"Experience the journey of a tiny bacterium in her quest of ensuring the balance and prosperity of a living world.Discover a world, full of entities and dangers, and get strong to survive and escape!"
Hero.Coli is a single-player 2D top-down adventure game where the hero, a tiny bacterium named Cellia, has to explore a living world, collect and combine functional DNA fragments in order to engineer and control her own abilities.
During her adventure she will have to face obstacles and challenges with the help of synthetic biology.
Collect and craft DNA bricks to create your own abilities:
Explore an interactive living world at the scale of a cell:
Resolve realistic challenges and puzzles based on life science:
Discover and learn synthetic biology:
Events & Press
Science & Society
The emerging discipline of synthetic biology applies engineering principles and methodology to biological systems. Synthetic biologists aim to extend or modify the behavior of biological organisms and engineer them to perform controlled and reliable useful tasks.
The founders of the field applied the engineering strategy, based on standardization, decoupling, hierarchization and abstraction to the sciences of life, in order to better understand and deal with the complexity of biological systems, and make biology easier to engineer (Weiss et al., 1999; Weiss, 2001; Endy, 2005; Keasling, 2005). On this purpose synthetic biologists have been defining and compiling standard biological parts, corresponding to DNA sequences with defined structure and function, called BioBricks™. Using these standardized and well-characterized interchangeable biological devices, it is possible to build synthetic complex networks, pathways and functions, in a programmatic fashion inspired by electrical engineering.
Thus, over the past decade, synthetic biology has been improving the design and construction of synthetic biological systems, and the re-design of existing ones for useful purposes. Nowadays this field holds promising potential to offer technological tools that could be used to benefit society and meet current scientific challenges: energy, biofuels, environmental issues, food production, materials, chemistry, human health, pharmaceuticals, and many others.
Hero.Coli aims to promote the promise and potential benefits of synthetic biology, as well as to warn the public about the risks and potential harms. This young interdisciplinary field has considerably grown over the past few years and raises concerns about (anticipated or unanticipated) risks to the environment, biodiversity, biosecurity, ethics, and health; nowadays it is crucial to raise awareness about these issues. Therefore, we aim to promote intellectual responsibility and ethics education regarding the design and engineering of living organisms.
Educational - Our goals are science outreach in synthetic biology and to design game challenges that stimulate scientific creativity and interest. With Hero.Coli, we want to teach the basics of synthetic biology, thanks to:
Simulation - The players should be allowed to experiment with a flexible and realistic crafting system that uses BioBricks™. BioBricks™ is a standard for DNA interchangeable parts, developed with a view to building biological systems in living cells. We developed a simulator that allows the player to:
Research - Generate a community of players interested in the field and
encourage them to:
Fun - We don't want Hero.Coli to be just a serious game. We want this game to provide fun with:
Synthetic biology design
Make your own character - As you progress through the game, you will be able to collect and create skills for you bacterium, thanks to the use of synthetic biology:
Play with devices - Corresponds to the easy difficulty mode and the critical path of the game:
Play with BioBricks™ - Corresponds to the medium difficulty and allows the players to access to new areas and rewards:
Create synergies between devices - Corresponds to the hard difficulty mode and is required to fully complete the game:
This game project is currently under development by a small team at the CRI Paris:
Raphael GoujetLead developer
Liburn JupolliComposer/Sound designer
Radhika Beaume2D artist
Ariel LindnerScience advisor
Former team members
Those people kickstarted or expanded the project at the CRI Paris:
Guillaume LaruelleGame designer
Here are a few lovely contributors that helped to kickstart this project:
If you wish to help us, by testing the game or contribute to the development, don't hesitate to send us an email.
We are using the Unity game engine.
In order to create a scientifically accurate game, we first built the ReactionEngine, our modular homemade simulator for:
Users can easily create files to add new BioBricks™, molecules or phenotypes to the game.
Our long-term objective is to provide a free web-based game and editing tools to the players.