Moon Town's new stuff for October

Our quest to put your dream town on the moon online, for you to visit and expand, continues…

Make your Own Characters

While most of our time is spent on sprucing up code so it all works right, we’ve made new fun stuff too. An editor for players to make their own game characters is in the final polishing phase. It will allow anyone to create and program a character – appearance, behavior, reactions to stimuli. It uses a node interface that’s far more intuitive than code. It does have to be learned, which is so worth it. It unlocks the power to create Wile E Coyote, Master Chief, or Tinkerbell, and place them in the world of Moon Town.

screenshot of the NPC editor showing lots of nodes connecting to each other
A whole make-believe entity crafted of nodes, connectors, and parameters. Is it a prospector? A doctor? A butterfly? An evil super-Roomba?

This tool is for the committed user. We’ll need to refine it over time to be easier to use. We’ll  make tutorials, and document examples that new creations can be derived from. It’s the first working example of a core principle – we provide the world, you make it grow. We’ll get that snowball rolling by adding initial characters, and add more over time

Everyone needs a HUD now and then

Having everything you need at your fingertips is crucial to sailing through Moon Town in style. All its tools and utilities are easily accessed through the new HUD. If only real life had a HUD like this. (But not the Google Glasses way. Maybe the Neuralink way. We’ll have to see.)

In game view of the Heads Up Display
Just look at all the buttons and stuff!

In the top left corner is the current time on the moon (which will be UTC, I suppose), and the name of the habitat or station where you currently are (cuz there’s a lot of them and it’s a big place). Under that is the list of friends online, which you’ll pull down to click on one and see where they are, or send them an inbox message. To the right of that is the number of messages in your inbox, which you can click to see from who and the subject.

The bottom left corner has the chat window, which you can resize or hide if you wish, with the cursor or with hotkeys. Notice there is a Global tab, for showing all chats, and a Local, for showing just those close by you. And the option to chat by voice (only locally). All that chat functionality will be expanded even further, so that at events or in your lunar home you can choose to keep transcripts and make them available on a board that’s part of your home or your neighborhood, or on your account page. 

The top right has the help button and the button to pull up a menu (for settings and quitting to the main menu).

The bottom right lays out all the really fancy stuff we plan for you. Top row: the map button for navigating and finding your friends, a button to take a screenshot, and another to take an in game video. Bottom row (which is usually hidden unless you pull it up) – button to open the Building App, the Library App, the Event App, the Artificial Intelligence App (that’s the one for making characters), and the Collaboration App, for doing any of the previous activities together with a group of friends.

Ambition, thy name is Moonwards

Completing all the things shown will take a lot of work, and a much larger team. We believe our open source license will attract talented contributors that move us towards that. 

Game devs are a notoriously collaborative lot who know in their bones how to leverage open source. Some will contribute so that others help them work out code they want for projects of their own. Some will be prepping for making money in Moonwards through events, or selling add-ons for it, or using it to create films. Many will just want Moonwards to be better so it’s more fun, and they can have a larger, more interesting circle of friends there. All will contribute in order to hone the craft they are passionate about in the way that gives them true freedom – open source.

We will be in the pitch phase soon. The appeal of the concept will soon be measured. Back to work!

Looking up from the foot of a Pod ship - a nuclear thermal rocket that carries containers that clip onto its frame

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