The inspiration for this project was really just the current state of our world. Right now our environment has taken a major hit. This current change in the environment has increased heat, drought, and insect outbreaks. There has been a decline in water supplies, reduced agricultural yields, health impacts in cities due to heat, and flooding and erosion in coastal areas. Despite all these clear signs people still choose to ignore the existence of climate change and do not take the proper steps and act on it. We understood the importance of making people aware of the issue from a younger age because that is when people tend to be more open-minded to what is actually going on around them, and every child would want a better planet for themselves and their community.
What it does:
Our project allows for elementary aged students to understand the importance of being environmentally friendly in the form of an engaging game. Students will learn about pollution and its effects on the environment with a fun NPC explaining the importance of recycling and caring for the environment which in turn defeats the garbage monster. Students will first have a discussion with the NPC characters and complete the Pac-man styled mini-game where they collect waste in a maze and recycle the items while running from the garbage monster. After successfully completing the mini-game, Tino, the loveable NPC cat informs the player of the issues in the environment which are caused by pollution, and what students can do to help stop this. After reading the short blurb, students will then be tested on their knowledge through a true or false trivia game, in which they are given the opportunity to re-try the answers to questions as many times as they need. Once they finish this, the game ends, and students will have a greater understanding on the effects of pollution and how they can help.
How we built it:
This game was developed using Game Maker Studio 8.0 using original sprites, as well as sprite sheets and tile sets created by other sources and personalized for the game through both Krita and Photoshop (both are graphic editing software).
Challenges we ran into:
One of the biggest challenges we ran into was managing our time. We developed a full outline of how our game would look and it consisted of various mini-games, challenges, and components covering the different types of pollution. Unfortunately due to being short on time as a result of school, we were not able to input these ideas into our game and only had the time to create the characters and program for two short mini-games. We are satisfied with our finished product, but we would like to be able to continue adding to it so we have more mini-games for students to play, and more they can learn from.
Accomplishments that we're proud of:
• We are proud of having fully functioning game animations of our character running in all directions as that was something we originally found challenging.
• As a result of working on the trivia component of the game, we learned how to create loops within the code which will greatly benefit us in our future projects
• This has been our very first game which we have created in this Top-down RPG format, and we're quite happy with how it came out.
• We're happy with the game compatibility as it can run on window versions as early as 7.
What we learned:
We learned a lot about how to use Game Maker Studio for game development. We learned how to create sprite sheets and tile sets and arrange them, and developed our skills in using graphics editing software.
What's next for EnvironHero :
We plan on adding new mini-games for the three main types of pollution, Land, Water, and Air, as per our original plan, and expanding on the information that the NPC gives to the player so that students will have the opportunity to learn more about helping the environment. We also would like to format our trivia mini-game differently so that it is more interactive and engaging rather than simply having users type in what they believe is true or false. In order to make the game more available for various geographies we would simply have to replace the text with various other languages and give users the option to select their preferred language choice.
•trash items: https://opengameart.org/content/recycle-items-set4
•NPC's and main character: https://solaarnoble.itch.io/free-npcs
up-beat music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tchb1Q4V-nc
mysterious music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI0EGg-ikd0