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Imagine a computer game where you experience awe and wonder, curiosity, and a desire to explore, discover, and learn. Read more

55
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$4,267
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on June 12, 2012.

Imagine a computer game where you experience awe and wonder, curiosity, and a desire to explore, discover, and learn.

About this project

"A new type of emergent game play!"

"A spontaneous treasure-hunt combined with a real world field trip."

"Like walking into a beautiful painting of a forest."

"Learning becomes fun and exciting, yet calm and peaceful."

The Virtual Trillium Trail used in Real and Virtual Field Trips at O'Hara Elementary School

The Story

Hello and welcome to my Kickstarter campaign for The Virtual Trillium Trail. A few years ago I founded a company called Virtual Field Trips, to bring this new type of computer game to market.

The purpose of The Virtual Trillium Trial (www.virtualtrilliumtrail.com) is to allow you to freely go and explore, and discover, an infinitely beautiful, expansive, natural world. Here you will have complete freedom of perception, freedom of movement, and freedom of inquiryYour free perception and your free choice are at the heart of the game’s design. You will not be controlled, framed, tracked, or profiled in this experience. It is as rich and as beautiful as the real world surrounding you, but open to inquiry and learning, and free of distracting man-made structures. You will be able to see this planet in its original state, and explore and learn to the limit of your intellectual curiosity.

Push yourself, you may be surprised, to find that you are infinite too.

The Virtual Trillium Trail is a game that is both fun and beautiful, and ideal for young children. Where you can go and explore as long as you like. Where you are free to go off-trail and into the woods to learn about any of the flowers, plants, and trees that spark your curiosity. Just go and find the little Fact Cards, or find any of the Forest Sprites that glitter and glow, which tell stories about the real wild world around us. Learn about the forest, ecology, watersheds, photosynthesis, and much, much more.  Or become a baby deer, a fawn, and run through the woods, or play in the stream, or jump down the waterfalls, or turn into a red tailed hawk and fly over the forest canopy to land on cliffs overlooking the pond, and see it all, for as long as you wish.

My name is, Maria C. R. Harrington.  I am a professor of computer science, an information scientist and an artist, and I believe that everyone wants to understand the infinite beauty and wonder found in nature.  I believe that all of us need beauty, truth, and freedom in our lives. I believe that everyone needs to experience the awe and wonder found on our planet Earth, and wants to understand the natural world.

The Virtual Trillium Trail, is only available on the PC ~ hardware-bound. But, if you want to help to bring it to the Web, for all to access, then please help with a pledge now!

Thank you very much!

~ Maria C. R. Harrington, Ph.D,

How do I use it?

About

For kids to explore, discover, learn & become

Finally, a game that is both fun and beautiful. Where you can go and explore as long as you like. Where you are free to go off-trail and into the woods to learn about any of the flowers, plants, and trees that spark your curiosity. Just go and find the little Fact Cards, or find any of the Forest Sprites that glitter and glow, which tell stories about the real wild world around us. Learn about the forest, ecology, watersheds, photosynthesis, and much, much more.  Or become a baby deer, a fawn, and run through the woods, or play in the stream, or jump down the waterfalls, or turn into a red tailed hawk and fly over the forest canopy to land on cliffs overlooking the pond, and see it all, for as long as you wish.

For teachers and parents

The Virtual Trillium Trail is a new type of computer game, one that crosses the boundaries into geo-spatial visualization and virtual reality.  It is an immersive learning simulation, and virtual environment of a real world field trip to a North American, deciduous forest and wildflower reserve. The content is based on the fourth grade science and ecology curriculum aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education Ecology standards, and informal learning from real world field trips offered by the Audubon Society of Western PA.  There are about 20 concepts, 20 plants and about 1,000 facts.

The original prototype software was part of a Ph.D. dissertation on intrinsic learning in simulations and virtual environments where it showed about 40% learning gains, student enjoyment, and parental approval.

Teachers can deploy and use the software in many ways. Ideal for the fourth grade student, it is age appropriate for children from second grade up to seventh grade. The teachers can act as a guide, while the virtual world is projected on to a screen for the entire class to see, or the software can be installed in a PC computer lab where the students can explore independently at their own pace. Empirical tests show learning gains close to 40% in the independent, free and open exploration mode in only one hour. If structure is desired, teachers can give students a map and assign a treasure hunt to find facts and concepts. Moreover, it can be used before and or after a real field trip, to more than double learning in the real field trip, thus providing a higher economic value from real field trip.

