For Immediate Release
Contact: Eric Renz-Whitmore, email@example.com / 277-2253
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The winners of this year’s NM Media MIX Mobile Game Design Challenge are Ellen Dornan (Queen Ellen Enterprises) and Webb Johnson (Vaughn Wedeen Kuhn) for iFootprint, a game that aims to reduce drivers’ carbon footprint through more efficient transportation. The winners receive the latest editions of “Story and Simulations for Serious Games” and “Digital Storytelling” from local game developers Terry Borst and Carolyn Handler Miller respectively.
Now in its fifth year, New Mexico’s Media Industries Conference typically concludes with a design challenge. This year, in keeping with conference emphasis on games and interactive media -- and New Mexico’s growing prominence as the “Energy State” -- the challenge was to develop and pitch a game idea on a theme of Energy that would use some of the capabilities of mobile devices such as the iPhone.The MIX Design Challenge capped a day that emphasized games, web and software development, and business skills for new start-ups. Leading off the day, was Keynote Speaker Ian Bogost. Raised in New Mexico, Bogost has gone on to become one of the world’s leading voices on the power of games for education and social change.
Game Developer Bill Klein (Klein Computing) led an earlier panel in iPhone and Mobile Game Development and served as a judge for the challenge. “There is growing interest among developers and consumers to push iPhone and mobile games into new areas and utilize network and device features in clever ways,” said Klein. “The opportunities are incredible.”
Opportunities certainly represented by the iFootprint game from Dornan and Johnson as outlined below:
Title: iFootprint: Social Commuter
Target audience: Albuquerque drivers
Delivery platform: any cell phone with text messaging; web enabled & GPS a plus
Game Objective: Goal of the game is to reduce your personal carbon footprint through more efficient transportation
• Players set up a profile with common destinations (home, work/school, shopping, other), and establish a carbon footprint for existing emissions
• goals for emissions reduction are set as a percentage of your base emission
• Players can earn carbon emissions reductions for accepting suggestions to use alternate transportation (or shorter routes) to their destinations; and for recruiting others who use alternative transportation
• Cell phones use GPS (or satellite triangulation) to check if you have gone to a destination without logging your transportation choice & send message reminder
• Decrease carbon load more quickly by recruiting others & being awarded bonus points when your recruits use alternative transportation
• Get notification of carpools within friends circle (or add friends if you join a new carpool)
• Get notification of other social commuting opportunities (bike groups, "walking schoolbus" groups)
• other players can penalize you when you fail to meet your emissions reductions goals: don't get "The Scarlet Polluter" tag!
Tools includes a running total of estimated savings for making better transportation choices
Proposed development tools:
• Map Interface based on existing social mobile map APIs (Socialight)
• Data layers of bus, horse, bike, walking routes drawn from existing GIS sources (from MRCOG)
• Integrate with Facebook & other social networking sites
MIX Design Challenge judges, Terry Borst, Bill Klein (Klein Computing) and Nick Flor (UNM Anderson Schools of Management) were impressed with the enthusiasm of the crowd, including a good-sized contingent from NMSU’s Learning Games Lab, students and others interested in games and mobile technology. Seven teams pitched in all.
For more information about the New Mexico Media Industries Conference, visit http://www.nm-mix.org
For more information about local game development and the Rio Grande IGDA chapter that organized the challenge, visit: http://www.igda.org/albuquerque