We were inspired by the desperate need to change our consumption habits and reduce our carbon footprint. The Earth Overshoot Day occurred 4 months before the end of 2018 and we he have to do more to care for our planet.
What it does
The goal of the app is to raise awareness about the carbon footprint of different food items in a multiplayer game. Players are given a recipe and are tasked with matching the ingredients. Each ingredient carries a specific carbon footprint and players have to acquire all elements for the recipe while minimizing their footprint. The ingredients are continuously cascading on the screen and players compete by trying to tap on the desired item. For example, when given the task to create a “cheeseburger”, participants must find onions, tomatoes, bread and protein (among other items). They have the choice to pick beef, tuna, bison for their protein as well as fruits and vegetables that are locally grown. Tapping on an ingredient, automatically adds it to the recipe list and players have the chance to evaluate their related carbon footprint. If the footprint is too high, players have the choice to remove the ingredient and try to find another. The game ends when one of the players completes their recipe. The winning player is the one who completed the list with the lower carbon footprint.
How we built it
We chose the Unity 3D game engine to build this game because this is a platform that we are comfortable working with. We also used the Photon multiplayer networking API because this allowed us to share data between devices. This was critical to creating a competitive and engaging game.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into some challenges when synchronizing the game between the different players. We also had some challenges related to creating a smooth game play and the appropriate spawning and randomization of ingredients available to the different players.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very happy with the game we created. We believe that we managed to come up with a fun and interactive way to learn about the carbon footprint of different foods. We are also very proud about some of the science happening behind the scenes. Using data from academic articles (e.g., Clune, Crossin & Verghese, 2017) we actually managed to compile a list regarding the greenhouse gas emissions for the different ingredients that are used in the game. We believe that this add an extra sense of realism and urgency the need to change our consumption habits.
What we learned
Early planning is always essential for projects that have a short deadline. We did our best to make a detailed plan and sticking to our plan throughout the last 30 hours. We also learned a lot about the carbon footprint of different foods to the point that it has now become a habit to criticize each other’s late night snacking habits!
What's next for Co2ok