At home, parents can choose to purchase it for the same cost as other non-educational, entertainment video and computer games, but know that their children will be entertained and also learn. Look for a new computer in 2012 with the 1 GB dedicated graphics card (GPU) such as a NVIDIA or AMD, and the 4 GB RAM, and which will run this game quite well. Other options are to upgrade older computers with adequate graphics cards and RAM necessary to run the application.

The Virtual Trillium Trail is a product of Virtual Field Trips, LLC. It is an immersive learning simulation and virtual environment built on high-end computer game technologies, positioned to become a new type of virtual reality game for learning in school or at home. Not your typical computer game, but a realistic virtual world infused with educational content, where the learner can explore anywhere, and inquire on anything of interest, to the breadth and depth of their desire.

What it is you are trying to do?

Make it playable online! It was developed for the PC and released to market last year, (PCs with the high-end graphics cards).  However, neither schools nor elementary aged children have such machines.  Yes, I could “port” it, or really re-develop it for the Mac, and then again for the iPad, which they have, but then I would lose some of the power and beauty found in the photorealistic renderings of wonderful natural places, those types of places that inspire a feeling of awe and wonder, curiosity, and an intrinsic desire to explore and learn. Virtual Field Trips is about creating aesthetic and emotionally engaging experiences for independent explorers and learners. I am trying to raise funds, to deliver this high quality game to schools, and to children who do not have PCs with high end graphics cards.  They have told me that they want it in a Web browser over the Internet.

Any one work of your choice from The Virtual Trillium Trail virtual environment, such as the "Trillium," ~Friends of the Trillium ~ Pledge Award

Any one work of your choice from The Virtual Trillium Trail virtual environment, such as the "Iris," ~Friends of the Watersheds ~ Pledge Award

Any one work of your choice from The Virtual Trillium Trail virtual environment, such as the " no.16 "Under Trillium Hills - ROSE" Limited edition ~ Stewards of the Land ~ Pledge Award

How the funds will be used?

$50,000 will be used to fund the online version of The Virtual Trillium Trail  v.2.0, and to pilot test the software delivered online by September 20, 2012.

  • Get the game online on the web and playable in a web browser.
  • Help to build the user accounts web site for Virtual Field Trips, LLC.
  • Help to improve the game.  New and better trees. A more elegant way of dealing with the “edge of the world.” A better GUI and introduction to the help menu.
  • More plants and animals.
  • Fund some testing time for the Alpha and Beta testers.
  • Fund some time for student virtual field trips.
  • This should kickstart the project; get it out there into people’s hands.

Any amount raised above the target amount will go into product development and quality.

Pledges

We have pledge gifts at every level available for you.  Every level counts so even at a $1 pledge you get a free account and membership in the creative community at Virtual Field Trips.  With a $15 dollar pledge you get a non-expiring PC download, or at the $25 level, you will receive a CD. At other higher levels, we will list your name in the credits, give you access to the alpha and or beta releases, or a piece of artwork; derived from the virtual environment to you.  If you really want to support in a substantial way, we have higher levels for you, your organization, or corporation, where we will display your name and logo on our web site. Embroidered badges are offered too, for the few who pledge at the highest levels.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $1 or more

~ Rain’s Drops ~ Every Rain Drop is important and very much needed!!!!

Receive a FREE Virtual Field Trips Web Account, participation in the community, and a big THANK YOU email from the founders and creative team. Your name listed on the web site.

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

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Pledge $5 or more

+ One Hour of Game Play

~ Wind’s Breath ~ Receive all of the above and an additional ONE FREE HOUR of Web, browser based, on-line game play of The Virtual Trillium Trail v.2.0 powered by Gaikai, or a digital PC download good for one hour of play.

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $15 or more

+ Non-expiring, PC digital download - $45.95 value!

~ Friends of the Sycamore ~ As a friend of the tree of curiosity, you will receive the gift of intrinsic inquiry. Be a part of making a really cool and valuable game available online. Provide the capital that no one else would and enable it to be produced without compromise. Receive all of the above and an additional, non-expiring, PC digital download, a $45.95 value

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $25 or more

+ Non-expiring, CD for the PC - $55.95 value!

~ Friends of the Hawk ~ Receive all of the above and an additional, non-expiring, physical CD copy for the PC, a $55.95 value! Your name listed on the web site associated with The Friends of the Hawk !

This funding level is actually VERY IMPORTANT. We only need about 2,000 of you to help at this level to be successful! Given the past funding of Kickstarter projects, this is totally possible! If you pledge at this level and we are successful, we will be part of a Creator/Consumer/Capitalist Revolution!

