SCAD FLUXathon is a 24 Hour Design challenge held by SCAD FLUX. This time, they partnered with Duolingo to provide judges and host the event. This FLUXathon, the prompt the contestants received was GAMIFY Global Good.
TerraTory is an AR (ARG, RPG) based game that encourages users to clean their communities by gamifying their trash pickup and recycling experience. Our team received the 3rd Place prize in this competition.
FLUXATHON 24 Hr Sprint
Of Solid Waste in America is not recycled
Of America's waste is recyclable, but
only 30% of this is recycled
$ of recyclable containers and packaging is thrown away every year
Every year, 90% of solid waste in America is not recycled. 75% of America’s total waste is recyclable, but only 30% ends up getting recycled. There’s an estimated $11.4 Billion of recyclable containers and packaging throw away every year (EPA). There’s monumental lost value here.
Users overall think their personal actions can make a difference in the real world. Over 1,004 respondents, a whopping 96% said they believe they can help make a difference in the world through better recycling practices and donating to organizations that support it (Forbes).
So why don’t they?
According to WeRecycle, the top 3 reasons people don’t recycle is because they couldn’t find a nearby recycle bin, they weren’t sure if their trash could be recycled, and because they were in a hurry. This hones our solution space to education and motivation.
Do users think personal actions (Like Donating, and Recycling)
can make a real difference in the world?
Survey of 1,004 respondents in the USA and UK.
November 2018 for Futerra by OnePulse
Top 3 reasons people don’t recycle
Primary reasons were inaccessibility, confusion regarding what to recycle and inconvenience.
I wasn't sure if my trash could
Couldn't find nearby
I was in a hurry
Persona 1 : Pamela, Graphic Designer
Personality : Practical, creative, proactive. Takes time to do things she cares about. Environment conscious.
Frustrations : Gets confused sometimes about what is and isn’t recyclable. People don’t seem to care about recycling or make an effort.
Goals : More education on what is recyclable. Get more people recycling.
“Recycling is about feeling good as well as doing good.”
Persona 2 : Logan, 30. Software Engineer
Personality : Tech savvy. Politically aware. Understands climate and environment conservation is important.
Frustrations : Wants to recycle but feels it is too cumbersome. Often forgets because of this reason. Doesn’t know what to recycle and what not to.
Goals : Wants a more fun recycling experience. Better understanding of what can and cannot be recycled.
“Recycling is just a chore in my mind, which is why I often forget to do it.”
How might we create a solution that gamifies the recycling and trash pickup experience to be more engaging and fun? How might we motivate our users to be more environment conscious and proactive?
TerraTory is our answer.
When users launch the game for the first time, they choose a faction from one of three endangered ecosystems:
Flora for our Forests, Reef for our dying Coral Reefs, and Glacier for our melting Ice Caps. Each faction has three subclasses based on endangered animals from that biome for different play styles - for example, the Glacier biome has a Polar Bear (tank), Narwhal (support), and Arctic Fox (ADC).
Once you choose your faction and Subclass, you get taken to the Map.
Intro screen with factions
The Map is an area where you can see the real-time TerraTories around your physical location. By zooming in, you can see the individual tiled hexagons that you can claim for your team and the goal areas to clean during your events, powered by OpenStreetMap.
You can also see other players around you if they’re engaged in events, and start your own events from here. Events can be a solo mission to generate Geo (our in-game currency), or a multiplayer experience that claims TerraTory.
Solo events are either Maintain, Scavenge, or Scout, depending on if they’re done in territory owned by you, nobody, or another team (respectively).
As you pick up trash, you use your device to scan it for Geo. The app verifies the trash, gives you points, and tells you what kind of recyclable it is and how to find that information on the material itself.
If you can find a bar code, like on a can or a bottle, it can tell you even more about the material and how its properties affect the environment.
Gives you more info on what is recyclable and what is not
Multiplayer events are called Raids, and they involve finding a location in another team’s territory and cleaning up the trash in it. Players are encouraged to take a photo of the area before and after the raid for their journal (and social media!).
Players can use buffs they’ve earned through solo events to claim or defend their territory more effectively. When they’re done collecting trash, Some areas, like parks or beaches, give extra Geo for claiming.
Raid location selection
Raid stats and logistics
Of course, one of the objectives was to gamify the experience. There’s a character page where you can see level progression, lifetime statistics, and unique badges earned.
You can also dress your character in different garments you can earn through playing the game or purchasing from the shop. All proceeds from the shop goes towards an ecological organization of your choosing.
And finally, there’s a leaderboard based on the popular mechanic of promote/demote. Every week, you’re paired with 25 users of roughly your level.
At the end of the week, the ten who earn the most Geo are awarded bonus levels, while the five who earn the least Geo lose a level.
This 24 hour sprint was an incredibly enriching experience overall. As always with Design Sprints like these, one has to be on top of their time management and project management skills, and this project really helped me understand how to optimize my time in the best way possible. I'm proud of what Team TerraTory has managed to achieve in 24 hours with this project, and I'm grateful that the judging panel from Duolingo believed in it enough to award us 3rd Place for FLUXATHON. On to many more competitions, and hopefully podium finishes like these.