The latest mission for NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is not to put man on Mars or revisit the Moon, but to develop a video game. NASA is working with three game studios now to develop their very own massively multi-player online game. This game is being called Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond
and will be available on a subscription basis to the general public. Hence the title and it coming from NASA, it will be an MMO game about outer-space where one has to deal with a variety of extraordinary tasks. More information on NASA's MMO game can be found at NASA.gov
or there is a bit more information at BigDownload.com
This game is still a ways from being released, but at the heart of this game is the Unreal Engine 3 -- the same engine that powers Unreal Tournament 3
, America's Army 3
, and dozens of other titles. Unreal Engine 3 is a multi-platform engine that has an OpenGL renderer and is compatible with Mac OS X and Linux even though we haven't seen any titles be released yet for Linux.
Will Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond have a native Linux port? We have been tipped off that it is indeed being considered. Though this shouldn't be much of a surprise considering NASA extensively uses Linux in its operations (including Fedora
). If a native Linux port of this NASA MMO will indeed come, we can only hope that it will be developed in lockstep with the Windows client and will be released around the same time, compared to the waiting game that there has been for Unreal Tournament 3
, Shadowgrounds: Survivor
, and so many other titles
A space game won't appeal to all Linux gamers, but at least it's not yet another first-person shooter and it will be a modern-day game.