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DescriptionExtrasolar is a web based real-time single-player alternate reality game designed to give players a realistic space exploration experience.
The eXoplanetary Research Institute (XRI) has recently had a space craft enter a nearby solar system, Epsilon Eridani. Located in the habitable zone, the planet Epsilon Eridani e is a prime candidate for supporting life. XRI has deployed a lander containing dozens of toaster sized rovers to the surface of the planet. As part of a community outreach program, XRI is accepting applications for rover drivers. Volunteers can apply at extrasolar.com and, if accepted, will be given control over one of the rovers.
Volunteers (players) interact with the XRI science team through live action videos, audio clips, images, and messages. The rover is controlled through a map interface by plotting a course and scheduling photos of the planet's surface between 1 to 36 hours in the future. High quality images of the planet's surface are generated by a high end cloud-based renderer that returns unique and extremely realistic photos containing billions of polygons. The planet is on a 15 hour solar day that has sunrises, sunsets, and a night sky that slowly fills with individually rendered stars from NASA's star database. Volunteers can tag discoveries in their photos, and perform other tasks for the science team in order to advance the complex and involved Extrasolar story.
The main story arc is quite deep, and has elements of science fiction, conspiracy, and space exploration that take most players about a month to complete. Because the game takes place in real-time, players spend a limited amount of time each day (generally 5 to 10 minutes) playing the game (plotting a course for the rover, scheduling photos, tagging discoveries, and interacting with the science team).
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Related Web Sites
- Extrasolar (official website)