May 2013 Newsletter

Before we get into this month’s normal content, I have a few special announcements:

  • The first announcement is a shout out to our very own, Robert Hampson.  Do you remember this post discussing our game’s use of futuristic brain implants to enhance natural human abilities? Well this month, Robert was interviewed for a CNN article to discuss a real-world application of this very idea!
  • While we’re speaking about great news regarding our ‘Science Behind the Sci-Fi’ panel, after a few talks, our team has worked out a deal with Astronaut.com, to have our ‘Science Behind the Sci-Fi’ posts featured on their site as well, which will further our goal of spreading science through entertainment.  They’re a new site, that like us, shows the lighter side of science, and I’d encourage everyone to go check out them out if you have the time.
  • Finally, one last bit of news: after our successful Kickstarter, we have purchased the Pro version of the forums…no more ad-words!  It’s easier to navigate – go start a Science Behind the Sci-Fi thread of your own!

‘Science Behind the Sci-Fi’ Panel Overview

  • Science Focus: Paleobotany
  • Author: Jamie Boyer
  • Overview: Jamie continues the trend from his last post, discussing a different view of how plants can aid in space colonization – exploring how even non-edible plants are still of value in space as medicine, fuel, or toxins.
  • Up Next Month: The Varied Uses of Plants, Part 2
  • Science Focus: Neuroscience
  • Author: Robert Hampson
  • Overview: This is the first of a three part post regarding the hypothalamus and how it could interact with the “SSI” implant abilities in Escaping Titan.
  • Up Next Month: Hypothalamus: Where, When, & How
  • Science Focus: Astrobiology
  • Author: Jacob Haqq-Misra
  • Overview: Jacob takes you to school, giving you a crash course on the concept of terraforming and the term’s origins – all things to wet your palate for next month’s post.
  • Up Next Month: Terraforming Titan
  • Science Focus: Astrophysics
  • Author: Amitai Bin-Nun
  • Overview: Another post on the Dangers of Space, this time Amitai gives you a glimpse into radiation in space.  Even showing how US astronauts’ exposure limits compare to those set for nuclear plant workers — which will make a pretty cool trivia fact to stump your friends.
  • Up Next Month: Dangers of Space: Asteroids & NEOs
GUEST PANEL: The Future of Crowdfunding Space Missions

  • Science Focus: Space Colonization
  • Author: David J. Geaney
  • Overview: David explores the realistic side of the ‘Terraboom Era’ found in the Escaping Titan backstory.
  • Up Next Month: We’re extremely excited about next month’s guest, Kate Greene, who will be posting from HI-SEAS, after 2 months in seclusion with only her 5 other crew members, and another 2 months to go in their space exploration simulation experiment!

This Month in Science

Just like last month, there are a ton of great things to showcase, and so few spots to highlight it all.  Here are our selections for this week’s featured science news:

  • So to start things off, let’s give out a shout out to all the mothers out there since Mother’s Day was this month.  The Sun wanted to celebrate the day with some fireworks of its own.  And it wasn’t done there, welcome to the solar maxima everyone!  (Funny side note, just before Mother’s Day, I was joking with an astrophysicist that with these flares getting larger and more frequent, we might not get our sci-fi game out in time before it becomes sci-fact.)
  • Next I’d like to take things away from the space realm since that’s our most common science showcased.  Instead, since in Escaping Titan we’re going to use the concept of 3-D printing, I wanted to showcase a cool post I found with respect to a man who is using 3-D printing to make limb prosthetics.
  • And to wrap things up, we wanted to say our goodbyes.  RIP Kepler Space Telescope.  The confirmed planet count is at 132.

That’s all for now!

That’s it for this month. We hope you enjoyed reading. If you want to hear more about what Broken Crown Games is doing subscribe to our ‘Company’ Newsletter, which will be sent soon – not registered for it? Register here!
Thanks everyone,
-Tyler
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April 2013 Newsletter

For those of you who didn’t read the previous post yet, we just wanted to quickly say sorry for the delay in getting this month’s updated out. There were some technical difficulties – but in the end, we feel the newsletter is now better than ever and on track for bigger and better things!

With that said, this past month was crazy! While some of the team were out on the Insomnia Tour, our panelists continued to pump out great posts, and still others on the team helped us to a successful Kickstarter campaign.  Here’s just a peek at this month’s science-related events:

Kickstarter

  • For those of you who didn’t know, we had a Kickstarter to fund the creation of a sourcebook – this is basically a 5 volume booth that explores the science behind our game’s sci-fi, as well as containing a short story compilation volume that discusses the backstory that leads up to the in-development game, Escaping Titan
  • We managed to raise 336% of our goal, which is fantastic!  A huge thanks has to go out to all of our supporters!
  • Excess funds will go towards enriching the community experience for Broken Crown Games fans like you!

