Ultimate space simulation software

 
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Anthro_Danielle
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19 Sep 2017 02:57

Hi guys! Danielle the space & new media anthropologist here to pick your brains about space, SE, and how you use it! If we haven't met yet, I'm a researcher exploring the use of social and new media for various projects in the space industry and in its networks and publics, and Space Engine is one case I'm really interested in.
I wanted to run a new question by you as part of my ongoing online research - if you have any thoughts or opinions I would love to hear them:
 
How would you describe the SE community? Do you think that there is one? Do you know each other and interact here or elsewhere (ie., other platforms, sites, games, irl)? Do you think many users do?
Do the people here change the way you use, experience, feel about SE, how much you learn? What works well about the social scene/community that you have here? What, in your opinion, would make for a stronger community?

To everyone who's taken the time to answer my questions, and share your knowledge and experiences with me so far - I really appreciate this opportunity to learn with you - Thank you! If you're interested in getting more involved in my research (online chat/email/skype/etc. interviews), or have any suggestions for how I can best learn about and contribute to the SE community, hit me up! More details on my research can be found here And original introductory thread is here.
 
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Salvo
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20 Sep 2017 07:17

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
How would you describe the SE community? Do you think that there is one?

I think there is a small community. Why so? Because there are people that remained on the forum for a lot, they moved from the old one to the new one. It is a very weird community because it is made of people of very various ages, with a small peak at 18-25 years old range, and of both sexes (of course there's a majority of male users, but there are quite a lot of females compared to other communities). Space and astronomy are themes that attracts mostly everyone!
Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Do you know each other and interact here or elsewhere (ie., other platforms, sites, games, irl)? Do you think many users do?

Recently some Discord channels have been opened and they're quite active too. I personally don't interact too much with other users, but I'm in contact on Skype and Steam with a few of them and I occasionally send some PMs here on the forum.
Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Do the people here change the way you use, experience, feel about SE, how much you learn?

Of course, the community opens a lot of possibilities in terms of "gameplay". Making awesome screenshots to share on the forum, taking part of "challenges" (searching for a particular thing in Space Engine), sharing your discoveries and so on. Also... mods!
Yeah, I wouldn't be using Space Engine very frequently if it wasn't for this community.
Anthro_Danielle wrote:
What works well about the social scene/community that you have here?

I think almost everything works well here, I see no big problems. Yeah, there is some people complaining to the developer about things that aren't present or they don't like, or eventually about the frequency of updates, but that's quite standard in every forum where there's something in development. Also we have good moderators that know how to do their job.
Anthro_Danielle wrote:
What, in your opinion, would make for a stronger community?

The only thing that would make it stronger is people. There are a few very active users but most of them don't partecipate too much, I also don't because I have very little free time. But eventually, when the game will be closer to completion, there will be much more people here and maybe the program itself will not be a barely known thing anymore!
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

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DoctorOfSpace
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20 Sep 2017 12:45

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post How would you describe the SE community? Do you think that there is one?


The core community is pretty friendly and welcoming for the most part.  There definitely is one, it is quite small though maybe around 15 people.  Hard to say, people tend to become rather active for a short while and then drift off and come back later.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do you know each other and interact here or elsewhere (ie., other platforms, sites, games, irl)?


I joined the SE community in 2012 and I have made a few friends through it, we haven't met in person but we communicate through other platforms like skype/Steam/Discord.  We sell/buy/gift things to each other and stay in regular contact.  Outside of meeting in person it is a pretty good thing.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do you think many users do?


This is a hard one to answer as people don't really seem to talk about it.  From the small group of people I interact with in the SE community only a small group is like that.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do the people here change the way you use, experience, feel about SE, how much you learn?


Used to be that way for me, now I tend to be one of the people who gets messaged a lot to help with issues people are having.  

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post What works well about the social scene/community that you have here?


Most people here tend to be fairly reasonable and easy to deal with.  Plenty of interesting discussions have happened, no one directly attacks anyone else, besides a few occasions, and all ideas are discussed.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post What, in your opinion, would make for a stronger community?


