Do you miss Tim Peake’s photographs from the ISS? I’ve been told he’s missing the view! Maybe you were lucky enough to get his book for Christmas.

Talking of Christmas, our family always have a joint present of a new board or card game. After dinner, we try to figure out the rules – some are easier to get than others – and give it a go. Whether it’s a good game or not-so-good one, there are bound to be arguments before the day is out – but maybe that’s just my family! Of course, being eliminated from the  game doesn’t mean the end of the fun. In the past I’d have found a new book to read but, these days, whoever is first out gets more time to play with the latest game on their phone (my sister’s a great fan of Panda Pop …)

top-trumpSo, we thought, wouldn’t it be great if there were a game using Tim’s photographs from space? We batted around a few ideas: Snap! Was an obvious one – although maybe we could make it more difficult by having pictures of the same place by night and day. And, if you’re going to have pairs of cards, there’s always pelmanism. Never heard of it? Maybe not, but I bet you’ve played it. Of course there’s always Top Trumps – but we’re doing that for our Meet the EO Detective activity. Could we come up with a board game that sent people around the world, collecting and trading parts of images to make a whole? Or base it more closely on an existing game? Maybe a version of Monopoly where the goal was sustainability rather than making money. We’d need really good quality production to show the pictures off to their best advantage so maybe an online game or app would be best – and allow people more flexibility about where they played it. Perhaps a challenge to find the connection between groups of pictures, or a quiz asking people to guess locations, or make it harder by only showing part of the picture at a time …

But we’re sure you have other, better ideas.

Get your thinking cap on and see what you can come up with!

where-am-i-gifIf you think you have a concept for a great game, and would like some time and help to develop or test it, then we will be holding a games workshop/hackday for young people aged 14–19 ­, although we may have space for some younger people. This will take place at the University of Leicester on 25 March 2017. We will have resources available that you can use to make a prototype of a card or board game, and people around who will be able to help you to code an alpha version of a computer game or app or/and test your game. We have a few prizes for the best prototypes/alpha versions and some funding that means we may even be able to get the best idea or ideas developed further.

There’s plenty of inspiration and advice online.

An obvious place to start is by browsing Tim’s pictures, and others tweeted or taken from the ISS on expeditions 46 & 47. Then try having a look at this site which lists a huge number of types of game – although it doesn’t define them all – or this one which gives a detailed description of the steps in developing a game.

Some practicalities

  • You may come as an individual or as a group
  • Those under 16 should be accompanied by an adult (one adult may accompany a group of up to six young people)
  • If you are planning to develop an online game or app, you should have some knowledge of coding
  • We will provide lunch and refreshments

See this page for more details.