Wonder Village
Domain: UX Design, Illustration
Team Size:  05
Organization:  Digital Green
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'A game that bridges the gap between developing and developed Worlds'

Wonder Village is an innovative social application that aims to abridge the gap between the developing and the developed worlds. A game built on the lines of contemporary social games on Facebook like Cityville and Ravenwood Fair, it delivers a new level of interaction where you virtually become part of the lives of millions of people whom you have had never come across. The revenue generated is channelled to the benefits of these virtual people with whom you play the game thus creating new avenues of capital generation for thriving NGOs' and organizations.

Starting with a team of five we worked together to develop an idea to inculcate new paradigm to the image of non profits. We researched through games like Cityville, Farmville, Ravenwood Fair, etc. to understand the entertainment values to be incorporated to the millions of users who have been playing these social games for fun. Our game promises to give a new level of interaction where the social motive implicitly becomes an inevitable part of your venture while you get engrossed in the game.

The game has a visually appealing interface that captivates and retain user's interest in the game besides imbibing educational values to understand the lifestyle about real farmers in developing regions. The graphics give a new dimension to your imagination and appeals to your knowledge of the developing regions with Quests and Doosras(the education segment of the game) that engages you throughout the game delivering educative and entertainment quotients to you. The game has been intelligently orchestrated to imbibe in a user, a virtual understanding of the lives in the developing regions and seeks user's knowledge to work collaboratively with the Virtual Gurus from the developing worlds (Village Gurus in the game) in building the village of wonders.

The game has been an entrepreneurial endeavour by our team to provide new platforms for NGOs' and social organizations to generate revenues for them. An enthralling way to get people engaged in social activities without compromising their entertainment value. Just sit, relax, enjoy with your popcorn and you never know your game play is creating a parallel new development in regions far from your place of stay!!

Start Playing the game now. Play Now

And yes, our work has generously been covered by many leading dailies including Wired, UK. Check them here

Awards
Trophy
Project Showcase
Honorable showcase to Bill Gates, 2012


Press

An exclusive coverage by Wired, UK(Wired.CO.UK) on Wonder Village and Farmerbook

One.Org covers a story on Digital Green and Wonder Village

A case study by University of Washington, Seattle

Iowa Hunger Summit recogonizes Wonder Village as an innnovative tool to curb hunger

Ubox Fellowships uncovers Wondervillage

Team Size

Five (I lead the user experience design of Wonder Village)



My Role

Game Designer, Visual Designer, User Experience Designer, Illustrator



Tools Used

Graphic Design: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

Design Idea

The ideas sprouted sitting over our desks and discussing various random thoughts that ran our minds. One of my colleagues and me were highly influenced by the online community of people spending time over Facebook playing various social games like Farmville, Ravenwood Fair, etc. We both had experience building games (primarily for school children). We started thinking on how to use data that we already have been pulling out from the field oprations of Digital Grren, and use them effectively in a more fun loving environment. This would involve creating awareness about Digital Green and also helping abridge the gap betwen the developing and developed worlds. People who were majorly involved in playing such social games on facebook were senior adult women of developed countries like US and Canada. We found it an excellent opportunity to use entertainment as one of medium to educate them about the digital green process and help them meet real people from the villages of India and other developing regions.

Competitive Analysis

As part of the literature study, we studied carefully various online social games that have been hosted by Facebook and then analyse on what could be the perfect medium to host our game. We also looked deeper into their game dynamics and compared with people who were following those games and played those games ourselves to gain an understanding of the game design. We were convinced from the very beginning that Facebook will be our host to the game as it housed millions of user base who spend quite a significant portion of their time browsing the application and beign engaged in some activity. An Analysis captured by Appdata in 2011 showed the large mass of user devoting their time in playing social games on facebook.

Iterations

I went through various stages of iterations as we progressed through each milestone.
We had heuristic evaluation within our team and held meetings with other teams working with Digital Green on the fields to get their feedback and work on to improve the artifacts accordingly. As a team, we had rounds of table discussion with people from Microsoft Research Labs, who continuosly gave their feedback and helped us acheive the goal. I had mostly been active wth paper and pencil doodling thousands of artifacts for the game.

Pilot Study

As our first pilot, we created a list of target groups whom we signed an NDA with and we tested our alpha version of the product. We worked with Microsoft Research Labs, recruited some online gamers through online surveys and tested the game confidentially. There were many motivating factors that came to the limelight, one among which was that the game proved very tough as compared to other social games people have been playing. So our engineering team worked on to get the levels set accrodingly and we removed few more sub tasks in the inital levels to assist in gaining more active interest from the users.

One of the things that was really admired was that people really liked the assets of the game and the game UI easily helped them to corerelate with the aim of the game. The water houses proved them to the be the most lucrative along with amusements parks and family houses to be among the most liked ones.

It was my first endeavor to build a game on an online social network and it proved a wonderful learning experience to me. I evolved as an entrepreneur, a better designer, a better artist and a motivating team player.

This was a challenging project where every one from our team had been involved in every single step of the project. We started from a problem statement and then brainstormed to conclude with an idea that resulted in this project. The game extended my professional interest in cojoining the social and entertainment aspects within an application, thus addressing social issues and calling for people from around the globe to collaborate in global knowledge sharing.

I learned how to manage project milestones and deliverables, effectively emerging as a leader, a team player and contribute to the project with full energy. Brainstorming Sessions enhanced my perspectives as a social thinker and as an entrepreneur. The project enhanced my Public Relation(PR) skills and effectiveness in communicating my ideas.

The project being my first entrepreneurial endeavour for an NGO, it came as a challenge to design a product that caters millions of users on a social platform while maintaining equal values of entertainment and education in to the game.

It excites me that I never stop learning from every venture I step upon. I hope to have many more such challenging projects in near future!