If I had a good answer for this one then I would probably already be working on it.  I try to remain active in the few communities linked to this one, through Discord/Steam/Skype/Reddit, and I often recommend the program and community to people who might be interested.  Beyond that what is really needed is for the program to advance a bit more and get more people interested.
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Anthro_Danielle
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21 Sep 2017 05:01

Hi Salvo & Doc - thanks so much for the amazing responses, you've raised some really interesting points and given me lots to think about!

It seems like there is a sense that SE is a small community - because the program is not very widely known yet, and also because it is a very small group of people who are the most active here (consistently posting and interacting, etc.). I think that's something that's pretty common to see with online communities and other social phenomena, that 'long tail' where a small number of people do the majority of the 'work'. Interesting questions then are if you want that network of (socially) active users to become bigger, and if so, how to go about achieving it. I saw some discussions elsewhere on the forum about how to help promote or popularise SE - I guess that would be part of it, but also how to get the people who already use/play it to interact, engage, or contribute more to the community.

Salvo - I really like the points you made about how the community or social interaction doesn't just happen in the forums here but in lots of different contexts and platforms/applications in combination (maybe discussing topics here, but also chatting on Discord, and playing/interacting with friends through Skype and Steam), and having community happen like that opens lots of new possibilities for gameplay and experiencing SE:

Salvo wrote:
Source of the post Making awesome screenshots to share on the forum, taking part of "challenges" (searching for a particular thing in Space Engine), sharing your discoveries and so on. Also... mods!
Yeah, I wouldn't be using Space Engine very frequently if it wasn't for this community.

How do you think I could best engage with people about the ways that they use SE *as something social spread across so many different contexts and kinds of applications and platforms*? What role do each of these different platforms and contexts play in the bigger picture of SE community/userbase?

Doc - It sounds like you have some similar experiences, given how active you try to be across the SE communities on different platforms to help maintain/build the communities. I guess for you it's also a matter of responsibilities too, in that you're not just actively participating as a fellow user, but trying to maintain and support the social side of things and help people with their issues. You suggest as well that only a very small group of users is socially involved with the community/each other to such a degree.

DoctorOfSpace wrote:
Source of the post This is a hard one to answer as people don't really seem to talk about it.  From the small group of people I interact with in the SE community only a small group is like that.

Based on the responses you've both shared, and the fact that you responded at all, suggests you're from that smaller group of active users - I wonder what the SE user experience is like for people who aren't so heavily involved in the community and social side of things, and what kind of difference that makes.. (If any lurkers feel like jumping in I'd love to hear your thoughts too!)

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop and chat, guys, being able to share and learn from your perspectives and experience is so valuable and I really appreciate it!
 
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Salvo
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21 Sep 2017 05:35

You are a very kind person!

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
How do you think I could best engage with people about the ways that they use SE *as something social spread across so many different contexts and kinds of applications and platforms*? What role do each of these different platforms and contexts play in the bigger picture of SE community/userbase? 

You are already doing so. If anyone reads these paragraphs will already get the idea you have of the community!

Actually, of the two platforms that have been mentioned, Skype doesn't play such an important role (at least for me).
About Discord, from what I can see just replaces the part of the old forum in which people was sharing discoveries and starting challenges. They also do it in threads on this section but Discord seems to be the most appealing place to do so. Also it is a good place to say some random things without being accused to do "useless posts".  :)
The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

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21 Sep 2017 22:51

DoctorOfSpace wrote:
Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post How would you describe the SE community? Do you think that there is one?


The core community is pretty friendly and welcoming for the most part.  There definitely is one, it is quite small though maybe around 15 people.  Hard to say, people tend to become rather active for a short while and then drift off and come back later.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do you know each other and interact here or elsewhere (ie., other platforms, sites, games, irl)?


I joined the SE community in 2012 and I have made a few friends through it, we haven't met in person but we communicate through other platforms like skype/Steam/Discord.  We sell/buy/gift things to each other and stay in regular contact.  Outside of meeting in person it is a pretty good thing.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do you think many users do?


This is a hard one to answer as people don't really seem to talk about it.  From the small group of people I interact with in the SE community only a small group is like that.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do the people here change the way you use, experience, feel about SE, how much you learn?


Used to be that way for me, now I tend to be one of the people who gets messaged a lot to help with issues people are having.  

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post What works well about the social scene/community that you have here?


