Operation Come Home approached our class with a challenge to promote their organization and raise awareness of youth homelessness through various projects. Our team decided to use Adobe's then beta XD UI/UX mock-up software to build a short, shareable "game". Basically, it's a browser-based text-based adventure game -- probably the most rudimentary of all games. It was well received by Operation Come Home workers.
The first step was to collect data on pre-existing mode of social awareness. From the list, we grouped it by the most frequently encountered, and the qualitative data on the levels of impact it has on the audience. Then, we clustered it by pathos, ethos, and logos. We decided to appeal to the pathos aspect in the campaign. Out of dozens of preliminary ideas, we decided to pursue a simple interactive game due to our limited timeline, the immersive nature of games, and interactive element being a superb way to tell a compelling story.
To reach as many people as possible (including those that do not typically play video games), we decided to include a few limiters on top of the game being a simple interactive fiction. We wanted to give users the best experience possible without distracting them with too many unnecessary accessories. We saw that having the gameplay extend for over 3 minutes to be too much in our initial test-runs.
Mood-modifier images to communicate scenario atmosphere to the users.
Simplified English for inclusivity. To reach a bigger audience, simpler English is used.
Longer load time may pull users out of immersion. Maximum for one route is no more than 3 minutes.
As a proof of concept to show to our clients, this was the first iteration we showed them. We unanimously agreed to take a slightly more somber approach due to the dissonance of the comical visual style of the initial mock-up and the more serious nature of their work. Otherwise, the functionality did not deviate all that much.
Next, we decided on the length of the game. Due to limitations of the Adobe XD beta, we decided to keep it as simple as possible while maintaining the general premise of the game. We built a rudimentary flowchart and collected material for the scenario through interviews with the youths at the homeless shelter.
After the scenario was written out, I went ahead and began to organize it into digestible chunks and assigned them to separate screens in Adobe XD. After finishing one linear scenario, I added branches and reorganized to make it as efficient as possible.
Due to the various technical limitations, changes that would be implemented in the future could be the inclusion of Google Maps with pins on all the homeless shelters for youth as well as an external link to the Operation Come Home website at the start and end of the game. The watermarked stock images would be replaced with properly licensed images. Responsive design to fit with other mobile devices would also be considered for future implementation.
Feel free to flip through our project report. The game is outlined on page 15 (18 on scribd).