Meet Generation I – The Interplanetary Generation

Valles Marineris Hemisphere Enhanced – Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Those of you who follow my Twitter stream will remember a while back that I published a few comments about Generation I.

It seems particularly topical to expand on the idea with the news today that the Mars One project has announced its shortlist of 100 candidates for the program. This is one of the final steps remaining before they announce the final 24 participants. Despite the many technical challenges that still remain to be overcome for the endeavor to succeed, this is exciting news indeed.

The Telegraph also reports that one of the participants is looking forward to having a baby on Mars. This raises a number of deep questions in the light of a situation that has not taken place in a very long time: humans will set foot on a new land, not in the service of a national interest, but rather as part of a private commercial venture.

I’ll save discussing those questions for a later time.

Instead, I want to turn my attention to the importance that this moment could represent for humankind. The possibility that a member of the human lays his or her roots down on a different planet during our lifetimes is very real. Indeed, this could make our children, those born between the year 2000 and today, prime candidates for the early participants in the flow of colonists to this new world. This marks the first time in the history of our species that our kind would span worlds. We would become an interplanetary life form.

This new generation should thus be rightfully called Generation I, or Generation: Interplanetary. Quite appropriately, it could also be read as “Generation One” as the first generation to set sail away from the cradle of humanity.

There are few parallels in history that carry as much significance. Our ancestors venturing out of Africa, the exploration and settlement of the Pacific, the discovery of North America, are some notable comparables. Certainly, each of these were fraught with danger, and none were guaranteed success. Yet, they led to great things. The same could be said of plans to colonize Mars.*

The Rosetta probe – Image credit ESA

When taken in conjunction with the heightened efforts being placed on unmanned research projects like the Rosetta probe, one could believe that we are entering a new golden era of space exploration. Ventures like setting up permanent settlements on the Moon and Mars would certainly frame well in such a situation.

Someone asked me whether I would be supportive of my child wanting to immigrate to another planet. I answered unequivocally “yes.” I would certainly miss my child, and I imagine Skype conversations are a little tough to get around with the asynchronous communications resulting from the time it takes to beam a message to and from such vast distances. And yet, as we stand on the verge of a new era, it seems slightly selfish (although completely understandable) to want to hold on tight to the precious gift that we send out into the void.

Here’s to Generation I. May great things await.

*Note: There is much room for an expanded role in unmanned exploration, and it should not be relegated to a backburner with the advent of manned exploration.

Astrobase Command’s New Look

Hard work pays off —  Astrobase Command’s shiny new look

Your Astrobase in all its living glory

After a few months of quiet on our end, we unveiled the fruits of our labour yesterday. We have come a long way since Adam’s proof-of-concept art. As a programmer, he valiantly led our visual development up until our crowdfunding campaign last November. However, we have now unleashed the visual beauty wrought by our pro artist, Daniel. I hope you’ll agree that the results are stunning.

Space can be a dangerous place.

It has been hard trying to resist the urge to release these gems any earlier, but we’re now ready for you to take a look. So please swing on by and let us know what you think.

Powerful Art – Astrobase Command Development Update

We’ve teased out another little tidbit in our latest Astrobase Command development update.

Fusion generator WIP art.

We also talk procedural planet generation, the wonders of the Unity store, and give a shoutout to one of our newest allies.

 

To read the entire post, head over to www.astrobasecommand.com

Astrobase Command Character Design Update

The Astrobase Spring 20,114 clothing line melds stylish and utilitarian to make you the most popular sentient being on your block.

This week’s Astrobase Command blog update discusses some of the character design ideas we’re knocking around. Swing over to the Jellyfish Games developer blog to read it in its entirety.

Jellyfish Games YouTube Channel – Answering Your Astrobase Command Questions

The team has been busily working away, taking the rough demo code used as a proof of concept for our Kickstarter, and turning it into the production code that will power Astrobase Command once it is released to Steam Early Access. We’ve been tackling a slew of features, from developing detailed procedural generation mechanics, to setting up servers, to creating entirely new art with which to fill the inky blackness of space.

Of greatest interest to all of you, we now have a dedicated Jellyfish Games YouTube channel, where we’ve started posting a weekly development vlog.  The updates are only talk-throughs of community-generated questions for now, but as we move along, we’ll start adding WiP imagery, including stills and gameplay footage.

If you have any questions about the game that you’d like us to answer, head over to our forums, and ask away.

Astrobase Command Kickstarter: Update the Crew, Number 2!

The AI Storyteller works behind the scenes to tie everything together into a compelling and dynamic storyline

Our second update was published on Kickstarter this morning, and it’s chock full of goodness.

Although there’s some information on the forum badges, and clarification on our DRM policy, the meat lies in the overview of our AI Storyteller. We want the game to offer something unique, allowing it to stand out from the crowd by crafting dynamic story lines whose outcomes are determined by the characters capabilities and their personality.

Players will certainly be able to build 3D starbases, explore exotic new worlds, and wage battles in space and on planetary surfaces, but our gem, the AI Storyteller that is like having a living, breathing Dungeon Master crafting a unique game experience for the player every time the game is played, offering endless replayability.

Read the full update on our Kickstarter page.

Astrobase Command Kickstarter Looking Good!

Looking good!

Looking good!

What an exciting few days! Jellyfish Games’ Astrobase Command Kickstarter launched on Wednesday and was immediately featured as a staff pick. Shortly afterwards, I was picked up to work with the team to help bring this project to reality. We are now a few days on, and things are moving along smoothly and almost as predicted. As word of the project gets out, we are certain we will continue to generate momentum.

There are many things we believe that make our game unique. Dave Williams, the man who initiated this grand adventure, elaborated on one of the key features: the AI Storyteller. This system is the core to the game into which everything else feeds into and out of. There’s a wonderful account of it over on our forum that involves examples with intrepid explorers on exotic planets, strange caves, and alien eggs being brought back to a space station. The short and sweet of it is that the AI Storyteller is the equivalent of having a living, breathing Dungeon Master crafting a unique game experience for the player every time he played the game, offering endless replayability?

You can find out more about our Kickstarter here. If you like what you see, please help us spread the word around. Every little bit is appreciated!