Most people here tend to be fairly reasonable and easy to deal with.  Plenty of interesting discussions have happened, no one directly attacks anyone else, besides a few occasions, and all ideas are discussed.

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post What, in your opinion, would make for a stronger community?


If I had a good answer for this one then I would probably already be working on it.  I try to remain active in the few communities linked to this one, through Discord/Steam/Skype/Reddit, and I often recommend the program and community to people who might be interested.  Beyond that what is really needed is for the program to advance a bit more and get more people interested.

Thanks for all the hard work and dedication, Doc!  The best way to grow the community is to share the passion you have about the program and space in general with others.  This is not a well-known program like some of the others I have, but the dedication and knowledge-base is amazing within its members.
 
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22 Sep 2017 02:04

Hey Salvo, Thank *you* for your kind words as well! I'm hoping I can keep learning and improving with you all as I go!

I take your point about the different ways of using (and probably frequency of use as well) different platforms to supplement SE experience & participation. I'd love to know what people like about the Discord, how and why they use it! To me, I like that it's kind of informal and easy to share things (relative to forums), plus voice chat, and ofc the fact that you can be bouncing between multiple servers and participating in more than one community at once, seems convenient!

Salvo wrote:
Source of the post About Discord, from what I can see just replaces the part of the old forum in which people was sharing discoveries and starting challenges. They also do it in threads on this section but Discord seems to be the most appealing place to do so.

I think it's really interesting how different functions are spread across multiple platforms like this, and it's not just like, different options that you necessarily choose between - some contexts have overlapping functions (like you noted with the point about challenges being shared on the forum *and* on the discord) and you might use multiple platforms/applications at once for the fuller experience. That probably sounds really obvious and silly, but I guess it's interesting coming from a social sciences/social use of technology in everyday life kind of perspective :)
 
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22 Sep 2017 03:44

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post How would you describe the SE community? Do you think that there is one?

in my opinion, probably there are more than one community, there are a lot of small group of people that use SE in different ways and interact on the forum with different objectives... there's a group of modders, there's a group of people that wait and are interested in the future game, there's a group who loves the scientific side of project...
Also, some people move along all or some of this groups, and someone else stay focused only on one interest
Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do you know each other and interact here or elsewhere (ie., other platforms, sites, games, irl)? Do you think many users do?

Personally i don't interact much with other people outside of the SE forum but i know that some new discord channels are active

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post Do the people here change the way you use, experience, feel about SE, how much you learn?

Absolutly! modders for example create new content for SE: ships models for play, new galaxy and nebulae content to explore, shader mod to make SE more beautiful and fascinating. Everyone can use this contents and adapt them to their idea of what SE should be...
Users create also great video and images to share, here or in other platform like youtube, some are really amazing!
At last much people use this forums for interesting discussion over many arguments, if you want you can read and participate, otherwise you can simply skip...

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post What works well about the social scene/community that you have here?


SE is a wide project and everyone can live it in his particular way, but the background idea remain the project of SpaceEngineer and is a strong idea, free from market pressures and anchored to a solid base like scientific accuracy...

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Source of the post  What, in your opinion, would make for a stronger community?


I don't know, but I think that in future, if SE will be able to grow and reach more and more people, will be interesting to see how this community will evolve...
 
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22 Sep 2017 13:18

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Hey Salvo, Thank *you* for your kind words as well! I'm hoping I can keep learning and improving with you all as I go!

I take your point about the different ways of using (and probably frequency of use as well) different platforms to supplement SE experience & participation. I'd love to know what people like about the Discord, how and why they use it! To me, I like that it's kind of informal and easy to share things (relative to forums), plus voice chat, and ofc the fact that you can be bouncing between multiple servers and participating in more than one community at once, seems convenient!

Salvo wrote:
Source of the post About Discord, from what I can see just replaces the part of the old forum in which people was sharing discoveries and starting challenges. They also do it in threads on this section but Discord seems to be the most appealing place to do so.

I think it's really interesting how different functions are spread across multiple platforms like this, and it's not just like, different options that you necessarily choose between - some contexts have overlapping functions (like you noted with the point about challenges being shared on the forum *and* on the discord) and you might use multiple platforms/applications at once for the fuller experience. That probably sounds really obvious and silly, but I guess it's interesting coming from a social sciences/social use of technology in everyday life kind of perspective :)

I see SE combining with other similar projects one day (for example one that I saw that simulates evolution) and different communities pooling to combine resources.  I think that's a natural evolution of technology that it brings people together that would otherwise never even know of each other's existence.
 
