that, and based on recent news of a critical breakthrough on hydrogen fuel cell research, it should be noted that as fuel cells proliferate, the demand for platinum and nickle will increase dramatically. Both of these metals are expensive, because they are rare on Earth's crust. I'm guessing that platinum and nickle and other heavy metals might be in abundance in certain parts of the Moon's crust because of the deposition of asteroid debris after impact. Since no atmosphere exists, it is likely metallic asteroids remain largely intact, or at least very localized, under various craters. Mining these would then make sense.

Also, a Moon base could control launches of vehicles designed to latch on to small metallic asteroids (near Earth Asteroids and Main Belt) and icy objects. These vehicles would be designed to redirect the bodies on free-return trajectories to the Moon, where crews then get dispatched for recovery operations.

Derek said...

Hi Jay,
Please review all of the audio FX files I sent and let me know what you still need. I believe there are still some 'efforts' [verbal] that you need.
Also, I contacted a number of people at USC's and I'm awaiting a response.

Ad Astra,

Jay Crossler said...

Thanks Derek. I've got a ton. As I ad them to the game, I'll cross off my list. I think that's almost everything we need other than the verbal ones. Good work, and thanks!

Jay Crossler said...

I'm starting to add the code for a musical "soundtrack" to the game. Does anyone know of some good Creative Commons or freely available soundtracks for:

- Looping background spacey but subdued moon music
- Two or three Technoish moon olympics heart pounding music tracks... around 5 min each
- Some quient but peaceful tracks for when you're inside the moon base

- Is there any chance we can ask to get the Music from the Firefly TV series donated for use in the game?

I'm hoping to have an onscreen "MP3 Player" like interface where you can move to the next or previous songs or turn off the music.

neftimiades said...

Unless there is something I'm missing, nickle is a pretty common metal on earth. Mining Helium 3 does not really matter. The point is to develop a subplot that provides opportunities for the player to face danger. In this case, the threat of saboatage by "forces" not wanting the effort to succeed. Just about any reason will work. Helium 3 does open up the educational domain a bit, enlightening kids as to the possibilities.

neftimiades said...

I like the artificial disaster scenario - hazardous waste and such.

neftimiades said...

I have some ideas on music sound tracks. I will send them out on yousendit (large mail server)

Phil Smith said...

Nickle is not so rare on Earth, that is true - I shouldn't have implied that it was.

Jay Crossler said...

I love this post! I'll make a new post just to talk through the different minerals and their % at different altitudes.

Derek Casari said...

Hi Guys,
Trying to chime in but evidently there are 'not enough lines reserved' according to the message I'm getting.


Ice station zebra out,