Eco Home. Game Concept Document


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Eco Home is a social strategy simulation game where the goal is to create the most efficient home, with the less ecological footprint keeping the inhabitants satisfied. To achieve this the player has to balance the energy consumption and waste generation with the overall happiness of the inhabitants.

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Eco Home. Game Concept Document

  1. 1.    
  2. 2.     Eco Home is a Serious Game created in “Serious Games Summer School 2013 in Tampere. Team: Pau Yànez: Project manger Alexander Polden: Lead Programmer Stefanie Horvath: Lead Artist Clara Ferrer : Game Artist Ville Hoikkala : Game Artist “Midori Entertainment certify that all work included in this submission is owned and created by the authors, and does not infringe any international copyright laws.” Date: August 31, 2013 Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 2
  4. 4.     1. JUSTIFICATION Humans need what nature provides. But it’s hard to figure out how much resources we’re using and how much we can use while keeping our planet sustainable. The ecological footprint has become the most important measure of the humanity’s demand on natural resources. “Our current global situation: Since the 1970s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot with annual demand on resources exceeding what earth can regenerate each year. It now takes the earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year” 1 In general terms data used to calculate the ecological footprint is coming from: • Energy consumption → Carbon Footprint • Settlements → Built-up land • Timber and paper → Forest • Food and fiber consumption → Cropland and pasture • Seafood consumption → Fisheries Source:  Global  Footprint  Network                                                                                                                     1 Source: Footprint Basics - Overview. Global Footprint Network. ( Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 4
  5. 5.     The next graph shows the big difference in the ecological footprint level between the most “developed countries” and the others considered “under development”. We can infer that the great goal of humanity is to change the Development Model to reduce the ecological footprint bringing it closer to the “earth’s biocapacity level”. Source: Global Footprint Network 2008 Report (2005 data) Other recent studies are proving that “happiness and ecological well-being are often portrayed as conflictual pursuits, but they may actually be complementary”2. These studies have proved that the relationship between happiness and the interest in ecologically responsible “behaviour was explained by intrinsic values and mindfulness coming”. In this game we are going to focus on energy- and water consumption and waste disposal in settlements, and relate it with the happiness of the inhabitants of the home, while trying to create a fun and informative experience for the player.                                                                                                                 2 Warren Brown et al. Are Psychological and Ecological Well-being Compatible? The Role of Values, Mindfulness, and Lifestyle? November 2005, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 349-368.   Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 5
  6. 6.   2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Eco Home is a social strategy simulation game where you learn how to manage your resources, to reduce the ecological footprint of your home, and keep the inhabitants satisfied and happy. Game Genre Strategy simulation social game Targeted Platform Mobile Devices (Smartphones and Tablets) with iOS and Android Operating Systems Targeted Audience Women and men (from anywhere) aged between 18 and 50 The main features of the game: ● Create your own home deciding which scenario you want to play: family, single or a shared apartment. ● Manage the energy and water consumption and waste disposal while adapting the use of resources during the different seasons of the year. ● Discover the basic needs of the characters and the best way to balance their satisfaction and their energy consumption, to keep the overall happiness level as high as possible. ● Get new and more efficient appliances, take care of turning off the lights, dispose of or recycle your waste. ● Manage resource and home crisis events that will tip the balance of your home. ● Implement and learn about the latest green technology to make your home more sustainable, presented as general house upgrades like solar panels, heat pumps or water recycling utilities. ● Real Life Mode is a mode where you can modify the appliances of the house to correctly mirror the appliances in your own home, as well as upgrades and characters. Playing this mode will let you simulate the energy consumption of your own home in a playful way. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 6
  7. 7.       3. ABOUT US   Project Manager Pau Yànez Vilanova: Degree in Pedagogy by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Master on ICT in Education by Universidad Carlos III (Madrid). Project Manager on research and innovation projects around language learning, sustainability and ICT applied to education. Also game and serious games designer. Lead Programmer Alexander Polden: Certificate of apprenticeship in System Administration with 6 years experience. Studying informatics, with a master degree in software development as the target degree. Been programming for 14 years, with some game development experience in Unity3D. Lead Artist Stefanie Horvath: Certificate of apprenticeship in Media Design. Fulltime intern at User Centric Inc., a User Research & Design Firm located in Chicago, Illinois. Project Manager - Concept & Design at Tiscover, an Online Advertising Agency, specialized in Tourism, located in Innsbruck, Austria. Currently Information Design Student at FH Joanneum Graz, Austria. Game Artist Clara Ferrer Pérez: Student of Fine Arts (final year), being new in the world of serious games and commercial art. Having experience with design, video, photography and fundamental of animation. In the field of work, she has made corporate images for private partnerships. Game Artist Ville Hoikkala: Student at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, studying Media for the second year. Interests in digital art, video industry, design and animation. Been an avid gamer for my whole life. Most comfortable when working with a drawing tablet and a cup of coffee. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 7