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23 Sep 2017 11:44

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Hi guys! Danielle the space & new media anthropologist here to pick your brains about space, SE, and how you use it! If we haven't met yet, I'm a researcher exploring the use of social and new media for various projects in the space industry and in its networks and publics, and Space Engine is one case I'm really interested in.
I wanted to run a new question by you as part of my ongoing online research - if you have any thoughts or opinions I would love to hear them:


Hi Danielle, I'm very interested in your project and hope you publish the results of it here when it has concluded. Those who have replied already have given great answers but I'll give you mine as well.
 
How would you describe the SE community?



I'd describe it as a diverse science/astronomy and sci-fi interested community who for diverse reasons are interested in this project. We have everything from casual gamers, modders/3D modellers to science educators, amateur and professional astronomers in this community.

Do you think that there is one? Do you know each other and interact here or elsewhere (ie., other platforms, sites, games, irl)?



I'm 22, an astronomy undergrad and female. My time is limited so I mostly just read the forum from time to time, unless I have a question or need help with something. I'm more active around new updates. I have found that many of the long time community people like DoctorOfSpace to be very helpful and I think those early adopters of Space Engine sort of set the tone for how the community is. It is a growing community and as such sometimes new people can get annoyed as they want to ask questions appropriate perhaps for a development team but not for a single developer based project as ambitious as this one. That's to be expected though.

I interact primarily here and I think I interacted on Steam. I also recently have been referring people I come across on Reddit to the sub-Reddit for Space Engine. I am on Discord but haven't yet joined the Space Engine Discord because I just found out about it! :D

Do you think many users do?



I think a fair amount of us do, yes.

Do the people here change the way you use, experience, feel about SE, how much you learn?



Yes, until I got involved with Space Engine and hung out in the Modding forum I had zero experience with 3D modelling and 3D modelling software. I had one goal and that was to convert a NASA model of the James Webb Space Telescope to Space Engine for a project I was working on and thanks to some help from some people here I was mostly successful and learned a lot along the way. And it goes both ways too. I remember sending the developer some contacts at NASA who were looking for space visualization apps and developers as something which he might benefit from. Its great to see Space Engine has now been used on science documentaries.

What works well about the social scene/community that you have here?



Openness and a willingness to help new people.

What, in your opinion, would make for a stronger community?



More frequent updates to Space Engine itself but that's only because I think the community grows with each update. The size of the community is relatively small if you compare it to other gaming or citizen science communities. I think it will be fairly large at some point. I used to be active in the Celestia community and I think Space Engine will eclipse the size of it at its peak. More people does not necessarily make for a stronger community but it does make it likely that as more people get involved they will bring individual strengths to the community which benefit all within it.


To everyone who's taken the time to answer my questions, and share your knowledge and experiences with me so far - I really appreciate this opportunity to learn with you - Thank you! If you're interested in getting more involved in my research (online chat/email/skype/etc. interviews), or have any suggestions for how I can best learn about and contribute to the SE community, hit me up! More details on my research can be found here And original introductory thread is here.


Thank you for your interest in Space Engine and our community.
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Anthro_Danielle
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26 Sep 2017 04:50

Hi ettore_bilbo, A-L-E-X, & jadestar!
Thanks so much for the messages! Apologies for the delay in my response - the IAC opened yesterday, and things are all happening very fast! Wish me luck in catching Elon! Also a pretty cool announcement - Australia is *finally* getting its own space agency!

Is anyone from the community here attending IAC?

@ettore_bilbo - Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Your points that different communities or segments can overlap and/or change over time, but not necessarily evenly or equally are really interesting and important, I think!
ettore_bilbo wrote:
Source of the post in my opinion, probably there are more than one community, there are a lot of small group of people that use SE in different ways and interact on the forum with different objectives... there's a group of modders, there's a group of people that wait and are interested in the future game, there's a group who loves the scientific side of project...
Also, some people move along all or some of this groups, and someone else stay focused only on one interest

I also really appreciate you sharing some detailed examples of the kinds of things people make and create here, and listing some of the common practices people do (like making mods, sharing videos and images, discussing and arguing, etc.). It probably sounds a bit obvious and silly to list the ordinary little tasks you do, but as a bigger picture I think it's really fascinating and important - just being able to make and remake, share and access applications, knowledge, digital objects like this is really so novel/unprecedented and exciting in so many ways.

