Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I CAN HAZ CROISSANTZ?

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Bird Brain, The Video Game!

Your wish was to fly; now can you survive?
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There are very few video games where you play from the point of view of a bird. Think pigeons, sparrows and geese have it easy? Now's your chance to find out.

Bird Brain, The Video Game puts you inside the body of a bird!

The environment is a city which contains grasslands, forests, buildings, lakes, and a variety of plants and people and wildlife.

Each bird "character" has different attributes (flight speed; maneuverability; abilities to walk/swim; how often it needs to eat; etc.) Pick your bird (e.g. pigeon) and then it's up to you to survive!

Your goal is to survive as long as possible, but watch that "food" meter on the left. When it gets low you must find food or you'll starve. As a pigeon you must fly around the city and look for pretzels, crackers, garbage, etc. on the ground (then defend yourself against vicious seagulls, starlings, etc. that might peck you and injure you in the competition to grab the morsels.) That's that "injury" meter on the top right: if it gets down to 0 you are dead, but even when it's close you will start to limp, fly slower, etc. Grabbing a cracker and flying away with it sounds safe, but remember, that uses more energy and causes you to need more food.

Oh yes, the hawks. In early levels they start out slow and they also won't notice you if you keep still. But in later levels they get faster and are joined by swifter falcons, challenging your ability to maneuver out of the way. If you're a plump, meaty pigeon, beware!

People wander about this city too. Some of them are friendly and will feed you, but others may just pull out a gun and shoot at you, so best be trusting only if you are very hungry. Just like a real bird.

****

The above was the basic game. Bird Brain, The Video Game also comes with two "Challenge Modes": Migration, and Nesting. In Migration your goal is to make the 1000-mile journey from North Duckland to South Gannetville in one piece. You will have to play many times so you can learn the routes that have the best stopping points, food along the way, etc. You must be wary of stormy weather; it can disorient you (watch that compass on the top that represents your innate sense of direction!).

In Nesting, you must make x number of trips to pick up straw/grass/whatever (x depends on the size of the nest, bigger for a duck), and make sure you finish the nest by the time you have to lay the eggs. Then protect the eggs from predators until they hatch, then find enough food for you AND your babies (different numbers hatch at random) until they can fly.

*****

Finally, there's Bird Bash mode. This is just multi-player fun where you try to be the last bird standing. It's like a demolition derby. You fly into other birds, drop eggs and hope they konk someone on the head, use your "droppings" to full potential, peck your opponents (best if you're something with a long sharp beak), etc. Feathers will fly.

I think this game will be both fun and educational, and will help people to respect our "plucky" friends, the birds.

Enjoy!

phundug, Jul 13 2006

[link]






       I want to be the hawk. [+]
baconbrain, Jul 14 2006
  

       Do pigeons eat croissants? Video game plus potential for a hidden environmental education agenda = + from me. Next up, the minnow.   

       I prefer the peregrine falcon.
RayfordSteele, Jul 14 2006
  

       I like this- you could start a whole series of different animals and their world. Has no one done this before?   

       Will you also introduce random illnesses such as avian flu and whatnot?
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jul 14 2006
  

       For sea birds there should be lots of used condoms floating about, the player has to tell the difference between the condoms and the live fish.   

       A series of games like this would be great, you should also do extinct animals. I wanna be one of them magafauna kangaroos.
greyfiend, Jul 14 2006
  

       Bun for the long but enjoyable description, few manage such a feat.
Germanicus, Jul 14 2006
  

       Excellent idea. By the way, local ducks are having to protect themselves against even more obstacles - since people have fed the seagull population almost to bursting point; 'gulls have been going for larger morsels. Namely, live ducklings.
I hope this game procedurally alters the world in such ways as this - to take account of (For example) the over-feeding of one species, altering the general eco system around it.
fridge duck, Jul 14 2006
  

       Penguin! Penguin! Penguin!
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 14 2006
  

       I'll take the Cormorant - hang out at the beach, do a little fishing, navigate off-shore wind farms...
Shz, Jul 14 2006
  

       To make the game more kid-friendly (adult-friendly???) real-life footage of hawks swooping in on your species of bird could be interspersed into the game.
phundug, Jul 14 2006
  

       I often feel that I am at a disadvantage when playing video games (mostly Battlefield 2) because my first person character doesn't have a very good field of vision. I mean, I wouldn't want to run down a real battlefield if were only able to see through small square in front of me. But this is the experience you get viewing a virtual world through a computer screen. No peripheral vision, no 3-dimension field of view.. no wonder I die so much in the game. I can only imagine that having a limited field of view *as well as* limited resolution would make a bird simulation impossible. I mean if a real hawk can spot a mouse at 100 yards there is no way on earth you are going to get any sort of realism in a game where you are trying hard to survive as a hawk. If you limited a real hawk to tunnel-vision with 1024x768 resolution, they would all die of starvation. [-/+]
MoreCowbell, Jul 14 2006
  

       Actually [MoreCow], I didn't intend this as a first-person simulation. I envisioned it as arcade-style with a scrolling background (maybe switching to overhead view if you're flying).   

