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Yay for Space[ShipOne]! [Jun. 21st, 2004|01:26 pm]
[Current Mood |futuristic]

Today, SpaceShipOne became the first privately-funded craft to reach space (62 miles above the Earth's surface, technically in space). The craft was built by Scaled Composites, an aerospace company that is the most serious contender for the Ansari X-Prize.

Personally, I was hoping Armadillo Aerospace would snag it; they're progressing steadily, though, and might make a feasible rocket or lifting body even without the prize. (Yeah, I'm totally biased because Armadillo is run by John Carmack, my geek idol who basically founded the FPS genre and developed many realtime rendering algorithms.)

I think the coolest thing about Scaled Composites' success today was someting Buzz Aldrin said. He was there to watch the test flight and, upon pilot Mike Melvill's return, said to him, "Welcome to the club." Very cool. I'm hoping, as Aldrin and many others are, that this will build upon other recent successes and reignite the public's interest in space.

[User Picture]From: twopiearr
2004-06-21 08:48 pm (UTC)
I will give Carmack the props he deserves for the work he did to advance realtime rendering. But he crippled the games industry severely as far as gameplay and plot development were concerned, by essentially demonstrating that they weren't necessary for a game to be successful (quality being less a concern than bottom line sales). Those damnable exploding barrels populate the majority of action games to this very day.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-06-21 09:09 pm (UTC)
I think that there's a long history of games with and without plots. (As is true in other areas of entertainment.) I would point to Space Invaders as an example of an early action smash hit that had a plot as insignificant as Doom's. (Granted, there weren't exploding barrels in Space Invaders.)

The use of barrels and crates even developed into a cynical game rating system (by Old Man Murray, IIRC) based on how long you played the game until you saw a breakable crate/barrel. I don't think Doom was pioneering in this area, though they certainly advanced it along.
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[User Picture]From: smack_jackal
2004-06-21 10:07 pm (UTC)
Scaled Composites really isn't a start up. They've been around for a long time doing subcontract work for larger aerospace companies.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2004-06-21 10:10 pm (UTC)
You're right. I knew they were a contractor but I thought that this was their first entry into the aerospace arena. I was evidently confusing them with some other company, as they have done contracted aerospace work.
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[User Picture]From: electricgecko
2004-06-22 03:57 am (UTC)
I was in Mojave this morning, as a matter of fact... and I'll be posting pictures, assuming enough of them turned out all right. ;)
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