Enchanted Engineers is a mobile game for girls aged 11-13 designed to overcome negative stereotypes about STEM fields and build confidence in their abilities. Players build bridges as both a puzzle to learn engineering principles and as a metaphor for building connections in the STEM field.
Project Category: UI/UX, Illustration
Timeframe: 12 weeks
Sasha Somer - UX Designer and Illustration
Claire Peckham - UX Designer
Max Salire - UX Designer and Illustration
My Roles: Research, UX Design, and Illustration
Tools: Figma, Procreate, Photoshop, Dalle-2, Midjourney
How can we design a video game that could help young women and non-men succeed in STEM, and overcome the barriers of a male-dominated workforce?
Main Features:
The Jobs to Be Done framework was used to identify and address the emotional and functional needs of the game's users. Three main jobs were identified and these were addressed in the game's design:
Creative Outlet
Users have a wide variety of customization options and tools to create their unique avatars, helping users feel represented and creative.
I built this task flow with input and edits from the rest of the team.
Sense of Accomplishment:
Users complete a series of increasingly challenging bridge-building puzzles, learning and gaining confidence in their ability as they progress in the game
This task flow was built by my teammate Claire Peckham with input and edits from the whole team.
Users face off against cuddly adversaries using provided responses, which allows players a safe environment to learn strategies to stand up for themselves.
This task flow was built by my teammate Max Salire with input and edits from the whole team. 
Competitor Analysis
Users expect games to follow patterns they are used to, and meeting those expectations reduces frustration in the process of learning the game.

We followed common patterns in UI, gameplay, and visual design of popular resource-gathering games and bridge-building games such as Bridge Builder, Stardew Valley, and Sun Haven.
Before moving into high-fidelity designs we made a series of wireframes of each of our task flows to ensure functionality and consistency across the app. 
The Story:
The game is set in a magical academy where the city relies on magic to function. One day there is a magical shutdown, and it is up to the player to save their home by traveling to the mysterious islands in the south to rediscover the ancient art of Engineering. Players are confronted by a series of cuddly adversaries but are not alone as they have their own cuddly allies and a wealth of resources to reconnect the islands and save their homes.
User Archetypes:
Our game needs to appeal directly to our users. Three user archetypes were created based on our research to guide the game's development:
Avatar Creation: Creative Outlet
I built a library of interchangeable components for the avatar creation task flow. These were illustrated in Procreate and then brought into Figma to build the prototype. 
Use of AI Image Generators:
We experimented with using AI Image generators for backgrounds and NPC characters. While this did allow us to quickly generate material, it was inconsistent in illustrative style and often did not meet our needs. There are broader ethical and legal implications for using AI image generators in a professional setting. In the future, I could see using them early in the design process as a tool for iterating and making examples, and then moving to creating my own assets, or hiring an artist, for the final work.
Next Steps:
• User Testing and continuing to prototype.
• Incorporate real-life women STEM heroes from history as role models in the game's storyline.
• Develop Enchanted Engineers using Unity.
• Establish a scholarship initiative that provides financial assistance to outstanding players pursuing higher education in STEM fields.
• Form a collaboration program with STEM organizations that advocate for women and non-men (such as Girls Who Code).

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