Web-Based Game – ASU – F

“Psyche Simulator”


Arizona State University (ASU)


Tungsten Class (2023 – 2024)


Greeshma Challaram, Computer Science
Jack Pletka,
Jonathan Parilla, Engineering Management
Keb Summers,
Sukul Handa,



Mohammad Reza Hosseinzadeh Taher (Instructor)
Bharat Gurugubelli (TA)
Dr. Helen Chavez (Capstone Coordinator)


The Psyche Simulator not only immerses players in the art of satellite design but also introduces a compelling gameplay element through the accumulation of research points and engaging minigames that mimic the real-life scientific analysis of the Psyche asteroid. As players progress through the game, their choices in satellite components, particularly the instruments, play a crucial role in determining their ability to gather valuable research points during the crucial orbit phase around the asteroid.
The game ingeniously incorporates minigames that are directly influenced by the specific instruments players have chosen for their satellite. These minigames are designed to simulate the actual scientific processes involved in analyzing celestial bodies, offering players a hands-on experience in space exploration and research. For instance, if a player selects a spectrometer as part of their payload, they might find themselves navigating a minigame that involves analyzing the asteroid’s composition and identifying various elements based on spectral lines.
These research points are not just numbers; they represent the player’s success in uncovering the mysteries of the Psyche asteroid, contributing to their overall mission score and providing educational insights into the real scientific methods used in space exploration. The more effective the instrument selection and the player’s skill in the corresponding minigames, the higher the research points accumulated, which can lead to a more successful mission outcome.
Through this innovative gameplay mechanic, the Psyche Simulator transcends traditional gaming experiences, offering a blend of entertainment, education, and real-world scientific exploration. Players are not only tasked with building and managing a satellite but are also actively involved in the scientific process, using their crafted instruments to conduct research and unlock the secrets of the Psyche asteroid. This approach not only enhances the game’s educational value but also provides a deeper, more immersive experience into the challenges and rewards of space exploration.

This work was created in partial fulfillment of the Arizona State University Capstone Course “CSE 485”. The work is a result of the Psyche Student Collaborations component of NASA’s Psyche Mission (https://psyche.asu.edu). “Psyche: A Journey to a Metal World” [Contract number NNM16AA09C] is part of the NASA Discovery Program mission to solar system targets. Trade names and trademarks of ASU and NASA are used in this work for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by Arizona State University or National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of ASU or NASA.