Meet the Jammers!

Team Equilibrium: What happens after we make contact?

Gabriel Alvarado-MarinPrabhu Hari DharapalCeleste Masinter

Gabriel Alvarado-Marin (left)
Visual Designer at the SETI Institute

Prabhu Hari Dhanapal (middle)
Works at VMWare and participates in the indie game scene

Celeste Masinter (right)
Illustrator and user interface designer at Tophatter

This team rallied around one big idea: What happens after we make contact? The game begins with the user finding an intelligent signal from extraterrestrial beings on another planet—a real one from the Kepler catalog. But they’re fascinated with, and the game follows, what happens after we know we’re not alone. Gabriel Alvarado-Marin (a visual designer at the SETI Institute) came up with the concept, and he and Celeste Masinter (an illustrator and user interface designer at Tophatter) are dreaming up the visuals, while Prabhu Hari Dhanapal, who works at VMWare, is their prime coder.

Telescope design: How do you design a telescope array that actually gives good data?

Ryan Williams and Michael StevensonRyan Williams (left)
Mobile game designer

Michael Stevenson (right)
Does virtual reality work for medical and architectural clients

Andrew Coggeshall (not present)

Ryan Williams, a mobile game designer, and Michael Stevenson, who does virtual reality work for medical and architectural clients, want to help you design an array of radio antennas—on Mars. They’re busy building a world on the Red Planet, flying around its craters and mountains, so that you can build your own radio telescope there. By dropping antennas in the best spots, you can make a working telescope and then look out into the universe.

SETI Sloths: A resource-management sim game

Nick and Nefer DoaneJack ParkGeorge Katsaros

Nick and Nefer Doane
Work in IT and business consulting but also own their own game development company, called NDXP Games

Jack Park (middle)
Retired artificial-intelligence computer scientist and founder of the Topicquests Foundation

George Katsaros (right)
Founder of One More Turn

Nick and Nefer Doane are married, and Jack Park is Nefer’s father. George Katsaros says he is neither married nor anyone’s father. But they’re working together as a great team on their game, which uses real data about real planets discovered by the Kepler telescope. On these planets, players will have to manage resources—ones the developers think could actually be on the planets.

Base of the Click: Maintain civilization. Establish contact.

Kevin, Jesse, Gabe

Gabriel Parrott (right)
Student at City College of San Francisco

Jesse Hamburger (middle)
Works at Blitit

Kevin Morris (left)
Student at City College of San Francisco

Gabriel Parrott and Kevin Morris are students together at the City College of San Francisco, and Jesse Hamburger works at the start-up Blitit (sorry, no details—still in stealth mode!). The only way they can describe their game, which is apparently also still in stealth mode, is to say it involves “cognitive overload” and uses Kepler and near-Earth asteroid models.

SO!: When we find a message, how will we understand it and apply meaning, and what can it tell us about them as a civilization?

Pietro Righi Riva and Anna Kipnis

Pietro Righi Riva (left)

Anna Kipnis (right)
Game developer

Pietro Righi Riva and Anna Kipnis have a few ideas about what a message from an extraterrestrial civilization might look like. Maybe they would send out radiation that looks almost—but not quite—like a natural chemical signature. Or maybe they would send the pixels of a two-dimensional image that we would have to arrange and decipher. By decoding the messages in this game, users can get to know the society that sent them.

Can you survive while trying to figure out how an interstellar civilization was destroyed?

Brendan MauroBrendan Mauro
Game developer

Brendan Mauro has imagined a graveyard universe in which a huge interstellar civilization has disappeared. But you’re still alive and need to figure out what happened to everybody else.

How do you build a working rocket?

Alex AustinAlex Austin
Indie game developer

When Alex Austin, an indie game developer, showcases his game, he demonstrates how liquid fuel can blast a hole in the side of a rocket’s tank. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a rocket that does a better job of holding itself together.

Build your own telescope and decide where to look for a SETI signal.

Brad JohnsonBrad Johnson
Founder of Be-Rad Entertainment

Brad Johnson wants to give you some cash, but you have to build a telescope with it. In his SETI simulator, you’ll create your own instrument to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. And when you make intelligent choices about which (real) exoplanets to point your telescope at, you’ll get more money to build something even better. And maybe someday even find a positive SETI signal.