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Pocket Pals


An app, to get people out into 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.

Hopes and Challenges

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.  Through further partnerships with conservation organisations and charities, we hope to create hotspots in reserves across the country. These hotspots will spawn animals constantly, directly encouraging people to get outdoors and exploring nature reserves.  The app will be available free to download in Summer 2018 with several launch events and guided walks.

Activity Description

PocketPals 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 project was envisioned by co-directors Danielle Connor and Matthew Brown and is now a third year project at Falmouth University. The app connects together Dani’s degree in Zoology and Matt’s in Animation to create a visually engaging game with educational emphisis on British fauna.  Whilst walking in a woodland in London, Dani and Matt were frustrated with the broken bond between people and wildlife. They had just seen a kestrel, a pretty awesome little falcon fly low into a tree and the only people who noticed were an elderly couple. Meanwhile a family and a young couple had no idea. Whilst everyone was obsessing over fantasy Pokemon creatures on the highly successful app Pokemon Go, the idea for an app that allows people to find virtual British wildlife was sprung. The animals and environments of PocketPals 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 PocketPals a unique and charismatic look.