In a world threatened by rising sea levels, deforestation, climate change, loss of culture, and more, the key to forging a brighter future is in education. By exposing the next generation as early as possible, we can foster the fascination and devotion needed to inspire our children to care for the planet, and to learn from the mistakes of previous generations. Our answer to intriguing the adolescent and youth is edutainment, the fusion of education and entertainment. The nature of an interactive game appeals much to the younger generation, and in doing so, allows us to convey dire and significant pieces of information of the world across.

FutureLens does not only teach the young, but people of all ages, to make aware of the devastating effects of deforestation across the world and our inevitable future if we do not change our ways.

What it does

FutureLens is an interactive, role playing game, where the user acts as a caretaker for an artificial tree farm. The player must, on a daily basis, catch any intruders that will attempt to cut down parts of their forest. The trees themselves earn the player gold coins, which can later be reinvested to enhance the experience through items such as mulch or machinery, to more efficiently produce the farm.

The educational aspect of this lies in the game’s alternate timeline. Much like the Butterfly Effect, the player can access the world in which they did not intervene and plant the trees. Global temperatures would have risen, causing melting polar ice caps to have ravaged the world. This not only raises awareness of the threats to Earth, but also demonstrates the difficulty and care needed to raise trees, as well as providing tools to understand the severity of Earth’s conditions.

How I built it

We built the web app using NodeJS and Mapbox and built the 3D portion using Unity3D Game Engine. We utilized data on global temperature and tree density to artificially generate the changing landscape, to create the alternate timeline for players to see how much of an impact people can have by simply contributing to the cause.

Challenges I ran into

Getting everything to work.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Making an AR web app and a 3d game in the span of one weekend.

What I learned

More and more about web and 3d development.

What's next for FutureLens

The app has endless routes for expansion. In the in-game experience, the currency can be further utilized for a variety of purposes. Multiple other factors can be added to increase the realisticness of the game, such as a correlation between global climate and the available organisms in an ecosystem that can help contribute to the growth and cultivation of trees. But not after at least 2 days of hibernation.

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