Author Topic: Game to simulate Nasa  (Read 3342 times)

Offline floss

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Game to simulate Nasa
« on: 11/08/2021 01:26 pm »
Is there any game available to simulate NASA ?

Offline electricdawn

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #1 on: 11/08/2021 01:50 pm »
Kerbal Space Program? ;)

I think you left out what type of game you're looking for. Is it something like KSP? Or are you interested in an economic sim? A managerial sim? A scientific sim?

NASA is all of that and quite a bit more.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2021 01:50 pm by electricdawn »

Offline floss

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #2 on: 11/08/2021 01:57 pm »
A blend with all three like sim nasa was years ago .

Offline electricdawn

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #3 on: 11/08/2021 02:02 pm »
So you're actually looking more for a micromanagement-simcity game, instead of a build-your-own-rocket-and-send-it-to-its-fiery-doom-game?

My apologies, can't help with that.

Offline floss

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #4 on: 11/08/2021 02:29 pm »
Yes I was amazed that they had launched the second sky lab (it is in a museum)and added fuel tanks for a reusable lunar effort .

Offline Proponent

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #5 on: 11/08/2021 11:58 pm »

Offline high road

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #6 on: 11/09/2021 08:47 pm »
I recall a game where you had to set up the deep space network and fund and launch all important satellites and  deep space missions, but no idea what the name was.

Offline Yggdrasill

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #7 on: 11/10/2021 04:50 am »
"Mars Horizon" is pretty decent.

Offline Oersted

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #8 on: 11/10/2021 10:18 pm »
Place a bucket on your floor, label it SLS, then throw burning dollar bills into it, there's your NASA sim.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #9 on: 11/12/2021 05:10 pm »
In the 1960s there was a board game called "Countdown" that allowed players to build rockets to conduct a Moon mission. I have a copy of the game, although I've never played it. You have to get money, buy research and development, and build the stages of your rocket. I have scanned the game instructions and have attached them here as a pdf.

Offline tea monster

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #10 on: 11/13/2021 07:34 am »
Leaving Earth is a card based game about building your space agency empire and exploring the solar system. It's based on current/1970s tech. Board Game Geek review with screens: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/173064/leaving-earth

Terraforming Mars and Gaia Project are more sci-fi orientated but very fun games about converting the Red Planet and building your own Star Empire respectively.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/167791/terraforming-mars
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/220308/gaia-project

Both the later games are very complicated and will take a while to set up and explain the rules to the non-initiated, but are quite a good play time. 

Offline axroth

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #11 on: 12/11/2021 04:34 pm »
Hello, I am creating the Road to Mars project.

It is an interactive experience that will follow SpaceX's progress to Mars!

https://roadtomars.page

I will start beta testing at the end of this month, you can sign up to be a tester and join the project's Discord.

Offline AstroWolfie

Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #12 on: 02/03/2022 05:36 pm »
Space Agency is a nice one. its by Nooleus and has Saturn V, SpaceX, Ariane 5, and more
AstroWolfie

Offline AstroWolfie

Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #13 on: 03/15/2022 04:27 pm »
Kerbal is also great! its kinda hard tho.
AstroWolfie

Offline DaveJ576

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #14 on: 03/17/2022 02:21 pm »
Maybe Race into Space?

An updated version of this game is called "Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager" and it is available on Steam. The emphasis on this game is program management (obviously as indicated by the name, lol). You must establish your agency, build out your space center, establish and manage hardware programs, all the while carefully managing the amount of money that you expend on facilities, hardware R&D, and astronaut and controller training and salaries. You must then launch missions to gain prestige points, which go a long way towards determining what your budget will be. A lack of proper R&D WILL lead to failed missions, with a resulting loss of prestige and money. Buzz Aldrin's name and image are used numerous times during the game, but I get the impression that he had little to do with the game design. Compared to the original Race into Space the graphics and visuals are vastly improved.

The management part is fairly well done and immersive, but the game fails badly on the execution of missions. Once you push the button to launch you must sit and watch for the most part, and have very little control on how the mission proceeds. If a failure occurs, you can hire "Tiger Teams" to R&D a solution, and this will increase the chances of a favorable outcome. This of course requires you to spend a lot of money and it gives you no assurance of success. The game dynamics are programmed to insert failures in an attempt to make the game challenging, and when these occur is based on your R&D percentage and the experience level of your astronauts and controllers. The game performs a "roll of the dice" function to determine the outcome of the failure. This would indicate a totally random outcome which should be in your favor if you have done your management job properly. However, the game's programming philosophy seems overly negative and the "roll of the dice" seems to go against you far more than it goes for you. The programmers have also inserted a function that will have the same failure occur again and again, even if you reload a game save to try again.