Insomnia Tour 2013

We had a great time on the tour, but here are just a few science-related snippets from the trip:

Inline image 1 (Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ)

Inline image 1 (Bill Nye being awarded the Space Foundation’s Public Outreach Award at NSS29 in Colorado Springs, CO)

Inline image 2 (Chewie and I hang out at the local Cantina in the Broadmoor Hotel – all this happened moments after the photo was taken)

Science Behind the Sci-Fi Panel Overview
  • Science Focus: Paleobotany
  • Author: Jamie Boyer
  • Overview: Jamie gives readers a different view of how plants can aid in space colonization by exploring the incorporation of planets into structural design.
  • Up Next Month: The Varied Uses of Plants, Part 1
  • Science Focus: Neuroscience
  • Author: Robert Hampson
  • Overview: Robert continues his exploration of the Cortex from last month’s post, this time discussing the layout of the Cortex with respect to the rest of the brain.
  • Up Next Month: Hypothalamus: The Control Center
  • Science Focus: Astrobiology
  • Author: Jacob Haqq-Misra
  • Overview: Jacob details how the life-cycle of a star can effect a planet, explaining how light, brightness, and climate may be effected as a star ages; using examples of Earth and Titan.
  • Up Next Month: Terraforming 101
  • Science Focus: Astrophysics
  • Author: Amitai Bin-Nun
  • Overview: Amitai took this month to explain the mechanics behind the popular theoretical technology of space elevators, as well as the pros and cons of the tech.
  • Up Next Month: Dangers of Space: Radiation
  • Science Focus: Science History
  • Author:Nathan Nolte
  • Overview: Nathan steps in as our guest to give readers a closer look at fungi, and how future scientists and space explorers can benefit from fungal symbiosis.
  • Up Next Month: Still open! Know a professional scientist passionate about science-fiction as well as their field? Have them email us at admin@brokencrowngames.com.

This Month in Science

I’m beginning to get a love-hate relationship with this section of the newsletter because there are so many cool things each month that it’s hard to just pick a few to showcase.  Never the less, here are this week’s selections for featured science:

That’s all for now!
That’s it for this month. We hope you enjoyed reading. If you want to hear more about what Broken Crown Games is doing subscribe to our ‘Company’ Newsletter, which will be sent soon – not registered for it? Register here!
Thanks everyone,
-Tyler

 

Why the Delay?!

For those of you previously registered to our email based version of the newsletter, you may have been asking, “hey, where is my newsletter?”   Well, the answer is Gmail hates us.

Ok, not really.  But as you can see below, Gmail didn’t exactly want to cooperate in letting us send it out on time.

20130430_231205

So we decided, it was finally time for the newsletter overhaul we’ve been promising.  We wanted to get away from the text only newsletters and also wanted to make the newsletter more interactive so you could tweet it out, ‘Like’ it, etc.  That pretty much led us to putting it in blog format.

After a few days of tinkering, I now have an idea of how WordPress works (though I’d love to hear your suggestions too!)

March 2013 Newsletter

Greetings fellow science enthusiasts!

We’ve had quite a few new people register since last month, so welcome. Tyler is out on the ‘Insomnia Tour’ this month so I will be doing the newsletter. Since last month’s newsletter, we have seen some pretty impressive topics covered on our forums, and I hope you’ve been taking at least a little time out of your busy schedules to read them. If you haven’t, now is your chance! I’ll be going over what’s been going on and what you can expect throughout the upcoming month. As always, please let us know what you think and ask any questions you may have in each topic’s comments.
March’s Science Behind the Sci-Fi Panel Overview
  • Science Focus: Paleobotany
  • Author: Jamie Boyer
  • Overview: Jamie explores how settlers might set out establishing a renewable sustainable agriculture system on Titan.
  • Up Next Month: Better Building Through Plants
  • Science Focus: Neuroscience
  • Author: Robert Hampson
  • Overview: Robert explains how the premotor cortex and primary motor cortex factor in to the SSI implants that make the “Self Buff” possible in Escaping Titan.
  • Up Next Month: A Little Cortex here, A Little Cortex there…
  • Science Focus: Astrobiology
  • Author: Jacob Haqq-Misra
  • Overview: Jacob shares with us the make-up and potential usefulness of Iapetus, Saturn’s third largest moon.
  • Up Next Month: Titan Habitability and Solar Evolution
  • Science Focus: Astrophysics
  • Author: Amitai Bin-Nun
  • Overview: Amitai explores the water content of various moons in Saturn’s local system as well as orbiting nearby Jupiter.
  • Up Next Month: Getting out there: Space Elevators
  • Science Focus: Science History
  • Author:Amy Teitel
  • Overview: An exciting trip through history following the Huygens Lander as it pioneered the way to Titan.
  • Up Next Month: Nathan Nolte

This Month in Science

There were a lot of really great news articles about science this month. Here’s a few of our favorites:
That’s all for now!
 
