As in 2012, I participated in the NASA Space Apps Challenge Hackathon, this time as a participant rather than an organizer. I arrived a bit late from Zurich to the EPFL in Lausanne, and Frederic Jacobs, another veteran iOS dev asked what I was working on before I had more than a moment to think. I had spent the previous week powering through a great textbook on Orbital Mechanics, so I had launch windows, rockets, and orbits on the brain. Moreover, while I have created and deployed mobile apps ranging from text readers, to social media, to augmenting phone functionality, I’d never created a game. I like hackathons as a chance to try something new, so I told Frederic I was interested in making a game exploring Orbital Mechanics concepts. Frederic was sold and has built games before, so he was a great co-hacker to have. We created a simple game with a great design, that could be expanded on. Frederic says
The gameplay is meant to be very straight forward. At the bottom of the screen there is a big red button to launch a rocket. A rocket takes off and then the user needs to find a good orbital altitude to launch the satellite. Once the rocket gets at the desired altitude, the user swipes the screen with a certain direction and intensity (length of the swipe).
You can see more and our github here: https://github.com/FredericJacobs/RendezVous
We won one of the local awards and the app was eligible for judging by will.i.am’s i.am.angel‘s foundation as part of his sponsorship of one of the hackathon’s challenges “Reach for the Stars”: to educate children about space via an app.