Members of Kajak Games, a cooperative founded by the students of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences have produced PRACE Mars Mania mobile outreach game for PRACE. The game will be used in public events and science fairs around Europe to explain the power of supercomputers to younger audiences. It also highlights the scientific innovation Vlasiator enabled by PRACE and the European Research Council.
The game developer group consisted of six students of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences: Jyri Honkakoski, Veikka Huttunen, Salla Isola, Mikko Juutinen, Juuso Pönkänen, with Juho Salminen as team leader. Their work started in February 2017 and the final product was handed over to PRACE on the 25 April. The launch of the game will be in May 2017.
The group has had science support from professor Minna Palmroth´s research group. The game was created around the popular idea of sending and guiding a probe to Mars and avoiding obstacles and unpredictable space weather conditions. The game also highlights a breakthrough in science, innovation by Finnish Professor Minna Palmroth´s research group: the world´s most accurate space weather simulation model, Vlasiator. Professor Palmroth will present her work at the PRACE Scientific and Industrial Conference 2017 – PRACEdays17 – which was held in Barcelona from 16 to 18 May 2017 (see her presentation here, and an article by Science Node on Vlasiator here)
“The game also includes a “real science corner”, where the scientific innovation of Vlasiator is explained by the research group. The Vlasiator project has also benefitted from PRACE and CSC supercomputing resources”, tells professor Palmroth.
“The game project has been a great collaboration effort. It has advanced smoothly to the goal within a very short production time. This has been possible with the help of talented students working for a multinational project with enthusiasm, energy and willingness to have an intensive and regular customer dialogue, which is always a key to success”, says Antti Tiiro, CEO of Kajak Games.
“A mobile game is a great opportunity to describe the space environment to a larger public”, says professor Palmroth.
CSC – IT Center for Science has provided the Kajak games group with game testing equipment and the multicultural PRACE project group has provided regular customer feedback in each game development phase.