The brief was to create an educational game that will engage students (aged 14-16) with issues around the global water and sanitation crisis in the developing world. Engaging users in a fun and inspiring way and answering common questions that Water Aid regularly receives from GCSE students.
The solution is a learning experience that takes the format of a sim style game where the player takes on the role of a Water Aid advisor. The game is played over a series of rounds, the player explores the village talking to the key characters, observing environmental issues and offering solutions. Whilst playing students are encouraged to collect information and build this knowledge into a report at the end of the play session.
After an initial workshop with the client I worked up a game concept as a series of core game loops and user flows that I then refined into a storyboard and concept document.
Whilst working through the wireframes it became apparent that to get the best out of the game we’d need to build the village in 3D. I used Unity’s terrain generator tool and bought and commissioned low poly models, to which I added new textures, to create a space that reflected the real village in Madagascar on which the game is based. Once the village was created I worked with a developer, generating a series of prototypes to find a suitable way for the player to navigate the space.
One of the challenges when working on the look and feel for the game was to create a ui style that married the low poly game art with the photographic content featured in the case studies. To do this I used a soft neutral palette using Water Aids signature blue for many of the main interactive elements and then went for a flat style taking pointers from Android’s material design. I also created the Water Quest logo.