Microsoft Imagine Cup

 A Game To Help Save The Environment

This project was created for the Microsoft Imagine Cup. The goal was to work on the design of a game that would help players learn about garbage and the appropriate means of disposing it.

Our team won an honourable mention in the Imagine Cup - games path for this project

The Problem

Disposing garbage in the correct bin has been a problem that I've faced personally and seen other people face as well. We found that even in the University of Washington, where images and instructions were given, people were not throwing garbage in its appropriate bin. We wanted to solve this problem but we realised that people don't want to learn about garbage through websites or brochures. So we thought of designing a fun game that would solve this problem.
On performing user research, we discovered that there were some factors we had to take into account while designing: 

4 member team project for the Microsoft Imagine Cup

Research, Storyboards, Wireframes, Visual Design, Information Architecture

I took lead in creating the storyboard an the game mechanics. I contributed toward creating the game's wireframe and visual target. 

December 2014 - January 2015

  • People get bored playing the same type of game repeatedly
  • People love playing against their friends
  • People associate well with an avatar of themselves
  • People like it when they receive positive feedback and achievements for a job well done

Objective & Game Description

Our objective for this game was to make the act of recycling a part of the muscle memory so that every person subconsciously throws garbage in the correct bin. We wanted to build the user experience of this game keeping in mind what we discovered during user research.

The gameplay follows a school setting and has three game modes. Each time you pass a grade in school, the difficulty level of the game increases. We aimed to make each game mode fun, challenging and exciting.

The Process

As part of the Imagine Cup User Experience Games Challenge, we had to submit 4 deliverables as listed below:

  1. Storyboards
  2. Information Architecture Diagram
  3. Wireframes
  4. Visual Target

1. Storyboards

I created the storyboards ensuring that the game's mechanics and story was covered all the way. Throughout the storyboard, my aim was to keep the player engrossed by the multiplayer gameplay mechanics and storyline.

I made certain that by reading through the storyboards, a potential player gets an actual experience of the game. While creating the storyboards, I wanted to show how the gameplay is novel, interesting and entertaining.


2. Information Architecture Diagram

We created our Information Architecture (IA) diagram keeping our storyboards in mind. We wanted to make sure that all major game interactions on user interface elements were shown clearly and appropriately. We also made it certain that all user interface connections were logical and in sync with the game mechanics as shown in the storyboards.


3. Wireframe

We built the wireframe to show the main game play mode as described in the Information Architecture diagram. In our Wireframe, we saw to it that all user interactions were appropriate and explicit.


4. Visual Target

We built the Visual Target aiming to represent our main wireframe in production quality. We wanted to establish our appealing, inviting and easy to understand gameplay. For a game that teaches a user about trash and recycling, this was very important.