Duration: 2 weeks | Passion Project | Teammates: Ember Liu, Erin Xie, Margot Stewart, Joseph Kopko
My contributions

I led the game idea brainstorming sessions, crafted game story, participated in preliminary research and literature reviews, designed the game board and iterated the game experience design for 4 design cycles.
Problem Space
How to cultivate people’s awareness to donate resources to help people in need through a game that students can play with their extended family over holiday seasons?
Behind the Scenes
In order to decide how to approach this game, we explored the literature to determine:
What kind of influence we could expect family pressure to have on individual donation habits?
Whether we would try to promote charitable donation in general, or choose a specific recipient?
How to foster a sense of community through our game, as a family gameplay experience should, and motivate charitable donation as a joint familial experience?
Our answers to the first two questions largely came from research, both through academic publications and through a pop-up survey we administered to CMU students. Our approach to the latter question was shaped both by background research and by playtest results and iteration.
Family donation is under pressure
Donating habits are tied to opportunity cost, social esteem.
Personal donation solicitation yields more donations than impersonal (Long 1976).
A more valuable connection with the solicitor increases donation amount.
Discussing charitable donation with parents increases children’s likeliness to donate (Kim et al. 2011).
College students take donations seriously but personal
“Deserving” ones are more likely to receive donations
Donors give more to a more “deserving” recipient, such as a reputable charity (Eckel and Grossman 1996).
Altruism is motivated by the donor knowing general characteristics of the recipient.
People show more generosity to local connections and organizations.
Setting an authentic context is important for engagement (turkey, role play, table talk). Interactions and asset design should converge focus rather than attention split. I should focus more on interactions that can bring players with more satisfaction - purchasing items in our case. The game should value individual values by providing customzied abilities, buying choices, etc.