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It’s rocket science: meet the cosmonauts and engineers making Space Pioneer

Friday, 28 February 2014 14:06 GMT By Matt Martin

The makers of Space Pioneer have survived fire and collisions on the MIR space station. Now they want to bring that real-life drama to video games.

Space_Pioneer_4

Space Pioneer

Space Pioneer is an RTS/god game hybrid, with players switching between a top down view of planetary colonisation, and third-person to control a single space ship.

As well as the single-player campaign and 4-player co-op, Space Pioneer will offer 128-player free roam play on dedicated servers.

All the planets and star systems will be based on scientific information gathered from NASA and the ESA’s databases.

If you’re going to make your dream game you may as well throw everything you have at it. The team behind Space Pioneer are doing just that – and then some – as they hope to create the ultimate game of space exploration, including planetary colonisation, intergalactic politics, warfare and flight simulation.

If that sounds ridiculously ambitious it’s because it is. But the team at Space Enigma Studios is no ordinary game developer looking towards the heavens. One of them, Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Lazutkin, has spent a total of 184 days, 22 hours and 7 seconds in space. He survived a fire onboard Russian space station MIR in 1997 and the collision with supply ship Progress the following year.

“I don’t want for people to experience the unfortunate things that I went through when I was in space,” he tells VG247, “but the player will certainly get to experience some interesting things whilst exploring our virtual universe.”

“I don’t want for people to experience the unfortunate things that I went through when I was in space” – Aleksandr Lazutkin, cosmonaut

Players “will be able to play through parallels of some of our experiences,” adds Lazutkin, who is acting as creative director on the project. “Space Pioneer approximates space exploration, but in a way that doesn’t impede or needlessly complicate gameplay.”

For Latzukin, Space Pioneer can be a game that fills a gap in education about – and awareness of – the study of space, and he’s clearly a man who feels passionate about the decrease in world government spending on Astronautics, despite his home country Russia bucking the trend in global space spending.

“Space Pioneer has the potential to help increase interest in real world space exploration,” he says. “As our governments are giving less and less money towards space exploration – in spite of the billions spent in Sochi – it is important for us to have an outlet to express our desire or spark our interest to venture into space.”

Space_Pioneer_2

“Space simulators, if they are done in a way that is fun and inspiring, can increase public awareness on the state of space exploration and can help towards persuading officials and agencies to give more funding towards the future of astronautics.”

Latzukin is also joined on the team by fellow Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev who holds the record for the most amount of time spent in space (803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes) and Sergei Avdeyev, a pilot who has spent over 42 hours walking in space.

During their time in space both men experienced time dilation, meaning they have aged less than an earthbound person by approximately 20 milliseconds. And it’s at that hint of time travel (it’s not really time travel) that reminds us Space Pioneer is science fiction, primarily being designed as a game, not an educational tool.

“A professional science fiction writer should be able to incorporate a space sim into his or her world with relative ease,” offers Anton Pervushin, author of more than 60 books. Pervushin’s involvement with Space Pioneer should ensure the game isn’t a dry space simulation. “It’s not at all difficult for me to strike a balance between science fact and science fiction, as I would say that I am competent in both fields,” he says matter-of-factly.

“Space Pioneer is making use of many scientific principles and theories that we haven’t yet used in real world space exploration” – Anton Pervushim, sci-fi author

He won’t be drawn too much on the narrative that will push players of Space Pioneer forward, apart from suggesting his role is to take existing theories and make them playable concepts within the game.

“Space Pioneer is making use of many scientific principles and theories that we haven’t yet used in real world space exploration. We’re even using one relatively prominent scientific theory that concerns how humanity actually comes into contact with alien civilizations,” he says, stopping short of revealing more.

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1 Comments

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    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]