A 3D Biology Video Game for the Kinect
A 3D Biology Video Game for the Kinect
We're making a game using the Kinect to immerse high school students in the amazing cellular world! (You don't need a Kinect to play)
We're making a game using the Kinect to immerse high school students in the amazing cellular world! (You don't need a Kinect to play) Read more
Think science education could save the world? Don’t understand why there are almost no high-quality science video games?
Support our project and make it happen!
The three of us are scientific animators and game developers and we're making a biology game that could revolutionize high school science learning. We’ve begun one level of the game, and you can see us playing it in our video. With your help, we're going to turn this demo into a game that will be used in science classrooms around the world to teach students in a visual and kinesthetic way.
This game will also be totally fun for our fellow science nerds to play! Also, you will not need a Kinect to play and will be able to use a keyboard and mouse.
What we're gonna do:
We're planning on spending 3-6 months creating a game that contains a fully-immersive world inside a cell with at least five distinct mini-games. As we're working, we're going to test the game with local teachers and students to get feedback that will help us make the game as useful (and as fun!) as possible for biology education.
We’re scientific animators and we make animations and games for science companies, museums, and all types of educational institutions. We met a couple months ago when we realized that we live in the same city and do the same thing!
A Selection of our past projects:
- Laura Lynn's iPad app, Powers of Minus Ten (POMT), was recently featured in Popular Mechanics and in Science Magazine as a winner of the 2011 NSF Science Visualization Challenge. It is also in the iTunes 2011 App Store Rewind under the category "Best Educational App".
- Blair's animation, How Genes are Regulated: Transcription Factors, which explains the way transcription factors interact with DNA, was created with researchers at the University of British Columbia and was a finalist in the 2011 NSF Visualization Challenge.
- Rachel does lots of animations for medical and science companies. You can see her work on her website.
The technical details:
- The Kinect is a motion-sensing input device made by Microsoft. It has a camera and 3D depth sensors that use infrared to track a player’s motion in 3D space. With the Kinect, you don’t need a game controller. Instead you control the game by making gestures with your hands and body. It was originally released for Xbox, but now we can use it to make games for PCs, Macs, and the web.
- We're using the game engine, Unity3D, to make the game. We're taking advantage of the wealth of plugins for integrating the Kinect with Unity.
- All a player or classroom would need to play our game would be some kind of computer and a Kinect. The Kinect costs about $100 right now. (The game can be played using a keyboard and mouse in lieu of access to a Kinect).
Any extra funding will go towards spending more time adding more levels and more cool graphics to the game.
Teachers are the experts! They know what they need to make the most impact on student learning, so we will constantly be working with teachers to get feedback on the game as it’s made. When we made our short demo, we asked some science teachers for feedback on the idea, and here’s a few of the things they said:
"Great kinesthetic learning experiences are crucial for my students to internalize concepts in biology! Fantastic demo!”
“I would absolutely LOVE to have Kinect in my classroom. I teach biology to 7th graders. That system sounds like it would get their interest up for the content.”
“I think this is a great visual and kinesthetic activity.”
PLEASE ADD $10 FOR INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING if you're pledging $75 or more. Backers donating $100 or more will get a t-shirt. The t-shirt design is:
(the music in our video is by Chris Collins)
- (30 days)