Since I’m considerably newer to gaming than many of the bloggers participating in Gadabout Gamers, I felt a little weird about choosing the theme “My Dream Game.” I didn’t grow up playing games with deep, complex stories and characters, so I didn’t really grow up with an idea of what I thought would make a great game. And while many of the people I spend time with these days are game makers of one type or another, I have yet to dip my toes into the waters of game development myself.
However, while agonizing over my own choice of theme for this month’s link up, I suddenly remembered that I did have an idea for a game. A great one. And one that I do dream of actually helping to make a reality someday. So here goes nothing.
I guess it could be argued that my idea is really more of an “app” than a “game,” but it would employ game mechanics and my hope is that kids it is aimed at would happily refer to it as a game. That’s right, I want to make a game for kids. And I wanna call it “My Nature Passport.”
The inspirations for MNP was a comment my mom had made about how my nephew spends more time on his tablet than he does outside playing. So being the little video game advocate I am, my brain went immediately to “wouldn’t it be cool if you could make going outside and interacting with nature into a game… One you could play on a tablet?” And from there the ideas just came flowing out.
The basic concept behind MNP would be to “collect” plants and animals into your Nature Passport using the tablet’s camera. The passport would have a pre-populated list of plants and animals to collect based on your geographic location, as well as scientific and other information about the organisms. Additional organisms would be available as DLC based on seasons and regions.
Achievements could take the form of badges, like those awarded by Scouts or Guides and could even unlock additional content like videos or songs. I also really like the idea of including a social component, where users could exchange items in their passports with friends in different regions or countries to help them unlock achievements that would otherwise be out of their grasps.
I love the idea of kids around the world being able to share the environment around them and learn about different places and the things that live there. I also really like the idea of parents being able to download specific bundles based on family trips to create excitement about new places beyond hotels or theme parks.
And while the social component may prove to be too complicated to implement properly, the rest of it seems like such a no-brainer I’m surprised no one else has done it yet. Or maybe they have and I just don’t know about it. But in any event, if you’re an app developer and you’d like to give it a stab, maybe drop me a line and we can pick each other’s brains.
Thanks again to everyone participating in this month’s link up.