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  1.    #1

    Hi guys,

    Ok, it is finnally done. I have just released version 2.0 of the lunar lander LEM Simulator. For some of you who are new to this game, LEM Sim is the most realistic lander simulator ever developed on a Palm/Treo device! It combines real physics modeling, Houston voice annoncement (of altitude, velocity and fuel level) and realistic lander malfunctions (failure like fuel leak, radar malfuction and so on).

    The main changes from version 1.0 are:

    - New cockpit view: This new version allows to see outside your cockpit. It is all there, Moon surface, stars and even a moving Earth. If you are lucky you can experience an Earth rise. A little bit like the astronauts of Apollo 8 experienced for the first time ever!

    - Land Anywhere: In addition to the Moon, you now can land on any planet of our solar system. If you land on planets with very high gravity like Jupiter, you can choose your main engine maximum thrust.

    - MyFlight: This feature allows you to customize your landing mission. Under MyFlight, you can choose your initial conditions such starting altitude, velocties and fuel amount among other things.

    - Game Auto-Save: The game will auto-save allowing to quit the game and finish the mission later.

    - The lander systems failures rate has been reduced so to make them more impredictable during the descent. You can even disabled them altogether and fly a "perfect" lander.

    - The default mission (Rookie level) is now easier.

    - Many bugs from version 1.0 have been taken care of.

    many of the changes you will see on version 2.0 are coming from my beta testers. This give and take is what makes LEM Simulator 2.0 a much better product than it will have been w/o their inputs and bugs reports. I cannot thank you enough for sticking with me all these months and for keeping me honest during the devellopement of 2.0

    You can get it here right here at the TreoCentral Store

    Or if you prefer

    LEM Simulator 2.0 at PalmGear

    LEM Simulator 2.0 at Handango

    This is a 7 days free trial (full version) so have fun with it.

    Once again have fun and happy landing!

    Last edited by momob; 06/02/2006 at 08:27 PM.
  2.    #2  
    Hi all,

    I have a little more time to expand on my last annoncement. Here some tips to a successfull landing:

    Unlike the version 1.0, in version 2.0 the initial descent is set to -8 feet/sec which is lower than the -10 feet/sec crash velocity. This means that to land safely all you need to do is control your forward velocity so to arrive at the landing site (blanking yellow cross) with DescV < -10 ft/sec. Of course the lower your descent rate (DesV) the higher your score. To control your descent velocity just click on the RED and GREEN button of your TREO 650 (if you do not have Treo see the PDF manual for hard buttons description). There is also a difference between the "commanded descent velocity" called ROD (ie: what you want your velocity to be) and your actual descent speed also called DesV.

    You can read you commanded velocity under the DSP button called ROD (negative number). You can see how fast you are currently going down by looking at the altitude tape which is located at the top right of the screen (DesV).

    To control your forward speed toward to the landing site, you will need to tilte your lander so that your main engine force either point forward (if you want to slow down) or backward if you want to speed up forward. Of course to tilt your lander you will need to use the 5-ways on your device as joystick. Pitch up (UP button) and pitch down (DOWN button).

    Now the use of the X-Pointer: Appollo astronauts used a very interesting device called an X-pointer to judge their horizontal velocites (forward/backward and left/right speeds). Of course to avoid braking their lander feets they needed to land with as low horizontal velocites as possible. The mechanical limits set by NASA was +/- 10 feet/sec for any horizontal velocites. Now the X-pointer (located on the right side of the screen (betwern the altitude indicator and the Moon digital map) can help you judge how fast you are going. The horizontal red line indicate how fast you are going forward/backward. The red vertical line indicate how fast you are going left/right.

    The X-pointer has two scales (X25 and X1). To land safely you need to be in X1 scale. This switch between X25 and X1 is automatic and depend on your velocity. If any horizontal velocities is higher than 25 feet/sec then the system will switch to X25 scale. You can also see precisely what your forward velocity by watching the number FwV. A negative number means you are going forward. You need to land with this number lower than +/- 10 feet/sec. So to land safely, just make sure your X-pointer is showing the scale X1 and the horizontal/vertical red lines are crossing inside the small white inside box (indicating +/- 10 feet/sec).

    Please note that you do not need to worry about your lateral speed (left/right) in the default (Rookie level) mission since you start with a zero lateral velocity (your lander is going straight toward the landing site). Of course in the "Pilot" and "Commander" is is another story!

