YOUniverse has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!
This project is about an interactive quiz game based on Hubble Space Telescope’s photos. Behind the creation of this game there is a purpose and a goal. The purpose is to bring everyone closer to the magic of our space. Our goal, by delivering this application to the world, is to have the user learn more about the universe, based on NASA’s data and have fun while doing so.
Team members: Zina Paschalidi, Thanasis Datis, Eliezer Solomon Kampelis, Stavros Papatzelos
The Universe, as we know it, is all of space, time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies and all other forms of matter and energy. The spatial size of the entire universe is still unknown and that’s what makes it so interesting. It is composed almost completely of dark energy, dark matter and ordinary matter. Other contents are electromagnetic radiation and antimatter.
Hubble is the world’s first space-based optical telescope that NASA named after the American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble. It was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation till this day. It has recorded some of the most detailed visible light images ever, allowing a deep view into space and time. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics such as accurately determining the rate of expansion of the Universe.
“The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
The unknown has always intrigued the human race for further investigation and observation. Every unexplainable aspect has aroused our curiosity and had us constantly wonder how, but mainly, why everything around us happens. We, as a team, decided to take up this project because we find the mystery of space and matter significantly exciting. That’s why we created an application that will give the user the opportunity to learn more about our Universe through various questions accompanied with relevant photos that Hubble has provided us. Using modern technology the player will be able to research and figure out more about the Universe itself.
What the game is.
The YOUniverse game gives the user the chance to discover the Universe and mainly specializes in the Hubble Space Telescope’s photos. Its main characteristic is that it is highly interactive with the user since it’s using the phone’s camera to scan a Hubble photo for the game to begin.
The game connects you with another user that is facing the same photo that you are seeing, followed by an equivalent 3D model. It presents you the same question and gives you the opportunity to give an answer within a 30 second interval. By interacting with the 3D models you will be able to give a better answer to the given question. The user who gives an answer faster, automatically cancels his/hers opponent from playing in the particular round. He/She, although is responsible for his/hers choice because in case of giving a false answer, the particular player loses points which will be later given to the opponent. The game continues by using the same photo for several rounds but presents both users a different question.
The goal of the game is the collection of 100 points and that way the player changes division.
Our goal as a team, is to create a website which will draw photos from the official Hubble Space telescope site and it's gonna work as mentioned below: When someone accesses the website, the page will view a certain Hubble photo which the user will later scan, using their phone, allowing the game to begin. In that way, we are assured that the same photo will appear to two people only, who are competing each other around the world.
People of any age (from 5 to 105 years old) and of any educational level can play our game. All it takes is the possession of a smart device (smartphone, tablet).
We accomplish that by giving the user the chance to withdraw information from the 3D models that show up during the quiz. With his/hers interaction with all those features and the players own personal observation, he/she can choose the right answer.
That's how we manage to offer entertainment to every user along with education, since the latter is the main goal of this game.
It's important to mention that the application's main goal is to combine wisdom with entertainment in an harmonic environment.
How the application is made.
YOUniverse is an online multi-player quiz game. Just like all games, it is created in a game development platform (e.g in Unity using language C# script). This application contains graphics, most importantly 3D models which we collected from NASA’s github. Because it’s an online game, the user will have to login, using his/hers personal email. There’s also a main server for all players to connect with each other and for saving their personal scores.
One of the most important characteristics of the game is that it uses AI (Artificial Intelligence). It can recognize the image via camera, even if there are alterations, processing it in a way so that it can be identified with the one existing in the server’s database. The database also contains every user’s scores, username, password and other important information. Once the identification is complete, a question appears along with the relevant photo which goes with the equivalent 3D model. The answers are object buttons.
The game also has an educational character since the player has an option to access each photo appearing in the game by using a different page that contains further information (text object) for a more challenging experience.
A FINAL REMARK
All this game has to do with how we, or actually, YOU, as a player of our YOUniverse game, can learn more about the Universe. But we should always have in mind the great words of the famous American astronomer and science communicator, Carl Sagan:
-“We are a way for the Cosmos, to know itself.”
SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.