It is estimated that with the current rate of population growth and natural resource use, we will reach the limits of our planetary system by 2100. Eco Hacks is a fun and engaging way to inspire players to make simple changes that have positive effects on the planet.
What It Does
Eco Hacks is a simple game that provides environmental hacks in the form of truth or dare. The skill is great for kids and adults and helps players make immediate, eco-friendly decisions.
How I Built It
I started by identifying the biggest barriers to changing eco-friendly habits, which are mainly lack of knowledge, time, and willpower. Through Eco Hacks, I created simple "hacks" that are easy to complete and incorporate into daily life. I developed the skill using Storyline and tested it with several users. Based on the feedback, the skill was highly engaging and something players would engage with on a weekly basis. In fact, several expressed the desire for more challenging dares!
The main challenge I faced during development was presenting the environmental hacks in the most engaging way. I ultimately decided to gamify the experience by integrating the hacks in a format that most people are familiar with: Truth or Dare! I also gave Alexa a more humorous and sarcastic personality in her responses to make the game a bit more exciting.
As an engineer and graduate student in sustainability, I'm proud to create a skill that can bring awareness to how to live more sustainably on a daily basis. I am also the founder Impactful Play, a company that designs voice-empowered games for the greater good.
With many people wanting to reduce their screen time, I learned that voice is a way to augment face-to-face and tactile experiences without forcing on-screen interactions. I also learned that surprise, personality, and humor can be important parts of the user engagement that makes a skill fun and delightful.
I plan to add more informative truths and more challenging dares on a weekly basis. I'm also in the process of adding a point system to track how many truths or dares are completed to encourage winning streaks and continued sustainable lifestyle choices. Lastly, based on ongoing feedback from users, I plan to create an Eco Hacks version for kids specifically relating to healthy eating behaviors. This version will challenge users to make eco-friendly (and kid-friendly) meals using creative recipes.