       The old video game "Joust" approximates this idea. You had a joystick and a "flap" button.   

       Of course, today's bird game would have better graphics and scenery. You'd also have more control buttons (land, peck, sing, alarm call [draws more birds in to help you attack the hawk], preen, sleep, etc.)
phundug, Jul 14 2006
  

       [Morecowbell] //I mean if a real hawk can spot a mouse at 100 yards//   

       That's a very simplified version of things - I know for instance that some birds of prey are able to see into the UV wavelengths of light. Handily enough, the urine of some rodents reflects this light - and as David Attenborough would have me believe, it leaves purple trails along the ground leading the bird directly to its prey.
fridge duck, Jul 14 2006
  

       And don't forget that birds have much more complex color vision than we do. They have four types of cone cells sensing four different wavelengths of light. We only have three. (Could even be said two and a half, since only most mammals only have two, except for primates in which one of the types has slightly differentiated.)
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 15 2006
  

       Awesome, I want to try the hummingbird setting.   

       Makes me think that a SalmonSpawn game may be a decent sequel?   

       Salmon Spawning game would be excellent! It's a perfect video game because you have to get through so many stages. First you're little and big fish eat you, then you have to navigate and jump over waterfalls, then you have to jump over waterfalls with bears grabbing at you, then you get to the mating bonus round :)
phundug, Jul 15 2006
  

       I prefer shooting people in video games since I don't get to do it in real life. What can I say?
MoreCowbell, Jul 15 2006
  

       Excellent [+].   

       I liked your focus on building the game to cover almost all aspects that can make the player actually live the life of a bird.
vedarshi, Jul 16 2006
  

       All in all, this is a pretty tweet idea.
MoreCowbell, Jul 19 2006
  

       + I don't play a lot of video games, but I'm sure I'd love the Bird Bash mode the best!   

       I often have dreams of flying and looking down at the trees and landscape. This would feel a lot like those dreams....
xandram, Jul 19 2006
  

       It's a unique idea, which is needed in the world of video games today. Plus, you could create sequels that aren't just the originals with new graphics, rather they could be about a completely different animal, therefore completely changing the gameplay!
billybob5982, Aug 08 2006
  

       Their are some very unique games out already, thank you. If you want some real variety, try to get one a Japanese import game like "Boundish."   

       I'd definitely buy this game, though. Would be good for a hand held system or as internet shareware.
notmarkflynn, Aug 09 2006
  

       This isn't a criticism of the idea, which I think is interesting, but games developers are attempting to produce more leftfield games these days in an effort to capture non-gamers as a market. This is a nice, logical extension of that idea. It fell down a little with the "Bird Bash" idea at the end... pehaps one of the many worthy aspects you can bring into the game as a whole could be the opportunity to empathise with our feathery cousins.   

       As opposed to, you know, calling them "rats with wings" and trying to kick them.
neuro, Aug 09 2006
  

       I'd like to be a starling and flock about.
zen_tom, Aug 09 2006
  

       There *has* to be an option to poo on a person... possibly a user created image, such as the postman, or some uncle you've always disliked...
Jinbish, Jan 19 2009
  

       You could try to join a flock to increase your chances of survival against facons. But joining the flock would lead to squabbles (no pun intended) that would drain your energy level.   

       And don't forget to occasionally swallow pebbles so your gizzard works properly. You would have to eat a certain amount of stones in a certain timeframe or you become weaker. The search for adequate stones would force you off your planned flight path.
Gamma48, May 24 2009
  

       Collective noun for a flock of seagulls (not the eighties pop group) is a 'squabble'.
DrBob, May 24 2009
  

       It just occurred to me: An i'iwi is an endangered Hawaiian bird. If there were a video game where you could physically control your i'iwi, it would be called -- wait for it...   

       Wii i'iwi!
phundug, Oct 30 2011
  
      
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