I'll be interested to see how this community evolves over time, too! The idea that SE has a strong foundation (an idea & vision, grounded in principles/practices of scientific accuracy, outside of market) reflects similar things I've heard other SE users say as well. I wonder if/how time, and potential popularity and increase in/influx of new users, could affect that foundation, or how the (sub-) communities here could get and keep everyone on the same page.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I see SE combining with other similar projects one day (for example one that I saw that simulates evolution) and different communities pooling to combine resources.  I think that's a natural evolution of technology that it brings people together that would otherwise never even know of each other's existence.

@A-L-E-X - That's a really interesting thought! The possibility of SE as sort of modular or a base for other games/applications in future seems to be pretty popular of an idea here! I saw a cool presentation at IAC yesterday of a VR space simulation platform  (doing things like walking around on Martian surface, assembling a rover, moving around a space station). The project I believe is called SpaceCRAFT, & I think it is a collaboration between a US university, NASA, and maybe an Australian uni as well. The simulations were geared towards learning better by experiencing things firsthand, and practising and improving by running simulations. There was talk of using the platform to 'explore the solar system', and I couldn't help imagining it mashed up with SE and being able to explore virtually, first person, all the incredible environments and planets that are generated in SE. Though how one would begin to run something like that I don't know.

What kinds of mashups or combinations between SE and other projects do you see as being particularly exciting or useful?

Hi @jadestar! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! I'm happy (and intending) to share the work I produce as openly and accessibly as possible - but it's also still ongoing, in progress right now, so if there are particular directions, topics, or issues that you think would be really important or useful to you here please let's dialogue about it! Research and production as a process of co-construction is way more fun and useful, and I love when participants steer me right!

jadestar wrote:
Source of the post I'd describe it as a diverse science/astronomy and sci-fi interested community who for diverse reasons are interested in this project. We have everything from casual gamers, modders/3D modellers to science educators, amateur and professional astronomers in this community.

I think you make a good point about it as a diverse community here - varied professions, levels of expertise, kinds/styles of SE use. ettore_bilbo thought more of that perhaps in terms of separate communities (?), so it's interesting to think about what constitutes community boundaries, and how/where we might draw them.

Thank you so much for your detailed response! I feel like I'm learning so much from everyone's generosity. Your observations about the importance of early adopters in setting the tone, and difficulties newcomers can have matching it, and the time it can take for them to settle in, definitely match up with people's observations and experiences common across many and various online communities.

I *love* your story of how you came to be involved in SE - that you were able to use it to complete a project and were assisted by people here, and could return the favour in ways that see the application continue to develop and it and the community be supported - and that the community helping you to use it as a tool allowed you to develop new skills that you hadn't had before (3D modelling & software).

Your observations about community size correlating to updates are super interesting - probably it would be possible to find figures for numbers of downloads and forum users and timeslice them to compare at each update, but, like you said, it's not just the size that makes the community - qualifying the interactions people have, the connections they might make across platforms, and skills they might bring, changes in style & developments in the community, this is all much trickier. Qualifying the active and participating community - What kinds of things do you think might reflect or demonstrate that? Increased numbers of mods? Increased numbers/instances of helping behaviour in forum discussions? Something else?

And it's all good - I am so excited to learn here with you and hope we can have some cool dialogues and generate some ideas and insights that will be of use to you too!

Thanks so much everyone - I'm loving our chats! Please feel free to suggest other topics & ideas as well, if you have thoughts to share!
 
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27 Sep 2017 12:09

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Hi ettore_bilbo, A-L-E-X, & jadestar!
Thanks so much for the messages! Apologies for the delay in my response - the IAC opened yesterday, and things are all happening very fast! Wish me luck in catching Elon! Also a pretty cool announcement - Australia is *finally* getting its own space agency!

Is anyone from the community here attending IAC?

