The following article was written by and is shared with the kind permission of Dr Carla Brown, founder and CEO of Game DR.
In June 2020, our team received Innovate UK funding to develop an educational game on COVID-19. We are now 5 weeks into the project and this is our first entry in the development blog.
It’s been an exciting first month of development for our COVID-19 game.
During this first month, we have focused on the ‘Discovery Phase’ involving user research and game design.
Over the last month we have worked with schools across Scotland and England to understand young peoples’ knowledge and attitudes around COVID-19.
Our findings were very interesting and revealed that young people had LOTS of questions about COVID-19.
We analysed their questions carefully to identify the key themes for the game.
From our user findings, we have identified the key themes of the game to be “transmission’ and “vaccine/cure development”.
To explore these themes, we have created wireframes, mock ups and design documents which we have pitched to COVID-19 researchers, health psychologists and stakeholders.
As a team, we are feeling very positive about the final concept of the game and on July 1, we started prototyping the software! We will be testing the first prototype of the game in July with an England-based school and set of UK testers.
Over the last month we have also explored art styles for the game. Through our user research, we identified that young people are looking for hope and positivity during the pandemic. To this end, we are focusing on using bright and hopeful colours for the game.
Through this work, we also started developing concept art for the game environment and characters (we can’t wait to reveal our ideas for this).
We will be adding some of this concept art to our first prototype build for testing in July.
In addition to this exciting work, we have teamed up with Times Education Supplement to support dissemination of the first version of the game.
We teamed up with several schools across the U.K for game testing. For schools in Gloucestershire, this work was facilitated by the Cyber Schools Hub
We have also started work on our promotional trailer, coming to social channels in August!
For more information on the project, please contact Game DR here or visit the company’s contact page.