August, 2014 Company Newsletter: There’s Good Stuff in Here!

Hello my friends, and say hello to our August company newsletter!! August is already underway, and stuff has already happened! In July we had an excellent first Science Behind the Sci-Fi panel, and we had a new one just the other day, both of which will be linked below. We also have an upcoming Kickstarter campaign we’d love your help with, so without further adieu, let’s dive in!

I. Latest Posts

First off, we have a post covering last month’s Science Behind the Sci-Fi Panel, which covers the past, present and future of space exploration! It was a dang fun panel, and we’re thrilled at how the new video format is working out. Check it out!

Beyond this, we just did a new panel a couple of days ago entitled, “Stresses of Living in a Multi-Planet Society,” which you can already watch on our YouTube channel or by clicking below!

If you’d like to go directly to our first panel, click below!

We’ll have more detail on September’s Science Behind the Sci-Fi Panel in our upcoming newsletter in a few weeks, so stay tuned for that!

II. Latest Happenings

Beginning with Broken Crown, besides the Science Behind the Sci-Fi panels, we’re still sending out our monthly ebooks covering the Escaping Titan story, and remember, if you want your own copies, you can get them here!

Broken Crayon had their first Summer Sale this past month! I hope everyone was able to get their own copies of Quibbles, Wizardous and more at some fantastic prices. We’ve also seen some random sales pop up, so keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for updates on new sales and other interesting tidbits.

Besides that, we have a bit of big news…

III. Upcoming Items

Broken Crayon will be launching our first Kickstarter campaign ever in September, and we could really use your help to make it the best campaign it can be! The game is called Dinosaur Island, and it’s a dinosaur simulator made by award-winning game designer Ezra Sidran, who in the 80s and 90s delighted fans with his award-winning Designasaurus series of games.

Now, the Kickstarter campaign launched September first, but we could use your help before then. Our campaign is currently in a draft mode, and we’re accepting feedback on how we can make it as engaging and entertaining as possible. We therefore invite you to head over to Kickstarter and give us your honest, constructive feedback on how well the campaign page is laid out, how effective are the videos or writing, and so on. With your help, we can not only successfully fund this game, but get it into the hands of teachers and students at schools in need as well!

That’s it for this month’s newsletter folks! Thanks for reading, and have an amazing day/week/month!

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October 2013 Science Newsletter (WITH SPECIAL COMPANY UPDATE!)

Happy Halloween everyone!

This month went by incredibly fast for us.  For those of you that might not have already heard, our sister company, Broken Crayon Games (notice the family relation), released their very first game, Wizardous: An Apprentice’s Betrayal.  It’s an incredibly fun (although at times frustrating – by design) mobile game.  You can pick it up for all of the major mobile devices.

The game is FREE until Nov. 1st (NO ads, NO in-app purchases… just free) in order to give those who show us early support something in return!  The version in stores currently is only a Promo version and is missing the final levels, however if you download it now while it’s FREE, you’ll be updated to the final complete version on Nov. 14th!

Here are links to the game in stores:

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wizardous-apprentices-betrayal/id719287441?ls=1&mt=8

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.botfgames.wizardous

NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wizardous-broken-crayon-games/1117075416

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Crown-Games-LLC-Wizardous/dp/B00FP23JJ2

Though there are a lot of great things I could talk about with this game, it’s a bit off-topic for this newsletter.  If you’d like to learn more, feel free to check out the Wizardous website.

Alright, so enough about Broken Crayon Games and Wizardous — you’re all here because you support Broken CROWN Games and Escaping Titan, which is all about getting the science behind our sci-fi right.  So onto the science!

Science Behind the Sci-Fi Panel Overview

FEATURED GUEST PANEL:
  • Science Focus: Physics
  • Author: David S. Latchman – David holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago with specialization in Environmental & Medical Physics. David is a freelance science writer whose work has appeared in Next Door Magazine. His blog, The Quantum Tunnel, focuses on the science featured in popular movies and TV shows. He can be found on Google+ and on Twitter.

This Month’s “Random Science News”

We’ve got a range of topics for this week, including Saturn and Titan updates, Mars news, and a cancer-related “vaccine” (cell therapy really).
That about does it for this week’s Broken Crown Games science newsletter.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Have a safe and Happy Halloween, but before you go out on that candy grab, don’t forget to check us out on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, for the latest in Broken Crown Games’ news!
 -Tyler

July 2013 Newsletter

Another month gone by way too fast!  As I’m sure many of you will notice, we’ve made some changes to the newsletter to make it more visually stimulating, so we hope you like it! (Please leave us your give us your thoughts through the poll at the end of the post)  With that said though, I don’t want to keep you from the new layout any longer, so enjoy.

Science Behind the Sci-Fi Panel Overview

Jamie - Upright Botanical Brigade
Robert - Hypothalamus SSI - Self Healing
Jacob Haqq-Misra - Titan Underground Oceans
Amitai Bin-Nun - A Star is Born
FEATURED GUEST PANEL:
  • Science Focus: Archeology and Science Outreach
  • Author: Scott Viguie J.D., PhD
  • Up Next Month: Ed Trollope, a UK Space Engineer and Director of http://www.ThingsWeDontKnow.com, comes in to discuss the Drake Equation (equation looking at the possibility of life on other planets).

This Month’s “Random Science News”

I decided to change this section up a bit this month.  Just like the purpose of our games will be to expose players to science that wouldn’t usually learn about through main-stream media, I decided I wanted to change this section a bit to do the same and showcase some of the random science news I come across each month.  And as another twist, I decided it’d probably be a bit more fun this month if every news bit had video. 🙂

  • 3D Printing is gaining legs!! (couldn’t resist the pun)  But the major point here is, with 3D printing, technology is able to grow faster and more ‘production’ based as this toy robot can now be quickly manufactured.
  • SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is working on landing technology for their delivery rockets, helping to overcome one of the major cost setbacks of launching items into space.  To learn more & even see it in action, just fast forward the video below to 0:50.
  • Gearing the news a bit more around the home world for our upcoming game, Escaping Titan, take a listen to this month’s ScienceCast from NASA
  • And finally, here is an awesome article about work Harvard is doing to allow humans to control the thoughts of mice!  This research parallels with the SSI brain implant technology that will be found in the game and which has been spoken of in Robert Hampson’s Science Behind the Sci-Fi posts each month.  Although this article does also include a video, I didn’t want to include it as it does include animal testing and some readers here may be sensitive to that content.

Share your thoughts!

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy some of this month’s content.  If you are liking what you hear though, we’d love to get your feedback, so if the poll above didn’t give you enough room to express your thoughts, feel free to comment below, or feel check out our forums and start sharing through threads of your own!
That’s all for this month, ciao.
 -Tyler

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

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