Echo Earth Experience (EEE) was created during the 2017 Global Game Jam, an annual 48-hour event where teams take an assigned theme and create a game, at the University of Miami GGJ site. The 2017 theme was Waves - any and all kinds of waves - and the EEE team was inspired by both water waves and ocean as well as sound waves. The end result was EEE, a virtual reality experience using Samsung Gear VR which aims to simulate how marine mammals use echolocation to navigate underwater.
In this VR endless swimmer, players transform into a baby beluga whale immersed in the deep blue Arctic learning to search for food. Make sounds to use your melon for echolocation and determine the direction of your food source. Time your feeding intervals well or game over! Once you master finding food, advance into the greater, unknown waters and avoid threats.
This is a whimsical, experiential, simulation-based game where players step into the “flippers” of a beluga whale and learn how beluga whales must use their melons to locate food (and find breathing holes in the Arctic ice sheet).
Over the course of the game, players transition from human to beluga sensing and transitioning from relying predominantly on visual feedback with some audio feedback to relying solely on voice activated audio feedback.
Echo Earth is a finalist for the ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., in October 2017.