So a while back we told you that at Funomena, we believe that games can make the world a better place. By that we mean a couple of things. First - that games can bring people together in new ways, expose people to new feelings and new experiences that open their hearts and minds. We hire people who believe this, and we make games to continue sharing this perspective. Second, we believe that games can give something back to society. Our first "20% time" project as a studio is a game that lets kids explore the surface of a foreign planet by using real-world FitBit steps! We've been working on this game as part of the NSF funded GetUp program, building and testing prototypes with kids in Sacramento since January.
Earlier this month, Martin, Ari and I travelled up to UC Davis to spend time with the researchers on the project, discuss the goals for the prototype and deployment plans for schools in the Sacramento school district. It was an inspiring trip that got us very excited to see the kids following summer break. Even more exciting, we've found a very talented artist to help render the world of Terra... freeing it from the burden of programmer art!
Due to the research aspect of the project, and the fact that we're working with kids, we're not posting much about the game just yet. But it does look like we'll be able to have people outside the school district play the game for beta testing sometime later this fall. If you're interested in signing up (you'll need a FitBit and a FitBit account to play!) write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add you to the beta list.
Incidentally - while we were up in Sacramento, we were able to stop by the Crocker Art Museum to view a wonderful exhibit on origami! You can read more about that in this post here.