Game Designers like Space

What do game designers do when they are not designing games? Well, it turns out that a surprising amount of game designers are actually into manned spaceflight. So far, I could associate three popular game designers with the space industry:

Richard Garriott – is currently at the ISS conducting some privately-funded space experiments. He will be the fist private astronaut to perform a space walk. An interesting fact is that his dad was an astronaut too. Also, this doesn’t seem the first extravagant science adventure the Garriotts perform, as this video shows.

Will Wright – doesn’t actually fly into space but has keen interest in space technology. He collects space junk. According to Wikipedia his collection includes “a 100-pound hatch from a space shuttle, a seat from a Soyuz… control panels from the Mir, and the control console of the Soyuz 23, as well as dolls, dice, and fossils.” Will also builds robots for Battle Bots and won an illegal coast-to-coast race in a tricked-out Mazda RX-7. (Oh my god, these are EXACTLY the things I would do if I had the money, right down to the car manufacturer. Spooky.)

John Carmack – wants to go to space but he wants to do it all by himself. From the three, I would say this one is the most ambitious space-geek. He actually started a company to develop a private vehicle capable to reach space. The company is called Armadillo Aerospace. They even participated in the Ansari X-Prize but obviously lost to Space Ship One. However, since then they have been successfully building up rocket-science know-how and now provide the rocket engines for the upcoming Rocket Racing League. And they didn’t give up their spaceflight plans yet. Though their planned vehicle is somewhat… unorthodox.

So there are just three – big deal? Yes it is! If you consider how small the private space industry is and how little famous game designers there are.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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