Peace Superheroes Level 2: Building Early Prototypes
In our last episode, we introduced you to our Peace Superheroes: Marianne Perez de Fransius, Sabrina Patrick-Urrutia and Meg Villanueva. As you might recall, we won UNDP’s (UN Development Programme) and UNAOC’s (UN Alliance of Civilizations) PEACEApp contest, we were in the midst of a mentorship with Games for Change and we were about to start working with development teams on prototypes.
Well, the Peace Superheroes have been busy (and productive!) over the last 3 months. Not only have we worked on the development of two game prototypes, but we’ve been busy birthing and bringing up the new generation of peace superheroes and meeting real-live modern peace superheroes. First the prototypes…
In the depths of cyberspace, on the Games for Change listserve, the Peace Superheroes encountered Professor Ira Fay and started building a strategic alliance with him. Ira took on the mission of delivering a game prototype by the end of the semester. The way he did it: engage the students in his Digital Game Design course at Hampshire College. Here’s the team he brought together sharing about what they did:
Lucy Gouvin – Producer. I communicated between all the team members and PSH, and made sure that we were prioritizing the right things, setting deadlines, and keeping on schedule. I tracked the project and gave feedback on the builds.
Isaiah Mann – Programmer and Assistant Producer. I helped to coordinate the project using task tracking software. I programmed the game in Unity 3D, debugged glitches in the code, and conducted ad hoc play testing.
Jen Maxwell – Artist. I designed and created most of the artwork for the game, specifically the characters and the user interface design.
Olivia Vazquez – Audio Designer. I designed and created the sound effects in the game.
Fred Ratte – Musician. I created the music for the project.
They generally seemed to have liked working with us as much as we loved working with them!
You can check out their prototype and leave feedback here.
(NOTE: the feedback form is below the game on the same page, so once you’re done playing the game, you have to scroll down to fill out the form.)
The second prototype was built by Scott Jacobson, a high school teacher from Idaho, who got some of his students involved and got some help from the Rainbow Warriors Academy and Exchange. You can check out his game here. And leave feedback here.
We also started developing a larger game demo with the Rainbow Warriors. While we got quite an education in game development and mechanics, we ultimately decided to abort this mission until we have more gadgets, tools and superpowers in our treasure chest.
In the midst of all this, Marianne flew from Mozambique to the US for a month. She was able to have some live Peace Superheroes encounters, notably in San Francisco with Sabrina who at the time was very pregnant and then with Meg in New York at UN Headquarters. Sabrina has since given birth to little Dejanah and is all the more eager to build out the game so that Dejanah has a fun peacebuilding game to play by the time she gets her first smart phone! Between breastfeeding and diaper changing, Sabrina has already set a up partnership with Alt School in San Francisco to test the prototypes.
While in New York last October, Marianne and Meg met with UNDP and UNAOC, continuing to develop the relationship they forged through the PEACEApp contest, the Build Peace Conference in Cyprus, and the first ever Global Forum on Youth Peace and Security in Amman, Jordan. Meg was actually one of the MCs in Amman and Marianne was invited to present the Peace Superheroes on a panel organized by UNDP. The Global Forum culminated in the adoption of the Amman Youth Declaration, which became the basis for the first ever Resolution on Youth Peace and Security, approved by the UN Security Council on December 9, 2015 (Res. 2250). It was also a great opportunity to meet real live peace superheroes: from former extremists now working for peace, to displaced refugees building a better life for themselves and others, to champions for the rights and recognition of youth as peacebuilders.
Throughout all this, the Peace Superheroes continue to forge alliances with PeaceTech Lab (the technology spin-off of the US Institute of Peace) and Search for Common Ground, learning from their upcoming digital game, Battle for Humanity.
If you want to join the Peace Superheroes, here are our next steps and opportunities for you to engage:
- We will be playtesting in January 2016. If you know any 9-11 year olds who would like to participate, please get in touch.
- We will be working with Ira’s students on a new prototype. If you have any ideas on fun ways to teach peacebuilding and conflict transformation skills, we’d love to hear them.
- We will be pulling together another prototype team. If you would like to contribute art or programming experience, let us know.
- We’re still looking for that treasure chest full of gold coins. If you know where it is, feel free to point us in the right direction. Or if you have some gold coins to spare, we’re happy to put them to good use.
We would like to invite you to take on the following mission in 2016:
Let’s find the peace superhero within each of us!
The world needs us more than ever!
The Peace Superheroes Team – Marianne, Meg and Sabrina