[pccgrads] EarthGames Opportunity: A Climate Grand Strategy Game with Eric Holthaus from Grist!

Judy Twedt judytwedt at gmail.com
Thu Feb 22 11:32:34 PST 2018

Hi everyone, sharing an announcement for a cool course next quarter -- The
EarthGames studio class will offer a project that is particularly well
suited to graduate students interested in modeling, outreach, and gaming!
Please pass along to others outside of the college of the environment who
may be interested.


ATMS 495 EarthGames Studio

Traditional ways of talking about climate have failed. -- There should be a
grand strategy game for climate change. A SimEarth for 2018, with politics.
Save the world, or we’re toast.

To do this, EarthGames <https://earthgames.org> is joining forces with Eric
Holthaus <https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus> from Grist
<https://grist.org/author/eric-holthaus/> and other climate outreach
change-makers to prototype Flourish: A Climate Grand Strategy Game.

Students with interest/background in climate, economic or political
modeling can sign up and collaborate on this creative commons project
through ATMS 495. We will develop science-based climate, economic, and
political engines to be used in early prototypes of the game, with
citations to the relevant scientific literature. In this early stage of
game development, you’ll have the opportunity to work with an evolving,
international team of contributors. Eric Holthaus will be joining the class
via Skype during week 1 and in later weeks, and we are arranging meetings
with other prominent collaborators from the game industry and the relevant
subject areas.

ATMS 495 is a standard 10-week course, but interested students may continue
to work on this project with the EarthGames team over the summer and

To inquire about an add code, email Dargan Frierson: dargan at uw.edu


Preliminary Game Overview:

Flourish is a grand strategy game with roguelike elements about the
near-term future of humanity’s relationship with Planet Earth. Players
start in present day Earth, and can select and customize their starting
nation and its politics from a menu of countries, from the Marshall Islands
to China. Players advance forward in time, using a turn-based mechanism,
until the year 2200, trying to gain political influence, economic power,
harmony with nature, universal human rights -- and most importantly,
creating a flourishing global society in a world where the rapidly changing
climate becomes ever more of a factor.

The game engine is built from a scientifically-accurate climate model and
incorporates political, economic, and societal feedbacks that have effects
on climate states, frequency of disasters, and the options available to
players. Playable elements include the Earth itself and aspects of the
biosphere, like forests and whales. There are narrative elements that can
result in the introduction of scenarios that force further action.

Players are able to feel, viscerally, the urgency of our possible futures
and learn from them through addictive gameplay. The game’s tension comes
from an almost wistfully optimistic vibe, given that the majority of
playthroughs will result in a pretty dire situation.

Influences and inspiration: SimEarth, Civilization, Stellaris, RimWorld,
Democracy3, Ender’s Game, PunchDrunk, and Donut Economics.

*Judy Twedt*
*www.judytwedt.com <http://www.judytwedt.com>*
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