The UW Sustainability Action plan has 10 targets ranging from increasing student engagement to sourcing more food locally, and despite UW's world-leading sustainability program, not all students are aware of the current goals of the plan and how they can contribute. Our group EarthGames would like to build an app that illustrates the 10 targets of the UW Sustainability Action Plan, to be played by students, faculty, and staff. The game will be both an educational tool and also a promotional tool, connecting the player to different events and groups on campus. Sustainability Action Arena will be playable on web browsers and mobile devices. The code will also be made available under a creative commons license, so other universities or groups could use the game framework to highlight their own sustainability goals.
The prototype would be designed over the summer by our core EarthGames group, including Prof. Dargan Frierson of the Atmospheric Science department, Prof. Jessica Kaminsky from the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, lead developer Rikki Parent, a UW alumni and an experienced EarthGames programmer and artist, and at least two student employees. During the summer, this core group would get feedback on the earliest game models from UW staff. Then the 10 rough sketches of the games would be digitized by our resident game developer, Rikki Parent, and 2 to 3 hired undergraduate students over the rest of the summer. Once the Autumn quarter 2021 begins, undergraduate students in the class ATMS 495: EarthGames Studio would test all 10 prototype games while taking the class for course credit only. Another 2 to 3 undergraduates would be hired to continue building the game for a total of 5 hired students. This was the way our employee Rikki at EarthGames first learned to develop games in 2018, through a grant from CSF that funded a more experienced game developer, as well as her and other students. The importance of having an experienced designer at the start of a project is essential to its success, and once that foundation is laid, the students' own creations can flourish. During autumn quarter, we will perform several testing activities to understand how much our games help players learn about the Sustainability Action Plan.
The game would be built and promoted online, requiring no location on campus other than the ATMS 495 class space. The proposed cost of this project is $29917.60, and we would like to start right away if funding is awarded.