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Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager

 
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Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - 9/26/2013 3:29:29 PM   
Philkian

 

Posts: 639
Joined: 1/21/2013
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Work in Progress!

In this update we'd like to show some of the progress we've been making during the last few days. We'll start with some in-game screens and then move on to some renders which will surely appeal to those who are fond of the soviet space program!



Mission Configuration Information Screens

In Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager, the missions are organized in the following way:

Programs Categories -> Programs -> Mission Configurations.

In a nutshell, 'Program Categories' are groups of related programs. For example, 'Earth orbiting satellites', 'Mars probes' or 'Lunar expeditions'. The full game will feature 40 of them!

Each program category contains one or more 'Programs'. On average, each program category contains three programs. Some of them have 1 (e.g., the 'Space planes' program category) whereas some others have eigher (e.g., the 'Lunar probes' program category). When you open up a new program, you get all the mission components that belong to it. Notice that some mission components are effectively used across many programs, which obviously lowers down the costs of R&D.

Every program has one or more 'mission configurations', which are basically a sequence of mission steps. Mission configurations can last as short as 15 minutes (e.g., a suborbital Mercury flight) or as long as decades (e.g., the Voyager probe, which is available in part 2). Most unmanned programs have a single mission configuration, whereas the manned ones have a lots more. For example, the Gemini program has 14 mission configurations. Most of them are based on real missions, but some of them are fictitious (e.g., an orbital rendezvous between two manned vehicles where both Pilots perform an EVA). Those fictitious missions are the ones that make the best use of our renders, since they allow us to show animations and display things that you cannot find on historical footage.

For each step of a mission configuration, there are a number of variables that influence its outcome: the involvement of each mission component, their reliabilities, the flight controllers responsible for that stage of the mission, the flight crew (if any), etc. With so much information to digest and understand before attempting to launch a mission, we tried several approaches and came up with a set of screens that we believe you'll find useful when playing the game.

The first screen shows all the available mission configurations for the 'Experimental Space Plane' program.



If we click on the information icon for the first mission configuration, we get what we call the 'macro view', which basically shows all the seasons for this mission configuration and how they fit in the Solar system. This example might seem simple, but remember that for long missions (e.g., a probe to Mars), there will be more numbers in there.



If you click on the season number button, you get into the 'mission steps' screen, which shows a diagram of the sequence of steps for this particular season. Notice that you can click on each step in order to find out its name, the mission components involved, the flight controllers, the flight crew, etc.



By clicking on the next icon, you get to see a technical diagram of the mission components involved in this season. This is a WIP, the final game will have more technical data about each mission component.



Moving on to the next icon takes us to the 'Mission Control Layout' screen, which shows the configuration of the mission control room for this season. Notice that this is a simplified version of a real mission control room, we know that launching a mission is an effort undertaken by tons of professionals, but we feel that this layout captures the essence of it. For longer missions, the layout of mission control will effectively change: if you launch a probe to Jupiter, you only need the boosters guys during the first season, and then they are released so that they can work on a different assignment. More complex missions have more crowded mission control rooms.



Lastly, the icon on the right shows the layout for the flight crew. Since this is an X-15 mission, the crew is composed by a single astronaut.





New missions

Based on the feedback we got from our presentation at Historicon, we’ve decided to include even more Soviet hardware. We started by re-doing the Sputnik mission, which made use of an American Jupiter-C rocket and replaced it with an R-7 rocket, which features its very own launchpad and environment.









Goals Badges

In Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager, the player can only open certain programs if they have achieved a certain number of goals. Everytime a goal is achieved, the player gets a reward in the form of a badge. Part one features more that 110 of them and the full game will feature around 300! Here is a selection of some of them:





< Message edited by Nacho84 -- 10/31/2013 1:01:50 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - 9/26/2013 3:52:47 PM   
wolf14455


Posts: 1196
Joined: 1/29/2006
Status: offline
Very nicely done. Cant wait another month to try it out. Looks indeed like a worthy successor to old BARIS.
Got som questions thou.
Will the missions be still pic only or animated? Can you show some pics how research works? If it is like the old where you get reliability bonus if earlier version of the hardware is top notch. etc.
cheers

_____________________________

SwedeWolf

I was called Lill Sputnik (Little sputnik) as a baby in 58-59

(in reply to Philkian)
Post #: 2
RE: Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - 9/26/2013 7:53:24 PM   
kokubokan25


Posts: 1252
Joined: 7/19/2004
From: Iliaca, Spain
Status: offline
Very nice sneak peak, thanks. Seems we almost there.
Just another question; the animations in 3D will be in a "free camera view" or similar?
IMHO, is more spectacular a lateral launch view than a cenital.

(in reply to Philkian)
Post #: 3
RE: Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - 9/26/2013 11:08:18 PM   
Nacho84

 

Posts: 706
Joined: 2/7/2013
From: Brighton, UK
Status: offline
Hello Swedewolf,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Swedewolf
Will the missions be still pic only or animated?


The missions are animated, take a look at the video on this link. That video will be replaced in the final game by another one that uses the R-7 booster instead of Jupiter-C, but the style is the same I've written another article where I explain the creation process for the animations, I believe it will be published soon in Slitherine's blog.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Swedewolf
Can you show some pics how research works? If it is like the old where you get reliability bonus if earlier version of the hardware is top notch. etc.
cheers


In BARIS that was called 'technology transfer'. At the moment, I'm not planning to include that in SPM, but it shouldn't be hard to implement. We can discuss this during the early access program in the forums and give it a go to see how it feels.

Cheers,

_____________________________

Ignacio Liverotti
Lead Developer of Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager
Polar Motion

www.polar-motion.com
spm.slitherine.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PolarMotion

(in reply to wolf14455)
Post #: 4
RE: Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - 9/26/2013 11:09:13 PM   
Nacho84

 

Posts: 706
Joined: 2/7/2013
From: Brighton, UK
Status: offline
Hello fremen,

quote:

ORIGINAL: fremen

Very nice sneak peak, thanks. Seems we almost there.
Just another question; the animations in 3D will be in a "free camera view" or similar?
IMHO, is more spectacular a lateral launch view than a cenital.



The animations are not full 3D but trust me, they look pretty nonetheless :)

Cheers,

_____________________________

Ignacio Liverotti
Lead Developer of Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager
Polar Motion

www.polar-motion.com
spm.slitherine.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PolarMotion

(in reply to kokubokan25)
Post #: 5
RE: Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - 9/26/2013 11:27:24 PM   
wolf14455


Posts: 1196
Joined: 1/29/2006
Status: offline
Good to hear, keep up the good work.

_____________________________

SwedeWolf

I was called Lill Sputnik (Little sputnik) as a baby in 58-59

(in reply to Nacho84)
Post #: 6
RE: Developer's Note. Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - 9/27/2013 11:04:13 AM   
Blind Sniper


Posts: 863
Joined: 8/9/2008
From: Turin, Italy
Status: offline
Can't wait this game!

_____________________________

WitP-AE - WitE - CWII - BASPM - BaB


(in reply to wolf14455)
Post #: 7
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