Visual & interaction design

We are looking at:

A game in collaboration with a dietician institute to help dietician's clients keep on track with their diets. And with it, increase the retention of dietician visits. As the player, you manage a hotel that responds to your eating, drinking and exercising habits. The better your lifestyle, the better the shape of the hotel becomes. Users play minigames and perform lifestyle challenges to unlock rooms, furniture, and more. Dieticians send out challenges and keep track of the client's process.

The game had five months of gameplay, 

it was made with 9 team members.

The project lasted around eight months. 

My share in the project:

  • Visual style

  • Game progression

  • Tutorial messages

  • User interface

  • Game assets

  • Guiding intern & collaboration

  • Promotional animation video

  • Promotional event banners

  • Testing gameplay for bugs

Visual style:

Although it sounds counter-intuitive, we found through user panel research that the cartoonish kiddy style worked best for the target audience. The audience was mainly women in their forties and fifties. Compared to a realistic art style, cartoony seemed to put them in a more playful mood and made the whole situation of overweight less confronting.

Game progression

In the team at Gainplay, I was mainly hired as the lead visual designer. But because designing games for health can be pretty complex in a smaller group, I was also co-interaction designing for most projects like this one.

 

I designed a level-unlock progression chart that keeps the user's inactive lifestyle in mind as a start point, their average amount of eating, and walking per day. Then throughout the six month gameplay period, make that transition into an active lifestyle divided into incremental steps. 

 

The chart gave our team a backbone for this project, something tangible to hold onto, instead of being clueless where the user would be at any given time of their journey. When we had the chart finished, it was evident we had to do some rigorous changes to prevent users from running into blockages. 

 

I was perplexed to find out that the founders did not use a chart like this. Creating this made me realize that UX design was the job for me, even though I did not know of the existence at the time. It gave me even more satisfaction than visual design alone, which only covers the surface. Ux design goes above and beyond.

Tutorial messages:

To guide people through the trajectory of this game, we needed to have an effective system of leading notes and reminders. We chose to put an assistant in the hotel who explained the functions of the different rooms you would unlock. 

User interface 

We wanted the UI to match the round shapes of the hotel that were inspired by the human body, for this reason, we ended up with the soft gradient boxes. 

Something vivid enough to stand out from the background but not too flashy that would distract you from playing. The orange was a good fit; The color orange is also known to activate people, which matched with the goal of the game.

Guiding intern & collaboration

In this project, I collaborated with an intern. I asked her to explore different designs for characters, UI, and other elements. She would have excellent ideas but many times still rough around the edges.

So I would then continue on her work to bring the different elements of the game together. For both, it was a delightful collaboration, I learned from her different approach, and I could teach her refinement.

Game assets

Player efforts get rewarded with decorations for your environment. And because this was the case for this game, I modeled many different furniture to give the user enough collectibles. Here are shown only some of them. The 3D models had to be very low poly so that the game could run on older smartphones. And match the style of the 2D characters for them not to feel out of place.

Promotional animation video

I proposed to make the video at the top of this page, to promote and introduced the game. First I sketched some loose features of the game and presented them to one of the founders, we shuffled them around until a story arose. I mainly used the assets of the game to build this animation, which saved a lot of time. We tested the video on our audience until it told the story came across as we intended. This video was then shown to excite dieticians and their clients to use this in their practice.

Promotional event banners

At the end of the project, I made some promotional images and banners to present at medical events. The test run trial period is over, and the results were very successful. The founders of the company are now talking to other addiction prevention party's to see how the game can also be used to treat smoking and alcohol addiction.