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

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Pledge $50 or more

+ Limited edition, signed CD and Jacket for the PC

+ Signed, limited edition, work of art of the Trillium 5½” x 8” inches

~ Friends of the Fawn ~ Receive all of the above and a limited edition, signed copy of the physical CD for the PC. Your name listed on the web site associated with The Friends of the Fawn

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $100 or more

+ One signed, limited edition, work of art of the Trillium 8½” x 11” inches, (and the the additional 5½” x 8”inches print from the $50 level).

Two works of art total!

~ Friends of the Trillium ~ Receive all of the above and an additional signed, limited edition, work of art of the Trillium, from the series of artworks produced by Maria C. R. Harrington http://www.mariacrharrington.com/ (8½” x 11” inches, unframed). Your name listed on the web site associated with The Friends of the Trillium.

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $250 or more

+ One signed, limited edition, work of art of the Trillium 8½” x 11” inches (and the the additional 8½” x 11” inches print from the $100 level and the 5½” x 8” inches print from the $50 level).

Three works of art total!

~ Watersheds ~ Receive all of the above and an additional signed, limited edition, work of art, of the Watersheds, from the series of artworks produced by Maria C. R. Harrington (8½” x 11” inches, unframed). Your name listed on the web site associated with the Watersheds.

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $500 or more

+ Your name listed on web site as Adviser Artistic Director and with your Wild Thing Avatar

+ Suggest Wild Thing Avatar to add to a future release*

~ Future Wild Things ~ You may suggest a Wild Thing Avatar to add to a future release and name it! Receive all of the above and additional privileges. You may have your name listed on the web site as Adviser to the Artistic Director. ****** Disclaimer, see full description below.* Your name will appear on the web site associated with your Wild Thing Avatar, by September 20, 2012, and your Wild Thing Avatar, when it is ready, sometime in 2013.

Est. Delivery: Sep 2013

Wild Thing Avatar*

We need lots and lots of wild things! More than just the fawn and hawk! They need all of their forest friends to join in!  Trees, flowers, mammals, insects, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles, whatever wild thing is special to your heart, that you want to see in the game and is indigenous to this ecosystem is a viable addition. When you make a pledge, let us know your selection. Virtual Field Trips, LLC., retains the right to reject inappropriate or impossible suggestions.

Some ideas for Wild Thing Avatars:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $1,000 or more

~ Stewards of the Land ~ It is our honor and privilege to offer to print your name, or on behalf of any corporation or organization or your choice and authority, to be associated with The Stewards of the Land and Adviser to the Production Manager, on The Virtual Trillium Trail web site and in the game credits. You have the right to remain anonymous. Receive all of the above and receive an additional gift; your choice of an original work of art, from The Virtual Trillium Trail virtual environment, signed by Maria C. R. Harrington (21” x 35” inches, unframed). You will also have access to the Beta test of The Virtual Trillium Trail v.2.0.

+Your name listed on web site as Adviser Production Manager

+ Signed original work of art 21” x 35” inches

+Beta

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $5,000 or more

~ Guardians of the Forest ~ It is our honor and privilege to offer to print your name or on behalf of any corporation or organization, associated with The Guardians of the Forest Sponsors, on The Virtual Trillium Trail web site with an optional photograph or a logo. You have the right to remain anonymous. You may be listed on the web site as Adviser to the Executive Director of The Virtual Trillium Trail v.2.0, as well. Receive all of the above and receive an additional gift of one of the very LAST of the originally designed Virtual Trillium Trail Ranger Embroidered Badges. Additionally, you will be able to advise the executive producer and participate in the Alpha release of The Virtual Trillium Trail v.2.0.

+ Your name listed on web site as Adviser Executive Director The Virtual Trillium Trail.

+ LAST of the originally designed Virtual Trillium Trail Ranger Badges

+Alpha

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pledge $10,000 or more

The Forces of Nature level is the most powerful and elite level. You know who you are. You have a true heart, open mind, and pure soul. It is our honor and privilege to offer to print your name, or on behalf of any corporation or organization or your choice and authority, to be associated with Forces of Nature Sponsors, on the Virtual Field Trips, LLC., company’s web site with an optional photograph or a logo. Your name listed on web site as Honorary Consul Virtual Field Trips. You have the right to remain anonymous. Receive all of the above and receive an additional gift of one of the FIRST Virtual Field Trips, LLC., embroidered badges.

+Your name listed on web site as Honorary Consul Virtual Field Trips. LLC.

