We learned last year (opens in new tab) that astrophysicist and noted Twitter pedant (opens in new tab) Neil deGrasse Tyson has lent his expertise and name to an upcoming space strategy game, called Neil deGrasse Tyson presents Space Odyssey. Dr. Tyson, who appears to be repelling a large, sopping wet golden retriever in the game's promotional photo, will show off Space Odyssey at E3 Coliseum (opens in new tab) next month, according to (opens in new tab) E3's official Twitter account.
Space Odyssey is a real-time strategy game in which players will "develop planets, colonize worlds, nurture species, mine elements, build robots, and discover unique life-forms," according to the official site (opens in new tab). More details can be found in a Digital Trends article (opens in new tab) from last year, where Space Odyssey is described as an educational building game in which players create star systems and galaxies—with lots of science, of course.
“Part of the gameplay will allow you to grow a planetary system,” said co-creator Mark Murphy in the interview. “Its size and scope is relative to the level of challenge you would like to undertake. You can grow and mature these planets as much as you’d like, creating colonies, ports, mining structures, undertake trade of elements you discover/mine or invent or innovate. We are adding strategic partners that will consult with us on design and tech possibilities, including Bigelow Aerospace and the National Space Society to name a couple.”
Judging by the countdown on the Space Odyssey site, the E3 demonstration may coincide with the release of a beta version, which you can sign up to play here (opens in new tab). Dr. Tyson's talk will be livestreamed on Facebook, though it's unclear yet what the exact E3 Coliseum schedule looks like yet, so stay tuned for that.
E3 Coliseum itself is a new venture from producer Geoff Keighley, who will be hosting panels and reveals during the first two days of E3 2017, June 13th and 14th, at The Novo in LA.
Unrelated, Dr. Tyson recently tweeted (opens in new tab) that BB-8 is "waaaay cuter" than R2D2, a comment he previously made in 2015 (opens in new tab), when he also stated that (opens in new tab) BB-8 would not function on sand. The official Star Wars account rebutted that remark (opens in new tab)by reminding Dr. Tyson that BB-8 is an actual robot. Writer and filmmaker Kaare Andrews then chimed in (opens in new tab) to say that BB-8 "is being falsely sold as no CG," though he did not elaborate. Dr. Tyson later clarified (opens in new tab) that he believes the sand must have been "VERY shallow" for the robot to function atop it. This has nothing to do with Space Odyssey, I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind us all that Twitter is a bad website, and none of us should use it.