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Village the Game
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  1. Village the Game Play the world of social enterprise.

  2. Darian Bio • Grew up in Locust Hill, VA • Graduated JHU Comp Sci 2001. • Boring high-paying defense jobs for 4 years. • Now working on Village after an inspiring conversation with friends in LA.

  3. Summary • What is Village? • Where did it come from? • Where is Village now? • Where are we going? • What are the technical challenges to getting there?

  4. Kenya Scenario

  5. The Problem • Eradicating extreme poverty. • Life is so easy in developed countries, people are bored. • Life is so hard in undeveloped countries, people are hopeless.

  6. The Solution • Bring the Bored and the Hopeless together. • Use video game entertainment to inspire a new generation of social entrepreneurs to connect with the micro-entrepreneurs.

  7. VillagetheGame.com Goals • Raise awareness of poverty solutions. • Make platform for experimentation. • Get people addicted to third world development.

  8. Started in May 2006 • Original Idea too big: SimVillage but not Sim. • Village the Show • Conclusion: Village the Game started in May 2006. • Did travel to meet social enterprises in person. Great response from everybody.

  9. State of Game and Company • Finishing up playable demo. • Revising design for Village Casual Download. • Not even a garage office yet. • About 5 teammates working steady on the project. Micro-Multinational Company. • Jason still writing business plan. • Entirely funded by my condo in NoVA.

  10. Village Demo • Coincidentally all the companies in our demo are connected to Stanford. • Kiva - microcredit • Kickstart – irrigation pumps • Cosmos Ignite. – affordable off-grid lighting.

  11. Village Vision • 2007 Single Player Casual Download RTS • 2008 Multiplayer Online RTS, cooperative teams and competitive play. • 2009 Village Tournament. Compete to win cash prizes. Team that wins builds their village for real.

  12. Major Technical Goals • AI Pathfinding, it’s only 2D pathfinding but still hard apparently, especially with MMO’s. • Making available entertaining choices. “Paradox of Choice”. How to objectively pick which companies end up in the game. • Scaling simulation quality for system specs. How detailed can it be on 600 MHz 64mb Win98 box?

  13. Optimizing Fun • Biggest factor of fun is being challenging enough to keep the player engaged yet achievable enough to avoid frustrating the player from playing. • Dynamically adjusting pace of disasters to respond too; or adjust speed of consumption so something keeps happening.

  14. Q & A • http://www.VillagetheGame.com • darian@villagethegame.com • 650 464 5342.

  15. Questions for You • Does this game sound fun to play? • Which game dev challenges interest you? • How should Village partner with Stanford?

  16. Team • Artist – Blake Douglas • Programmer – Anton Bursch • Business Advisor/Partner – Jason Carvalho • Simulation Expert – Daniel Winterstein • Game Producer/Designer - Bryan Wiegele –of BigTimeGames.com • Sound Designer – Todd Kinsley • Advisors – Matt Langley of GarageGames.com, Angel Inokon of Playfirst.com, and many others.

  17. Press • www.WorldChanging.com • www.NextBillion.net • www.Kiwanja.net • Many other blogs.

  18. Needed Infrastructure • Referral commissions management. • Peak load management for media blitz. • Upload user-created content. • Plugin API for domain experts.

  19. Experiments We Can Do • Open source AJAX/Flash version of the game playable virtually everywhere. • Integration with Google Earth. • Deployment on OLPC laptop so kids can learn how to engineer their village from the start. • Sim Iraq. How to rebuild while in civil war grassroots style: DOD Directive 3000.05

  20. More Experiments Build Computer AI with Numenta HTM Hierarchical Temporal Memory (video)