Word Power: The Green Revolution is a twist on the classic Reader’s Digest word challenge. Players are introduced to a local scientist who has figured out how to convert brain power into electrical energy. This scientist asks the player to participate in the classic word challenge mechanic to help generate electricity for his experiments. In exchange, this scientist gives the player access to green energy technology to build around town to feed back into the electrical grid. As the player progresses, he or she begins to push out the energy competitors, converting the town into a cleaner place to live and earning the respect from other town and city mayors. The player learns about a mysterious “Boss” who seems to be connected to all of the pollution in the area, and an overarching conflict surrounding the conversion to greener energy emerges.The game is targeted towards the casual, older market that make up Reader’s Digest readers.
Role: Content Designer
Duration: 4 months
Released: March 2010
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I joined this project as a Content Designer after the initial mechanics and systems of the game were determined. My primary tasks included the creation of the overarching narrative, character design, and script. When I first joined the team, the structure of the game was in its final stages of iteration. It was my job to take the skeleton of the system and the mechanics and add a context to the game world to make it interesting and meaningful for the casual audience. Creating the narrative progression and characters that populate it helped define the vision for the project, and the idea of green energy was my main bouncing board. Careful attention was placed on character and town names to fit within the theme, and the rest of my time was spent on iteration.
What I Learned
This project was one of the first I had ever joined where I was brought on later during development. I learned how to quickly assimilate and create content for a project without being part of the initial conception. It was the first game project I had ever worked on that targeted an older, casual audience, which was a challenge conceptually for the narrative and script. “Cut it in half, then cut it in half again” became a way for me to understand content development for casual audiences, and it turned out to be a solid rule of thumb.
I worked on Word Power: The Green Revolution remotely, which was a great and challenging experience for me. The development team at Fit Brains is located in Vancouver, BC, and I worked on this project while going to school in Burlington, Vermont. Working remotely requires self motivation and sufficiency, a skill that I developed and refined during this project.