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Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Mar 25 2013
Joseph YbarraBy Joseph Ybarra
First created
Joseph YbarraBy Joseph Ybarra
First created
$27,460
pledged of $700,000pledged of $700,000 goal
808
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Mar 25 2013

Making it Real

Posted by Joseph Ybarra (Creator)

Howdy! Jo Shindler here with the latest on how we are doing in the design of Shackleton Crater. I want to start though with a big “thank you”. The support we are receiving from those who have joined in our Kickstarter effort has really solidified our resolve. We want to make this game, and whether you just joined or have been with us from the beginning, every one of you is making a difference by contributing to a unique vision of the future of pioneering and exploration being made available by Shackleton Crater.

As we have mentioned before, our dream of Shackleton Crater is based on a solid foundation of scientific research. You've hopefully seen our stage 1 modules at this point. If not, CLICK HERE. They are based on actual NASA and other space agency images and designs. When we took those designs and starting thinking about how to use them we found some interesting facts.

Here’s an example: One of the early game tests was lighting. Since we are committed to making Shackleton Crater as realistic as possible, we have to be able to create Moon lighting. Since a picture's worth a thousand words, take a look at this:

(larger version at http://www.joegotgame.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/GameModeComparison.jpg)

Our research discovered two paradigms. The more realistic shadows are very striking and true to science, but you lose a lot of details in the high contrast environment of the Moon. Not only are the outpost modules themselves hidden in the shadows, you end up not being able to tell where the tiles are because of the darkness.

The logical fix is to lighten the shadows like we did in the second image, but as soon as you do that, some of the appeal of the moonscape is lost. Capturing the lunar mystique is essential to Shackleton Crater, so we added solar lamps to better light the outpost modules. That's one of the secret ingredients for good game design by the way; knowing how your system works and how to use what you have without changing the vision of the experience.

Before I go I'd like to invite all of you to write us at science@joegotgame.com (link disabled) with facts, thoughts and theories on how colonizing the moon might play out. We also welcome you to our forums where you can participate in open discussions with other space dreamers! Our vision of the future is a shared vision and the free flow of information between our community of users and us. Maybe you will suggest something that becomes an integral part of our simulation! 

 Until next time!

Josef Shindler
Vice President, Joe Got Game

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Carnivalius on

      Ah okay, I agree with that. Sounds good. Very impressed with the research.

    2. Joseph Ybarra Creator on

      Thanks for the good question Paul! In order to source our Moon lighting, we referred to various images of lunar landers that are publicly available. You can see several kinds of shadows, such as these two examples:

      http://seismo.berkeley.edu/gifs/blog_aldrinseismometer_apollo11.jpg
      http://dadsgotanidea.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/lunarlander.jpg

      Using images like those as a base, we next tried to simulate lighting at Shackleton Crater. Due to the rotation and orientation of the Moon, they'll always have extreme lighting angles due to being at the south pole. This means that your reflected light will be scattering towards space more than other lunar surfaces - it's almost always dawn or dusk at the crater. Furthermore, the modules were sized to be roughly 25 meters in diameter - quite a bit of sunlight is being blocked.

      One thing we do want to get is a more realistic lighting model, specifically one that can properly account for the lack of atmospheric dispersion. The research on this project is really invigorating. Thanks again for the question!

    3. Missing avatar

      Carnivalius on

      Why are the shadows so strong on the first image? On the moon there is more than one source of (reflected) light, than just purely sunlight, so the shadows shouldn't be perfectly black. This is easily seen in lunar mission pictures as anything in shadow isn't plunged straight into darkness, due to reflected sunlight from other sources (even lunar regolith has an albedo).

    4. Missing avatar

      Eberhard Flux
      Superbacker
      on

      The glow is a little bit to strong in the second image. On the other hand I agree that it's a little bit to dark in the first image. One can't recognize the sort of module. So in my opinion it must be something between image one and image two.

    5. R. Power on

      Maybe you could make shadows a graphics toggle? As far as the grid goes, you don't really need to see it unless you're positioning something, imo.

    6. Artur Gadomski on

      Will you be able to dig? I would imagine that once the equipment gets there a large portion of the settlement might be underground.