It didn’t start out as a game, rather it was originally was just an educational app, but I wanted it to focus on more than just the moon landing and present information like a timeline of events, the 18-or-so major achievements, the rockets that were used, the spacecraft that were launched and the missions and programs that were run.
Unfortunately, the original design quickly turned into the plans for a boring reference work, and lets face it, libraries already full of dusty books that document this period of time. The worst part was that it would have been a turn-off to the people I wanted to reach: those of us born after the space race was over, and those of us who have since been numbed into unconsciousness by droning teachers in high school history classes.
I scrapped the original plan, but kept the information I had gathered and decided that the best way to present it was in the form of a game. Make it interactive.
After trying to fit my data into a couple of different game genres, I finally settled on a “click management” style, something easy to learn and perfect for touch screen devices.
The game will be set in the period from 1957 through to 1972 and you will be in charge of the US space program. Your task will be to manage the launch site and payloads in an effort to follow or even beat the real-world timeline.
The rockets you will have at your disposal are derived from the five rocket families that took part in the 18 primary achievements of the space race, including less famous events such as the first probe to land on another world. The payloads that that you launch will be based on the real payloads, from real missions and programs. The events that occur will be presented in the same order that they occurred in history.
Because it’s following the real timeline, you are competing against both the USSR and the real US space program.
At the end of it all I hope that I will have produced a work that will give players a better idea of the incredible achievements in addition to the actual landing.
I’ve already begun working on a prototype, and there’s still a lot to sort out, but now that the idea is in place, work is progressing quickly.
There’s nothing much to see yet because I generally use placeholder graphics while in the early stages of a project. I’ll post screen shots once it’s presentable.
I realise the world is littered with boring educational games, but I think I can buck the trend and make something that’s both educational and fun!