A woman in a white helmet and blue jumpsuit gets strapped into a harness by a red-headed man with a beard who is also in a blue jumpsuit

A Moon For All Mankind

Few in life get to walk on the Moon. Samsung says, do what you can’t. Working with creative agency Iris and engineering experts Mannetron, Framestore proudly joined Samsung’s mission to bring space travel to all, in the approach to the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing. ‘A Moon For All Mankind’ is the world’s first lunar gravity simulation VR experience, created in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), using the Samsung Gear VR and a custom-built rig. Having launched under embargo at the 2018 Winter Olympics and at Mobile World Congress, July sees the experience land publicly at Samsung 837, in New York City.

Concept Design
close up shot of an astronaut's face in a helmet with the text 'a moon for all mankind' in the centre

The action takes place in a custom-designed simulator rig and IMU (inertial measurement unit) ‘spacesuit’, which registers the user’s weight in real-time, offsetting it with accuracy to emulate the gravity of the Moon’s surface. These physical elements work in tandem with original mission content developed by Framestore, viewed on Samsung Gear VR and the Galaxy S9+, to transport users to a new level of experiential entertainment.

user suspended in air in safety gear whilst supervised by two people with the moon surface and earth in space in the background

The mission sees the user land on the Moon’s surface, exit the lander, and plant their flag - with a couple of dramatic surprises along the way. Developing an experience with 4D mechanics at its core raised fresh challenges for Framestore’s VR developers, for whom 4D elements are typically an enhancement, not a driver, in virtual narratives. The team used a gameplay approach to plot its mission story, reiterating and testing for every possible eventuality, aware that the user’s 360° ‘freedom’ in the rig to roam the Moon’s surface would need careful curtailing to complete the mission in a five-minute window. Action trigger-points placed throughout the narratives prompt optimum interaction and reward, maximising the CG lunar landscapes built by Framestore’s award-winning artists.

astronaut space suit
user suspended in air by braces in a safety suit and helmet that has a VR headset on with an image of earth in the backgroun

Key CG assets include the astronaut’s own body (seen when the user looks down at themselves in headset); the Moon lander; rover; and all terrain. Drawing on NASA data from both Apollo 11’s mission and today, as well artistic interpretations of near-future space travel, Framestore’s artists struck a balance that sets a believable setting for the experience - all the time optimised for realtime mobile VR.

Said helmet was, and is still, in constant development, furthering finessing the user experience of AMFAM. The experience spacesuit, too, as well as scenic elements and technologies used, have seen endless R&D, drawing on intel from the engineering and entertainment worlds. The work to refine the collection of devices, sensors and data points that make up AMFAM are a reflection of Framestore’s determination to always go one better in its innovations.

black and white image of user in an astronaut space suit holding their hands up in the air with the moon surface and earth in space in the background
user suspended in air with braces wearing a safety suit and helmet with the moon surface and earth in space in the background

Framestore partnered with GCVRS once again, to design authentic sound for the experience. Based on extensive research into NASA communication systems, the team created the ambient sounds within the AMFAM spacesuit, and the user’s muted footsteps as they traverse the Moon’s service. A voiceover was recorded and given a filter for CapCom’s guiding instructions, with opening and closing beeps in line with real transmissions. The experience’s crescendo - the user’s rush back to the lander - used a Shepard tone to great effect amidst sounds of meteors striking the ground and the user’s helmet, creating an illusion of increased pitch to build suspense.

user wearing safety suit, helmet and VR headset preparing to be suspended in air through braces


Client Lead, Samsung Electronics
Younghee Lee, John (Chang Young) Kim, Moses Choi, Stanley (Yongho) Han; Zach Overton (US), Yvonne Ng (US)
Project Governance, Cheil
Justine (Eun-Sook) Koh
Client Governance
Jeremy Cochran
Creative Direction
Grant Hunter
Project Governance
Jordan Harper
Project Lead
Stuart McKenna
Creative Lead
Rob Leeks, Joel Lim
Account Lead
Fraser Thomson
Event Production Lead
Chloe Aldridge
Integrated Production Lead
Alexis Garcia
Head of VR, Framestore
Karl Woolley
Executive Producer, Immersive Entertainment
Heather Kinal
Lead Developer, Hardware Integration
Jonathan Forder
Lead Developer, Content
Alex Perry
VR Producer
Taylor Kennard
Production Assistant
Cameron McLarty
Lead Tech Artist
Makoto Tanaka
Lead CG Artist
Lead Production Technology
Richard Fish
Thor Bunting
Tech Artist
William Arterton
Lead Hardware Engineer, Mannetron
Peter Jungen
Lead Software & Project Manager, Mannetron
Technical Lead Sound Engineer, GCVRS
Steve Lane
Audio Developer, GCVRS
Mirren Malcolm-Neale
Producer, GCVRS
Mike Hill
Richard Fish, Stuart McKenna
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