Co-operative VR game for schools – call for ideas and collaboration

We didn’t have enough time to discuss it at length at Wortley Hall, but, given the interest in the idea, it’d be great to make it happen.

We, Animorphs, met on Saturday wondering how to open the discussion here by asking you a few questions, which will help shaping an experience we can all be fond of at CoTech.

The initial idea aims to create a simple multiplayer VR game (for mobiles&any headset such as cardboard) where ±10 kids find themselves in the same world to work together on addressing a problem using minimalistic interface (gaze control as they look around seems most robust). The experience would be followed-up by a discussion in the classroom.

  1. What age group should we address?
  2. What is the wider context, a problem the players will confront?
  3. What is the world the players are in?
  4. What is the logic of the game? How do you win, how do you lose?
  5. Would you like to collaborate with Animorph on developing the game?
  6. How to find our way into classrooms?

Throw your ideas in, even if you’re not sure how they could be accomplished!

Our initial ideas about approaching the questions. They are points of reference, starting points aiming to kick off the discussion.

  1. If we keep the game fairly simple and abstract (without direct co-operative propaganda) we could target primary schools, probably ages around 8-11.
  2. Climate change, capturing carbon emissions (fumes).
  3. Dreamy meadow surrounded by a forest, which is becoming increasingly bleak due to contamination.
  4. Players (as avatars) land on the site and have to capture the fumes in order keep the oxygen level above the deadly threshold. There are many other (more or less absurd) elements floating in the air and asking for attention so the team has to prioritise what’s important for their… survival.
  5. In the following weeks we will assemble an open multiplayer mobile VR build (functionality only). We are particularly interested in teaming up on the visual dimension, imagining and designing the world, but we are open to sharing (and potentially revising) the way we build the environment using Unity 3D.
  6. Use our friends-insiders to demo it in a semi-official capacity and assemble a little video documentation that would boost the pitch.

With regards 3, could the game world be a ‘real world’ scenario? Climate change is a fairly abstract concept to most people in the UK, it seems. The forest location may mean the kids don’t make the connection to their reality. Would obviously want to avoid scaring them. Maybe on a hill overlooking a cityscape, with industrial chimneys spitting out the mega nasties, and less nasty pollutants rising up from the streets. As an additional mechanic, players could place trees to absorb pollution, end game could be equilibrium.

Check this out - Seems to be a few kids having a bash there from the photos. You could probably adapt this with some sort of minecraft style angle? You have to build something, then you all have to use it together to win? Shameless plug, but if you do go with the climate change concept, please consume our emissions API!