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Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Darmok Trials, A New Kind of Space Center Camp Mission. Theater Imaginarium.

The CMSEC Space Center's New Summer Mission: The Darmok Trials: The First Telling

Last Saturday was the first telling of the Space Center's new summer mission, The Darmok Trials. Think of it as a dress rehearsal.  The staff and volunteers had the opportunity to tell the mission, learn the acting parts, and work out any bugs which inevitably pop up in programming. The Darmok Trials has a unique technological challenge because of the interconnectedness of the simulators. Yes, interconnectedness is a big word. In simple terms, the ships could speak to each other live. The mission is unique because all four ships were connected, which makes Darmok Trials absolutely unique in Space Center history. Congratulations Mr. Porter and team!     

Isaac O., and Jon Parker in the Phoenix Control Room
Darmok Trials is a choose your own adventure. The simulators operate in the same galactic region. Each performing tasks assigned by the Darmok. Points are awarded based on the task's difficulty and how well the crew carried out the task's objectives.  Some scenarios are single ship, others require multiple simulators. Live communications between ships is essential for the multi-ship missions.  

The volunteers in costume ready to make the camper's lives "miserable" in a very fun way!

"One thing I wanted to do with Darmok Trials is bring back a lot of the fun things we use to do during the Space Center's old overnight and extended camps," Mr. Porter said. "I remember the old supper scenes with the staff in costume wandering around interacting with the guests. That is what Darmok Trials brings back."  

Each scene requiring actors was carefully scripted and rehearsed. Lindsey and Lissa are the co-directors of the Space Center's Actor's Guild. In the photo above Lissa is giving stage directions and impromptu ideas for the upcoming supper scene.

The supper/theater scene in Darmok
If only it was Sounds Easy pizza!  Big Daddy's was a good substitute.
The Klingons were rude, interrupting, and short on hygiene and manners. Yes, the perfect dinner guests.
The four crews got to know each other and the characters during the supper theater.  The Klingons were, Klingon. The Ferengi were always looking for an angle to score a profit. There was one alien character who chose to seclude himself away from the others.

James and Christine encourage him to eat. He wasn't amused with the idea and sulked.  My inquiries as to his home planet, race, and culture were answered with a disagreeable "humph".  Either he truly detested his circumstances, or he found Christine's cheerfulness so alien, it was all he could do to keep his previous meal down.  

Lindsey was the Mistress of Makeup.  "OK, what's wrong with you?" she asked Sam. 
"I dunno, what do you think?" Sam replied.
"Let's say you got thrown against a metal deck plate...... and then the ship took a direct hit that threw you back so your face got all mangled."
"Let's do it!"  

It appears a few other faces suffered the same fate as Sam's.

I found this causality in a part of the school I'm forbidden to divulge.  It's purpose will remain a mystery. You'll just have to sign up and do one of the Space Center's summer camps to find out.

Mr. Porter summed up the dress rehearsal this way

"The first Darmok patches have been earned by the crew of the Galileo. We had a very successful test flight for our new experience this last Saturday. One of the comments we kept hearing was how much fun it was that the crews could actually call up and talk with the other ships during the mission. When their paths would cross they often would make plans or share information with one another.
We are so excited to be the only facility with this kind of amazing experience and we hope you'll join us for one of our summer camps. Our first camp is tomorrow, so let the adventures begin!"

And a Special Treat

The last minutes of the Darmok Test Mission were put to video.  Veteran Space Center flight directors, supervisors, and volunteers will enjoy watching things from the Control Room side. Things haven't changed. Control Room drama is the same today as it was 25 years ago!

What makes it interesting is that Connor wasn't totally in charge of the situation.  Darmok Trials allows the individual crews to make their own decisions. The flight director has no choice but to watch, listen, and do his or her best to keep up!

Theater Imaginarium

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