Roles - Lead Designer, Programmer
Genre - Educational / Endless Runner
Development Time - 1 year
Team Size - 4 - 8
Engine - Unity
iOS & Android
Island Saver targets an audience of early and pre-teens to teach them the importance of saving money through an exciting mobile experience that combines endless runner and financial literacy elements!
The game was developed in the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab for the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.
My responsibilities included:
Striking the balance between fun gameplay and educational elements
Conducting meetings with team members, executive producer, and/or clients
Working with artists for shared aesthetic
Programming UI, dynamic camera, and underlying systems
Continuous balancing of endless runner gameplay and systems pushing financial literacy
Building to mobile devices to quickly identify bugs and assets needing optimization
Incorporating Financial Literacy
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union had a clear goal of teaching the importance of savings accounts, so it was my responsibility to fit that into a mobile game which wouldn't bore kids. I analyzed many mobile trends and games in regards to the pre-teen age range when establishing how mechanics could tie into saving. Feedback from our clients and playtests were both extremely important to finding what was successful. In the end, the clients were very impressed with the game we delivered.
After prototyping gameplay in May 2018, I took on the role of project lead. I was responsible for holding communication throughout members of the team. Much of development was during the school semester, so it was up to me to schedule apt meeting times and ensure various tasks were able to be covered. Maintaining a Trello board which clearly displays tasks based on their priority allowed for progress to be made without confusion.
UI & Camera
I programmed the UI and camera which help the game's 'Beach' scene feel more alive while encouraging financial elements. The system for displaying the correct UI and moving the camera to focus points while getting the necessary information across was a challenge yet very rewarding to uphold as rapid iterations were made to the beach. Additionally, getting all those elements to function while being visually appealing to the player was very important towards the game's aesthetic.