Penny

It's your 10th birthday and a close friend of your parents gave you an extra $100 on top of a party, cake, and toys. However, they want you to know the value of money by having you invest that money. And they’re more than willing to act as a proxy for you since you're still a minor. Using individual stocks/bonds, CDs, and index funds, how much can you make through investing before your 18th birthday?

Penny is an educational web app designed to teach young girls about Canadian financial concepts like saving accounts and interest, TFSAs, and investing. The aim of the game is to put your monthly allowance to the best use possible by moving it into your cash accounts, buying stocks and other investments.

Inspiration

Penny takes notes from Build your Stax (finance game featuring American investing concepts), the visual novel, Long Live the Queen ("adult does the management but kid makes the decisions" story), and GoldieBlox (story-driven nature; it's shown that girls under sixteen are better at reading than boys).

Accomplishments we’re proud of

  • Michelle - Adapting an existing game for young Canadian audiences. Going out of my comfort zone and experimenting with different UI/UX designs. Working on my communication skills based on feedback I've been given from my late UI/UX internship.

  • Chloe - building a complex React component structure and maintaining good code standards despite the time crunch. Translating Michelle's amazing designs into code.

  • Janelle - accomplished building a workable React app in less than 24 hours

  • Kashish - Building a react web app from scratch within 24 hours with a great team.

    Rules

Each month, the player receive pocket money from their parents (...or salary from a job if they're at least 16 in the game) that they can throw into a savings account, or invest into GICs, mutual funds (choose from three types), or stocks from companies that are considered kid/teen-friendly.

Once the player is done allocating their money to the different accounts and products, they click "next month" to see how much money they've made/lost from their decisions.

Each month would also have a short story-based event, where the player can receive bonuses/gifts from others, have their allowances/pay docked, or having to pay money for unexpected expenses (such as breaking a friend's item or college acceptance deposits). The former two would stress why it's important to have emergency funds available in their savings.

As the player ages, they're introduced to more advanced concepts starting with GICs, mutual funds, and finally the stock market. When each concept is unlocked, the player would get a brief description of how each concept in the real-world that's written in simplified language.

The game officially ends when the player turns 18, but they can still play beyond that.

Challenges

  • Michelle - Time management + creating a more complex prototype in less than 24 hours (while maintaining the same standards I have for my mockups); the most I've done was a light web app specializing in searching things off the AnimeThemes.moe database.

  • Chloe - Working with react components in different areas of the project that all needed to communicate with one another.

  • Janelle - Translating that prototype and design into something tangible in less than 24 hrs as well as making sure that I wasn't overlapping work with other team members and getting my own specific things done.

  • Kashish - Styling the website without breaking any other thing as i am not that much experienced with react.

What’s next?

  • Michelle - I'd flesh out more of the "storyline" behind the app (player is a kid whose family friend would let them invest using them as a proxy), replace some of the assets with hand-drawn ones, and introduce random Sims-style chance cards. I'd also look into how we can render stock graphs to fit our art style (instead of reusing the style associated with the stock API we used)

  • Chloe - more functionality. Our ideas and designs are solid, but our app doesn't have every feature completed yet.

  • Janelle - "I'd say I want to develop out the app so it fits the design that Michelle made better, and fully finish functionality on things like mutual funds and GIC that weren't finished before the submission time."

  • Kashish - I would like to work on the web app and finish it.

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