uiivit – an interactive learning game

Client: Johann Jacobs Museum

Year: 2021

 

On behalf of the Johann Jacob Museum, Zense developed the educational game “uiivit” on the history of global interdependence: a modular, digital, and gamified experience for children and young people.

 

The aim was to facilitate access to educational content in an innovative way. By means of a web application, this content is brought to life in a thorough, playful, and entertaining way. The starting point of the game are real objects which can be physically experienced in the museum. They are turned into nodes of complex connections in the virtual world.

 

Concept

 

Students choose one of three museum pieces to explore within the game environment. To do so, various challenges, including mini games, await the students. A digital researcher’s journal, which constantly accompanies the players, records the essential findings and serves as a summary and topic overview.

Content

 

Three museum pieces to choose from mark the beginning of the game: a scold’s bridle, an opium pipe, and a porcelain figurine. For each object, three guiding questions on its use and origin are answered in individual chapters. The chapters consist of 7-10 challenges each, all localized in time and place according to the object’s history. Throughout the journey, the pupils and their travel partners meet various historical and fictional persons.

Story

 

An animated film introduces the pupils to the story and the game characters. Each player chooses a character and meets the living versions of the three historical objects in the museum basement.

For a long time, these objects have longed to be in the limelight again. For them, this visit comes at just the right time. Together with the player, they embark on a journey into the past to gather as much knowledge as possible for an upcoming exhibition.

 

Style

 

Four illustration styles were initially elaborated, with two being shortlisted and tested for their resonance with the target group. By incorporating the consolidated feedback, the style chosen by the majority was further developed and refined.

Game characters

 

The three characters were developed in several iterations. From the sketch phase to the final artwork, the game characters were refined step by step and adapted to the target group.

Logo

 

The name “uiivit” plays on the English term “weave it”, thus taking up the content of the game, the interdependence, or interweaving, of global history.

With the logo, a recognition element was created that was used both in the non-digital teaching materials and in the game.

 

Player experience and testing

 

Each game environment contains 8-10 challenges to be mastered. Immersed in a challenge, the player is confronted with different game mechanisms (dialogues, single- and multiple-choice questions, hotspots, different types of drag and drops, audio sequences, dodges and jump’n’runs). The pupils thus experience a varied learning adventure.

 

The navigation and content were tested with the target group to ensure that they were comprehensible. Based on the comments on the game, further changes were made to make the game as user-friendly as possible.

 

Launch

 

To accompany the game, Zense designed teaching materials for in-depth discussion in class lessons and produced a trailer video, social media appearances, and print products for the communication campaign of “uiivit”.