SpaceIL Academy

You have been recruited to train in spaceflight and lunar landing simulations as a cadet at the space station academy. In this animated massively multiplayer adventure with real newtonian physics, fly your customized spaceship on missions to nearby moons and complete STEM homework puzzles to earn upgraded ship parts and fuel. Will you graduate and join the SpaceIL Fleet?

WINNER of the 2014 Games for Change Shoot for the Moon Challenge!


Developed for online and Android/iOS devices, with gender inclusive designs and intuitive play for a wide range of STEM knowledge, SpaceIL Academy aims to be the most accessible spaceflight simulation and puzzle game in the Shoot for the Moon challenge.

SpaceIL Academy is a fictional school where players train in a MMO puzzle and simulation RPG as elite recruits for SpaceIL missions. The academy exists on a space station surrounded by a ring of moons in a utopian high tech universe. Each recruit has come to the academy because they are special but must prove themselves to be a true astronaut through hard work and skill.

Play will focus on puzzles and challenges related to STEM and the pursuit of challenging cooperative space exploration. Recruits will need to complete in game homework assignments as puzzles, and training simulations in cooperation with other recruits to graduate through academy levels. Most homework assignments will reward recruits with fuel or ship parts to use in important training simulations, which will crowdsource data for the real world SpaceIL mission to land an unmanned rocket on the moon.

Feature Brief:

  • Complete increasingly difficult training simulations, flying your spaceship to moons and collecting samples in a space-themed RPG:

    • land safely at critical locations


    • with a limited amount of fuel

    • using a specific spaceship configuration

  • Earn spaceship and character upgrades by completing homework mini puzzles like

    • mission control game

    • sample analysis game

    • star mapping game

    • robotics lab game

  • Explore a quest-driven campaign with unique and branching training simulations, collecting samples with every mission

  • Master curriculum, graduate, then specialize in one of the game’s 5 disciplines as a ranking officer (Science, Engineering, Command, Astronomy, Spaceflight)

  • Tinker with the spaceship crafting system to upgrade and tune your spaceship then customize with paint and graphics, or repair your ship after rough space flights

  • Visit the Holotheater to get updates on SpaceIL progress and watch videos about space exploration

  • Captain or join a team to go on special missions and enjoy exclusive content

  • Graduate to join the SpaceIL fleet and build the ultimate spaceship

  • Share your in game accomplishments and photos of your spaceship on social media

In developing our idea for a space-themed game, we focused on space exploration and spaceship building with ancillary tasks that explore STEM. Recruits exist in a universe where being an astronaut, though still elite, is common and there are many uncharted moons and beyond to explore. The un-intimidating adorable world makes challenging STEM ideas and concepts attainable.  Fuel level and consumption, spaceship choice, trajectory, and skill all are important to success in the game much like the SpaceIL mission. Spaceflight is hard and more sophisticated players will find the simulations and puzzles challenging enough while still offering a playable experience to more casual players. Collaborating with other recruits adds to the depth and complexity of play.

Concept Sketches

We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could build a realistic newtonian physics thruster flight simulation in addition to a fun design, so we put together a rough proof of concept in Unity3D using placeholder art and lunar gravity of 1.622 m/s², a weight of 388lbs for the craft, and 6 direction thrust with roll/pitch/yaw. While this demo only includes spaceflight movement and thrust, we’ve continued to explore spaceflight mechanics in a 3D simulation.

Interested in following our development and participating in our Beta? Sign up for updates.

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