Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Moonbase Alpha 2 – a video game for teaching science and technology in an exciting, interactive way. The sequel to 2010’s Moonbase Alpha, Moonbase Alpha 2 will provide new opportunities for learning driven by cutting-edge Unreal Engine 4 and Nvidia Phys-X technologies.
The original game (available on Steam) was named one of “Top 50 Free Games” of 2013 by PC Gamer Magazine, with over 1.5 million downloads and counting. Players assume the role of astronauts trying to save a meteor-damaged lunar research base, while learning about topics such as gravity, solar power, geology, and robotics. The sequel is set several years later and will feature new mechanics, scenarios, and challenges. Moonbase Alpha 2 will provide new gameplay elements such as thruster packs to enhance players’ ability to explore. Popular features from the original will be incorporated, such as the capacity for multi-player collaboration and an open “sandbox” design for freeform gameplay. The sequel will also feature the original’s much-beloved text-to-speech experience, which has spawned fan videos with over 8 million views on YouTube and a page in the Internet Meme Database.
Virtual Heroes developed Moonbase Alpha under NASA funding with management by the Army Game Studio; Moonbase Alpha 2 will be entirely independent and crowd-funded, available for free on Steam. Said Virtual Heroes Division Manager Randy Brown, “We are a great fan of Kickstarter for helping to make projects like this a reality. Like its predecessor, Moonbase Alpha 2 will promote team coordination, creativity, and STEM education values. With our backers’ help, we will create an amazing game with a new generation of gameplay, physics-based effects, and state of the art Unreal 4 technology.”
The Kickstarter funding goal is $480,000, with an end date of November 7, 2015. Backer rewards include custom in-game items, Beta access, exclusive artwork, and the chance to help design parts of the game. To donate, visit the Moonbase Alpha 2 Kickstarter page. For more information, see the Moonbase Alpha official site.
About Virtual Heroes
Founded in 2004, Applied Research Associates’ Virtual Heroes Division has a successful track record of designing and releasing immersive, virtual-world serious games and Advanced Learning Technology (ALT) applications. For more information and a list of customers, visit http://www.virtualheroes.com.