@ettore_bilbo - Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Your points that different communities or segments can overlap and/or change over time, but not necessarily evenly or equally are really interesting and important, I think!
ettore_bilbo wrote:
Source of the post in my opinion, probably there are more than one community, there are a lot of small group of people that use SE in different ways and interact on the forum with different objectives... there's a group of modders, there's a group of people that wait and are interested in the future game, there's a group who loves the scientific side of project...
Also, some people move along all or some of this groups, and someone else stay focused only on one interest

I also really appreciate you sharing some detailed examples of the kinds of things people make and create here, and listing some of the common practices people do (like making mods, sharing videos and images, discussing and arguing, etc.). It probably sounds a bit obvious and silly to list the ordinary little tasks you do, but as a bigger picture I think it's really fascinating and important - just being able to make and remake, share and access applications, knowledge, digital objects like this is really so novel/unprecedented and exciting in so many ways.

I'll be interested to see how this community evolves over time, too! The idea that SE has a strong foundation (an idea & vision, grounded in principles/practices of scientific accuracy, outside of market) reflects similar things I've heard other SE users say as well. I wonder if/how time, and potential popularity and increase in/influx of new users, could affect that foundation, or how the (sub-) communities here could get and keep everyone on the same page.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I see SE combining with other similar projects one day (for example one that I saw that simulates evolution) and different communities pooling to combine resources.  I think that's a natural evolution of technology that it brings people together that would otherwise never even know of each other's existence.

@A-L-E-X - That's a really interesting thought! The possibility of SE as sort of modular or a base for other games/applications in future seems to be pretty popular of an idea here! I saw a cool presentation at IAC yesterday of a VR space simulation platform  (doing things like walking around on Martian surface, assembling a rover, moving around a space station). The project I believe is called SpaceCRAFT, & I think it is a collaboration between a US university, NASA, and maybe an Australian uni as well. The simulations were geared towards learning better by experiencing things firsthand, and practising and improving by running simulations. There was talk of using the platform to 'explore the solar system', and I couldn't help imagining it mashed up with SE and being able to explore virtually, first person, all the incredible environments and planets that are generated in SE. Though how one would begin to run something like that I don't know.

What kinds of mashups or combinations between SE and other projects do you see as being particularly exciting or useful?

Hi @jadestar! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! I'm happy (and intending) to share the work I produce as openly and accessibly as possible - but it's also still ongoing, in progress right now, so if there are particular directions, topics, or issues that you think would be really important or useful to you here please let's dialogue about it! Research and production as a process of co-construction is way more fun and useful, and I love when participants steer me right!

jadestar wrote:
Source of the post I'd describe it as a diverse science/astronomy and sci-fi interested community who for diverse reasons are interested in this project. We have everything from casual gamers, modders/3D modellers to science educators, amateur and professional astronomers in this community.

I think you make a good point about it as a diverse community here - varied professions, levels of expertise, kinds/styles of SE use. ettore_bilbo thought more of that perhaps in terms of separate communities (?), so it's interesting to think about what constitutes community boundaries, and how/where we might draw them.

Thank you so much for your detailed response! I feel like I'm learning so much from everyone's generosity. Your observations about the importance of early adopters in setting the tone, and difficulties newcomers can have matching it, and the time it can take for them to settle in, definitely match up with people's observations and experiences common across many and various online communities.

I *love* your story of how you came to be involved in SE - that you were able to use it to complete a project and were assisted by people here, and could return the favour in ways that see the application continue to develop and it and the community be supported - and that the community helping you to use it as a tool allowed you to develop new skills that you hadn't had before (3D modelling & software).

Your observations about community size correlating to updates are super interesting - probably it would be possible to find figures for numbers of downloads and forum users and timeslice them to compare at each update, but, like you said, it's not just the size that makes the community - qualifying the interactions people have, the connections they might make across platforms, and skills they might bring, changes in style & developments in the community, this is all much trickier. Qualifying the active and participating community - What kinds of things do you think might reflect or demonstrate that? Increased numbers of mods? Increased numbers/instances of helping behaviour in forum discussions? Something else?

And it's all good - I am so excited to learn here with you and hope we can have some cool dialogues and generate some ideas and insights that will be of use to you too!

Thanks so much everyone - I'm loving our chats! Please feel free to suggest other topics & ideas as well, if you have thoughts to share!

