Costa Rica Adventure: Natural Perfection Inspires Video Game Designers

“We want to recreate the most amazing nature that you see in any video games,” says Andreas Öberg of Avalanche Studios, creators of the best-selling Just Cause video game series. That’s why he and a team of designers, artists, photographers and sound engineers traveled to Costa Rica in 2013 to gather inspiration for games in development. They knew they would find the perfect backdrop in a Costa Rica adventure.

The crew spent time in and around the Braulio Carrillo National Park, also known as Parque Nacional Braulio Carillo, recording every aspect of their surroundings. They captured the complexity of the vegetation, the precise curve of the toes of a three-toed sloth, even the sounds of the jungle — monkeys, birds and all. With time-lapse photography, they captured the changing patterns of the clouds in the sky and the colors of the sunset over the sea. They used super-slow motion to record the rolling surf and every subtle movement of the water droplets clinging to the rainforest plants, because depicting water realistically is one of the more difficult challenges for video game artists.

As imaginative as these game creators are, they know that nothing beats working with original material. And Costa Rica, with its pristine natural environments, provided them with all of the inspiration they could have hoped for to make an amazing game.

Even though it’s just minutes from San José and accessible via a major highway, Braulio Carillo National Park is one of the most carefully preserved natural places on earth, and one of the most ecologically diverse. It spans more than 100,000 acres with altitudes that range from the beach at sea level to more than 9,500 feet above sea level, encompassing micro-climates from sultry rainforest to misty cloud forest as well as several volcanoes. There are miles and miles of walking trails for visitors to follow and an aerial tram that will carry you if you prefer to see the view from above. Either way, you won’t need a full camera crew to appreciate this spectacular natural beauty!

For a closer look at Costa Rica’s wildlife, the crew also visited the Toucan Rescue Ranch, a licensed rainforest wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release facility. All creatures are welcome and cared for here — toucans, of course, but also sloths, kinkajous, otters, and even rare and endangered animals like the oncilla, a beautiful spotted wildcat that’s native to Central America.

To experience some of Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity during your adventure vacation or honeymoon, contact us today!

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