A new free download popped up on Steam last week called ‘Moonbase Alpha’, using the Unreal engine to create a short game where you attempt to repair a crippled lunar base. The project is an experiment by NASA to see if they can raise interested in the Space Program the same way America’s Army is used in military recruitment.
“It started as an effort to prove we could create a commercial quality game using NASA content that is fun. NASA was looking for a project at the same time the Army Game Studio was looking to branch out from America’s Army. It helped that Army Game Studio and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center are co-located at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. Virtual Heroes has a history for with America’s Army so we were excited to see them selected to support the Army Game Studio on the game.”
The entire game can easily be completed in 20 minutes, putting it squarely in the ‘proof of concept’ category. However, this is the testbed for what NASA eventually wants to build: A full blown MMO.
News via VizWorld