Help protect the ocean while exploring a growing catalog of marine species in this VR ocean simulator.
Ever wonder what it’s like to live beneath the surface of the ocean? How is the Water, an educational VR experience from developer Cyan Planet, looks to offer users just that—an opportunity to step into the shoes (fins?) of various marine species and experience life beneath the waves.
Available for backing on Kickstarter, How is the Water is a virtual ocean simulator designed to evoke a sense of empathy with users in the hopes of raising interest around the topic of ocean protection. To do this, Cyan Planet worked with Digital Life 3D to create “digital clones” of Bottlenose Dolphins, Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Great Hammerhead Sharks, and various other marine creatures using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
“We collaborate with Digital Life 3D to preserve marine life for educational and scientific purposes, and ultimately to preserve life on Earth”, said project director and producer Michal Lovecky. “How is the Water is all about making the ocean and its magic accessible for everybody. I was fortunate enough to live through several transcendental experiences while diving, but most people never get that chance. I want to change that.”
“Our concept of How is the Water was invited to la Biennale di Venezia and our prototype showcased at the Festival de Cannes. After these successes, we can’t wait to push this project to the production phase, to draw even more attention to ocean protection with our finished project!” added Ninja Mueller, marine biologist and co-director of the project.
Users can explore a detailed virtual ocean from the perspective of various marine life, including dolphins and sharks. Each species features its own unique skills—such as echolocation, electroreception, and biochemical communication—which allow you to interact with the in-game world, complete various undersea challenges, and make decisions that have a direct impact on the ocean environment. You can even tend your own coral garden using over 15 unique species of coral and then share your magnificent creation with others.
“Reef Life Foundation uses IntelliReefs for coral restoration because they are sustainable biotechnology, mimic natural reef formation at the nanoscale, and accelerate healthy coral growth,” said Emily Higgins, Director of Ocean Science at Reef Life Foundation, about the project. “IntelliReefs create refuges for coral reef communities, allowing them to heal from climate and human-induced stressors more naturally.”
“We are so excited to be collaborating with Cyan Planet on this project; creating immersive emotional and educational experiences that bring people into the underwater world and allow them to find joy and connection with marine animals is absolutely necessary to close the gap between the modern world and the environment. We protect what we love!”
At the time of this writing, How is the Water has secured roughly $39,500 in funding on Kickstarter with 26 days left to go in the campaign. Stretch goals include additional marine life complete with AI animal behavior, cross-platform multiplayer, support for additional platforms, new underwater locations, and several other added bonuses.
How is the Water is expected to begin shipping out to backers in September 2022 on PC, mobile devices (both iOS & Android), and PCVR headsets via Steam. Support will also be heading to PlayStation VR and—depending on funding—mobile VR headsets like the Oculus Quest.
For more information check out the official Kickstarter here.
Feature Image Credit: Cyan Planet