Meet the Spectrum is a game aimed at high school students that looks at the relationship between individuals on the gender spectrum and their relationship with the media. It was designed in response to MediaSmarts need for an educational game on the topic of gender and representation in the media.
The goal is to teach these students about the challenges that individuals on the gender spectrum face, as well as, how representation in the media can have a positive/negative impact on these individuals. The hope is to make LGBTQ+ issues more accessible to talk about and provide the proper vocabulary to do so.
Identifying Themes and Topic Selection
MAPPING AND CHOOSING A TARGET
DESIGN CHALLENGE: Design an educational game on gender identity that is informative, interesting, and employs procedural rhetoric.
Idea Collection and Note Sorting: Game ideas were written down on sticky notes. Once all these ideas were collected, notes were sorted and reorganized into logical groups in silence. Afterwards, each group was given an appropriate title.
Prioritization Voting: Within each category, votes were conducted on which ideas/themes/concepts were more important.
Zen voting (each person “voted” on their favorite ideas using stickers)
Drafting Potential Design Ideas
SKETCHING COMPETING SOLUTIONS
Everyone in the team sketched 8 ideas in 5 minutes. Then, each team member sketched 1 larger idea in 5 minutes. To think in terms of stories or flows, a storyboard of all the key steps the user must take was sketched as well.
DECIDING ON THE BEST
Two Ideas: The day after sketching session, the team talked about each sheet of ideas.
Zen voting to narrow down to 2 ideas
1. SIMULATION GAME
2. FIVE MINI GAMES
Thinking Hats: As a team we discussed the strengths and potentials risks involved with each (scoping, technical ability of the team, timeline, fit with MediaSmarts, etc.).
Based on feedback given from the user tests on both paper prototypes, a game was decided on (five mini games). A design brief for the game was written, outlining game specifics as well as how our design vision meets both client goals and use desires.
The chosen game was created into a working prototype and tested with users from our target audience and more.
After testing, as a team we discussed and evaluated the results. Prototypes were modified before the next user tests.
Final Game Design
I created a mood board to visually illustrate the visual style I wanted to pursue for the game.
The graphics, fonts, and colours in the game were inspired by this mood board.
I designed the game using vector graphics as opposed to rasters. This enabled me to scale and de-scale images to any size without losing any detail in the images.
Project by: Janelle Williams (Game Asset Designer), Samantha Tiburzio (Game Developer), Emily Hutnik (Game Assistant), Katrina Schouten (Game Assistant), Christine Ganotaki (Game Assistant), and Vince Harttrup (Game Assistant)
What an honour! Our game was selected to a part of The Project Showcase at the Stratford Campus. In addition to presenting to the general public, we were given the opportunity to present to the president of the University of Waterloo. The game was voted as "Number 1" by the class, and was a MediaSmarts "Top Three" pick out of the class.
From left to right: Samantha Tiburzio and Janelle Williams