Network Nightmares

Context

  • IUPUI (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Lead Designer

Case

Problem: We were looking for ways to engage students on topics related to Informatics outside the classroom. We wanted to create a serious game that embedded course topics for networks and security.

Process:

  • Led brainstorming session with co-designer.
  • Created design brief, documenting project requirements.
  • Sketched basic game interface to provide foundation for team’s graphic designer.
  • Supervised the work of the team’s programmer to ensure experience was meaningful, pleasurable, and usable.
  • Wrote and programmed in-game manual into finished product.

Solution: We inverted the relationship between administrator and play. Here the player’s job was to look for vulnerabilities in the network and infect the entire network to win the game.

A few strategies that tied well into course concepts:

  1. Hubs do the most damage to the network as its effects are felt throughout each of their connections.
  2. The most vulnerable areas were the areas furthest away from where administrators attention was.
  3. The most effective strategy was divide and conquer—a tried-and-true algorithm students need to know.

prototype_screenshot

game

Network nightmares game based on Angry Birds model with network admins that try to heal viruses.

Click here to play it

Outcomes: Game was developed and shared with students in the course we taught in. The game was also accepted into a game design festival at FDG 2013 in Chania, Greece.

Details

Dates of Project: Jan 2011-Jan 2012

UX Methods Used: Sketching, Task Flow, Requirements, Priorization

My Roles: Design, Research, Writing, Programming