The Winding Road

I opened up our newsletter service today and was shocked at how long it’s been… We are a small team, and I more than anyone have to wear many hats and work my hardest to move the project forward. I put off things like newsletters, telling myself I can spend more time on them once critical work is done. Here I am, so I guess we are getting close.

Looking up the center tower that supports a ring of planters under a glass roof, Earth seen through glass at top

Under the hood most all our code has been revamped in the last months. Our Lead Developer, Karim Rizk, came in, resorted everything, and built a new solidity and focus on our team. Our vision has clarified. It’s as ambitious as it ever was. Now I understand how very ambitious it is. I’ve kept my eyes on that horizon. This isn’t a simple business venture to me – it’s something I feel is needed in the world and I’ll pull as hard as I can to make it real, or get as much done as I can before leaving it for someone else to pick up and move further.

Our giant yellow rover drives up to the flywheel towers, each set of two is connected to a giant solar panel beside them

We have a revamped rover. It’s been programmed to respond to the terrain like a real vehicle. It can get a lot better that way – vehicles with wheels on the ends of six long multi-jointed legs are, um, unusual in the game world. Thankfully budding young game devs love a challenge. They love our rover and look forward to making its bank and jump properly, and use all the potential its long legs give it. Just like the engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory intended when they designed the rover ours is very closely based on – the ATHLETE. Wait until we program it to use tools and set it to simulating construction and mining, in addition to its current duty of carrying the passenger pods from the Spaceport to the Airlock Bay of the main set of habitats. It’s gonna be so cool.

A tiny two level home with a glass facade, on the edge of a floor with a view over the length of the habitat it's inside of

A first neighborhood, with 26 tiny homes for some 40 or 50 first residents has been roughed in. The image shows the example dwelling that has been detailed with furnishings as well. The intention is to show the flexibility and opportunity in designing these homes, as well as conveying the limits and why they exist. The whole neighborhood is being dotted with markers that expand into articles when clicked. 

The view you normally have while playing, 3rd person behind your avatar, and the makers monument, the moonwards kiosk, a billboard displaying slides

My work now focuses on adding content like that – stuff that explains what you are looking at. It’s like virtual museum experience, but for the future. When this goes online, at first this will be the focus of activities in the environment. As we can build on to it, regular users will have ever more ways to create things of their own. The added-content tools will also be available to early content contributors, who we’ll be seeking in the space community. 

This is a teeny snapshot of a few things we’ve been doing. Is the forest thinning around our path? Is that the light of the other side I see in the distance? I’ll let you know.

Godot game engine editor screen,