Max5

Affiliations:
University of Washington, Center for Scientific Collaboration, NAWBR, NSF

Duration:
January 2013 - July 2013

Role

  • Interaction Design
  • Concept Development
  • Sketch Work
  • Development (Unity 3D)
  • Research

Max5 is a multi-player mystery-thriller video game designed to teach high school students bioinformatics and computer science concepts

The game is set in a futuristic setting where a deadly flu outbreak has taken place. There are two main character roles - computer scientist and field agent - each with their own set of mini-games, but set in a collaborative environment. And through these roles players will be trying to collect DNA samples, perform BLASTs, and solve some database puzzles.

I have been co-lead designer for the asynchronous collaboration aspect of the game, and I've also been involved in plot development. I am also in charge and coordinating co-design sessions with high school student for level design.

This project is ongoing and we plan on having a number mini-games along with the asynchronous collaboration framework completed by the end of this year. We plan on conducting some play test sessions in a Seattle high school in mid-May to evaluate collaboration and learning.

The process of game design has involved a lot of ideation around storyline, learning concepts, and interaction amongst players.

 

Collaboration Co-lead Designer

 
 

I have been managing and designing the collaboration framework of the game. This task has included doing research on existing asynchronous collaboration methods as well as designing game flow in terms of collaboration. This has involved designing game mechanics that motivate cooperative collaboration.

I have also been working from the initial storyline that we were given to create a story that brings together the game characters, collaboration elements and mini-games in order to make the game more unified and seamless.

 

Participatory Design

 
 

I have also been mentoring a group of high school students about bioinformatics, game design, and programming for a Bio-Expo project. I have been managing and designing these sessions so that we as researchers and designers can work with the students to design specific elements of the game that deal with sample collection (BLAST) as well as level design