Habitat for Humanity has unveiled Habitatland, its online community-building game that aims to raise awareness and funds.
An in-game screenshot of Habitatland.
(Credit: Habitat for Humanity)
Launching on Monday, 5 September, Habitatland is a free-to-play social strategy game that will be accessible on a micro-site via Facebook log-in. In it, you build houses and communities with your friends, spending in-game credits to get building materials and customisation options.
While you start with enough credits to build and perform basic customisations on a house, and can earn free credits by helping out your mates and playing mini-games, credits for more building options will be available via micro-transaction.
All proceeds from the purchased credits will go towards helping Habitat for Humanity’s 1000 Homes for Hope initiative to see 1000 homes built for the poorest families across Australia and the Asia Pacific by 2013, and each dollar spent by players will be matched by its sponsor, Domain.com.au.
Players can also complete community tasks to earn “ambassador points” to level up in the game, invite their friends via Facebook and reserve lots for them in-game, play online together, maintain and upgrade homes, build community buildings such as libraries and museums and eventually become mayor.
The game starts by giving 800 credits to each player, and you can purchase credits in amounts from 500 to 12,000, starting at AU$5.00 for 500 credits. As a rough guide as to costs, a premium eco-home will cost you 500 credits, while a pet will cost 100.
From Monday next week, Habitatland will be accessible via www.habitatland.org.au (this URL isn’t live at the time of writing, though).
Habitat for Humanity is also offering a free gift to CNET readers; simply enter the code in the voucher below when you begin playing to get an additional 300 free credits.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada – August 29, 2011 – The S-3D Gaming Alliance (S3DGA) is the first and only non-profit and non-proprietary organization focused on making the 3D gaming market successful for both game developers and the end consumer. S3DGA is pleased to announce Alan Price as the association’s new president. As an event sponsor for the upcoming 3D Gaming Summit and 3D Entertainment Summit taking place on September 20 th through 22nd in Hollywood, California. Price will be speaking at S3DGA’s next annual meeting to be held at the end of the show on the 22nd.
“S3DGA was founded by 3D gamers, and now we have real game development expertise on the board of directors. We are proud to announce that Alan Price, former CTO of Electronic Arts Canada, and now an interactive entertainment entrepreneur, is serving as S3DGA’s President,” said Neil Schneider, Executive Director of The S-3D Gaming Alliance.
Alan Price’s experience at Electronic Arts Canada dates back to January 2000, where he most recently served as CTO for over four years. His experience in game development, leadership, and business sense makes him the perfect candidate for this role.
“The stereoscopic 3D gaming landscape is evolving rapidly, and there are new emerging ways we can serve our members and help build and sustain this market. I’m looking forward to the progress we can make together, and am honored to serve as S3DGA’s President”, said Alan Price, President of The S-3D Gaming Alliance.
S3DGA is also pleased to announce its latest member: MasterImage 3D, one of the top manufacturers of auto-stereoscopic 3D (glasses free) display panels for mobile devices.
“We see stereo 3D gaming as one of the most vital content categories behind the explosive growth of 3D mobile devices and tablets in 2012,” said Matt Liszt, VP of Marketing for MasterImage 3D. “S3DGA has already helped us secure 3D gaming content for our display partners, and we plan to work closely on many programs to help make it easier for game developers to launch content across the latest 3D mobile devices.”
Annual Meeting Update
At the September 22, meeting, guest presentations will be made by Sony Computer Entertainment America, MasterImage 3D, Big Blue Bubble, Dynamic Digital Depth, iGO3D, S3DGA, and more. The S3DGA membership will then review their updated goals and next steps.
S3DGA members include Electronic Arts, Blitz Games Studios, Big Blue Bubble, MasterImage 3D, DDD, RealD, HDMI Licensing, and more. Advisory board members include Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos Group, and Habib Zargarpour, Creative Director at Microsoft Games Studios.
To compensate for limited space, attendees will also be able to participate via teleconference, and details will be revealed once RSVPs are confirmed. While this is a private members-only meeting, additional game developers and first time guests are welcome on the condition that they RSVP in advance by emailing [email protected]. Guest attendance is subject to S3DGA management approval. While the S3DGA meeting will be closed to the press, interviews can be scheduled in advance.
Pre-registered S3DGA meeting attendees qualify for a 20% discount on summit registration, and details will be available once RSVPs are confirmed by email. 3D Gaming Summit or 3D Entertainment Summit registration is not a requirement for S3DGA meeting attendance.
For more information visit:
The S-3D Gaming Alliance:
The 3D Entertainment Summit
Meant to be Seen
About The S-3D Gaming Alliance
The S-3D Gaming Alliance is an industry standards and advocacy group designed to accelerate the adoption of stereoscopic 3D technologies through video games. S3DGA provides for standards discussions, consumer promotion, education, and awareness. Its membership is comprised of organizations and individuals with an interest in developing S-3D hardware and software solutions. Visit https://www.s3dga.com for more information about the organization and its upcoming meetings.
Educational Gaming Community Recognizes World Language Roleplay Game
MIDDLEBURY, Vt., Aug 29, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL), the leader in providing superior world language programs for pre-college students, this week was named the winner of a Serious Play conference Bronze award for MiddWorld Online, a web-based 3D virtual world roleplay game. Serious Play, a conference devoted to serious games — games developed for education and training purposes rather than pure entertainment — held in Redmond, Washington, bestowed the debut award to MiddWorld in the Education game category. Created to be played online with any browser, this visually rich, highly detailed roleplay game delivers a world full of culturally accurate sights and sounds, designed to complement the dynamic online Middlebury Interactive immersion coursework to effectively teach world languages to high school students.
