Playing Astronaut: The Making of Ex Luna (Part 2)

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We’re a little over a week away from the premiere of MMP’s sixth production, EX LUNA, a lunar murder mystery where our audience gets to explore the universe to uncover a killer aboard a damaged spacecraft.  But how do you translate that adventure here for an Earth-bound audience?  Writer/director of EX LUNA, Daniel Stallings, will reveal some behind the scenes secrets on the creation of the show’s interactive elements.

Playing Astronaut: The Making of Ex Luna (Part 2)

EX LUNA is unique in that my characters are found soaring beyond Earth’s atmosphere.  It takes a little creative know-how to create the world of NASA and a fictional space murder in a university setting.  For the Peer Mentors of CSU Sacramento, I really wanted to heighten the tension of the adventure.

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Adding a time limit was the first idea.  For EX LUNA, audiences get an hour to comb through the evidence, communicate their ideas, and solve the murder to bring those marooned and oxygen-starved astronauts home.  The luxury of the build-up is gone, and teams will be plunged into this high-speed world of space missions.

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EX LUNA also has a couple of surprises up its sleeves.  The audience is divided into two teams, Mission Control and the Space Station crew.  Each team will have a different set of clues.  They will be isolated in two rooms with only one Communicator apiece.  These Communicators are responsible for passing the clues their team has to the other team.  Teams have to work together to get the entire picture and increase their chances of saving the stranded astronauts.

This is MMP’s first example of cooperative play.  The teams must work together or they risk losing the game.

But other surprises abound in this adventure.  Think the Space Station crew stays in space forever?  Or what about the astronauts assigned to take their place?  There’ll be a little swapping during the course of gameplay to keep everyone on their toes.

And there will be opportunities for teams to improve their chances to solve the murder.  And other factors are set in place to make the game more difficult.  What will happen when there’s a communications black-out?

We will find out on March 9th!

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All of these tricks were set in place to control the tension of the gameplay, to create the drama of a dangerous space mission.  Twists and turns will be coming from all directions for our young and excited audience.  EX LUNA might leave them gasping for breath when they’re through.

That’s the story on the gameplay mechanics of EX LUNA.  But what about the human element?  How do you make a dying astronaut’s final transmission, and who do you get to play such a role?  Find out on the third and final part of our behind the scenes blog series: Voices From Beyond the Stars: The Making of Ex Luna (Part 3)!

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