Sparked by an event over the weekend at the
"We've had tech events at the Space Center, but it's great to engage in communities outside the immediate area," said
More than 100 video game developers, mostly in their 20s and early 30s, broke into teams to develop space travel video games.
"We're always interested in anything that increases interest in space. We're hoping to see some good ideas here and get the community aware of some of the things were working on," Hopkins said.
Patel said he created the event because he saw interest in space travel waning in
Patel, who founded his own company called Phyken Media, actively sought out space industry players by attending space events in
"Most of the games were pure fun, but the experience helps people develop their skills and gets people working together with others in the tech and creative community," Patel said.
"We need to support STEM in this country. I wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for people who did that for me, years ago," Carlton said.
An engineer from SpaceX also checked out the event, and so did
Jones noted that one team was working on ideas for collecting space debris.
"Space debris is a very real problem. It's something we need to address," Jones said.
Jones provided data for one of the video game teams, regarding Rocket Crafters' attempt to develop a space plane called Sidereus. The big challenge is a horizontal launch.
On Sunday night about 20 games presented to the crowd, including Martifacts, where the player pilots a Mars rover and collects rocks and other items; Geckos Doin it in Space, where lizards escape their cage in an abandoned Russian space station; and Rocko's Modern Mid-Life Crisis, where Rocko the asteroid sets out to destroy the sun in anger over his lost love, Roxanne.
On Sunday night, gamers crowded around to watch the demonstrations in a dark room at the Science Center.
"Crash it! Crash it!," they yelled in a group, watching a spacecraft landing simulation.
"I'm impressed with the work they've done. They accomplished all this in two days," Hopkins said.
(c)2014 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services