Consumerism: The Resource Management Game
Updated a year ago
A game directed towards Business students in their final year at University.
This project focused on the ability of each team to deliver upon a brief set by a client. To make this easier we didn't have to find a client and so could attempt to "work" for the client of our choice from some that were established specifically for this project. We could still go out and get a real client if we wished.

After sorting ourselves into groups, the clients presented all of their products that they wanted designing and created. It was then up to us as teams to decide which client we wanted and then submit our ideas to the client. As a team of three, we opted to go for Jane Grose's project of teaching sustainability within a game. The initial documents we were given were for a board game very similar to snakes and ladders, with some cards that players would read, which would contain some information about sustainability. These facts didn't just cover the environment but all aspects of sustainability like ethics and wealth, so the idea was to encompass all of the aspects of sustainability within the game.

Our initial pitch saw us deviate from the board game to a more resource management type game that would sit the player/s as a business CEO of a cotton manufacturing business. This immediately opened up a lot of opportunities for us within the project. As we started to plan out how this would work and what would be the ultimate goals and lessons within the game, we started to wonder how we would convey all of the ethical and environmental issues that the player should be aware of. In response to this, we came up with a card system at the start of each player turn. The player would receive three cards at the start of each turn which would be random, but within the constraints of the players' choices thus far in the game (i.e. if the player is a big polluter they might get fined, adversely if they were not they might get a government grant).

We also designed how the player would make money and how they could affect the environment, the peoples' opinions of them and the players' money.

When we moved on to development we ensured to start with version control and to work within an agile methodology (in this case ScrumBan). We split up the tasks into three different sections which were UI, assets and mechanics. With these three groups of tasks we assigned each other appropriately to each one, I was assigned to mechanics.

Throughout the project, we ensured to regularly meet up with our client to ask about certain design decisions that we were considering and which she thought would be best and also to show the progress we had made. We attempted to meet up with her every week but sometimes this was not possible due to her busy schedule.

During the project, we also looked into UX design and testing. These sessions were very useful to get feedback for our product and gave us many good ideas to incorporate into our solution.

Throughout the project, we were also tasked with weekly updates to the whole class, as a presentation, to show how our products had progressed and to get more constructive feedback on what has and hasn't been implemented.

Near the end of the project, we were asked to show off what we had created to the business students of our client. We used this opportunity almost as a UX testing session to get feedback from the students that this program was intended for. All of the students liked how the game had evolved from the snakes and ladders version and were excited to see what possibilities could come from this game in the future. We had a lot of constructive feedback from this session.

In our final presentation we showed off our (almost) finished project to the class and all of the clients (other interested parties were also present allowing us to network). We, unfortunately, didn't manage to finish balancing the game so it became very frustrating to "win". This, however, was received very well by the audience who understood why this was and could look past and appreciate the mechanics that were in the game.
Ryan Wildish
Game Developer - Programmer
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Supported Platforms