The Challenge | On the Shoulders of Giants

Create a game using images from the Hubble Space Telescope as integral components!

Hubble Quest

Hubble Quest is a mobile puzzle game that uses gravitational objects to guide a spaceship along its quest around our universe of beauty and wonder. Postcards featuring images and information from the Hubble Telescope are garnered throughout the game.

Big Bangers


  • With data about the universe being usually overwhelming, society is unable to grasp it completely. Moreover, scientific processes and data are thorough and technical, which may seem intimidating to the average person, leading to less interaction with astronomy.


  • Our app simplifies beautiful occurrences in the universe through a hyper-casual puzzle game utilizing Hubble Space images and intuitive physics concepts.


The Observation

  • People are more likely to deeper appreciate and see the beauty of astronomy when they have context as to what they are seeing.
  • Researchers from the University of Otago discerned a direct correlation between comprehension to the presence of accompanying text when an image of a heavenly body is presented. [1]
  • For example, someone is more likely to comprehend what a nebula is when the photo is accompanied with a short descriptive text. It was also mentioned in this study that when novices in astronomy want to learn how to see images the same way scientists do. [1]
  • People enjoy playing hyper-casual games because they are instantly playable, light, and addictive. Also, rounds are short and the user may opt to stop any time, therefore providing convenience.[2]

The Questions

  • Can we deliver data in a simpler way that is understandable for everyone?
  • Can we use the data to peak and maintain interests in science and the universe?
  • Can we intuitively teach physics concepts such as gravitational forces without the complexity of words?
  • Can we direct more attention towards priceless data about the universe provided by NASA?

The Data

The Idea

  • Utilize Hubble Space Telescope images in the production of application assets.
  • Develop a series of game levels wherein the goal is to navigate a rocket through obstacles to some location by utilizing intuitive physics concepts.
  • Provide the player incentive upon completion of levels via a postcard collection system wherein actual Hubble Space Telescope images are featured.
  • Allow for replayability by awarding more postcards for skilled play.
  • Convey relevant information in the postcard system by using captions and descriptions taken from the Hubble Telescope website which is also hyperlinked to its respective source for further reading..

Progress Made

  • Assets with and inspired by Hubble Space Telescope images
  • Main menu with logo and two options (Start and Postcards)
  • Start option with 3-part sector map
  • Sector map with 3-part levels each
  • Gameplay demonstration
  • Level 1-6 controls, gravity system, tool bar, and physics based puzzle game
  • Hubble Space Telescope postcard reward per level
  • Postcards option with 6-part display
  • 18 postcards

Developed With

  • Unity 2D (C#)
  • Photoshop CC

Future Perspectives

  • Create more sectors, levels, and postcards with respect to data from Hubble Space Telescope images
  • Integrate a level editor system and introduce social media competitions
  • Partner with schools to develop a more interactive way of learning science, particularly physics, vector analysis, analytic geometry, and astronomy
  • Improve user experience by possibly integrating virtual reality
  • Develop a more comprehensive reward and pointing system


  • Arcand, K.K., Bookbinder, J., Keach, K., Smith, L.F., Smith, J.K., & Smith, R.K. (2011). Aesthetics and astronomy: Studying the public’s perception and understanding of imagery from space.Science Communication, 33, 201-238. doi: 10.1177/1075547010379579
  • Heinze, J. (2018). Hyper-casual: Mobile gaming’s newest genre. Retreived from

SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.