    Another tip (if we can call that) is not to slow your forward velocity too fast before you reach your planned landing site or your risk to crash for lack of fuel. Of course in the Rookie default mission is not much of a problem since the fuel depletes kind of slowly. But in the other game levels(Pilot/Commander) you will really need to watch your fuel gauge!

    That is it for now. I admit that the game is hard to figure out at the start. That's the price to pay when develloping a very realistic simulator. That is why I will in the next few days/weeks point out some info that may not be clear in the user' manual provided with the game (35+ pages PDF included in the ZIP file!). Of course if any of you have some advice to give to newbies to this game, I will appreciate if you could share here with others.

    Cheers and happy landing.


    ps: You can see the NASA flight plan by tapping the cockpit screen. The list displayed show how fast you should be going at specific altitude during your descent. You can flight with the flight plan displayed. Of course, NASA astronauts used paper flight plan! But we are in 2006 so we use on-screen digital display!
  3.    #3  
    PART 1/2

    Hello all,

    Once you have landed successfully couples times with at the default level and mission (Rookie and P66 landing phase) you may want to aspire to become a LM Pilot or even better an LM Commander! Here some tips on how to make your play more challenging. Once again if any of you "LEM Sim professional astronauts" have comments that could help newbies, do not hesitated to jump in.

    In the following levels, the initial conditions like starting altitude, landing site location and starting fuel level (among other things) are different on every game. The difference betwwen Pilot and Commander is that in the Commander level, the initial conditions will have a much larger range. Also the failure rate is much higher than in Commader than in the Pilot level.

    Of course this means that each landing is going to be different.

    1- LM Pilot/Commander levels:

    Unlike in the Roockie level, the lateral velocity will be more than likely different from zero, you will need to null it before your touchdown. You do that by rolling your lander on the opposite direction of your current direction. So if you see that the red vertical line on your X-pointer instrument is to the left of the center line (white vertical line) then roll your lander right until the red line goes back to the center. Use your left/right buttons 5-ways pad to roll left/right.
    Attention not to just null your lateral velocity and think you are going to hit your landing site. Use the Moon digital map to see where your heading and roll left/right to make the velocity vector (red line coming out of the lander icon) point in the direction of the landing site (blinking yellow cross). Once you are comfortable that you are aiming for the landing site THEN bring your lateral speed to zero (closer to zero the more points) so to keep the same heading.

    Also in this level, some of your lander sub-systems could fail! like Neil Armstrong with the "1201 error", you will need to deal with any failures. First when a failure happen, you will hear a loud siren sound and an "Master Alarm" will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you want to stop the siren sound simply click on the newly visible button. The button will stay on but will turn blue. Of course the failure still need to be dealted with. A short message on the top of the screen will describe the type of system failure your lander is having. Here a list of current failures:

    - Fuel leak: Of course this means that the computer (DAP) has detected a fuel tank leak. Since fuel is on very short supply, this could affect your mission greatly (not getting to your landing site or even a crash for lack of fuel). If you get this alarm, you will need to really watch your fuel gauge. Since you can land anywhere (at this time), you best bet is to try to make it the closest possible to your landingf site but make sure you have enough to land w/o crashing.

    - Thursters failure: This means that one of your thruster (roll or pitch) is either not working or stuck ON. You will see your lander attitude change wildly w/o any action from you. Depending on how long the failure last (random) your trajectory may be affected. You can either fight the attitude change or simply wait until it stops and then correct any change of direction. This failure is extremely dangerous when you try to land on planets with strong gravity like Jupiter because a small change in attitude makes a huge change in horizontal velocites (I will talked about landing on planets in a later post).

    - Instrument failure: This means that one your lander instrument has failed. For instance if you lost your landing radar then the altitude (and descent) indicator will be replaced by scrambled image. You cannot really do anything about it other than wait until the failure goes away. Unlike the default Rookie level, you will really need to watch your instruments AND remember what they display last in case you lose that indicator. This last point is more much important when you are very close to the surface (you want to now if you were at 200 ft or 20 ft altitude!).

    - Main engine (DPS) failure: This is a serious failure. The main engine simply shutdown (thrust=0) for a period of time. Just pray that it won't happen too close to the ground!! The automatic ROD (DPS mode is set to ROD) should be able to deal with the problem once the failure stops. You will notice that the computer will increase the engine thrust (red bar) quiet a bit to compensate for the increase in descent rate (DesV) due to engine failure.

