Sea Turtle Adventure
I worked alongside two classmates to ideate the game concepts, design all elements of the game and develop the game.
Iteration 1:For our first iteration, we focused the game on a sea turtle and its journey from being an egg to a full adult creature living in the ocean in todays ecosystem. In this game, the user will use the mouse to make the turtle swim around and feed it. Since our intention with this game was to show how pollution in the ocean impacts, we created pop-up texts that appear as the user feeds the turtle, and they will have information on whether the turtle consumed healthy food or pollutants. These texts will serve as a way to inform people not just about what kinds of pollutants are in the oceanic ecosystem, but also about the sea turtle diet as well.
We strived to create a realistic ocean environment where although there are plenty of food resources for sea creatures to grow, the pollutant plays a significant role as a constantly existing hazardous obstacle that the animal either cant tell the difference between harmful items or sometimes doesnt even really have a choice but to eat the toxic items. While the topic of our game is serious, we wanted to create fun and engaging designs for the user to interact with.
Please click on the link below to explore the first iteration of the game.
* Game functions best with Google Chrome or Firefox.
Following our initial design, we set out to add a novel controller to add more user agency to the original game. Not only did
this new addition makes the most sense in terms of making with meaning, but it was also an aspect that we were both very excited
to implement to the original game. I designed a 3D model of a turtle to use as the controller.
After 6 attempts at 3D printing, we unfortunately were not able to get the product we had hoped for,
but we managed to use pieces from two somewhat successful prints for our controller. Moving forward, however, I hope to successfully print the 3D design.
With our physical turtle, the user will simply pick up the turtle and begin moving it in the direction they want the turtle to swim in. The user can move the turtle sideways, up and down and even diagonally to guide the direction of movement. In addition, the interaction that the physical turtle provides is much more realistic compared to the first version of the game where the user would guide the turtle by moving the mouse cursor. There is a large gap between following a cursor and imagining a sea turtle swimming. Using this physical controller in the form of a sea turtle the player gets a more in depth experience through lessening the amount of abstraction. They will truly feel their movements making an impact on how the turtle navigates the ocean. Through being physically involved in guiding the turtle in the ocean and feeding it, the user will develop a more personal connection with a sea turtle and therefore will better understand the impact that pollutants have on these marine animals. There will be moments where the user will try their best to avoid toxic items, but it will be physically impossible to do so, and that is exactly the message we want to convey with this game.
The video below demonstrates the new addition.
Final Iteration:Following the first two versions of the game, I sought out to work independently on redesigning the game based on user insights I gathered from fellow peers who played the game. Some of the feedback from the usability testing included:
- Confusion about the health of the turtle and at what point it was going to die
- Disruption from the game due to the pop-up informational texts about food items
- A need for a non-disruptive way to indicate to user whether the food consumed is healthy or toxic
- Age counter which also serves as a game score so players can see how the food is impacting the turtle's growth. Depending on the score of the game, the turtle's health will deterioate signalling
- Informing user of food labels and whether they are healthy or toxic in a subtle manner that doesn't interrupt the game
- Two endings: a win and a loss
- Updated 3D print of game controller
The design changes are shown in the final version of the game below.