Digital Adventures


Tweet & Grow – game preview by Wendy
March 16, 2011, 11:52 am
Filed under: Garden Life, Kew website, Social Media | Tags: ,

Kew’s new mobile game development has been progressing over the last few weeks and in my last post I’d promised to share with you a few hints at what will be coming up.

As you can guess by the title of this post, we’re calling the new game ‘Tweet & Grow’ which succinctly explains the premise of the game – nurture your chosen plant and tweet about your progress to gain virtual and real rewards.

Design challenges

The intricate elements of the game-play required us to work closely with Kew experts to ensure that we had captured realistic visual stages of plant growth patterns and decay.  Pancentric’s illustrator designed our chosen plants frame by frame to mirror movement for animation based on plants found at Kew Gardens and from our image research.  This way of designing posed more challenges than the usual process as we tried to match the wealth of knowledge from our Kew experts with audience expectations and artistic license.

Tweet & Grow's 'plant collection screen'

Preview of the 'plant collection screen online'

Players will be pleasantly surprised when they are rewarded with beautiful animations of their plant growing after they’ve tended to it and tweeted about their actions.

Some of the game screens contain visual elements which encourage players to feel immersed in their plant’s habitat and needs. It’s been vital to meet our design challenges as players can learn about horticulture and some of the plants featured in the game have a research purpose at Kew and reflect the work Kew does as a global plant science organisation.

Plant details screen for Tweet & Grow

Preview of the plant details screen online

To assist game play and deliver our accessibility requirements, features and icons within the screen will have roll-overs with short text explanations or prompts.

Testing game play

It’s always crucial to test stages of game development to tease out issues with functionality and we’re being extremely rigorous in this area.  Having successfully tested our first prototype within our teams, we plan to test a beta version of the game with all visuals and functionality available for Kew staff and members of the public who fall within the target audience we are aiming for (aged 25-44, with a passion for arts and culture).  If that brief description fits you then you may wish to preview and test out the game before we launch mid-April.  Watch out for the beta version before the end of March.

Get involved: If you’d like to take part in beta testing for Tweet & Grow, please email webeditorial@kew.org to express your interest.

– Wendy Shearer –

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