Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has put together a team to help him build Space Odyssey, a new space exploration game. The team includes fellow astrophysicist Charles Liu, science educator Bill Nye, former astronaut Mike Massimo, American Gods author Neil Gaiman, Len Wein the creator of Marvel’s Wolverine, and George R.R. Martin, who is known for the popular HBO show Game of Thrones. The team has teamed up with developer Big Red Button for their project which is currently still in early development. It seems the potential of a space exploration game designed by actual experts on the topics of space, physics, and web building has sparked a lot of fans’ interests, as the Kickstarter for the project has already well surpassed their $314,159 goal by raising over $350, 000.
The choice to add Martin to the team was an interesting one nonetheless but the reasoning behind it was explained by Tyson: “I like that they’re creating a world that needs to be self-consistent. Create any world you want, just make it self-consistent, and base it on something accessible. I’m a big fan of Mark Twain’s quote: ‘First get your facts straight, then distort them at your leisure.”
Tyson wants the game to be as immersive and customizable as possible. He believes that Martin will help them achieve this due to the complexity of the world and the characters in Game of Thrones. Martin will be important to the process by helping them to create a game that features effective world building. Currently Tyson and the team are experimenting with the Event Horizon physics engine in search for the right engine to achieve their goals of a truly immersive game that spans across the universe. Tyson spoke about the project at Comic Con 2016 “There are enough video games that are shoot-em-ups and this sort of thing. I was trying to explore, teaming up with video game producers, can we think about a journey you might take where you control the formation of solar systems, of planets, of comets. You control the formation of life, civilization, you could maybe tweak the force of gravity and see what effect that will have. It becomes sort of an exploration into the laws of physics and how they shape the universe in which we live.”
They team is looking to have the game available on Steam but do not yet know what consoles the title will be available for. The game will be single player and will have the option of sharing your very own unique universe with other players. They also aim to make it VR compatible as well. The beta for Space Odyssey is expected to be released by early fall 2018.