PathFinder

The Client

Kentucky Community & Technical College

The Duration

10/13 – 07/14 (9months)

Available On

Smart phones,
Desktop Computers,
Tablet Computers

Skills Used

Research, Storyboarding,
UIUX Design, Acceptance Testing,
Graphic Design, JAVA, Music Production, Adobe Edge

What is it?

Pathfinder is a game designed to help prospective students find, navigate and become familiar with forvarious academic programs offered by Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).

The Challenge

Pathfinder is a game designed to help prospective students find, navigate and become familiar with forvarious academic programs offered by Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).

Detective_icon_Pose_changed_With_logo
After it became clear that the client lacked a solid vision, my team pitched
several ideas of our own.After researching the company, I found that the company did not have gamification in their funnel. I introduced the idea of gamification and cited “VW fun theory” to support why gamification was a viable road to reach their end goal. Please see the example: VW ‘The Fun Theory’ Piano Stairs . By using gamification and the “fun theory,” the client was able to effectively advertise KCTCS’ top 6 course offerings to prospective students in a fun way. Accordingly, games were developed pursuant to the following programs: Nursing, HVAC, Automotive, Transfer to university, Criminal Justice, and Welding. Excluding transfer game, each remaining games were designed to show the player what they would do if they chose the corresponding career path at the institution.

As for the timeline challenge, I overcame this issue by providing the stakeholder with a revised outline that simplified game play and allowed for the timeline to be honored. It also took into consideration the other ideas the director had and saved them for phase two. This approach won the client over and allowed us to break the ideas into more manageable phases. The director signed off on the revised Scope-of-Work after a couple of days of review.

My approach to designing the games was to meet with the faculty who taught the highlighted programs and applied it to my game design. I am using example art to showcase the functionality. I designed the game in Java/ LibGDX. I modeled the character’s movements in Adobe Edge. I also produced all of the audio for the game using Pro-tools.

I was put in a very awkward position having limited communication with the stakeholder. However, having a mutual understanding of timeline, breaking the project into multiple phases and having delegates who I can communicate with is important in setting my team up for success.

Unfortunately, the actual design has proprietary content that I am not authorized to unveil without written consent by KCTCS.

My Solution

After it became clear that the client lacked a solid vision, my team pitched several ideas of our own.After researching the company, I found that the company did not have gamification in their funnel. I introduced the idea of gamification and cited “VW fun theory” to support why gamification was a viable road to reach their end goal. Please see the example: VW ‘The Fun Theory’ Piano Stairs . By using gamification and the “fun theory,” the client was able to effectively advertise KCTCS’ top 6 course offerings to prospective students in a fun way. Accordingly, games were developed pursuant to the following programs: Nursing, HVAC, Automotive, Transfer to university, Criminal Justice, and Welding. Excluding transfer game, each remaining games were designed to show the player what they would do if they chose the corresponding career path at the institution.

As for the timeline challenge, I overcame this issue by providing the stakeholder with a revised outline that simplified game play and allowed for the timeline to be honored. It also took into consideration the other ideas the director had and saved them for phase two. This approach won the client over and allowed us to break the ideas into more manageable phases. The director signed off on the revised Scope-of-Work after a couple of days of review.

My approach to designing the games was to meet with the faculty who taught the highlighted programs and applied it to my game design. I am using example art to showcase the functionality. I designed the game in Java/ LibGDX. I modeled the character’s movements in Adobe Edge. I also produced all of the audio for the game using Pro-tools.

I was put in a very awkward position having limited communication with the stakeholder. However, having a mutual understanding of timeline, breaking the project into multiple phases and having delegates who I can communicate with is important in setting my team up for success.

Unfortunately, the actual design has proprietary content that I am not authorized to unveil without written consent by KCTCS.

Hospital_icon_With_logo_FINAL_BLUE_BACKGROUND_with_legs

Nursing Game

This game is a time management game where characters are sick with various problems and the user has to figure out where the sick characters need to go in order for them to get well. If you send a character to the wrong place the character’s condition continues to worsen. If you route them to the right place, then the characters condition improves. The challenge is when you have many people coming in at the same time with various conditions. Can you manage to treat all of the sick? In research conducted with both staff and nurses, I identified managing time and resources were of extreme importance to being a successful nurses.

Air_Conditioner_Mechanics_icon_with_logo_BLUE_BACKGROUND

HVAC Game

In this game, there are levels to the left that are either too hot or too cold. They need to be regulated. Well, how do we do that? The user has a heater and an air conditioner on the right and a pipe puzzle in the middle. If the floor to the left is too hot, the user has to switch to the air conditioner and solve the puzzle to get the cold air to cool down the floor. The number of floors the user cools down or heats up is up to them. I came up with the idea for this game by combining several ideas. First, I knew I liked the “Pipes” game from when I was a kid. I wanted to use that as a foundation to build on because it closely resembled a ventilation system. Then, I thought of a time when my AC blew out hot air. I combined those ideas to create the Pathfinder game.

Road-game

Automotive Game

When designing this game, I wanted to see if anything was already out there that I could model after. I found a drag and drop game, “Car Parts Puzzle.” After looking into the nature and functionality of this game, I decided to model my game play to be similar to that game. I established the game design and set the requirement for our visual designer. Once designs were completed, we began implementing them into the game.

Nursing Game

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Transfer Game

Similar to most any community college, KCTCS wanted to show that their credits transferred to other schools. Initially, I struggled with my approach in designing this game because not every credit transferred as an equivalent to a four-year institution. Instead, I focused on the credits that did transfer and created a matching game that would allow players to see that the school had a transferable credit system. In this game the user essentially matches their credits with the credits the college of their choice is willing to accept.

Nursing Game

haunted

Criminal Justice Game

This game was the easiest to make. Growing up as a child, I greatly enjoyed, “Spot The Difference.” Using that game as inspiration, I created this game with clues scattered around a crime scene and the user had to find all of the clues in order to solve the crime. The user is under a time limit to add an element of urgency.

Nursing Game

Welding Game

In this game, the user has to build bridges and weld them together. However, to win, a user has to build the bridge so a car can successfully drive over it. There is no right way to build it which allows the user to be as creative as possible. The only catch is that the car has to make it over. Are you up for the task?

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Characters of PATHFINDER

I designed the characters and their movements using Adobe Edge. This was the first game I worked on with a team. Making games and making SaaS products take two completely different UX skill-sets. Relentlessly, I used Youtube to learn how to better use the software tools and how to model the character’s motions and gestures. I worked closely with creatives and developers for quick feedback and to address their concerns. This was a trying experience, but I learned how to create games and how to work with challenging clients in the process.

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View of PATHFINDER

The client wanted an orthogonal view because it matched the design ideas they had for another gaming they were working on. Additionally, I went with the orthogonal view because it would save us time and resources when designing art. It is an easier view to design for. Orthographic specifically refers to being perpendicular to the projection plane. This is very different than the isometric view in which lines are parallel to one another.

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Capture

Taking care of the client

It is of extreme importance to make sure my clients leave with a great product, great experience and future support. Here is an example of information I provided to my client to help them to continuously add new and fresh content to the game.

Always leave your customer with support

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Quick Notes

“The art used in this example is only to show game functionality. The actual art is proprietary and cannot be disclosed without written consent from KCTCS and/or its marketing partner, Scoppechio.”

PLEASE PRESS PLAY AND LISTEN TO ME ROCK!

MauriceRocking

Game music created with Pro Tools

Executive Producer: Maurice Frost