On October 21, Liz Canner came to Champlain College to show off her latest project, Lost City of Mer: Chapter One, and discuss the game. Lost City of Mer focuses on a dying civilization of mermaids; the player is born into this community. It is their job to save the reef and revitalize their civilization by combating pollution and finding memories left behind by the player’s mother.
The game works in two ways: the VR experience in the home, and a mobile app that rewards players for reducing their carbon footprint. For example, preestablished walking goals such as a number of steps taken will give players rewards that they can use in a personal coral garden within the VR experience.
At her talk, Canner walked through her history as an artist, going over how she has been working with space for years, including the transformation of physical gallery spaces. The transition to VR was one she was eager to make. Canner wanted to create an experience that would not only supplement the climate change education in schools, but reward individuals for making an effort to change their behavior.
She showed off visuals and video of Lost City of Mer: Chapter One, and shared her hopes for a Chapter Two and what the process of making a VR game was like. The decision to link a phone app to a VR game was important because of the ratio of how few people own VR headsets to how many people own mobile phones and play apps. Canner said she is planning on releasing the game on Steam, but with no word yet on the release date.
Leoluca "Leo" Torrance grew up with PlayStation, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and board games. He fell in love with PC gaming, plays D&D, and is all-around excited to talk about games. The founder of Champlain Arcade, Leo is a senior at Champlain College, and lives in Arizona with his fiancée.