Moon and Beyond
With "Moon and Beyond" (MaB) we want to create a classic management simulation where you lead the space agencies of the United States or the Soviet Union during the "Space Race" in the Cold War. It covers everything from developing rockets and payloads to training astronauts and technicians. You will plan missions and assemble the rockets. Then you can observe the mission as it progresses and even make critical decisions in case of an emergency.
While doing so, you can choose any path to success you can imagine. You can fly Delta Rockets and leave Titans out, and even develop larger successors to the Saturn V. You can direct deep space probes to the outer planets and plan perhaps the most daring undertaking ever: A manned landing on the Mars!
Compared with earlier games of a similar type, MaB has a much expanded timeframe from 1950 to 1990. That means you can research early sounding rockets still related to the german A-4/V2 design but also bring space stations into orbit like Salyut, Skylab and Mir. Even Shuttle transport systems will be included.
A core feature will be the modular assembly of your launchers, where you can select a fitting depending on the payload weight and your purse.
You can choose from solid rocket boosters to different kinds of upperstages. For example it may be cheaper to choose a smaller core launcher with a bigger upperstage than a bigger launcher with a smaller or no upperstage.
You can even accept offers from external agencies to launch their commercial and military payloads for a generous payment to bolster your budget.
Your budget is provided by the government, but your actions have a big influence on how much money you will actually get. The key factor is your standing among the scientists and the public - the prestige. Achieving "Firsts" (like "first satellite" or "first man on the moon") is one way to get prestige, This means you should maintain a lead over your opponent on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
The other way is a persistent scientific work. Flying more, and maybe cheaper, not so spectacular scientific missions - even repeatedly - will also generate prestige. This provides you with an option to catch up to your opponent if necessary. Additionally, it may be wise to avoid unnecessary risks like loosing astronauts in space. The public may become sceptical about your leadership qualities.
You have to keep an eye on your opponent by analyzing spionage reports. Such reports will get you informed about the actual and upcoming projects your opponet is working on. If you see that you fall behind, maybe it is time to choose another path.
During the course of the game, there will be events who may influence your plannings. These may be random events like training accidents or worker strikes to name just a few. The other are major Cold War events, like the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War or the NATO Double-Track Decision. When Cold War tensions rise, so may our budget !
Check the newspaper for news about the Cold War and other interesting developments.
MaB will have two game modes. One will follow the historical path with only a few variations here and there. The other is a more or less free play, where Cold War events may alter history like unforeseen proxy wars. If your dominance in the Space Race is obvious, you may sometimes even influence the course of the cold war.
MaB focuses on historical correctness as much as possible, while maintaining a smooth gameplay experience and easy understanding. Fo example we emulate real life payload capabilties as good as possible but we have a simplified set of flight profiles including low earth orbits, higher earth orbits as well as escape trajectories. So there are plenty of gameplay choices while the player does not have to worry about the large diversity of real life earth orbits.
To ensure an authentic feeling we will rely on as much original footage as possible. However, that is not possible in every case due to copyright issues.