Ian Roberts is Red Redemption´s and Fate of the World´s creative designer. Ian was one the plenary speakers of the Games for Nature Seminar held on November 2011, in Cambridge. Find more about the event and the GamesforNature initiative at www.gamesfornature.org.
Ian believes the best strategy for conservationists is to expand pre-existing games (such as Final Fantasy, etc.) to add serious topics so that people come away with some extra learning instead of creating games focused solely on the conservation message. Players should be able to discover – they do not want to be lectured or preached at. Ian cautions that innovative games take a long time and can be challenging to create and perfect. However, finding an unlikely audience can be much more valuable for a cause than preaching to the choir. Based on his experience with Fate of the World, he said that forums are an amazing place to watch your players discuss the game content, especially if that game content is relevant to real-world challenges. For example, the forum for Fate of the World has people talking about issues, getting familiar with terms and talking about solving real-world problems. It’s great! Fate of the World is sold on Steam, and approximately 15% of people complete it. It’s quite hard, but selling fine.