Game on India's Cultural Heritage & Diversity

Updated: Jul 31



Client: Katha India Type: Game Design Duration: April 2018 game design • visual narratives • storytelling

 

Game as an Extended Narrative

As a part of the award-winning app - KathaKhazana, that was led by me - I designed and developed a 2D game that integrated concepts of India's tangible and intangible cultural heritage and diversity. Based on a beautifully illustrated children's book published by Katha, called "Bioscope", the story is about a girl called Champa who takes us on a tour of her village, Mithila. The story is entirely done in Madhubani art, which is a famous Indian art form practiced in Mithila regions of Bihar and Nepal.


The game introduces children to different kinds of "rangoli" across India which consists of patterns drawn on the ground, walls or floor. It takes on a different name in every state, a different form. The game imbibes linguistic and cultural diversity that exists across geographies in India and unites everyone.

The other game in the series is a hidden objects game with a twist, the hidden objects are the natural resources (like flowers, berries, coal, leaves) used to make paint for Rangoli. As the user starts collecting, it transforms into paint on the palette and a lovely Madhubani painting starts to emerge!

Other games from the story focussed on animals and their habitat, a love for nature and painting. I led both the design and the development of the game.

Have a look here:


Co-Designing With Teachers

I conducted fun design game workshops with teachers who have experience teaching in low cost private schools and government schools in Delhi. Through tools of ethnography, the aim was to capture the kind of media, language, cultures and colloquialisms that children living in underserved areas are exposed to, and design a contextualised experience.





Testing

User testing with children is always a fun experience! Their unrestrained feedback and honest remarks helped in optimising the game to a great extent. The session was accompanied with a teacher who asked relevant questions from the story to see if the digital experience was as effective as the traditional method. We sealed the design process once we achieved that, and the smiles of the children. :)