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.
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.
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 >