Friday, July 22, 2016

Big picture?

(Note: the following is one of various posts that were copied here from the forum for the sake of preserving the early days of the project. It was originally posted there on Oct 27th, 2015. The first part was a post by Joe Strout, of the High Frontier space colonization game, and then follows my response.)

I apologize if this is explained somewhere, and I missed it.

I'm very impressed with the quality of what's going on here, and fully supportive of the goal as I understand it. But I'm a little vague on exactly what that goal is.

I see that you're designing an expandable base near Lalande crater. You also talk about making a virtual base that people can play with, I guess as a computer game.

Can you expand on the objective & plan there? What will this game be like? Who will create it?

And, are there further objectives beyond the game? E.g., would we be advocating this lunar plan to major governments or large corporations, the way Robert Zubrin has been pushing his Mars Direct plan for many years?

I guess I'm just looking for a little clarification as to what we're trying to do here, and how we intend to accomplish it.

Thanks, - Joe

Heya Joe - i'm sorry, i didn't see this entry until just now. I've been taking it easy this week after a few months of rather intense work. Normally i keep the forum open in a tab all the time, but not this week.

To some degree, i'm feeling my way forward. As i think things through, i become less sure of the best way for this to grow, and so i don't want to lay out a plan that is too specific. Many options and off-branches have occurred to me. I have this feeling that the lay of the land is about to drastically change, in the space advocacy scene. SpaceX, the Chinese, a Russia renewing its nationalist space drive, cubesats, India moving forward, talk of a venture capital fund, 3d printing, Bigelow... things are burgeoning towards a major tipping point. The options for making the case for how critical space development is, is moving almost as fast. There is a lot to think about.

As i finish the basic website, which i think i have to do before i make any kind of move to involve more people formally, i am considering what the best path is. Input is of course welcome. What i'm making right now is the calling card for when i ask people with the right skills to think about contributing. That i have to do on my own. I have a plan, and it should take me a few more months. Let's say by sometime in February. What you see right now is maybe a tenth of what is in my head. I need a complete rough draft based on my own ideas, many of which will later be modified or replaced when informed input comes in, but at least it will all hang together as one integrated vision. That i think is critical so i want it to have that presence from the start. Also the layout and interactivity of the site needs a lot of work, i can do better.

Then? I'll seek people through the Blender community who would be interested in building more involved, complete models in exchange for having a window pop up, in the eventual 3d environment the whole thing will be in, whenever a special kind of button is pressed, which each model will have. In that window, the people who built it get to post a short write up and a few images, and put their logo and contact info.

I'll seek sponsors who will help convince Blender and app-programmer types that such a deal will work for them because this thing will likely get enough traffic for that to genuinely be a networking tool.

I'll go into the NSS community very actively searching for a few people who can help put the website completely in shape to be a high-traffic site that can administer the teams involved. And also seeking NSS introductions to organizations who could be sponsors.

I don't think that turning this into a game is a good approach, at least not in the sense several other organizations are working on - including yours. That has its merits but it is being covered. I want this to have very broad appeal and be a platform for discussion. I have ideas about how to make it layered so that people can get the level of education they want as they interact with the environment, and mostly enjoy experiencing it. The idea is more like Minecraft or Sims than a goal-oriented game. And playing with the models would be entirely optional, you could just look around and click on things as you wish to find out about them, or click once to be taken on a walk-through.

Backing it up, for those who are so inclined, would be an entrance to this forum (or rather it's more developed successor), tucked in a few places around the virtual colony. There visitors would see the top threads displayed and could open it in a new tab. However they would need to have thoroughly checked through the virtual colony and completed several tasks in order to gain access to the forum. Perhaps in that forum, or maybe in a connected blog or some such thing, i'll probably go on occasional tirades about how very important this all is. It will be in the process of reaching beyond this planet in a serious way that we learn to identify ourselves as one species, on one of many planets, in a vast universe in which our previous ideas of cosmic truth are too limiting and must be expanded.

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