Last weekend I took part in a game jam at the SETI Institute. Several local developers showed up to make some interesting games, and quite a few teams participated remotely. Overall, the SETI game jam was a great experience.

For games in this jam the only 2 rules were that they had to use part of the Drake Equation and something from the SETI Data Page. From the demos I saw most people made games using some sort of antenna data.

The game I made is called SETI Sim. You get to place antennae and satellites on a planet with which you use to research stars. Researching stars gets you science points that you can spend on researching new technology. The very basics work, you can place an antenna and a satellite (or a lot of them), research stars, and upgrade your defensive and observation tech. It would be great to spend another few weeks updating the game to make it a more fleshed out experience, but that might have to wait until A Spire To The Gods is finished.

Go ahead and play the game here: SETI Sim

seti game jam


One of the best experiences from the SETI game jam were the presentations given to us by several of the SETI scientists. They talked about sciency stuff like the Drake equation, antenna data, the Allen Telescope Array, and asteroids. After the presentations they stuck around to talk to us and answer our questions. I felt like a giddy 12 year old getting to talk to them.

Last year I took part in the NASA game jam and started working on AnonA. That project has since been put on the back burner, but I’d love to get back and finish it at some point.

I love doing game jams because I become so efficient with my work. Of the 16 or so hours I spent making this game they were almost all spent wisely. The only time I wasted was spent fixing an antenna rotation bug which took 1.5 hours. Now if only I could keep the same level of productivity on a normal work day…