One of my favorite games was last year’s Cambridge Codebreakers: The Last Secret, I was really sad to see it’s run come to an end earlier this year. But when the University of Cambridge Museums approached us just before the end of the run wanting a sequel, I was ecstatic! Especially once I found out that they wanted the game to focus on engaging their visitors with information around climate change. As a firm advocate in action against climate change, I relished the chance to tie it in with my work.
This game, like its predecessor, involved four separate museums each with their own very specific themes. We needed to find a way to connect them all with a narrative that helped people interact with the topic. This project spanned some sensitive issues and needed to be handled with care. For this reason, client expectations management and smart game design were crucial. We luckily already had a good relationship with University of Cambridge Museums. But this was still a tall order for us to achieve.
This was honestly one of the toughest games I’ve had to design. Mostly because of the nature of the subject matter. How do you keep people engaged (and having fun), when the facts and stories they’re reading about are so upsetting?
In the end, though, our efforts were rewarded by ending up with one of my favorite games that I’ve been involved in. We were also recognized by the Arts Council England. The chair of which, Nicholas Serota, featured us in this article.
For more information on the game, you can read Cambridge’s own write-up of it here!