Design a quest-like game to teach others about polar environments and how they are changing. Use NASA data to help adventurers plan their quest and present them with challenges along the way.
Each year scientists plan expeditions to the Earth’s cryosphere to conduct experiments. For such challenging expeditions, careful planning is crucial to survival in the extreme environment. The changing conditions in the cryosphere are making it increasingly difficult for scientists to predict the weather and the terrain of the Arctic.
We used the NASA Sea Ice Index to understand the extent and the concentration of the ice in the Arctic. Data relevant to the current time of the year would be pulled from this database and used to design the game environment.
Each tile of the game would be mapped to an area in the Arctic to replicate the ice thickness and weather conditions for that area.
Before we started designing the game, we did some research to learn more about the typical supplies and outdoor gear required to sustain in the Arctic. These were then used to design various artifacts and icons within the game.
We designed a desktop game in which an expeditor has to navigate through randomly disappearing blocks of sea ice. In addition, he also must collect and use the supplies in order to survive environmental hazards such as blizzards and avalanches.
The game begins at the base camp where the player is preparing for the expedition.
While all the available supplies are important for the expedition, the player is only allowed to carry a limited amount of supplies.
The player has to make each move carefully, as there are randomly disappearing blocks of ice.
The player can collect additional supplies along the way that can help him survive.
The player may have to face disasters such as avalanches and blizzards while playing the game.
In the case of such a disaster, he may be able to use the supplies he has at hand to save himself.
If the player does not have the necessary supplies in order to survive the disaster, he will lose a significant number of health points.
These points are indicated by the first bar on the top left.
When the player collects green points he can reduce the Arctic temperature & slow down the melting rate of the ice.
If the player collects sufficient green points, he can bring the temperature down to the optimum amount and save the Arctic.
If the player takes one wrong step, he can fall through the melting ice sheet and die.
The game can also end if the player loses all his health points.
This is a livestream of our presentation at the hackathon.