That’s it for this month. We hope you enjoyed reading. If you want to hear more about what Broken Crown Games is doing subscribe to our ‘Company’ Newsletter, which will be sent soon – not registered for it?  Register here!
Thanks everyone,
-Chris

February 2013 Newsletter

Hi everyone,

I’m excited to see we’re continuing to get new registered members!

I still promise to get a ‘prettier’ format for these newsletters in the near future.  After speaking with a friend, Brian Rubin of the Space Game Junkie blog (highly suggest checking it out if you’re into our game, you’ll probably enjoy what he has to say), I’m strongly considering just turning each of our newsletters into a WordPress so you can easily check back on older content.  Anyway, for now, I’ve added a few tweaks to the newsletter, so if you’re actually reading these and not just auto-deleting, feel free to give us a shout as to what you think.

February’s ‘Science Behind the Sci-Fi’ Panel Overview


  • Science Focus: Paleobotany
  • Author: Jamie Boyer
  • Overview: Jamie gives a brief overview on the evolution of life on Earth, and how that information can be used to make a model for early life on Titan.
  • Up Next Month: Growing Edibles on Titan
  • Science Focus: Neuroscience
  • Author: Robert Hampson
  • Overview: Robert takes this month to discuss the possibility of using surgical implants to stimulate the brain to improve on the body’s natural abilities.
  • Up Next Month: Driving by the Seat of Your… Cortex?
  • Science Focus: Astrobiology
  • Author: Jacob Haqq-Misra
  • Overview: This month Jacob mixes things up for us by taking a peek at something other than Titan by giving us a quick overview of its nearby moon, Rhea.
  • Up Next Month: Iapetus: The Yin-Yang Planet
  • Science Focus: Astrophysics
  • Author: Amitai Bin-Nun
  • Overview: Amitai used this month’s post to take a look into the lighter side of the “heavy” (sorry, had to) topic of Black Holes.
  • Up Next Month: Enceladus, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede – Water on Moons
  • Science Focus: Atmospheric Geology
  • Author: Sanjoy Som
  • Overview: In this month’s guest post, Sanjoy offers our readers a peek through the atmospheric haze on Titan so we can understand what the surface would actually look like.
  • Up Next Month: Amy Teitel

This Month in Science
I’ve decided to start each month’s newsletter with a “this month in science” link so even if you’re not a big science person, you can catch some cool science news.  I had one all lined up, but who could have expected such a monumental event like what happened in Russia?  So just in case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ve decided to note two science articles.

So first off, here is a cool little article I stumbled across covering science-fiction ideas which science has made come true during 2012!

And now for the crazy, but true, news that gives credence to our game’s core philosophy that the cosmos still has dangers we aren’t prepared for – the Russian Meteorite.

That’s all for now!
That’s it for this month.  I’ll be writing you from San Francisco as part of our Insomnia Tour to announce our Kickstarter!  More on that in our ‘Company’ Newsletter, which will be sent tomorrow – not registered for it?  Register here!

Thanks everyone,
-Tyler

January 2013 Newsletter

Hi everyone,
As this is our first time reaching out, let me just start by saying thank you for registering for our science newsletter!   For right now, all of our outreach will just be a normal, personal email because we haven’t set up an official newsletter service.  Unfortunately that means no fancy pictures or font, but that’s fine with us, we’re a small indie company so we like the personal feel anyhow.  🙂
All of you have registered on our website to receive our ‘Science’ newsletters, and as part of this newsletter you will receive a monthly email summarizing this month’s featured ‘Science Behind the Sci-Fi’ posts on the forums.  If you haven’t already, we’d absolutely love for you to join our forums and ask our panelists some questions about their work or start a topic of your own in our ‘General Discussion’ section.  The community is still growing, but if you like what you see so far we’d be grateful if you can help by just spreading the word to friends.
So now that I’m done with my speel, for those of you who haven’t already checked them out, here are this month’s ‘Science Behind the Sci-Fi’ topics:
  • What’s for Dinner?
    • By: Jamie Boyer, Paleobotany panelist
    • Description: Jamie discusses what the most likely plant food source would be for long-term space travel.
  • Brain and Brain: What is Brain?
    • By: Robert Hampson, Neuroscience panelist
    • Description: Robert overviews the general layout and function of the major parts of the brain.
  • Methane Rains on Titan
    • By: Jacob Haqq-Misra, Astrobiology panelist
    • Description: Jacob covers the effect a methane rich atmosphere will have on Titan weather.
  • The Broken Crown Event
    • By: Alma Ruiz, Guest panelist
    • Description: Alma explores the science behind the possibility of a solar flare causing an apocalyptic event on Earth.
Hope you enjoy this month’s featured posts; thanks again for your support!
– Tyler