Game Designer, Producer
This project was in a team of 6 and we had to tackle a serious game. A serious game is a game that tackles a real-life subject and whose target audience is directly affected by the subject matter. We worked with a professional in the field of dyslexia and decided to make a game for children with dyslexia. We looked at many of the games that existed for children with dyslexia and most of them utilized the Orton-Gillingham method. However, these games were almost exclusively table top games (physical games) and we wanted to design and develop something digitally. We also wanted the game to be ubiquitous, so we developed for PC and mobile in mind. What we came up with is a rhythm game where the player must speak the words on beat to get points.
I designed the flow and mechanics of the game. I did research with my co-producer on children with dyslexia and found the Orton-Gillingham method. I then came up with mechanics that would facilitate this method through gameplay. I was also one of the producers for a team of six, keeping the art and engineering on-track with the Scrum process and Trello.
We were placed in the top 5 in the prestigious Games 4 Health competition!
Research Influencing Design
A majority of the design decisions made were from both the independent research that I did on the topic of dyslexia, and advice given to use by our professional. One of the main pillars of the Orton-Gillingham method, the most common form of treatment for children with dyslexia, is the fact that all of the games to help the children are multi-sensory. For this reason, I came up with an idea of a rhythm game with words instead of "notes", which uses sight, hearing, and speaking.
The player uses a microphone to play the actual game. The mechanics of the game is that when the song starts, the 3x3 grid fades out and the words that the player has to speak fade in. The "speech bar" also can come from any side of the screen, another layer of thinking that the player has to keep in mind. This is all combined to keep the player on their toes and to give them the feeling that they are playing a game, not doing exercises. The reason it is timed is so that the player (the child with dyslexia) can't just sit there and practice the word over and over and get it perfectly. It's fast, just like regular reading and speaking, so the child can get used to the fast pace in which reading and speaking usually occur.
We also have a system in place for how well the player does. Depending on how accurate the player says the word and how on time it is, we give them a score between bronze, silver, and gold. This is to communicate to the player of how well they are doing. Utilizing this scoring system, we also added an unlocking system. When the player says any word "gold" 5 times total, the next word is unlocked. This continues until all words are unlocked. This is so that the player can spend time and get better at the words that are already existing, and to slowly drip-feed new content.
- edited the trailer in Adobe Premiere Pro CC
- utilized video, sound effects, and music from the game
- created all of the sound effects in the game
- edited using royalty free audio and Adobe Audition CC