Hope you find Elon!  I know all about the conference and the big announcement about the space agency- what will they call it?  I would love to see some kind of projects where professionals and "amateurs" can work together to create large VR projects that bring the reality of space home to every day people!  You could also have scientists of different disciplines working together (this helps counter the side effects of specialization and helps people see the big picture of how all the pieces fit together and accelerate new discoveries.)  This includes earth scientists like geologists and marine biologists, since we have cameras in place in all different environments, we could combine all the data to learn so much more about our home planet also- and what to look for in terms of habitable worlds elsewhere!
 
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Anthro_Danielle
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11 Oct 2017 21:59

Hi A-L-E-X! Oh my god did I catch the con-plague. Completely wiped and sick as anything for over a week now, phew!
While it didn't look like anyone was able to get very close to Elon (and no question-time this year either, he shot off stage as soon as the presentation was done), I think everyone was able to fit inside the venue and watch his speech. I was lucky enough to get to spend time live-tweeting it with some pretty cool people, watching and learning how they work, while also trying to absorb the presentation itself! Some very shiny visuals and animations, and exciting bold announcements! It will be interesting not only to see how SpaceX works towards these goals, but also how these announcements affect the wider community and the shapes and trajectories of projects others are undertaking in coming years!

Very exciting about the Australian space agency, though I must admit the name that seems to be sticking/most popular with the people is not even real, which seems like a classic Australian move tbh. I was able to pick up some fancy official booklets and documentation that might contain some interesting tidbits about the new agency's direction & commitments - hope to finally sit down and go through those today - but I think that we'll have to wait and see on lots of the really interesting concrete details! Fun time to be a US-Aussie researching the space community though!

In the outreach/public engagement/education sessions at IAC there were some really interesting examples of projects/smartphone apps designed to educate whilst also crowdsourcing work that utilised AR - some different kinds of applications and possibilities to some of the full VR stuff, but really interesting and full of possibility nonetheless! Fingers crossed I'll get to chat and work with some of the cool people from these projects! 

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post  I would love to see some kind of projects where professionals and "amateurs" can work together to create large VR projects that bring the reality of space home to every day people!  You could also have scientists of different disciplines working together (this helps counter the side effects of specialization and helps people see the big picture of how all the pieces fit together and accelerate new discoveries.)  This includes earth scientists like geologists and marine biologists, since we have cameras in place in all different environments, we could combine all the data to learn so much more about our home planet also- and what to look for in terms of habitable worlds elsewhere!

While smartphone-based AR seems alot more limited in terms of what you can do (identifying clouds, retracing the path of fireballs you've seen to identify & possibly triangulate location, etc.), the accessibility is so cool - being able to do be involved in projects and learn things just by having a small app and using your smartphone is so easy and just fits into everyday life in a way that isn't really there yet for a lot of bigger, grander projects. Though if we can find a way to make bigger projects, immersive VR exploration, simulations and education, more easily accessible and integrated into day-to-day life (for people as users and as workers behind the scenes on projects) that would be pretty incredible. The elements you identify - of having 'amateurs' being able to co-work alongside 'professionals', and also interdisciplinarity for breadth of scope & relevance are I think really important and also exciting. Some up and coming 'open'-geared VR & citizen science projects are probably gunning for something like this, but there are ofc lots of challenges in the execution (and probably with accessibility too - more specialist hardware required?). Are there any projects (AR/VR apps, collaborative, citizen science, or open projects) that you know of that you think are good examples or ones to watch? I'm sure I only know of a small fraction of what is actually out there!
 
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12 Oct 2017 15:29

Anthro_Danielle wrote:
Hi A-L-E-X! Oh my god did I catch the con-plague. Completely wiped and sick as anything for over a week now, phew!
While it didn't look like anyone was able to get very close to Elon (and no question-time this year either, he shot off stage as soon as the presentation was done), I think everyone was able to fit inside the venue and watch his speech. I was lucky enough to get to spend time live-tweeting it with some pretty cool people, watching and learning how they work, while also trying to absorb the presentation itself! Some very shiny visuals and animations, and exciting bold announcements! It will be interesting not only to see how SpaceX works towards these goals, but also how these announcements affect the wider community and the shapes and trajectories of projects others are undertaking in coming years!