    - Computer (DAP) failure: This means that part of the on-board computer has failed and will need to control your descent velocity yourself (but still under the ROD computer routine...still good). The sytem will automatically switch the DAP mode to MAN. This failure is more problematic during the long approach phase mission. Once you are in the P66 landing phase then the DAP is in the manual phase anyway. The only reason for this failure is to force time to time to take control of the lander rate of descent even when your are high above the ground. This a LM simulator (not the actual LM) so you need to train for any eventuality if you wish to become a LM Pilot or Commander!

    This post will be continued.....................
  4.    #4  
    PART 2/2

    Hello again.

    Here the continuation of my "how to?" series. We were talking about your lunar lander potential sub-systems failures:

    - ROD failure: This means that the on-board computer routine ROD has failed and it relates to how the main engine is controlled. Actually none of the Apollo astronauts ever landed controlling the main engine thrust directly (increase/decrease engine thrust directly). Instead they requested from the computer (DAP) a rate of descent they were comfortable with and let the computer control the main engine thrust to match the rate of descent requested (or simply ROD). They did that by toggling a switch up/down. In the Treo for instance you do that by clicking on the RED and GREEN buttons of the phone (of course DAP mode needs to be MAN). Even so they never had to land with the ROD off, they still train for that eventuallity. Guess what? You will need to train for that eventuallity too!!

    So if you get an ROD failure alarm, you will need to take FULL control of the main engine. Use hard key 1 (depends on device but for the Treo it is the green phone button) and hard key 2 (Treo=red) to increase/decrease engine thrust to make sure you come down nice and slow. Once the failure goes away you can let the computer regain the direct control of the main engine.

    NOTE: Once a beta tester pointed to me that setting the DAP to manual mode and the DSP to manual mode (instead of ROD) is much much more fun. And it is!! There is some much information you need to watch and deal with that you get sometimes what is called "information overload". Pure fun but I will not suggest it to a newbie with LEM Simulator (at least you can land at the Commander level w/o too much problems).

    That's it for now. later I will write about landing on different planets and how to customize your mission.



    ps: I am very sorry for the length of these posts. I am trying to point out some info that may not be clear in the (35+ pages user manual included with the game ....ZIP file). Once I build myself a descent web site for the game, I will move all these info to the site.
  5.    #5  
    Hello to all.

    As promised here a description of how you can set up your lander to land on other planets.

    At this time and in addition to the Moon, you can land on:

    - Mercury
    - Venus
    - Earth
    - Mars
    - Jupiter
    - Saturn
    - Neptune
    - Uranus
    - Pluto

    By default the lander is set to the Moon. To change the planet you need to:

    1- In the splash screen, open the "MyFlight" window and select which planet you wish to land on.
    2- Go to the Game Options window and select "MyFlight" as the mission.

    If you start a new mission then you will notice that the cockpit window show a planet surface that has color. It just an
    indication to let you know that you are no longer landing on the Moon! The top of the game window also should show the label: P99 Myflight indicating that you flying a customized mission.

    Now if you choose for instance Jupiter then you are going to crash in less than 10 seconds!! The reason is simple. The gravity of Jupiter is enormous as compare to the Moon. The LEM Simulator main engine max thrust is normally set to the actual Apollo LEM max thrust. Of course this engine will only work on the Moon. You will need to customize your engine max thrust to land safely on Jupiter (in this example). To do this:

    1- Once again open the "MyFlight" window.
    2- Set the Max engine factor to percentage of the default value. For instance if you want to set your max thrust value to twice the default value, simply enter "200" (%) . If you want to reduce the engine max thrust enter a value<100 (ie: 50 will means half of the max engine).

    You will need to experiment with this number so to land safely and avoid to need to have the engine always full blast during the descent. This will happen if you set the engine factor too low. If you lander engine is always full blast (90%) during the descent then your fuel will deplete very very quickly. By the way you can also choose the fuel amount again as percentage of the default fuel amount. Adjust this amount like you did with the engine max thrust earlier (as a %).

    In the other end If you set the engine too low for a planet like Pluto (low gravity) then the 10% engine thrust will not allow you to land (engine force too strong for the weak Pluto gravity).

    Another issue is the attitude controls of the LEM on planets with high gravity (again like Jupiter). Because you had to increase x % the engine max thrust, tilting your lander (for instance to slow your forward speed) , a very small tilt angle will make a huge difference in your horizontal velocities (forward and lateral). So you will need to really be very careful when tilting your lander. Use small angles.

