“The animals care for the forest and the forest cares for them. These gentle beasts are at the brink of extinction and still go unnoticed. We need to learn to embrace than avoid it.”
Noah’s Park envisions upon the users the emphasis of a balanced ecosystem in the Animal Kingdom. The aim of the game is to seek users to understand about endangered species and the importance of saving them by helping NOAH populate his park with animals.
The prototype only focuses on the interaction of the users with animals in their environment, enabling them to learn more about the animal of interest.
Players will be able to place an Augmented Reality (AR) Portal, allowing them to enter a virtual environment, such as a forest, park or ocean. Players will be able to interact with an animal when in their vicinity with the ability of feeding the animals and optionally making the animal their pet. The final aim of the game would require the players to create an ecosystem with as many animals they can pet as possible and maintain an ecological balance. If the ecosystem is not maintained, the animals will begin to leave.
A maximum of 5 players would be able to collaborate by joining a team and create an ecosystem together, which would deem users to optionally divide themselves into seekers and maintainers. It would not be necessarily a requirement for the players to be in the same geographical location to form an ecosystem. People for different countries would be able to collaborate, thus enabling players from different geographical locations to collaborate and create bigger and unique ecosystems.
At a given time, not all animals would be available in the portal. While at times, the users will be able to pet some animals without having the need to feed them, some animals will require to fed first. To pet the animals, the users will require collecting the right type of food from the portal environment to appease the animals, alternatively, purchase varied food types through a store (which would rely on in-app purchase). The food collected or purchased would be stored in their respective inventory. The users will also be able to gift friends or trade foods with them via the incorporated chat functionality.
The game thus imposes to be a "Free to Play"Strategy game, where multiple users will require to collaborate on managing food resources and focus on developing the ecosystem to culture most of the food themselves within their ecosystem. The store would be a supporting feature.
To begin playing the game Users would be required a one-time login with their social media account. This would enable the users to come back to the game and play on another device.
Here is a supporting video of the intended interactions during gameplay from the prototype:
Noah is the central character, who will also be available as an assistant during the gameplay. Noah will help users to get started on the gameplay front. He will also act as the go to figure to help users understand their respective ecosystems better. Noah would be placed conveniently within the users reach in their respective ecosystems.
Different animals especially endangered species will be central to the gameplay.
The users will have access to three types of portals:
3. Other's Ecosystems
Though optional, AR would be required to place either of the two portals in the physical space. An extra option would provide users the ability to access the game in a non-AR environment as that would help save battery. The non-AR version would contain an on-screen joystick to commute through the portals.
Once in the portal, for AR version, users would also have the option of viewing the animal in their physical space by pressing the AR button, while interacting with the animal. This would allow them to move around the animal or optionally rotate the animal around.
The different types of portal will activate based on geographical location of the user, vis-à-vis, forest when in the proximity of a large green landscape, park when in a city or ocean when near a large water body.
Users will be able to visit other's ecosystems from the Ecosystems screen. When visiting other's ecosystems, users can roam freely and only view and learn about the animals and not pet them. Each ecosystem will have it's own store as well, this will ollow the ecosystem's owner team to trade with foreign players items that are available in surplus for them in return for store credit.
There will be animals available in the wild for users to pet. Users will be able to learn more about animals when they go closer to them. The users can only view a certain set of animals in one area, when in the wild. To pet more animals, they would require travelling, in other part of the town to see another set of animals. Although, staying in the same town, city, state or even country could almost ensure that the users would get to see certain common set of animals again. Once the user successfully pets an animal, the animal would be available in their ecosystem.
The user would require petting extra animals to feed carnivores in order to strike a balance in their food chain.
The game will also feature a map screen which would provide user about updates on animals in a given geographical region and any rare animals that might have lost their way and entered their geographical region.
The food required to feed animals in order to pet them would either be available in the wild that the player visits or through the store. Users would be able to collect the food types from the wild and store in their inventory. But, as the time progresses, certain types of food stored in the inventory would begin to perish. If players feed perished foods to animals in the wild, based on their respective characteristics, different animals will react in a different manner thus affecting the ability of the player to pet that animal. For example, if a certain species of fox is not fed fresh food, it might choose to walk away (not giving the users the option to pet it). Similarly, if players feed perished foods to animals in their ecosystems, their happiness index will begin to decline and once below a predetermined threshold, the animals will begin to escape the ecosystem.
MAINTAINING OF THE ECOSYSTEMS
The users will be required to make sure enough food is available for the animals, which can be attained by planting trees and animal husbandry. The food can be fed personally, or make sure surplus food availability for animals to feed themselves. If placed in the right environment, which is well maintained, the animals would be able to reproduce thus increasing their numbers and preventing their extinction. The multiplication of differnet animals will happen at differnt pace. For example, a dog would reproduce in more numbers and faster than an elephant. Users will have a separate ecosystem screen to track the animals in their ecosystem and the progress of the growth in their numbers.
On the other hand, if the animals are not taken care of, the animals will begin to leave the ecosystem and go back into the wild. If animals are ignored, a random element would be introduced to at first warn the users – seeking them to reopen the app. If not fed, carnivores will begin feeding on other animals, thus, scaring other animals in the ecosystem as well and other animals will seek to finish available food supplies. This ignoring of animals would lead to users losing out on their food supplies also losing animals and eventually leave.
The store would initially have 4 offerings:
Players would be available to purchase items via in-app purchases.
Food category would enable users purchase any type of food they desire for animals. This would help them save time on preparing food items.
The trees would enable users to purchase pre-grown trees that would start bearing fruits quickly. Trees would be available for harvest only for a fixed number of times. Once harvested, each tree will have a timer indicating when the next produce would be ready.
Plants once purchased would require to be taken care of so that they eventually before trees before harvesting food from them. Plants would have a timer indicating when that plant will grow and reach to the next level.
Misc. categories would contain manure, and other items to accelerate plant growth, even have items that would help increase production. Would also contain booster packs to help grow a particular community of animals faster. This will alos feature exotic animals generally not available in all geographical regions.
Store credit will enable users to purchase items for the users from the app's store or individual ecosystem store. Players will be able to earn this credit while playing the game and will also be available for purchase from the app's store.
To make the game play rewarding, an achievemnt system will award users credit based on the number of animals that have increased. This will allow them to purchase certain items at the store without paying with money. Animals leaving will not affect this credit.
The achivement system will also award the players, in the criterion when they (along with their team members) are able to help a particular endangered species help grow in their ecosystems, will receive a special badge for respective species.
The present art style adopts a low poly 2D style to help keep the game "light" and optimized for mobiles.
Low poly styles art can alternatively be adopted for the animals as well: