NASA has released a new free online video game called Moonbase Alpha.
Moonbase Alpha has single and multiplayer options that allow users to play the role of an exploration team member in a futuristic 3-D lunar settlement. Players must work to repair systems and oxygen flow after a meteor strike damages a solar array and life support equipment. Resoruces include an interactive command center, a lunar rover, mobile robotic repair units and an equipment shed.
It is the first game in NASA's Learning Technologies project. The project supports the delivery of NASA content through interactive technologies such as virtual worlds, games and software applications to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education.
Moonbase Alpha is a precursor to a planned NASA-based massively, multiplayer online game project. The project is being designed to have content and missions that require players to gain and demonstrate STEM knowledge to succeed.
NASA released the game on Valve's Steam network. The agency will use the Steamworks suite of services for server browsing, leaderboards, and statistics.