Since the kickoff of our PowerPlay project for Skillset, we’ve seen the game evolve from cardboard cutouts on an office table to a beautifully illustrated game-in-the-making. The interface is coming to life, the town is being designed, and the gameplay mechanics are being refined every week.
However, at 2and2 it’s never just about the game. While we absolutely love creating beautiful, fun games (really, it never feels like work around here), there’s always a deeper message we are trying to communicate. In other words, the game always needs to have an educational purpose and is designed in a certain way for a reason – and of course, Power Play is no exception.
So why are we making this game?
Sustainability is one of the key challenges facing many Australians, and many Australian businesses. Although it can manifest in a few different forms, one of the key areas of sustainability is energy efficiency.
PowerPlay is a game designed to communicate principles of energy efficiency in an interesting and engaging way, and to motivate its players to be conscious of energy efficiency in the home and the workplace. Targeted at young Australian apprentices, PowerPlay puts the two topics of efficiency and sustainability at the front of the player’s mind and encourages positive behaviour in-game – behaviour which will then translate into their day-to-day life.
The aim is to make the topic of energy efficiency interesting, rather than mundane. While people hear the same messages day in and day out in the media, PowerPlay provides an alternative (and arguably more engaging) way of communicating the message. What’s more important, though, is that Power Play encourages and rewards certain behaviours, and also puts an abstract concept of an energy-efficient world into a real situation which players are involved in.
Documenting the process so far…
The game development started out in a two day sprint where our developers, designers, and instructional designers sat together and worked intensively on gameplay mechanics. This process helped us nut out exactly how players would play the game, as well as what we needed to include and how the game would work visually.
By the end of these two days, PowerPlay had taken shape in the form of a day and night mode, where players rebuild a country town during the day and fend off Elementals in a shooter at night. Next up, the developers took this into Unity and created the game map with placeholders for illustrations. At this point, the game had started to take digital form and looked something like this:
At the same time, designers and illustrators were constructing the user interface and visual design. Buildings were illustrated and the game screen had taken shape. We had unoccupied churches, occupied churches, and cards which would be used in-game to convert an inefficient building into an energy efficient building.
While PowerPlay is still in its early stages, it’s shaping up extremely well and we certainly can’t wait to see how it continues to develop over the coming months. In the meantime, take a look at our other posts about PowerPlay and keep checking back for updates.
And if you thought we were kidding about our excitement, we really can’t wait to see how it progresses. We’ve even dedicated a wall to it…