Everyone knows that wildlife conservation is a vital ongoing issue. Still, only 3% of donations to animals and the environment exist. A factor people mentioned is their busy schedules and stressful life. However, people are willing to play mobile games to release stress and will purchase in-game features.
Wildlife Guardian is a mobile game that collaborates with World Wild Fund, allowing players to donate via in-game purchases while learning about real-world wildlife challenges. By introducing different perspectives of animals, increasing player understanding, and fostering compassion, Wildlife Guardian reduces the gap between awareness and action in wildlife protection.
Wildlife Guardian empowers people to become wildlife champions through gamified learning and digestible wildlife challenges. Five features in the game follow the user journey - avatar creation, store shopping, nature exploration, game mission, and badge collection.
Everyone can become a wildlife guardian and define their role with a personalized character, standing up for their own beliefs and calling out to friends to join in on the fun journey.
Animals have their preferred food! Buy it in the game and discover their favorites. Support them by paying through Apple or Google Pay and sharing it in the game!
Explore nature and uncover cool surprises within the game's story! Hang out with different animals as non-player characters and unlock mini-games with different themes and challenges.
Learn the challenges wildlife are facing and reflect on how we can help. By reflecting on our role in protecting wildlife, we can work towards a brighter future for all species.
Upon completing each mission, users will receive a representative badge from the animal. Collecting these badges and utilizing the collection book to learn more about each species sparks curiosity to explore the animal world further.
Wildlife conservation is crucial for preserving biodiversity, maintaining ecological balance, providing economic benefits, protecting cultural significance, and ensuring a sustainable future.
The GUSA report revealed that just 3% of donations in the US support wildlife conservation. I interviewed people about this issue and found that while most recognize its importance, they often lack detailed knowledge and emotional attachment. The impact on daily life is not always clear and there are always so many other things on our plates.
People don't have time to research wildlife conservation and feel stressed just thinking about it.
Having to go to a website to donate can make people feel lazy or procrastinate.
Some people have a basic understanding of wildlife conservation but may not know the specific challenges faced by different animal species.
It's easy to notice things in the immediate moment, but it's difficult to imagine life too far beyond our current situation.
The stats show that 72.3% of US mobile users are also mobile phone gamers, and 30% of all mobile gamers worldwide play every day. Plus, free-to-play (F2P) games are super popular on mobile, accounting for 78% of digital game revenue.
From my research, in the US, there are several organizations working on wildlife conservation, but WWF is the most tech-oriented. They have apps and web servers that improve their program.
Mobile games are now focusing more on promoting relaxation, stress relief, and mental wellness. 63% of gamers play casual games regularly, which is the most popular genre in the video game market.
After interviewing and surveying, I made a persona for people like Isabelle. She knows a bit about wildlife but not the specific challenges of individual animals. Playing animal-related games is a source of comfort for her, and she enjoys learning new things without feeling pressured.
Teach people about wildlife by incorporating it into their daily routine, sparking curiosity and motivating players to learn more through WWF's resources and gamification.
Through my research, I discovered various wildlife conservation organizations. However, I found WWF to be the most innovative and creative based on its positioning map. To understand public perspectives on conservation and donation, I conducted physical and online surveys and revised my initial assumptions accordingly. With this information, I developed a persona and journey map to identify touch points and devise a solution.
Some organizations in the US are working on wildlife conservation. Overall, The Nature Conservancy and WWF are both creative, but WWF is more invested in gathering information, providing resources, launching apps, and creating video games.
After the positioning map, I determined WWF’s strengths and weaknesses and found opportunities from my pre-research. Finally, I analyzed the potential threats for WWF to think of a strategy that can benefit both sides.
I conducted a physical survey to learn about people's willingness to donate, and discovered that 66% are willing to donate $1-20 for animals. Additionally, 93% would donate if they saw tangible indicators of progress. However, when it comes to animal adoption, 80% of people only think of dogs and cats.
Due to the area limitation of the physical survey, I also did an online survey and put it out to social media, such as Reddit and Facebook. In a short period, I got a sufficient amount of submissions. People are aware of the overall consequences of not saving wildlife and are interested in the specific allocation of their donation. Moreover, WWF was the most known among the four options.
Learning gamification systems helped me create a fun and engaging game. There are five sections: Avatar, Store, Nature, Game, and Collection. Players can easily follow the story-based journey and learn about saving different species without feeling overwhelmed. By earning badges and interacting with animals, they feel motivated to play and donate to wildlife.
The branding goal was to keep users comfortable while they play and learn, so I used a colorful, delightful, and playful style.
I'm not a gamer but always loved those cute and playful UI designs. I often wondered how they keep players hooked. But this project gave me a crash course in gamification and game development. Keeping players engaged with rewards and circular systems is super important.
I used Figma for everything - assets, UIs, and animations. It was a blast! I started with a script, divided it into sections, broke it down into movements, and crafted it all. Making a game in Figma was a new experience, and I was impressed with the results!
While working on this project, I considered the relationship between humans and wildlife. I wanted to get people interested in trading but didn't want to treat animals like products. So, I came up with the tagline "Befriend animals." Instead of selling pets, I created a food store. I hope this game will get people thinking about how we can connect with animals.