Laika game design 10 years summary
At Laika we developed for clients approx. 50 serious games and interactive playful concepts, websites and content management systems between 2000 and 2010. A brief overview:
- games to make children aware of the risks of coral reefs and endangered wild life and nature
- games to teach children about water management and hygiene and global citizenship
- games to help young adult learn how to find and apply for a job and start a career
- games to make citizen’s step in the shoes of governmental organizations to understand the complexity of decision making concerning traffic, urban planning and social diversity
- games to train railway employees traffic signals for trains
- playful tools to help patient with a kidney malfunction adept their life style and cope with the disease
- for a period of five years we developed and sold a concept for a puzzle community for elderly to stay cognitively fit, become pleasantly more familiar with technology and the internet and prevent loneliness: Vitamine P -a puzzle a day keep the doctor away
Many of these game have been more successful then expected and there was often unexpected impact was noticed (e.g. the Dutch minister of foreign affairs carried around our games and tools as illustrative educative material, while it was originally developed for teenagers)
Our first “big” game project in 2000 was for a television program “Willem Wever” where children ask questions and in the show these are answered, the games we develop were developed for extra online engagement with the different topics. We developed 10 games in 3 months time. These games have been played for many years, we forgot completely about them, till we received an email request: “Can you please remove my name from the hi-score list of the Pooh-game, I am applying for a job, and when you google my name, this is the first hit associated with my name, and I wish to have a more serious interview instead”… off-course we complied to that request asap.
The last project I cooperated with at Laika was our own passionate product: ‘Vitamine P, a puzzle a day keeps the doctor away’, which we developed from 2005 till 2010. A puzzle portal for elderly to lower the threshold to use technology, train the brains to prevent the decay of the memory, and create a community for people to play puzzles together and communicate and discuss online (and decrease the experience of loneliness). The puzzles have been played on a daily bases by several players, distribution was done on health portals and concepts, television websites (RTL salon) and newspaper websites, it is finally as complete concept sold to Denksport.nl. Each day five puzzles in five categories was offered in five levels for everyone to play the same puzzle, like in the newspaper.
Below an example of the five levels, designing the algorithms, tweaking these levels and tracking the player’s gameplay and player’s data to keep them engaged and aware of their role in the community was most interesting of this five year project.
Job score (in Dutch Baanscoren.nl) for the FNV, for youth to learn about applying for a job. This game was to our own surprise more successful then we expected, players could develop a specific career and learn about the contingencies and consequences in their actions by receiving feedback from the system and other players. Many teenagers played it for many weeks on a daily bases, and give many suggestions for more gameplay and content to play around with. Some vacancies and careers were realistic, and some were more abstract, becoming a pope for instance was possible, however you really needed to find out how to achieve that level, by answering quizes, preparing your interview, follow offered education.
WWF: for the Dutch World Wildlife Fund Laika made several games and interactive campaign material for children to play (at school and at home) with Wild life awareness.
Laika developed many educational interactive platforms concerning global citizenship: for Samsam, Alice O and one product has been in the suitcase of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for several months. This was the dvd with educational material and simulations to take the position of a government and make decisions on the topics of import and export, aids, braindrain and wildlife preservation.
For the city of Utrecht we developed games to communicate with citizens about the dilemma’s in governance in the topics: traffic, housing & decision making.
Plus some miscellaneous other games we developed for different purposes: