When we hear news coming out of a big gaming conference like GDC, often it relates to the next big AAA game. However, sometimes that news is about a little game that is hoping to make a difference. Enter: The Forest Project.
The Forest Project is a game being put together and crowdsourced by Opaque Multimedia with the goal of using it to provide dementia patients with a soothing visit to a forest, something they might not otherwise be able to experience. using Unreal Engine 4, their goal is to create as high fidelity of an environment as possible, while maintaining easily understood interactive elements. Though dementia patients are the initial target of this endeavor, patients with various cognitive conditions like Alzheimer's or brain trauma could also benefit from the soothing virtual world presented by The Forest Project.
Additionally, the game provides care givers with the opportunity to move around a virtual home while experiencing the effects of dementia, allowing them to better understand the people under their care. The idea is that as caregivers better understand their patients, the quality of care goes up.
The team at Opaque is looking to raise $90,000 in crowdsourced money to fund their game, a sliver of what many games seek on services like Kickstarter. Should they raise more than their intended goal, more environments are planned like a beach or Christmas-themed areas.
Be sure to check out the team's crowdsourcing page if you'd like more information on their project, goals, or if you'd like to be one of their backers.