Judges from education, gaming and technology backgrounds recognized MiddWorld Online, which was developed in partnership with award-winning Muzzy Lane Software, based on strict criteria for usability as well as likeability. Using the full-immersion language acquisition methodology employed at the Middlebury College Language Schools for nearly 100 years, students practice their language skills with non-player characters (NPCs) and other students. Surrounded by a culturally authentic environment within a fun, age-appropriate storyline, MiddWorld replicates the experience of being in a foreign country, which includes players trying to guess vocabulary that they don’t already know. Muzzy Lane, creators of the serious games franchise Making History(R), delivered the quality stylized graphics, game mechanics and authentic details to bring to life the language acquisition content provided by Middlebury language educators.
“As a leader in digital language learning initiatives, we are thrilled to be recognized for our dynamic roleplay game,” said Jane Swift, CEO of MIL. “In MiddWorld, players feel like they are transported to a real city and get to apply their language learning in a culturally authentic environment. This is a fun way to reinforce a key part of the Middlebury immersion methodology, which is to get students to use, not just study, their target language as often as possible.”
Available in Spanish and French, MiddWorld currently offers both a quest-based multiplayer online roleplay game (MORPG) using NPCs and other students, and a cafe mini-game where students learn about ethnic foods while they rush to serve customers. Players must use their acquired target language vocabulary or intuit how to interact with others without using ANY English. Authentic colloquialisms and other realia are incorporated throughout the game for students to be exposed to the cultural aspects of the target language. These games are constructed to be used either as extracurricular activity or integrated into lessons.
“We designed this challenging game format to appeal to the mindset of today’s tech-savvy teenage learners,” said Dr. Joseph South, MIL’s Senior Director of Product Development, who holds a PhD in Instructional Design. “The MiddWorld roleplay game is unique in that we were able to successfully apply the rigorous Middlebury pedagogy, and integrate it into a game that is fun and engaging, where language acquisition is part of the fundamental game challenge, instead of a chore.”
“Muzzy Lane has enjoyed applying our game design and development expertise to make world language learning more natural”, said David Martz, Muzzy Lane’s Vice President. “Our 3D immersive world helps “situate” the learner in an environment where language skills are key to achieving a larger set of goals and missions. This game is uniquely designed to help students acquire world language skills by making friends, embarking on adventures, and solving problems.”
The MiddWorld game framework is designed so that the games can be replicated appropriately for other languages and cultures — a Mandarin Chinese version is currently in development. MiddWorld is also designed for flexibility — in the future, rather than using pre-written answers, students will be able to create or record their own unique responses for original student-centric content, and accommodate different skill levels, adding to the longevity of the game. This Serious Play award reflects MIL’s continued commitment to quality world language programs, and helps to fortify a leadership position in digital learning for 21st Century students.
About Middlebury Interactive Languages
Middlebury Interactive Languages (MIL) is the premier academic leader in world language instruction for K-12 students. A joint venture of Middlebury College and K12 Inc. LRN +3.58% , the nation’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs for K-12 students, MIL is a national leader in providing greater access to superior world language programs and a key contributor to the success of digital learning initiatives to provide students with the skills they need to be competitive in a 21st Century global marketplace.
Middlebury Interactive Languages offers a portfolio of world language products as a total solution, both online and in brick-and-mortar schools, using academic teaching methods to meet national ACTFL standards. Products include the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, a full-immersion summer residency program; Middlebury Interactive courses, intensive online coursework for high schools offering Middlebury immersion; Powerspeak(12) robust online courses for grades 3-12; Avant STAMP assessment; and MIL Professional Development. Visit us at www.middleburyinteractive.com
Today, the Silicon Valley International Game Developers Association is announcing the world’s first-ever HTML5 developer conference, and Ubergizmo is a media partner of this event.
Sibblingz, developer of the HTML5-compatible Spaceport game engine, is the platinum sponsor of the event. The company’s founder, Ben Savage, will also be the keynote speaker, addressing the future of HTML5 gaming.
Tickets to the conference will be available at html5devconf.com. Register early to get a discounted price
From the HTML5 Conference’s press release:
“HTML5 is the most important topic this year, as mobile platforms go through explosive growth,” said Ann Burkett, chair of SV IGDA and conference organizer. “As developers look for ways to accelerate the adoption of HTML5, it became obvious that Silicon Valley needed to kick off this conference.”
“Games are the single most popular application on mobile devices and HTML5 is the emerging development platform there,” said Savage. “We believe Spaceport brings a practical development environment and deployment model for high-performance HTML5 game development and operations.”
Is anyone familiar with the open source Android game “Alien Blood Bath 2” ? I’m about to have a look at its source code (see here: https://www.xsys-clan.se/alienbloodbath.zip ) to try and learn a bit from it.
I successfully imported it in Eclipse and it compiles and runs in the emulator, but it seems to ‘halt’ at the level select tab. Looking at screenshots tells me that a list of available game levels is supposed to be loaded in the level select tab. But nothing comes up and the list stays empty, hence it’s not possible to start the game…
I would appreciate if someone took the time to import the above linked project folder into Eclipse and let me know how it runs. It would be interesting to see if you get further than the level select tab. The author of the game says on his project webpage that the source should run as is. (I have not been able to reach him to ask him about this issue, that’s why I post here..)
If anyone spots a problem with the provided source code, please share here!