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NASA to host Dark Side of the Jam game jam beginning Friday

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NASA will host a game jam from March 8-10 during which developers can work alongside the space agency to make games about space and science, according to the official Dark Side of the Jam website.

The agency will encourage developers to make games that "capture the public's interest in the real science and technology advancements being made in aerospace exploration." NASA will provide photos, models, audio and animation assets for developers to use, which range from panoramic photos of the moon to textured models of spacesuits.

NASA staff will be onsite at the Ames research facility in Mountain View, California to help local developers, and the agency is also encouraging satellite locations worldwide. Interested developers with space, reliable internet access and development tools can learn more about hosting their satellite office through an FAQ.

The game jam is NASA's latest initiative involving video games. Last year, NASA released its first video game, Mars Rover Lander. At GDC this month, representatives will speak about developing the game.

Dark Side of the Jam is a part of the Night Rover Challenge, and is one among a series of competitions and education programs overseen by NASA's Office of Centennial Challenges. The jam's sponsors include Unity, YoYo Games and Github.