Case Study: Designing ChakraView

Idea behind ChakraView:

Mr. Sanjiv Phansalkar, Program Leader, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) had originally conceived an idea of a Suicide Simulation Game based on farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha, Maharashtra. He has done an in-depth research on this subject and also on Livelihoods. Mr. Phansalkar discussed about his concept with Dr. Mankeekar, and Neeti Solutions initiated process of designing a digital game around the concept. Neeti Solutions believe that innovative educational and simulation games are the best learning tools for all to easily grasp important subjects. Thus, we worked on the concept of Games for Education and Games for Social Change that ultimately culminated into development of ChakraView. We have released Version-1 of ChakraView based on the research data given to us by Mr. Phansalkar. Agricultural and local issues are different and change as per location of a village within a district or a state. Neeti Solutions have planned to compile such location specific data of villages across different states in India to create future versions of the game.

Currently, we are able to seek awareness about issues in Vidarbha, Maharashtra with Version -1 of ChakraView. Similarly, in the next version of ChakraView, we may choose to be born in states like Punjab, Assam, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, etc. to understand critical issues of farmers specific those states. Applying the same concept, in future versions of ChakraView, we may choose to be born in countries like China, France, Italy, Africa, Australia, etc. to seek awareness about issues of farmers in those international regions.

 ChakraView: Game design process

We received the input data in a 3-page document consisting of background information about farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha and data tables with details on family expenditure (such as living, crop cultivation, marriage, sickness, etc.) as well as income from crops.

Our technical game developers created the game algorithm and simulated it in an Excel sheet to finalize the program code to be developed in chosen game engine software. They also developed a game design and technical process document to articulate the game flow, inputs, various events happening in the game, and outcome of the game.

Our graphic artists swung into action to design many characters and families from both high and low income /status categories. They also developed many other graphic assets such as background images of a village, weather events such as drought and pest attack, family events such as daughter’s marriage and sickness of a family member, etc. Along with the graphic design, it was most important to develop the right music tracks to be combined with the game events!

We have compiled this intelligent, time consuming and lengthy process in the form of a simple slide show to help you understand it better…

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