“Two days ago your teacher, Mr Clark, went missing. Now, rumour and misinformation spread through your school. Aliens! Monsters! Villains! You know that these stories are fake… With the help of your friends, you’re going to find out what happened to Mr Clark!”
Studio: None (freelance project for Sutton Libraries)
Platform: Web, Android, iOS
What I did: Designed, developed and wrote an educational videogame for 8-12 year olds. Wrote and designed the game, creating its narrative structure, iterating on prototypes based on user feedback, built the game using Unity, and worked with the artist to create a fun visual style.
Team size: sole designer and developer, working with a freelance artist
Tools: Unity, Adobe suite, Google docs, webhosting
Newsflash is an interactive videogame designed for children and teenagers, aimed to inform them about misinformation – how to spot it and challenge it. You play as a group of children trying to get to the bottom of what has happened to their teacher, Mr Clark, after he goes missing. Using the mystery genre, the game teaches about misinformation by presenting different stories about what has happened to Mr Clark that you must disprove.
I was commissioned to create the game, working as the solo developer to design, create, write and test the game. The game was developed using Unity. I recruited and worked with a freelance artist to create all of the game’s fantastic art. Throughout the project we worked with a researched in misinformation, to shape how the game worked and taught about its dangers. We also playtested and used focus groups with the game’s audience in order to create a game they enjoyed – they shaped the game’s murder mystery theme, its art and even contributed a character for the final game.
I created a design document to plan the overarching structure of the game, to meet the project’s goals of teaching 8-12 year olds about misinformation.
I designed the moment to moment interactions of the game, blending investigation scenes with dialogue, research and hand-writing matching mini-games.
Recruiting and working with a freelance artist, creating artwork briefs and spreadsheets to track assets.
Writing and editing the game, including creating characters, narrative structure, and planning mystery beats.
Liaising with the library team and researchers to ensure the game met their objectives, creating regular project updates and implementing stakeholder feedback.
Planning playtesting sessions with schools local to the library and using their feedback to tailor the game to the target audience.