Pocket Pals is a new upcoming app that connects people with wildlife and the environment using their mobile phones. The app will utilise GPS on mobile devices, allowing players to walk and locate digital animals. With an initial release in the UK, the game will be based on the wildlife found in UK.
The app aims to engage people with nature and inspire a new generation of animal lovers and environment stewards.
Through the excitement of exploring and tracking 3D animated animals, users will learn how to identify and classify British fauna, from quirky Pine martens to less known but equally marvellous animals such as the Ruby-tailed wasp. Players will develop knowledge in the animals’ characteristics, habitats, conservation status and the threats these animals might have.
The animals and environments of Pocket Pals will be modelled in a low poly style. The use of polygons was popular in games in the early 2000s to optimise performance but has become less admired with the development of fast performing graphics. The retro style will give Pocket Pals a unique and charismatic look.
The app will be available free to download in Summer 2018 with several launch events and guided walks. Follow our Facebook and Twitter to stay informed!
THE ENVIRONMENT NOW FUND
The project has received £10,000 funding through The Environment Now grant that seeks 17-24 year olds to create projects that use digital solutions to positively impact the environment.
The programme is managed by the National Youth Agency and is funded by O2 and the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and is part of the Our Bright Future.
Pocket Pals has formed partnerships with several conservation organisations that have sponsored a Champion animal, a resource station or lure spot. Within nature reserves, these organisations may have a virtual resource station located at the reserve cafe. When users visit the cafe, they can collect additional resources that aid their progress within the game. Lure spots are also GPS locations where animals spawn more frequently. This directly encourages users to specific nature reserves. A Champion Animal is an extra special animal in Pocket Pals and below its species profile will have a direct link to the organisation's website or any page they desire. We're always excited to hear about ideas from potential partners and sponsors - if you have an idea, email us below!
We're keen to develop our contacts with partnership organisations, so if you think you can collaborate with Pocket Pals, get in contact!