Deep Time Detec­tives


Target Audience
  • Family

The Challenge: Twin Cities Public Tele­vi­sion and the Smith­sonian National Museum of Natural History wanted a way to share learning objec­tives with a hands-on pale­on­tology-based museum exhibit that pairs with their docu­men­tary film When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time. This project involved ensuring expe­ri­en­tial acces­si­bility for guests ranging from 8‑years-old to adult, designing unique gameplay for a coop­er­a­tive duo of a VR and non-VR player, and presenting chal­lenging pale­on­tology material in an intuitive way for both new and VR-savvy players.

The Solution: Deep Time Detec­tives is a two-player, coop­er­a­tive expe­ri­ence that puts guests into the shoes of a high-tech pale­on­tology team. Using VR tech­nology, one guest plays the role of Field Pale­on­tol­o­gist while the second guest, outside of VR, provides research expertise. Working together, players will unearth and classify a myste­rious fossil found at a dig site in Pakistan.

The Result: The expe­ri­ence was launched in September 2019 at the Smith­sonian National Museum of Natural History. Addi­tion­ally, the Smith­sonian hosts ​“Fossil Festivals,” which showcase the film and game to libraries, schools, and museums across the United States.

Fossil Brush2 Table Skull Table Skeleton Table Jaw Fossil Table Hologram Screen Hypothesis Screen Ankle Pakicetus Drink