What is your role on Habitat?
I’m responsible for developing the Habitat game. I take all the art, music and ideas and translate them to an app.
Tell us a little about your background?
I’ve had a long history of being involved in the creation and coding of a wide variety of games. Prior to becoming involved with educational games, a large part of my work included producing games for PC and console devices. I’ve also worked on projects featuring simulated environments (both urban and natural). It was through working on such simulations that I first got interested in the game engine Unity, and have spent much of my free time over the last three years getting my Unity knowledge from the level of enthusiast to (hopefully close to) expert.
What did you find appealing about the Habitat project?
It is something completely new: a project that deals with ecological issues in real life and introduces them to a younger audience. Plus, I really like polar bears!
Has the integration of the real world actions been difficult?
It has been challenging but interesting to integrate real world actions. It’s never really been done in a game so I have nothing to base it upon and we also don’t know how players will react to it. It’s going to be an interesting experiment and involve a lot of testing and revising.
What are elements of the game you have enjoyed building?
I enjoyed creating the interactive bear because it’s a challenge to create an emotional attachment to a virtual character. I’ve learnt a lot working with the animators about the small nuances needed to create an expressive character. Another part that was quite interesting was incorporating the reduction metrics into the game and seeing how doing certain real world actions can create an effect on many environmental factors.
Tell us a little about the Team you are working in. They come from a range of backgrounds?
It’s my first time working on a game with a television and post production team. I’ve learnt a lot of new things about design and animation from them and hopefully shown them a lot of things about developing games.
What future do you see for Habitat?
I see Habitat becoming a great tool for kids to learn about the environment in a fun way. I’d like to expand it with new continents, animals and new real world actions.