For The Birds! is a natural-life simulation of small bird who must forage for food and evade predators in order to survive. A demo is being created for GDC 2005 so watch this page for updates and downloads as the project matures. In the mean time you can read the design specification document (in PDF format). Note that sections marked with (I) are incomplete. The excerpts Pitch and Motivation follow.
Be afraid... very afraid... after all, life as a small bird isn't easy and you've already lost a few feathers proving it! Now with the onset of winter you stand to lose a few more in a desperate competition for survival with squirrels, barn-swallows and of course, your fellow chickadees.
Survival is the name of the game and the need to feed is the only rule. Unfortunately, you're not the only player (otherwise life would be "for the birds", wouldn't it?) in this mad foray for food: Osama the Osprey has an insatiable appetite for small birds spending too much time flying aimlessly about.
And just when you thought life was tough enough, you've spotted, "Puss-kins" the old barn-cat, who is constantly on the prowl now that the Robinson family has returned to Urban City taking their tasty treats with them.
The primary purpose of For the Birds! is to showcase selected areas of game development:
In other words For the Birds! is a demo intended to help its developers pursue careers in the gaming industry (unless of course, there are venture capitalists interested in investing in independent publishing). Consequently, the game described here may never be built in its entirety, although through an iterative development process there will always be a playable version containing some subset of the features described here.
Note that as a commercial product, For the Birds! has pedagogical value in teaching the principles of biospheres and ecosystems to children or teenagers. Further, it is gender neutral and well suited for collaborative network play making it an appealing choice for classroom-based educational software.