A Virtual Travel Game
I have always been surrounded by people who have urged me to do things that I love and where I can “reach for the stars”. For me that involves creativity and people. I am a passionate and driven creative continuously looking to create experiences that are valuable and effective and will impact people positively. As a designer, I continuously endeavour to adapt and grow my skills to ensure I generate work that is at the forefront of high quality, current design and is commercially relevant.
When I was younger, something that my parents said that really resonated with me was to always “work hard and to simply do your best”. I can confidently say that I am a motivated and enthusiastic creative who aspires to do this with everything I pursue.
I saw my Capstone Project as an opportunity to create a solution that will push the design envelope. Therefore, I have created a virtual travel game, providing avid travellers with a foretaste into the local lifestyles of international culture from the safety of their own home.
My Capstone Project centres around travel in the context of COVID-19. The problem I have identified is people who are devoted to travel but are no longer able to travel due to the virus and the travel restrictions imposed in New Zealand and across the globe.
My target users, avid travellers, are currently stranded and confined to their own country, but they have a need to experience local lifestyles of international culture through interacting with locals, experiencing authentic cuisine and learning some of the language. They also have a need to explore and immerse themselves in different cultural settings. Therefore, I have created a virtual travel game, called ‘Venture’, providing avid travellers with a “unique genuine cultural experience” and ventures away from focusing on popular, commercialised, tourist attractions. This game palpably implements international culture into their current restrictive lifestyles and enables them to broaden horizons, experience self-discovery and escape comfort zones, which are emotions most commonly triggered when travelling overseas.
From the comfort of their own home, users are able to virtually travel anywhere in the world, by selecting their dream country from the ‘Departure Board’. Within each country that users travel to, they will visit five different destinations, where they will not only compete against other travellers from around the world in a fun and interactive gamified experience, but where they will also be able to explore local’s surroundings and immerse themselves in their lifestyles.
Amongst each destination, users and their travel opponents, will be required to complete three ‘Cultural Challenges’. These challenges will focus on authentic cuisine, language and social interactions with locals, allowing them to learn and gain insight into the local culture of the destination they are visiting. The competitive element comes into play here, as users will also collect ‘Experience Tokens’ from the challenges they complete successfully. In order to fly to their next destination, they must collect a certain amount of ‘Experience Tokens’ that they can then exchange for a passport stamp and plane ticket. The winner of each destination is determined from the amount of ‘Experience Tokens’ they collect and the type of precious metal their passport stamp is.
During the game, users are also able to connect and communicate with their overseas travel opponent using a variety of pre-set messaging templates.
Via the user’s profile, they are able to access their ‘Travel Archive’, which is comprised with all the countries that they have virtually travelled too and the cultural learnings they obtained from the challenges within each country. Users are also able to implement different local cultures into their current lives at home by reviewing language tasks and making authentic dishes from the cultural recipes that they discovered in their challenges.
Lastly, once users have travelled to each destination, they will be given the option to add the destination to their ‘Travel Bucket List’, generating excitement and optimism for the future. Once users have been able to physically travel to those destinations, they will then be able to enjoy the satisfaction of ticking them of their ‘Travel Bucket List’.