  8. 8.       4. THE GAME The goal of the game is to create the most efficient home with the best ecological footprint while keeping the inhabitants satisfied. To achieve this the player has to balance the energy consumption and waste generation with the overall happiness of the inhabitants. 4.1. Game elements The most important game elements and in-game actions will be: ● Appliances ● Resources ● Time ● Characters ● Events ● Economy ● Ecoins and Rewards ● Social features Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 8
  9. 9.   4.2.   Game modes and Gameplay There are two Game modes: The Simulation Mode and the Real Life Mode. Simulation Mode The player controls the environment of the home. Depending on the player’s interest he will be able to select between 3 scenarios: family home, singles apartment or shared apartment. Each scenario will have various settings and different events. As time and seasons go by, random events occur. These events can come from different elements of the game: ● New needs of the inhabitants ● New pet ● Energy crisis ● New family members ● Family members move out ● Family member become unemployed ● Water pipe breaks ● Broken appliances ● Rain and/or thunderstorms ● Robbery ● Fire Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 9
  10. 10.     The events will be presented as “floating messages” with the basic information in the screen that will remain active until it is dismissed or the game AI detects that the challenge is completed. To manage all these events the player will be able to navigate freely around the house buying new appliances and items that consume electricity, water and generate waste. To do it the player has to tap the item to see the properties and go to the virtual shop to buy a new appliance with different resource properties and inhabitant influence. Also it’s important to manage an appliance’s allowed hours/times of usage per day, amount of water consumption, turning off the light of the rooms, empty the trash regularly, etc. During these events the player must, in addition to balancing the ecological footprint, also consider how the changes made influence the satisfaction of the inhabitants. All these events will challenge the player and will test the strategic skills to achieve the goal of the game. As the player gains more experience, events will become more difficult. And, of course, will be rewarded with better technology. Game modes and scenario selection screens Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 10
  11. 11.     Real Life Mode Real Life Mode is a mode where you can modify the appliances in the house to correctly mirror the appliances, upgrades and characters at home. Playing this mode will let you simulate the energy consumption and waste disposal of your own home in a playful way. This game mode has the same main features and mechanics as the Simulation Mode with some differences related to the player’s real life. E.g. the player can within reasonable limits define their own income at the beginning of the game, the prices for power, water and waste management in their area. This mode will be available from the beginning through an inapp purchase. Example of gameplay: The game time is winter, and when the player thinks that has the overall happiness and the ecological footprint in a decent level, that will unlock a new Green Tech (power-up) to make his/her home more sustainable, the AI of the game will show a floating message with a small description of the situation asking the player to act. “There has been electrical power cuts in your city because of excess demand of energy. If you can manage it you will be rewarded with a general house upgrade.”. Of course it will affect the satisfaction of the inhabitants and the player will have to interact with the appliances that consume more electrical energy to try to solve the problem: manage daily usage, buy new and more efficient appliances, buy new green technology (power-ups), etc. The message will remain on the main screen as a floating icon until the AI of the game detects that all the needed actions are done. When the player has solved the situation the message will automatically disappear and the player is rewarded. 4.3. Progression The progression of the game will progress through transparent levels (or milestones). These transparent levels will control the difficulty of the game and the level of the unlocked appliances and upgrades. You progress through the levels by keeping your ecological footprint and the overall happiness in balance. This balance is lost as events are presented to the player and will not be restored until the player makes the appropriate decisions using the available actions. 4.4. Rewards As months go by the player gets virtual money to buy new appliances. The in-game currency is called "ecoins" and comes from the salary of the characters. At the end of each month if the player has money left over after Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 11
  12. 12.     paying all the bills, the player receives interest that allows him/her to make home improvements. When the player solves a situation coming from a random event he receives special rewards called “green technology”. This is new technology that allow the player to reduce the ecological footprint and make his home more sustainable. Green technology can be unlocked by the player before it is unlocked through normal progress with a in-game purchase.     Green tech power-ups pop-up screen   4.5. Feedback and learning information 4.6. The social aspect Every game element has a description with the main properties and the consequences of using it. With this information the player will be able to figure out what is the best strategy to solve the events.   During the evolution of the game, if the player rotates the device to landscape mode, he/she will be able to: ● See the progress of his/her friends and learn about it. ● Turn off the lights. Your friends can help you conserve energy by turning of the lights when you forget. ● Send messages. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 12
