Verne: The Himalayas

Creative Direction
3D & Animation
Game Design
User Testing
Sound Design

Verne is an app that invites you to explore Google Maps’ 3D imagery of the Himalayas alongside a 500 foot Yeti named Verne. As Verne, you can run up Mt. Everest in seconds, skate across icy lakes, chase yaks, discover bits of information, ride a jetpack, play traditional Himalayan instruments, and more.


The landscape is full of new ways to explore. Find all the hidden objects and see the terrain from fun new perspectives.


There are native non-playable characters scattered throughout the environment.

Global Elements

Venture outside the Himalayas and trot around the globe to take in more scenery.

Musical Instruments

Discover and play with musical instruments from the region.


Hop inside photospheres for a 360° look inside buildings as well as the outside landscape.

Behind the Scenes

Verne was created with an array of tools and skill sets. 3D assets were modeled, rigged and animated in Cinema 4D. The elevation and terrain data was generated by the Google maps team. All of the 3D data was then brought into Unity for final development. A few shots from the production process can be found below.

Year: 2015
Agency: Google Creative Lab
3D & Animation: JR Schmidt
Creative Tech: byHook
Production: Catherine Christiansen, Annie Porter
Team Lead: Nooka Jones