Calling games players and coders

We are running a games workshop/hackday at
University of Leicester
on Saturday 25 March 2017

The aim of the day

Tim Peake – and other astronauts – have taken some stunning images of the Earth from space. We would like you to think of a way of using these to make a game: it might be a board game, a card game, an app, a computer game; it might be an entertaining educational game for younger children or one that’s simply fun to play.

We will have pictures around to inspire you, and a list of links to places where you can view lots of others that you may want to use in your game. There will be people on hand who can help you develop your idea or/and improve your code, but you have only one day to create a prototype so do make sure you arrive with the germ of an idea and some thoughts about how you might make it work.

We will share all your ideas with the team from the UK Space Agency, and we have some funding to develop any really good ideas.

Who can come?

The day is aimed at students between 14 and 19 years old. You can develop your own idea, come with friends as a team, or find someone to work with when you get here.
If you are under 16, you will need to bring an adult along – so find someone who would like to join in (if you are coming as a group, you only need one adult between you – as long as everyone’s parents are happy with the person concerned).

If there is space, we will open the event to younger children, so do send us your details and we will put you on the waiting list.

What is available?

For the coders

The university computers have a range of development software that you can install and use, allowing you to work using Python, MATLAB, IDL etc. Dreamweaver is available if you wish your game to be web-based, and there are GIS programs (including Google Earth) you can use if you wish to make maps part of your game. If there is a specific piece of software you wish to use, please ask us if it is available and, if it is not, we would ask you to bring your own laptop on which to work as we are not allowed to install external programs on University machines.

For the table-top games developers

We will have supplies of card, scissors, glue, pens, standard dice, clay and printouts of some of the most popular pictures. You will have access to computers to explore more imagery and that you can use for design work. If there is something else you would like to use, please let us know and, if there is time, we will see what we can do. However, please feel free to bring along additional materials.



We will supply lunch, so please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.


The Physics building is fully accessible, but please let us know if you have any particular requirements so we can make appropriate arrangements for materials or in case of emergencies.

Getting here and timings

The day will run from 10 am to 4 pm.

The University has a map that shows how to get here and the location of the Physics and Astronomy Department, where we will be based. Please use the entrance nearest the Bennett building. We will be in rooms on the first floor, but will meet you in the foyer at 10am (and pop down from time to time thereafter if anyone is delayed).


Staff running the event are experienced in working with young people. There will be at least one person with DBS clearance around at all times. However, in order to ensure the safety of everyone taking part in the event, those under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult who, if not the child’s parent, is known to, and deemed trustworthy by, their parent(s).  We are happy for a single adult to take responsibility for several children.

Want to come?

If you would like to take part, please fill in a copy of the Participant Details form (either the pdf version or the Word version) and return it to as soon as possible. If you have any other requirements or questions, please put them in the body of the email.
Note that, if you are coming with other people, we need a separate form for each member of your party (including parents/teachers).

We’re looking forward to seeing your ideas!

 Stuck? See our earlier post for some inspiration.