Our new team had been assembled and we spent the day brainstorming an idea for a serious game. After juggling around various social, political and environmental issues, we settled on creating a game about how industrialization affects the environment. Specifically, we focused on the meat industry’s impact on animal population and ecology in regards to overproduction. Our challenges were to create a game that emphasized the importance of maintaining balance between meat production, animal population and ecological growth.
For the gameplay, we settled on the mechanics based on that of RTS and city-builder games such as Age of Empires, SimCity and Roller Coaster Tycoon. The player is tasked with managing an island that they own that’s populated with wild animals and green vegetation while an animal production factory is situated on the edge of the island. The player must manage and maintain the balance of animals, plants and consumer need in the course of one year (15-30 min game time) in order to win. The player is provided with income from the factory while supplying the industry with animals that roam around the island and feed on the plants that grow. In turn, the player must keep the animals fed by fertilizing the land. In addition, you must keep your island protected by hiring security guards to prevent poachers from hunting the animals and keep up the animal population by hiring mating experts so that the animals can breed more.
Surprisingly, coding has gone quite speedily as our engineers have managed to get the core gameplay prefabs completed. All that they need to do is develop the UI to make the game playable while our tech artist creates the assets.
So far, we need to organize a meeting with an expert in environmental studies. For the sake of convenience, we’ve decided to find someone within the university to talk to. Fortunately, Jeffrey McCarthy, the directors of Environmental Humanities has agreed to meet with us sometime next week for us to pitch our idea to him.