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 Disaster Detector is an educational game that teaches players how to analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events, and how to implement tools to mitigate the effects of those disasters.

Platforms
Android, iOS, Web/Online

Personal Contributions

  • Early project incubation working with stakeholders

  • Developed early art style with illustration team, game designer, and stakeholder input

  • Designed, prototyped, and implemented user experience with wireframes and temp assets

  • Storyboarded user interface and gameplay flow.

 
 

 
 

Objective

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Disaster Detector was developed at Filament games for Smithsonian Science Education Center. The goal was to create a resource management game that teaches players to analyze and interpret data on natural disasters in order to mitigate the effects of those disasters and forecast future catastrophic events. Players had to learn how to analyze current and historical data using tools such as Doppler radar, anemometers, barometers, and seismometer. Only then could they decide what defenses will best equip the city. 

Disaster Detector is intended for use in the classroom or at home and is aligned to national science standards for middle school but great for players of all ages. 

 
 
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Art Direction

The art direction was largely informed by the gameplay and its target audience. A younger player based meant brighter colors, larger icons, and more pictures. Meanwhile, the core game mechanics revolved around gathering data and drawing educated conclusions. After several iterations, a detective theme chosen as the game's visual theme. I then proceeded to create a mood board and worked closely with the game designer, client, and illustration team to keep a consistent look that best suited the game.

Mood board excerpt (top), Concept illustrations (bottom) by art team.

Mood board excerpt (top), Concept illustrations (bottom) by art team.

 
 

 

UX / UI / Gameplay Design

 

As the core game mechanics were being fleshed out, storyboards were created to communicate every aspect along the way, to both the team and the stakeholders. I also implemented the storyboard elements as scratch assets for rapid prototyping to further refine game play. A wireframing tool called Balsamiq was used in conjunction with hand drawn storyboards, allowing for more illustrative UI elements.

Balsamiq, a useful wireframing tool

Balsamiq, a useful wireframing tool

Style guide for early iteration of user interface design

 
Select storyboards of game play and user experience design

Select storyboards of game play and user experience design

 

 

Final Product

Mockup on left, final gameplay screenshot on right. Disaster Detector is available to play on the Smithsonian Website.

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