Wartaal

Info:

Genre: Multiplayer Serious Game
Team: 2 Artists, 1 Designer/Programmer, 1 Programmer, 1 Designer, 1 Interaction Designer
My Role: Designer/Programmer
Made in: HTML with JS, MySQL, AJAX, PHP, CSS
Project Date: September 21 2012
Project Duration: 3.5 months

My Task: I designed the core mechanics, and was closely involved with the designer to play test the game, as I was responsible for programming all of the prototypes (which eventually evolved to the actual game).

“Wartaal” was made for the “De Nederlandse Taalunie”, to inspire 14 to 18 years old to be more creative with the Dutch native language. The game forced the players to communicate with each other, in order to find their ally in a maze where no one could see any of the other players. However, of the three players, only one of them was an ally. The other was an enemy, who could read anything the two players said to each other… only with the text scrambled, each letter relocated to another position. For that reason, the two players had to use different words to explain something, so it becomes harder for the enemy to find out where they are.

After all: “noom” can be easily translated to moon, where as “tighn lanpet” (or night planet), is a lot harder to decipher.

And that given example is exactly one of the things the players said during the playtests. Using poetic phrases or obscure references, they explained to each other what they were trying to say. The game was a succes for nearly all of the 200 playtesters. In the images below, you can see how the game evolved during the course of these three months.

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