It seems like Neil Degrasse Tyson can do everything!
Space Media Ventures announced a ground-breaking game that may change the way people experience the universe. “Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey,” a downloadable game of planetary exploration, kicks off its presale campaign on June 13, in conjunction with the E3 gaming industry convention.
The campaign is designed to bring in a community of space enthusiasts, gamers and world-builders of all ages to help Tyson create the ultimate gaming adventure.
“Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey” will take players into space to explore the surface of planets. First stop is Proxima b, the closest known exoplanet to the solar system, about 4.2 light years from Earth. Proxima b was just discovered in 2016 and intrepid gamers will now be able to explore it.
Space Odyssey has teamed up with PrimeOrbial, a new, proprietary multi-player gaming universe. Unlike most gaming experiences, PrimeOrbial is a physics-based, multi-player gaming universe that provides “Space Odyssey” players with gameplay that is grounded in real physics, as directed by Tyson.
“I’m delighted to bring the wonders of space to everyone, and one of the most potent ways to accomplish this is through the visual and immersive power of gaming,” said Tyson. “I’m excited to be part of the creative team bringing this educational game to life that is based on real science and driven by real physics. Space Odyssey embodies a shared vision of creators, storytellers and science lovers who want to get people of all ages into space and exploration in ways that encourage curiosity and imagination.”
Space enthusiasts interested in participating in the limited-time presale event can select from several different packages, ranging from $29 USD to $10,000 USD, with a variety of perks and rewards. Those who participate in certain Kickstarter levels can gain early entry to the invite-only beta, exclusive access to the development team, in-game currency bonuses and limited edition and one-of-a-kind goodies. Some of those items will be autographed and personalized by Tyson.
PrimeOrbial has a sophisticated 3D language and scripting system that allows for the real time, in-game creation of dynamic physics-based puzzles as well as gaming challenges that are kinetic, thought-provoking and even shared among simultaneous players. With PrimeOrbial, physics gives rise to emergent gameplay that will attract and capture the curiosity of inventive players.
PrimeOrbial gives Space Odyssey’s players an entirely in-game, physically correct world-building system where players can collaborate online to “mod” existing planets or create their own.
Space Odyssey will take players to the planets, allowing them to experience these worlds and add to them as real science and their collective imagination allows. Beyond Proxima b, the odyssey will continue as the game expands with the ongoing addition of new planets and moons to explore.
Tyson will be with you virtually. Players will enjoy a voice-activated digital assistant to help them in their journey: Neil’s real voice married with a powerful, cloud-based knowledge engine, which will be present throughout the player’s journey and ready to answer any astronomical question it can.
The game will also include involvement from other space authorities, including the “StarTalk All-Stars” (StarTalk is Dr. Tyson’s television show on National Geographic Channel and radio show and podcast), the National Space Society, Sky & Telescope.
Tyson’s vision is to build a large and engaged community of space and science enthusiasts, and encourage the community to participate in the game’s creation. “We want Space Odyssey to be a shared creation. Our vision is to inspire people to explore the wonders of space and science by allowing a community to be a part of the game’s development,” said Space Odyssey Creative Director Mark Murphy.
Tyson will announce the launch of the Kickstarter campaign during a panel called “World Builders” that he is participating in at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles on June 13. The other panelists slated are David Benioff (co-creator, executive producer, Game of Thrones on HBO), James Gunn (writer/director, Guardians of the Galaxy movies), Kiki Wolfkill (executive producer, Halo), Randy Pitchford (creator, Borderlands) and television personality Chris Hardwick, who will moderate the panel.
The anticipated ESRB rating for “Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents Space Odyssey,” is E for everyone.