Friday, November 04, 2005

Wild Earth game looks to combine natural studies with photography skill development


I was checking for game updates to post to my web log about games with historical themes and I came across a new offering from European developer Digital Jester called "Wild Earth" that is scheduled for a Q1 2006 release.

"Featuring breathtaking landscapes from the African Serengeti National Park, Wild Earth is a stunning adventure which allows players to experience the African wildlife in its natural environment.

Players embark on various assignments, each of which feature different photographic objectives, challenging the player to explore the lush 3D world and take the best photographs of animals and environmental features.

At the end of each assignment, an html article is created using the player’s own photographs which provides additional in-depth information and insight. These articles can be printed, saved or shared.


Features

* Accurate and beautifully recreated wildlife including elephants, cheetahs, lions, crocodiles and more.

* Simulated weather conditions – (racing clouds, rainfall, dust devils, thunder storms).

* Immersive 3D environments (open plains, rocky outcrops, lakes, streams etc).

* Diverse missions including specific night-time challenges, wild animal tracking and exploration of the Serengeti terrain.

* Stirring soundtrack created by world music label Talking Drum Records.

* Creative game design; players are encouraged to practice and develop photography skills.

* Differing skill levels for more advanced photography challenges.

* Personalised gameplay utilising players photographs in html articles.

* Non-violent family oriented gameplay mechanic."

This game reminds me very much of one of my first and favorite simulation games that got me hooked on the genre, Eco: East Africa. This new take on the wildlife theme incorporates learning photography as well as learning about the natural world (two of my favorite things) and stands a very good chance of demonstrating how video games can be effective learning tools and cross-discipline to boot.
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