Very exciting about the Australian space agency, though I must admit the name that seems to be sticking/most popular with the people is not even real, which seems like a classic Australian move tbh. I was able to pick up some fancy official booklets and documentation that might contain some interesting tidbits about the new agency's direction & commitments - hope to finally sit down and go through those today - but I think that we'll have to wait and see on lots of the really interesting concrete details! Fun time to be a US-Aussie researching the space community though!

In the outreach/public engagement/education sessions at IAC there were some really interesting examples of projects/smartphone apps designed to educate whilst also crowdsourcing work that utilised AR - some different kinds of applications and possibilities to some of the full VR stuff, but really interesting and full of possibility nonetheless! Fingers crossed I'll get to chat and work with some of the cool people from these projects! 

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post  I would love to see some kind of projects where professionals and "amateurs" can work together to create large VR projects that bring the reality of space home to every day people!  You could also have scientists of different disciplines working together (this helps counter the side effects of specialization and helps people see the big picture of how all the pieces fit together and accelerate new discoveries.)  This includes earth scientists like geologists and marine biologists, since we have cameras in place in all different environments, we could combine all the data to learn so much more about our home planet also- and what to look for in terms of habitable worlds elsewhere!

While smartphone-based AR seems alot more limited in terms of what you can do (identifying clouds, retracing the path of fireballs you've seen to identify & possibly triangulate location, etc.), the accessibility is so cool - being able to do be involved in projects and learn things just by having a small app and using your smartphone is so easy and just fits into everyday life in a way that isn't really there yet for a lot of bigger, grander projects. Though if we can find a way to make bigger projects, immersive VR exploration, simulations and education, more easily accessible and integrated into day-to-day life (for people as users and as workers behind the scenes on projects) that would be pretty incredible. The elements you identify - of having 'amateurs' being able to co-work alongside 'professionals', and also interdisciplinarity for breadth of scope & relevance are I think really important and also exciting. Some up and coming 'open'-geared VR & citizen science projects are probably gunning for something like this, but there are ofc lots of challenges in the execution (and probably with accessibility too - more specialist hardware required?). Are there any projects (AR/VR apps, collaborative, citizen science, or open projects) that you know of that you think are good examples or ones to watch? I'm sure I only know of a small fraction of what is actually out there!

I heard a bunch of people got sick!  I wonder if it was the food?  Also heard there is some big news coming out of the ESA, though haven't read exactly what yet.
This is the kind of thing I had in mind.
http://revolutionarygamesstudio.com/
Space Engine is also delving into the VR arena, and the new version will have some exciting new developments in that area.
 
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16 Oct 2017 00:10

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I heard a bunch of people got sick!  I wonder if it was the food?  Also heard there is some big news coming out of the ESA, though haven't read exactly what yet.
This is the kind of thing I had in mind.
http://revolutionarygamesstudio.com/
Space Engine is also delving into the VR arena, and the new version will have some exciting new developments in that area.

I'm not sure if other people got sick from the food, but I think just being around lots of new people from all over the world can make getting sick pretty easy! Everyone was pretty jetlagged, too (lots of people pulling 10-20 hours flying to reach Aus), and that probably made it much harder for immune systems to keep up. Mine barely works on a good day so it was probably pretty inevitable that I'd come down with something >.>

I am very very excited to see what happens when SE & VR intersect. Even really limited new features have so many interesting societal applications and it's a pretty cool time to be interested in things like scientific process, knowledge and information-making/sharing, education, publics, etc. Feels almost like we're at an inflection point or something!

That's a really interesting looking game! It looks like a real challenge to develop, given the complexity of all the different dimensions they're aiming to address, let alone the complex interactions and emergent features that you get when everything smashes together. Successfully modelling complex social & sapient organisms + their social structures, systems, institutions, is a pretty big ask, and it would be interesting to know more about their underlying frameworks. And how they're conceptualising this linear stage-progression to 'cosmic dominance' - I'm not entirely sure what that would mean in the end, but that makes it a pretty interesting project/endeavour to observe or think about analytically! Setting that aside though, the idea of playing something like spore that's a little closer to realism/plausibility is very appealing and interesting! Also that plants are open as a sort of path/possibility. I know some biologists who would dig this!

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