Natural disasters are big and terrible and frightening to think about. So, people don't tend to think about them. But then when they or those they love find themselves facing a potential tsunami, earthquake, or forest fire, they don't know what to think or to do. And that's what we want to change.
We said to ourselves: instead of piling a bunch of rigid, scary information in front people all at once, wouldn't it be more effective if we introduce them to disaster preventions and preparations in a gentler, friendlier way? And how better could that be achieved than with a nice, fun game?
We think that if people like our game, then they might be interested to know more about how to recognize and handle different kinds of natural disasters. This might be especially helpful with cultivating attention to natural disasters in children and young adults.
It could begin with a fleeting thought, a temporary curiosity, a quick Wikipedia search into telling the signs of a tsunami or choosing where to go during an earthquake; but if and when those terrible things do happen, this knowledge might just save many lives.
What it does
We built an app that presents several mini-games in the contexts of different natural disasters. In particular, to succeed in the games, people need to learn where to run during a tsunami, where to go during an earthquake, how to treat a wound, as well as the importance of putting resources in memorable places and alerting authorities of forest fires ASAP. At the end of the games we also have flashcards with more information about natural disasters.
How we built it
We built the game app with C# and Unity.
Challenges we ran into
Designing the different mini-games that aim to present the natural disaster scenarios in a friendly but respectful way.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Two members of our team have little to no experience in Unity. We are very happy that the four of us can work effectively together in an environment that fosters learning and creativity.
What we learned
How to better use Unity and to work better as a team.
What's next for Disaster Simulator
We would love to expand the natural disaster topics that we cover.