Solar Mission EST - The videogame

The astronomers and engineers that will use EST in the future are now kids. The videogame “Solar Mission EST” is focused on bringing solar physics research closer to them, in a funny and entertaining way. A team of solar astronomers with superpowers will help us achieve that goal. They will have to figure out what is happening on the Sun… and save the world!
  • The EST videogame is designed for Android and iOS mobile platforms.  A PC version is also available.
  • The target audience is kids between 8 and 12 years, together with people of any age interested in science and games.

Story

The adventure begins with people waking up one day, only to discover that their toasters shoot bread slices and their ovens try to kill them. Because of an unknown reason, the magnetic field of the Sun has gone crazy and this affects all the machines on Earth, spreading chaos. To solve this situation, it is necessary to complete the construction of the European Solar Telescope, a big science infrastructure and our only hope to study the Sun in detail.

The game

To accomplish this task, a group of solar astronomers will have the mission of collecting pieces to make EST work. As in real scientific research, the astronomers in different observatories will have to help their colleagues, providing them with some data or information needed to complete a task. The aim is to show that EST is the result of collaborative work between European partners. Moreover, the players will be introduced to some of the most relevant topics of solar research, such as sunspots, magnetic fields, granulation, etc. They will also work with the instruments and technology needed to study the Sun, including adaptive optics systems, spectrographs, filtergraphs…
The game goes through six missions the player has to accomplish sequentially. These missions take place in scenarios that correspond to real solar telescopes: Lomnický Štít Observatory (Slovakia), the Einstein Tower (Germany), Pic du Midi Observatory (France), GREGOR (Spain), the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (Spain), and a final scene at the European Solar Telescope at Observatorio de El Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma (Spain).

Characters

Eclipse


This is Eclipse. She is a solar astronomer. She is mysterious, brave, bold, and... one of the scientists in charge of finding out what's happening on the Sun.

Where to find her: Swedish Solar 1m Telescope
Special skill: Generating magnetic fields

Spot


This smart guy is Spot. He may look unable to solve a worldwide crisis caused by abnormal solar activity. But, hey, don't underestimate him! Spot is full of surprises...


Where to find him: GREGOR Telescope
Special skill: Propelled by solar spicules

Flare


Everything with Flare is happiness... until she releases an explosive ray of energy! She is the right astronomer to study the Sun, to find solutions, and to face the risks of its unusual activity.

Where to find her: Einstein Tower
Special skill: Shooting Coronal Mass Ejections

UV


Behind his muscles there is a brilliant brain! We are afraid our solar astronomer UV will have to make use of both if he wants to save humanity from the hazards of a Sun going bananas. 


Where to find him: Lomnický Štít Observatory
Special skill: Creating solar magnetic tornadoes

Ms Prominence


Ms. Prominence is pure style and elegance... but when the right time comes, she does know how to rock! Her experience is invaluable for the team that will take up the challenge of unraveling the mysteries of the strange solar behavior.

Where to find her: Pic du Midi Observatory
Special skill: Releasing solar flares

Spectro


Aka the Big Man, Spectro is the solar astronomer in charge of leading the great "Solar Mission EST" team. He has studied the Sun more than anyone else, but... he's never seen the kind of things happening in our star!


Where to find him: European Solar Telescope
Special skill: Running fast, thinking faster

Learning Solar Physics

In each scenario, a solar astronomer will have to obtain a specific piece for EST, solving puzzles and mini-games related to solar physics. During the mission, crazy machines will try to prevent the player from achieving their objective. The game conveys information about the magnetic features and processes present in the Sun's atmosphere, such as sunspots, flares, or coronal loops. Also the techniques and instruments used to study our star are introduced.

Puzzles

Identify features in different wavelengths, use a coronograph, or correct wavefronts with Adaptive Optics. The players will get familiar with instrumentation and solar physics concepts through these puzzles.

Solarpedia

To reinforce the learning process, the player can access the game "Solarpedia" at any time. This resource is a collection of 74 short articles providing information on a variety of topics.

Creators

Director and
science supervisor
Luis Bellot Rubio (IAA-CSIC)




Production coordinator
Víctor Aníbal López (IAA-CSIC)




Script
Luis Bellot Rubio (IAA-CSIC)
Emilio J. García (IAA-CSIC)
Víctor Aníbal López (IAA-CSIC)
Developed by
Gambusino Labs S. C.:
  • Javier Izquierdo Vera
  • Miguel Medina Ballesteros
  • David Montero Valdivieso
  • Fernando Montero Valdivieso
  • Daniel Sánchez de la Torre

and

  • Pablo Torcuato García Rodríguez
  • Miguel Ángel Hernández Olmo
  • Ana Marí
  • José Torres
Sound design
Rubén Martín



Language supervisor
Sophie Murray (TCD)



Solarpedia
Luis Bellot Rubio (IAA-CSIC)
Sergio González Manrique (KIS)
Peter Keys (QUB)
Christoph Kuckein (IAC)
Víctor Aníbal López (IAA-CSIC)
Sophie Murray (TCD)
Ada Ortiz (Expert Analytics)
Advisors
Sara Esteban (IAC)
Sergio González Manrique (KIS)
Peter Keys (QUB)
Christoph Kuckein (IAC)
Marian Martínez (IAC)
Alejandro Moreno (IAA-CSIC)
Sophie Murray (TCD)
Ada Ortiz (Expert Analytics)

Music courtesy of
1967 Music, Clemens Ruh, CRZFawkz, Dr. Paranoid, FM Attack, Gavin Rochford, Haizum, Hayalhanem, Judy Garland, Kent Ehrgott, Kevin MacLeod, L’mop, Lacero, Lux Inspira, Navy Joe, Sebastian Pangal, Ty Simon