I found the game to be extremely frustrating to play and finally gave up on it altogether. I got tired of the game forcing you to fail even when you did everything else right. All in all it is a decent attempt at a management sim, but fails in the spaceflight phase.
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Offline ZachS09

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #15 on: 03/19/2022 01:50 am »
There's also Orbiter 2016.
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline Robert_the_Doll

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #16 on: 03/19/2022 01:32 pm »
So you're actually looking more for a micromanagement-simcity game, instead of a build-your-own-rocket-and-send-it-to-its-fiery-doom-game?

My apologies, can't help with that.

Kerbal Space Program certainly has the management side of things to it, which is why you go into the Administration building and select which economic, public outreach, and emphasis on science approach you want to go with. It is also why when setting up your game, you choose the whether you want your game to be career or science based.

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #17 on: 03/19/2022 02:05 pm »
Orbiter 2016
Astronomer & launch photographer

Offline Robert_the_Doll

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #18 on: 03/19/2022 02:31 pm »
Maybe Race into Space?

An updated version of this game is called "Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager" and it is available on Steam. The emphasis on this game is program management (obviously as indicated by the name, lol). You must establish your agency, build out your space center, establish and manage hardware programs, all the while carefully managing the amount of money that you expend on facilities, hardware R&D, and astronaut and controller training and salaries. You must then launch missions to gain prestige points, which go a long way towards determining what your budget will be. A lack of proper R&D WILL lead to failed missions, with a resulting loss of prestige and money. Buzz Aldrin's name and image are used numerous times during the game, but I get the impression that he had little to do with the game design. Compared to the original Race into Space the graphics and visuals are vastly improved.

The management part is fairly well done and immersive, but the game fails badly on the execution of missions. Once you push the button to launch you must sit and watch for the most part, and have very little control on how the mission proceeds. If a failure occurs, you can hire "Tiger Teams" to R&D a solution, and this will increase the chances of a favorable outcome. This of course requires you to spend a lot of money and it gives you no assurance of success. The game dynamics are programmed to insert failures in an attempt to make the game challenging, and when these occur is based on your R&D percentage and the experience level of your astronauts and controllers. The game performs a "roll of the dice" function to determine the outcome of the failure. This would indicate a totally random outcome which should be in your favor if you have done your management job properly. However, the game's programming philosophy seems overly negative and the "roll of the dice" seems to go against you far more than it goes for you. The programmers have also inserted a function that will have the same failure occur again and again, even if you reload a game save to try again.

I found the game to be extremely frustrating to play and finally gave up on it altogether. I got tired of the game forcing you to fail even when you did everything else right. All in all it is a decent attempt at a management sim, but fails in the spaceflight phase.

I still have a copy of the original Liftoff! game and I wish I could play it more often since it is a remarkably nuanced game compared to its computer-based successors, especially since the board game allows for more than just U.S. and Russian space agencies to get into the mix with the European and Japanese also vying to be first on the Moon. The cards in the game definitely allow for more interesting curve balls to be thrown, including outright espionage and sabotage of other player's programs and missions. Also, it helped that my original gaming group introduced house rules that made everything more accurate and interesting historically. For instance, the U.S.A. house rule let them start off with more money than the others, but because it is a very transparent program, the public backlash results in higher penalties for failures. Soviets/Russia has less money, but because they're secret and totalitarian, they have a chance of hiding their failures and take no penalty.

The only serious downside to the board game is that it does require a great deal of bookkeeping and micromanagement of the many programs, missions, and even the individual astronauts. And of course, time.

Offline Pipcard

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Re: Game to simulate Nasa
« Reply #19 on: 05/13/2022 12:17 am »
Kerbal is also great! its kinda hard tho.
Kerbal can be more challenging if you're playing with the Real Solar System, Realism Overhaul (which uses real engines and propellants), and Realistic Progression 1 (career mode) mods. It's like playing a NASA management sim but you get to specifically design and fly the missions yourself as well.
« Last Edit: 05/13/2022 12:22 am by Pipcard »

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