    Please note that when using "Myflight" as a mission, the on-board computer (DAP) will always be in manual mode (MAN). The engine control mode can be still switch betwen ROD (auto) and manual mode. If you have really want to have fun put the DPS mode to manual and control the engine thrust yourself!!

    OK that's it for now. If you have any comments or need some aspect of the game explained, I will be happy to explain further.

    Happy landing!

  6. #6  
    Would love to try this, but I have a Treo 600 . . . sigh . . . Would you do a low res version? Thanks.
  7.    #7  
    Hi mlilin.

    I am very sorry for that. If a lot of people with the Treo 600 are interested about LEM Simulator on that device, I could see what I can do. I maybe able to port it to the low res screen. Unfortunately I cannot promise anything until I tried to port it to the Treo 600.

    Anybody else interested?

    Thank you for your interest.

  8.    #8  

    Thank you for asking for a low resolution version of LEM Simulator 2.0. I am attempting to do it and I have I think a working version. Unfortunately I do not have a real Treo 600. Is anybody with a treo 600 interested in taking the low resolution screen version for a ride?

    If yes, please send me a private with your email adress so I can send you the game. I am sorry in advance if I cannot send it to everybody who ask for it. This is limited offer so I can deal with all beta testers in timely fashion. Once I am sure it works for the Treo 600, I will release it to all.

    By the way how many of you would be interested in having LEM Simulator 2.0 ported to the Treo 600 (low res version) if I could make it work? just curious how much demand is out there for the low res version.

    Thanks in advance for any help I can get.

  9.    #9  
    Hello guys,

    Just a quick update on the low res version of LEM Simulator 2.0 (for Treo 600 for instance). It seems to work!!!! I am waiting for more confirmation but it looks good right now. If you are interested to test it for me,please PM me today with your device type and email adress. And I will try to send the beta version. I am going in vacation for 3 weeks in Europe tommorow morning so this beta call will be close until I come back July 10. So if you are interested please do it today!!

    Thanks to all.


    ps: Once I come back and my beta testers tell me that everything is A-OK then I will release the low res version for T600.
  10.    #10  
    Hi guys,

    The Treo 600 beta test (low res version) is now close. At least until I come back from vacation (July 10). So far so good from the feedback I go so far. So it looks really good for a release of a low res version (Treo 600) mid July. So stay tune...

    Thank you.

  11. #11  
    I've having a problem for several days. In a nut shell Laucher X started to reset my phone when I tried to view my "games" catigory. I did a hard reset and the native launcher caused a reset when trying to view my card. I moved all the games from my card to my PC using a card reader, when it tried to move LEM 2.o it said the file was corrupt anc couldn't be moved. I deleated LEM 2.0 and everything works perfectly. So........

    1. Can LEM 2.0 be run from a card?
    2. Could LEM 2.0 have files in it that could currupt my card if using through Launcher X?
    Nik<hr>M100 --->M125 --->M500 --->Treo300 --->Sprint-Treo600 --->Sprint-Treo650
    Rom 8:31 <'><
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    1 in 150 babies born today will have some form of Autism
    Unlocking Autism Mission Trips to Honduras My Space
  12.    #12  
    Hello Nick,

    So sorry for the delay. I am in vacation in France and have hard time with internet access. Yes the game seems to run fine from a card (I have it on my card and multiple people said it was OK too). I am not sure about Launcher X since i do not have it. I will try to look into it when I come back next week. Maybe someone with launcher X could post a suggestion here. Thanks.

    Take care.

  13.    #13  
    Hi guys,

    Ok, it is done. I have just released the low resolution version of LEM Simulator 2.0. This should be compatible with devices like the Treo 600 (160x160 screen). Thank you very much to all my beta testers who took the low res version for a ride.

    You can get it here:

    LEM Simulator 2.0 at PalmGear

    This is a 7 days free trial (full version) so have fun with it.

    Once again happy landing!

  14.    #14  
    Hi guys,

    Oups I forgot! To celebrate the release of the low res version (Treo 600), I have decided to extend the intro price a little longer: $8.95

    BUT this low price will now end July 31th, 2006. That's a 40% discount from the regular price ($14.95).

    So if you are at all interested in purchasing the application do it now and save some money


    Last edited by momob; 07/29/2006 at 12:41 AM.
  15.    #15  
    Hi guys,

    just to let you know that LEM Simulator 2.0R intro price ends this week-end! Buy it today and save $6.00 from the regular price ($8.95 versus $14.95). Only this week-end.

    LEM Simulator 2.0 at PalmGear

    Thanks for the support!



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