Announcing the Create Lunar Infrastructure in Moonwards Baby! Contest

As Moonwards becomes more capable,  the people to bring it alive must be drawn in. And so, in May a contest will begin for upgrades to the infrastructure of Moon Town.  It shall be known henceforth as the Create Lunar Infrastructure in Moonwards Baby! contest, or by its acronym – CLIMB! Please note that the proper acronym includes the exclamation point, and that imitation of Austin Powers when saying the name is encouraged. 

Teaching visitors how a town on the moon will really work is core to the purpose of Moonwards. We consider the designs of technology currently portrayed as starting points to be built upon. For the contest, any of the machinery or structures of the town are open to revision, or a new piece can be designed to fit into the town’s architecture.

Submissions will be set up in the habitat that will host Moon Town’s main bazaar, Center Atrium. There visitors will be able to see them and learn about their design and function. During the time the contest is open, we’ll be adding tools to the game world, so that those participating in or overseeing it can communicate inside the game world, and we can use that activity to improve those tools. 

How to Participate

The contest will have three phases – a proposal phase, a design phase, and a final submission phase. 

These phases will occur over the summer of 2021. As this is the first time we’ve run this contest, and we will be working on the tools in the game that facilitate it at the same time as we work with the participants, we will be flexible with the deadlines in the proposal and design phase. The hard deadline will be for final submissions, which must be submitted by the end of Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 6th 2021. We don’t need to get into time zones and stuff – just try to make life easy for us, please.

Proposal Phase

Propose a machine or piece of infrastructure that is critical to the functioning or the economy of Moon Town, the town in the game world. To have your proposal accepted, do your best on the criteria below: 

  • Ensure your design fits with the architecture of Moonwards and the assumptions it makes. A summary of those can be found on the page ‘Designing and Building’
  • Create a technically realistic design, within the assumptions made about this town
  • Ensure the item meets a need of the town, either by directly supporting life there or by enabling major industries that are profitable. The town already includes models for many such things – proposing an improvement to any of them would fulfill this criteria well. At the end of this section are the top 3 pieces we’d like to see improved.
  • The item can be manufactured largely or entirely with local materials using local processes. 
  • The item is a good solution to the design problems of such an item for the town

Moonwards seeks proposals with the maximum of efficacy and economy. Proposals will be assessed according to their overall performance in that regard. So, for instance, if your proposal would need to be manufactured on Earth and imported, but its benefit over its lifetime was sufficiently superior to a locally produced item, then it will still score well.

Your initial proposal must contain

  • rough sketches of the item, which may include 3d model files, and images, including reference images
  • an explanation of what it does and how it works
  • and an explanation of how it satisfies the points above

Submit your proposal to the Moonwards team for initial review. We will consult with people as we assemble a panel that will mentor those working on accepted proposals. Together with them, we’ll choose which proposals advance, and give initial guidance to the people on those teams. 

Proposal submission should be done by mid-May in order to take advantage of mentoring during the design phase over the summer.  Proposals will be accepted or rejected by the beginning of June. Late entrants may also be given a space depending on circumstances. 

To submit a proposal, email it to the address below.

Existing designs where improvement is most sought:
Parabolic mirrors, insulated tanks, radiators, and Stirling engines

Regolith Melters

A great deal of what is made in Moon Town starts with molten regolith. This installation creates that in bulk, and collects the various volatiles that boil off.

Melt in Place Printers

Quick and dirty 3d printers that melt areas of a bed of fine powder regolith and build up shallow shapes layer by layer.

Teacup Experimental Farm

This is one of the last structures that was built in town, after it was possible to fabricate giant pieces of sapphire.

If you have questions please contact us through our Discord server. Also note that we made a channel for each piece of infrastructure, so that discussion of design and implementation of each one can best occur. Join that server at https://discord.gg/P6GHkGwRGK

Design Phase

This is the part where life gets most interesting for the Moonwards team. You see, the accepted projects are going to go on display in Center Atrium, and then as participants work on them, new iterations will replace the initial proposals so that visitors will see the progress over time. We will be working to enhance the game tools for annotating, adding media, and documenting designs over the course of this phase.  In addition to the entrants, mentors and other reviewers will get member accounts so they can add things in the submission area for each design. So visitors won’t just see the models and other materials posted by the contestants for their project, but also how mentors and reviewers mark them up with questions, suggestions, and criticisms.

A GitHub repo will be created for each accepted proposal, which then becomes a Moonwards project. This means that the submitted material will be under the MIT license, copyright held by Moonwards Contributors. That license and copyright shall apply only to the material submitted to Moonwards – the actual 3d models and related media files – not to the intellectual property it is based on, which shall be retained by the authors.  Working with entrants, revisions to each project will be imported into the Moonwards game world as they occur. To facilitate that, the 3d model file for the project piece needs to be either an FBX, OBJ, or GLTF file. Moonwards staff can assist in converting the file to one of these formats, if needed.

The Moonwards team will set up the models in the area set aside for that project in Center Atrium. The entrants will then be able to add tooltips and slideshows to their area to fully document their work for visitors and their mentors.  If their 3d model includes animations, they can ask that interactivity to activate that be added to their project area.

Final Submission Phase

The design phase will end in late August. In the final submission phase, the aim is to polish everything to create a piece that is integrated into the town, complete with added media that explains it to visitors. 

A duplicate of each piece will be made and set up as part of the town itself. It will need to be located in an appropriate place, sized, and properly connected to other infrastructure.

Tooltips, slideshows, and animations already created as documentation during the design phase is polished so that it conveys to a visitor what the piece does for the town, how it works, and optionally other things such as how it would be built, maintained and repaired, operated, and so on.

Prizes

All submissions accepted into Moon Town

All submissions that are judged to add clear value to the accurate representation of our future on the moon will be added to the game world. All those who submitted those entries become members of Moonwards with the Maker status, meaning they will continue to be able to take part in improving the structures in the game and adding new structures. Their names will also be placed on the Makers Monument in the game, and they can attach an audio clip of up to 15 seconds to their names. Finally, they will receive a vinyl sticker with the Moonwards logo. (It’s the very finest sticker quality – holds up even on a surf board!)

Of these new pieces of Moon Town, that will then be part of its life and teachings, teams submitting the best ones will also receive the following:

First Prize

A lovely all-over print tee shirt for each team member. The front and back panels are shown below. These will be produced by Printful and shipped to you.

All other prizes

Nominally we are talking here about 2nd and 3rd prize, but really, we’ll award more stuff as we feel moved to do so. Each member of these teams will receive a Moonwards logo tee shirt. These will be printed on blue, so roughly like this looks below, but on a tee shirt.