Flutter brings real rainforest to Facebook

NHNZ and Otago Museum Discovery World Tropical Forest partner to bring real butterflies into the virtual world

Dunedin based television production company NHNZ is tomorrow launching its first computer game designed exclusively for Facebook.

The game “Flutter” was conceived by its new games division “Runaway” created last year to focus on meaningful social network games inspired by the world around us. Set in the Amazon Rainforest, Flutter lets players experience the spectacular lifecycle of tropical butterflies and explore one of the most bio-diverse regions of our planet.

The game will have its official launch tomorrow evening at 5.30 in conjunction with the Otago Museum, with which NHNZ has a close association. NHNZ General Manager, John Crawford says museum staff helped the Runaway team with their research to ensure the butterflies in the game were visually authentic and that the underlying science was correct.

NHNZ is also working with the Otago Museum on a collaboration which will promote the game to Museum visitors and the museum’s Discovery World Tropical Forest to game players. The first 2,000 people entering Discovery World from Wednesday onwards will receive a voucher to redeem a special butterfly in the game — the East Blue Frosted Banner — which visitors can see up close in the Tropical Forest. Guests attending the launch will also have to opportunity to try their hand at Flutter and receive tips from the team of developers.

Runaway have spent months refining Flutter’s lush graphical style and creating rainforest flora and fauna that are true to reality. Two weeks ago the game entered its beta phase when it went live on Facebook  and despite  the low key nature of the initial launch, over 3,000 players are already exploring the forest.  “Most of the players fall within our target range of 18 to 30 year olds, but it’s good to see that we also have a few players in the 30 to 45 year old range, and even older”

says Tim. “We’re very happy the game is accessible and enjoyable.

Now our challenge is to scale our audience and work with them to create new content”. He says Runaway will continue to add features and implement feedback.  “We adjust it every day…fine-tuning it in response to player behaviour,” he says.

John Crawford says moving into the gaming arena was a natural progression for NHNZ.  “Many of our broadcast clients now have video games on their websites as a means of enhancing  viewers’ experiences with a particular TV programme or series, so there were strong reasons for NHNZ to launch its own gaming division.

However, in the case of Flutter there is no associated broadcaster and we believe that it’ll gain a strong following as a standalone social network game. Gaming is a major growth sector in the entertainment industry. With worldwide video gaming revenues of around US$80b annually, gaming offers NHNZ a great new business growth opportunity.”

Mr Crawford says some future initiatives for the gaming division will be to develop games alongside television documentaries.

“The team is already hard at work on a game inspired by a documentary we recently made for National Geographic Channel.”

Alongside this unique real-world cross-over launch, Runaway will release the first set of “premium” items in the game which players will be able to purchase with virtual currency “Flutterbucks”.

The link to the Amazon will be further strengthened in the coming weeks with the pending announcement of collaboration between Runaway and one of the world’s most prominent conservation organisations.

About Flutter

The future of the rainforest is in your hands as you nurture a thriving ecosystem of flora and fauna. Work with your friends to discover the forest’s story, and challenge them to create the best grove.

Raise butterflies

Nurse a fledgling caterpillar through its amazing transformation then take to the skies as a beautiful, true to life Amazon butterfly

Explore the Rainforest

Soar through the trees hunting for resources, treasures, and secrets

Build an Eco-system

Craft your very own corner of the rainforest using leaves, plants and flowers, then see what amazing rainforest creatures come to call it home

Uncover the Mystery

Progress through dozens of quests and work with your friends to solve mysterious puzzles as you uncover the mystical side of the forest

Play Flutter on Facebook:

About Runaway

Founded in 2009, Runaway is based in Dunedin, New Zealand and focused on creating and self-publishing meaningful games for social networks. A division of one of the world’s largest documentary film making companies, NHNZ, Runaway produces original social game experiences inspired by the incredible world around us.

Visit runaway online:

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