A downloadable hack

My gran was just like other grannies—smelled like cookies, taught me to knit, chased me around the garden with a hose, and laughs when she scolds us about jumping on the bed. But then I found her notebook.

Gran said it was from “years ago and far away.” She didn’t tell me it was her journal  from another planet. And she certainly didn’t warn me that when I opened it, I’d be transported to that distant world.

Now I’m on a small planet with alien skies, her field notes, and science to be done.


This game is a 24-hour hack to link together Zooniverse community science projects into an adventure game. Explore the planet, interact with the environment, and contribute to real natural science  observations.  

Player actions are  walking around the quasi-2D world, interacting with trigger-points indicated by a glow and presence of tools (hydrophone, spyglass, magnifying glass, or camera traps). Activating mini-games pops up real science data embedded from Zooniverse projects with instructions to pattern-match, classify, or find hidden objects as part of crowd-sourced community science.

Starter environments are the sky (Galaxy Zoo), savannah grasslands (Snapshot Serengeti), a rocky coastline (Invader ID), and a shallow lagoon (Manatee Chat). Expansions could include  transporting to spacecraft, moons, or other planets to access orbital data or other environments.

This game features hand-drawn art and a procedurally-generated soundtrack from the “Data is Music” hack. Project creators are Thomas Stucky (programming and game design), Mika McKinnon (narrative and art), and Janet Freeride (asset acquisition) with additional assistance from Dorien Gunnels & Jay Freeman.

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