  13. 13.     Social mode screen     4.7. Tutorial 4.8. Music and Sound effects The tutorial is going to be built in-game, and will teach the basics to interact with most of the features of the game while the player overcomes the first level. Depending on the game mode the tutorial will have different dynamics. The main features the player will learn during the tutorial will be: ● The basics about navigation: home, rooms, active assets. ● The basics about appliances: buy, sell, manage usage, turning off/on the lights. ● The basics about resources: electricity, water, waste. ● The basics about time: seasons, in-game time. ● The basics about characters: satisfaction, overall happiness. ● The basics about events: messages, causes. ● The basics about ecoins, rewards and economy: satisfaction, overall happiness, ecological footprint, green-tech, bills, interest. ● The basics about social features: visit friends, help friends, message friends.   The music and sound effects are two very important elements of Eco Home so we will use it to enhance the game experience creating an environment as realistic as possible by providing emotions to the player. Background music: We want the player to feel comfortable while playing the game but inviting him/her to action. The music style is “up-tempo” jazz or blues. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 13
  14. 14.     Background sounds: Combined with the music, the background sounds will give information about the season of the year. We want to create a real life experience so the sounds will be recorded from the nature and integrated in the game engine to be played randomly. Sound Effects: We will use real life sounds when the player interacts with elements of the game. For example: When the player touches the TV of the living room to upgrade it, a real “Turn on” sound will be played. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 14
  15. 15.     5. CONCEPT ART, SKETCHES AND STORYBOARDING 5.1. App store Icon     5.2.   Splash Screen (company and game)       Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 15
  16. 16.     5.3. Storyboarding Storyboard page 1 Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 16
  17. 17.     Storyboard page 2 Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 17
  18. 18.       5.4. Characters     Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 18
  19. 19.       5.5. Main scene screen       5.6. Game interactions   Developed prototype is available at:   Note: all artwork used in the game is original and copyrighted by “Midori Entertainment”. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 19
  20. 20.   6. TECHNICAL, BUSINESS INFORMATION 6.1.   AND DEVELOPMENT Learning outcomes After playing the game, the player will be able to ● Try and implement best practices around energy management in a safe and fun environment. ● Make the player conscious of how the management of a home can affect energy consumption. ● Know how the seasons and the weather affect the energy consumption at home. ● Know the latest technology for self-producing, optimizing and recycling energy at home.   6.2. Target audience Eco Home is designed for women and men (from anywhere) aged between 18 and 50. We decided to target our game based on data coming from studies about social and casual games3: ● 600+ million Casual/Social game players ● Age of a player is between 18 – 44 years ● 70% of players are female This data fits perfectly with the nature of our topic and gameplay. It is a very large market that offers great freedom in game and graphic design but presents a big challenge to please all potential players. In this sense we can highlight some of the most important features of “Eco Home” that are consistent with our target audience: ● Gameplay: it’s a social game that everyone can play, but with some complicated mechanics that will delight the more experienced players. ● User Interface: Clear interface that displays all relevant data to help all kind of players to interact with the game. ● Colors: intense to attract attention from younger players, but cool and intermediate colors that fits with older gamers. ● Characters: some realism to emphasize with older players but with plain textures.                                                                                                                   3 NDP Research (2010). Thanks to Dr. Paul and Dr. Maja Pivec. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 20
  21. 21.   6.3. Business model 6.4. Development timeline 6.5.   Market analysis and risk Eco Home is a free to play game with in-app purchases: ● Unlocking the “Real Life Game Mode”: the player has to pay a small amount of money to be able to play this game mode (1,99€). ● Buy virtual currency: the player can buy “Ecoins” using real money to improve his/her home quickly and to manage all the events better. Depending on the amount of “Ecoins”, the player will be able to select between different prices: (0,99€ = 1000 ecoins // 1,99€ = 15.000 ecoins // 2,99€ = 50.000 ecoins). ● Buy new appliances/“Green Tech” (power-ups) before they are unlocked: the different appliances and upgrades unlock at different levels if they are not unlocked with in-app purchases, and can be installed in the house by using “ecoins” which can also be acquired through in-app purchases. It is planned to develop the game within one year, including one month initial and two months final test, evaluation and improvement periods. We suggest the start of development in January 2014 and release the game on January 2015. Social games such as Farmville or Hay Day are getting so popular. Simulation games like Sims also have created a very large community of players that enjoy managing resources, characters satisfaction, happiness, etc. In Eco Home we want to take advantage of this boom trying to offer a different experience in the following points: ● Real life Game mode: there is no social strategy game in the market where players can personalize the in-game data to keep track of their real Ecological Footprint. ● Sustainability topic: there is no a social strategy game in the market where the player can learn how to manage all the resources at home and balance it with the overall happiness of the inhabitants. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 21
  22. 22.     “Midori Entertainment certify that all work included in this submission is owned and created by the authors, and does not infringe any international copyright laws.” Date: August 31, 2013 Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment”. Copyright © 2013 “Midori Entertainment” 22