As part of the IF Comp review collective project, I asked Stephen Granade — scientist and science educator, author of space escape game Fragile Shells, and former IF Comp organizer — to look at Life on Mars?. He came through in style with a Twine review that demonstrates his feedback interactively.
2 thoughts on “Stephen Granade on Life on Mars?”
I love the Twine review, especially the example of how the email interface could have worked. (Personally, I really liked the way the comments appeared alongside the emails, but I agree that the typing speed was a bit slow.)
The examination of whether the rescue trajectory was realistic was really good too, although at one point he mentioned alternate transits with transit times of “two months” that would cause arrival would be far later than intended, when the actual claim in the game was five months. If they leave around the same time, a five month transit would surely arrive later than a two month transit, yes? Plus, according to my college calculations for a manned mission to Mars, five months is about the minimum possible transit time to Mars using current technology, so a two month transit isn’t really feasible at all yet. The chart in the review even shows that the two-month transits require at least double the delta-V of the more efficient five to six month transits, which would require a lot more fuel. So I really don’t understand the two month transit comment.
Also, I don’t know why, but I had trouble getting to the review on my Android phone yesterday; I just got a “website unreachable” error. But it seems to be working now.