Comments on: Lunar Lander Simulator Developer Interview

For the better part of 2006, a novel little title that’s half game and half simulator has taken the Palm software world by storm. This cult favorite is none other than SimToGo developer Mohamed Bennouf’s “Lunar Lander Simulator” (formerly “LEM Sim”).

While the first version of LLS was a bit rough around the edges, Mo has made remarkable improvements to the game’s user-friendliness and taken great measures to ease its learning curve for the casual user. Read on for PIC’s first developer exclusive interview as we talk shop about all things lunar and all things Palm!

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No 4.x Support?

Haber @ 9/19/2006 3:27:00 AM # Q
What, no support for at least 4.x? Seems to me most programs should support down to 3.5. My Palm Vx is far more powerful than the original Lunar Lander computer, come on, don't forget the m68K userbase!

RE: No 4.x Support?
momob @ 9/19/2006 1:31:53 PM # Q
Hello Haber.

You are 100% correct about Palm Vx being more powerful than the lunar on-board computer. Probably even X 10 more!!

There two reasons (at least) why I could not make a lower Palm OS version. One is that i am using an ARM routine that it suppose to only work with Palm Os 5.0+. I did not make that routine (to rotate the moon in the cockpit view). I would not even know how to start!! since it is written in C I believe. The second reason is that i am using a lot of sounds which makes the game very immersive. The player routine I am using also needs Palm OS 5+.

I will love to expand Lunar Lander Simulator reach (that's one of the reason I wanted to give the Zodiac community a new game) but as you can see I am very limited in my programming ability.

In any event thank you for your comment.

Take care.


LLSim develloper

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LEM Versions?

ranbarton @ 9/19/2006 10:39:57 AM # Q
I am curious if the simulator takes into account the heavier weights of the later Apollo missions, versus the initial landings. Once the rover, and more ALSEP equipment was added to the manifest, I have read that the control margins got smaller and smaller.

Similarly, maybe you could add a "Flying Bedstead" companion, to simulate the test rig the astronauts used to train while still on earth. Armstrong said at the time that it was much harded to fly than the actual LEM.

Ran Barton
III, Vx, SJ-30, T|E2

RE: LEM Versions?
momob @ 9/19/2006 1:39:53 PM # Q
Hello Ranbarton.

No I am using NASA data for earlier LEM's. I think you are right when you say that would limit their control margins. The current version of the simulator allows you to customize your flight (start alt, speeds and fuel level). In term of lander weight, you can play with the fuel amount (as % of the regular amount). That way you can affect the lander weight that way. I could easly add an option for an actual lunar lander (dry weight). That way you could play the different scenarios.

By the way you can with the current version, also land on Earth( and all the planets) like the Apollo astronauts did on the "testbead" LLRV. But the LLRV was trying to simulate a Moon gravity!

Hope this help.


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What kind of PR/Marketing

Tamog @ 9/19/2006 3:19:55 PM # Q
you can obviously pass on this question - but nevertheless, it could be interesting for developers:

What kind of marketing did you use?

Best regards
Tam Hanna

Find out more about the Palm OS in my blog:

RE: What kind of PR/Marketing
momob @ 9/19/2006 10:56:53 PM # Q
Hello Tam,

Actually as a small "develloper" (this is my first app), the best I can do is rely on word of mouth. I am sure this is not really helpful answer to you but that's all I am counting on for now.

Take care.


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Lunar Lander Question

yugadp @ 9/19/2006 9:32:07 PM # Q
Have you ever considered making other space simulators? Such as a CSM and LEM docking sim?
RE: Lunar Lander Question
momob @ 9/19/2006 10:45:02 PM # Q

Yes that's one my project. I am hoping to devellop a docking game using the Lunar Lander Simulator "engine" has a based. My hope is to make it so that you can dock with the command module in Moon orbit. of course it would have voice annoncements of distance/speed to the CM as well as failures like the current simulator. I am not sure if I would make it as a continuation of the current game. For instance, once you landed, you could take off again after a short count down and then end up looking for the CM on radar. Of course the goal would be to safely approach and then dock the CM.

Another possibility would be to make it completly separate application and so being able to dock on Earth orbit like the space station.

In any event thanks for the question and stay tune...


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whats in store for your next release?

jmjselect @ 9/22/2006 1:52:08 AM # Q
hey momob great game. i remember a lunar lander game for the amiga back in the day and this game/simulation is wonderful.

my question to you is: do you ever plan to make an apollo 13 type game? you could incorporate physics into it with alot of other things like conservation strategy and quick thinking. if you made this, this would be an awesome game.

then you could start a series with missions and stuff like you have to make an emergency landing on a asteriod....

i'm letting my imagination run... anyways great game and best of luck to you

Palm V-->palmOne Zire31-->Tapwave Zodiac2
Palm Powered since: 2000ish

RE: whats in store for your next release?
momob @ 9/23/2006 8:50:01 PM # Q
Hey thanks for the nice comments. I appreciate it very much. I like the idea of an "Apollo 13" type game! I like games where a lot of things is happening and where you get "information overload" situations. Adding senarios where someting happen and you have to deal with or you die sounds good to me!

At this time, I really want to improve on the 3D effect of the current game like better lunar surface, a landing site indicator on the cockpit view (so you do not have to watch the Moon map all the time). I am also hoping to add like I said, forbidden area where cannot land (boulders for instance). That way I can re-create the situation that faced the Apollo astronauts where at the last minutes they had to find a flat safe to land.

I also want to work on a realistic space rendez-vous simulator. But the ultimate goal is to devellop an actual flight simulator (plane)!!

So stay tune....

Thanks for the question!


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You are all winners!

momob @ 10/6/2006 5:25:26 PM # Q
Hello jmjselect, yugadp, Tamog, ranbarton and Haber

Thank you very much for your questions. The contest is now over and all I can say is that you are all winners! You all had great questions so it makes no sense for me to choose one over the other. So please PM with your hotsync ID of your device and I will PM you back your free registration code for Lunar Lander Simulator. For some of you who do not have a "compatible" device, I will be happy to provide later with a free reg code for a game I am develloping right now which I am hoping will also be compatible with OS 4.0 and up. stay tune...!

In any event, I want to thank Kris Keilhack and PalmInfoCenter for making the interview possible. And of course thanks to all of you who downloaded and tried Lunar Lander Simulator 2.1LS

Take care.


Lunar Lander Simulator develloper

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