Moon Truck or "Time to get a Hummer"

October 30, 2008

As the projects to go back to the moon are going on we can start to take a look at what the NASA is doing to accomplish this achievement. In this case they are informing about the tests they are doing with the new Moon Vehicle, in this case a Truck and not a rover like the ones used on the Apollo era. Why? well they explain it:

“Those lunar rovers were disposable, so they were only going to be used for two or three days. These that we’re looking now, we’re looking at up to five years length on the moon.”

But why a Truck?

“We’re talking about hundreds of kilometers. This is a completely different paradigm than Apollo.”

Moon Truck

Here’s a picture of the device, like copied from a 50’s movie right? Well they said is not the final design yet so it could change in the future, let see some specs about it:

NASA’s Chariot moon truck chassis consists of six bug-like legs, each of which tipped with two wheels. The 2,204-pound (1,000-kg) vehicle is about 15 feet (4.5 meters) long capable of hauling twice its weight in cargo and driving up to 6 mph (10 kph) on rough terrain. Each of the wheel talks can pivot 360 degrees and be lifted up to clear rocks or other obstacles, giving the Chariot the ability to mimic a crab’s flexible mobility.

Very flexible indeed, so far test were really good and the engineers are learning a lot but there is still a long way to go, keep tuned.

Link to the full article: Astronauts Ride in Style in New Moon Truck

Selected on Game Design Contest

October 24, 2008

I’m very proud to say that my design for the weekly contest Game Design Challenge from Game Career Guide portal was selected as a winner. The challenge name was No Jumping! and consisted on:

Design the game mechanics for a platform game with no jump function.

In the words of the site this was my submission:

Early on in this challenge, Martin Bilello posted this idea on the forum: “if you think the ones that mostly don’t jump on this type of games are the villains, so why not to be a villain?” And thus, the mummy game idea was born. It’s basically a game of tag, but done in such a way that it works as a computer game.

My game’s name was Get out of my Tomb! and here is the entire design I sent.

The site Gamasutra, supporter of this contest also has publish an article about the contest and this is the reference about my design:

Another notable concept that came out of the challenge was Martin Bilello’s. Bilello, a senior technical architect and independent game designer, proposed a platformer in which the player is a villain, a type of character who often does not have a jump function in that genre of game in the first place. His game, called Get Out of My Tomb!, is a tag-like game that involves a mummy protecting his tomb from treasure hunters.

I’m taking this as a first step and not as the goal, I’m really happy now and expect to continue on the path of video games. Wish me luck!

Space Station Toilet Broken

October 10, 2008

Recent news tells us about the problems the astronauts are facing on the Space Station, they only have two toilets up there and one has broken, again, and as they say this is vital for the crew in the ISS, more now that they except to increase the number of people living in it.

“The problem appears to be a [gas] separator issue.” the article says, I couldn’t have made any better if I wanted to make a joke, right?

The replacement will cost $19 million, I’m sure being a plumber on the next century will be really profitable, maybe Mario style ones.

Ok, enough with the jokes, it seems a really serious problem, so you may want to read the article with the details, I just can’t resist to make a joke.

Article: Space Station Toilet Breaks Again