+FIRST Virtual Field Trips badges

Est. Delivery: Sep 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*** All shipping costs in the US is Free.  If outside the US, please add your shipping to your pledge.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

System Requirements for the PC version

  • Windows-based Computers 
  • Windows 7 / XP 
  • Intel / AMD Dual-Core
  • CPU@2.4 GHz 
  • RAM: 4GB recommended
  • 100% DirectX compatible DirectX 9
  • Graphics Card with 1 GB recommended

Research & Credits

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question

Rewards

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more
    About $1.00 USD

    1 backer

    ~ Rain’s Drops ~ Every Rain Drop is important and very much needed!!!! Receive a FREE Virtual Field Trips Web Account, participation in the community, and a big THANK YOU email from the founders and creative team. Your name listed on the web site.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more
    About $5 USD

    2 backers

    ~ Wind’s Breath ~ Receive all of the above and an additional ONE FREE HOUR of Web, browser based, on-line game play of The Virtual Trillium Trail v.2.0 powered by Gaikai, or a digital PC download good for one hour of play.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more
    About $15 USD

    9 backers

    ~ Friends of the Sycamore ~ As a friend of the tree of curiosity, you will receive the gift of intrinsic inquiry. Be a part of making a really cool and valuable game available online. Provide the capital that no one else would and enable it to be produced without compromise. Receive all of the above and an additional, non-expiring, PC digital download, a $45.95 value!

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    13 backers

    ~ Friends of the Hawk ~ Receive all of the above and an additional, non-expiring, physical CD copy for the PC, a $55.95 value! Your name listed on the web site associated with The Friends of the Hawk. This funding level is actually VERY IMPORTANT. We only need about 2,000 of you to help at this level to be successful! Given the past funding of Kickstarter projects, this is totally possible! If you pledge at this level and we are successful, we will be part of a Creator/Consumer/Capitalist Revolution!

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more
    About $50 USD

    7 backers

    ~ Friends of the Fawn ~ Receive all of the above and a limited edition, signed copy of the physical CD for the PC. Your name listed on the web site associated with The Friends of the Fawn.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more
    About $100 USD

    7 backers

    ~ Friends of the Trillium ~ Receive all of the above and an additional signed, limited edition, work of art of the Trillium, from the series of artworks produced by Maria C. R. Harrington http://www.mariacrharrington.com/ (8½” x 11” inches, unframed). Your name listed on the web site associated with The Friends of the Trillium.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more
    About $250 USD

    3 backers

    ~ Watersheds ~ Receive all of the above and an additional signed, limited edition, work of art, of the Watersheds, from the series of artworks produced by Maria C. R. Harrington (8½” x 11” inches, unframed). Your name listed on the web site associated with the Watersheds.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more
    About $500 USD

    1 backer

    ~ Future Wild Things ~ You may suggest a Wild Thing Avatar to add to a future release and name it! Receive all of the above and additional privileges. You may have your name listed on the web site as Adviser to the Artistic Director.

    ****** Disclaimer, see full description below.******* Your name will appear on the web site associated with your Wild Thing Avatar, by September 20, 2012, and your Wild Thing Avatar, when it is ready, sometime in 2013.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more
    About $1,000 USD

    0 backers

    ~ Stewards of the Land ~ It is our honor and privilege to offer to print your name, or on behalf of any corporation or organization of your choice and authority, to be associated with The Stewards of the Land and Adviser to the Production Manager, on The Virtual Trillium Trail web site and in the game credits. You have the right to remain anonymous. Receive all of the above and receive an additional gift; your choice of an original work of art, from The Virtual Trillium Trail virtual environment, signed by Maria C. R. Harrington (21” x 35” inches, unframed). You will also have access to the Beta test of The Virtual Trillium Trail™ v.2.0.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more
    About $5,000 USD

    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    ~ Guardians of the Forest ~ It is our honor and privilege to offer to print your name or on behalf of any corporation or organization, associated with The Guardians of the Forest Sponsors, on The Virtual Trillium Trail web site with an optional photograph or a logo. You have the right to remain anonymous. You may be listed on the web site as Adviser to the Executive Director of The Virtual Trillium Trail v.2.0, as well. Receive all of the above and receive an additional gift of one of the very LAST of the originally designed Virtual Trillium Trail Ranger Embroidered Badges. Additionally, you will be able to advise the executive producer and participate in the Alpha release of The Virtual Trillium Trail v.2.0.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000
    About $10,000 USD

    0 backers

    The Forces of Nature level is the most powerful and elite level. You know who you are. You have a true heart, open mind, and pure soul. It is our honor and privilege to offer to print your name, or on behalf of any corporation or organization or your choice and authority, to be associated with Forces of Nature Sponsors, on the Virtual Field Trips, LLC., company’s web site with an optional photograph or a logo. Your name listed on web site as Honorary Consul Virtual Field Trips. You have the right to remain anonymous. Receive all of the above and receive an additional gift of one of the FIRST Virtual Field Trips, LLC., embroidered badges.

    Less
    Estimated delivery:
    Manage Your Pledge

Funding period

- (60 days)