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Online Renewable Energy Tycoon Game - WindFall

Rating: 6.8/10 - 529 votes

WindFall is a challenging, educational and thought-provoking environmental science and renewable energy tycoon game where you have to build sufficient wind turbines to power a small town and make profit – without disturbing the local residents or sullying the landscape.

Energy consumption and fuel depletion are extremely hot topics in the world today. The general consensus is that we cannot keep harvesting oil and gas from the ground – and that the supply will eventually run out! Instead, we need to rely on more environmentally-friendly ways of generating energy going forward. And, this is where your expertize is needed immediately! As a respected green energy business lobbyist, you have been given a prestigious contract to build a wind farm on the lands of a small town. Within a 3 year time-frame (a month passes in about 30 seconds here), you have to reach a specific Wind Energy Output Goal. You can achieve this by carefully researching the land value, wind speed, and building costs, and making strategic decisions on the optimum areas to build your turbines. Despite what you may have read or heard, saving our planet and good business management can go hand-in-hand with proper regulation!

This highly interactive and stimulating sustainable energy management simulation activity for older kids and teens mainly centers around good business strategy & smart decision making. You also need to consider ethical choices; is it ok to build an enormous power line and wind turbine close to someone’s back yard? Are you ruining a beautiful rural landscape with large steel windmill towers? These are all questions very relevant today in real life, and that need to be weighed-up and acted upon here in a timely, decisive manner. Throughout the course of the game, you also get the opportunity to learn about real-life business management techniques, the value of good research, the importance of good public relations, quality construction administration, and other significant aspects of infrastructure and resource management. Have you got the blend of personality and solid business acumen to keep all parties happy? Or will the wind simply whisk away your dreams of energy business success?

How to Play: Once the game loads, we recommend that you click on the ‘How to Play’ tutorial level, as this provides a very good grasp of the controls and objectives of the game. Once you have familiarized yourself with the controls, there are 3 difficulty levels to choose from: Easy, Normal, and Hard. The tougher the difficulty level, the higher the Wind Energy Output Goal. Your objective is to build an efficient network of wind turbines that emits the target amount of energy (in kWh – kilowatt hours) needed to power the small town. This has to be completed within a 3-year period (‘game days’ last for just one second, so in reality you have about 18 minutes to complete your task!).

There are 5 icons on the left hand side of the game screen: Info, Research, Turbine, Power Line, and Bulldozer. Using your computer mouse or touchpad, click on the Info button, and then hover your cursor over a square of land in the center of the game zone. At the beginning of the game, there is no information available regarding the land – you need to do some Research first. Click on the Research button, and then on the square of land that you want to learn more about. This reveals the land value and wind speed of a particular area. If you think this would be a good area to place a wind turbine, click on the Turbine icon, and then click on the piece of land in order to build it. You’ll notice that the turbine is still red – which means it is not yet producing energy. You need to connect it to the Transformer (large black steel structure, usually in the corner of a field) by placing power lines between the Turbine and the transformer. Click on the Power Line icon to start building these connections.

Once a Wind Turbine is connected to the Transformer, the center of the Turbine turns green, and the energy that it produces (in kWh) is registered on the right hand side of the game screen. You have 3 game years to get your Energy Output to match the Energy Output Goal. You begin with a set amount of virtual funds (your initial cash flow) which is used to build turbines / perform research etc. Your funds are topped-up each month depending on the network’s energy output. But, if you irritate the local population by building too close to their homes, your popularity rating drops (indicated by the smiley faces in the top right corner of the play area). The lower your popularity, the more money you then have to pay in political donations to win back support. To avoid this outcome, try to build your turbines as far away from people’s homes as you can. Enjoy the challenge!

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