The goal of this project for the class 'Principles of Interaction Design' was to create a simulation of a real-life complex system. The simulation required having multiple variables, multiple actions and multiple outcomes.
Thus, the game encouraged replay. The interactor could take actions based on the state of variables which would affect the final outcome of the game. The actions had to be clear and understandable and would implicitly or explcitly affect the state of the variables. The outcome of the game would depend on the final state or value of the variables.
Real-World System: Industrialization
Factories boost the economy of towns, but they also pollute these towns. As an environmental engineer, the interactor has to keep updating them to use green energy based on the technology available to him at that particular time. The game simulated the complexity of building and updating factories so that they would use green energy in the given time frame.
The game encourages replay by making the player considering different strategies. The player could choose to focus on research or allow some factories to be destroyed due to pollution.
As an environmental engineer, build 5 factories and upgrade them to use green and sustainable energy in 3 years.
- Research Level
- You build and completely upgrade 5 factories in the time limit
- You run out of time
- You run out of money
- 5 factories get polluted and town has to be abandoned
I focussed on the visual design of the game to clearly indicate interaction patterns. The state of the variables is visible at all times. The factories visibly change to indicate their level. The buttons change to indicate whether they are active. I created custom icons for the research levels and for the factories to make the game as unambiguous as possible.
Include more variables such as popularity, political affiliations which will affect the fate of the factories.
Design new levels with increasing complexity to include these variables.
Educate the player about the different types of green energy being used in the game.