Client:
HvA
Team:
Claire Crawford, Ihsan Yahya, Noy Gvishi, Odin Shadmi
Disciplines:
UX, Game Design, Game Testing, Interaction Design, 3D
School year:
2020-21

The Lost Magic of Dagon

The Lost Magic of Dagon is an occupational therapy game for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP). This computer-based video game encourages the child to perform hand movements that they must practice, that are tracked and then translated into magical tasks that happen in the magical fantasy world of Dagon, where the children play as the hero who is on a mission to help the villagers restore the lost magic.

Brief

There is opportunity to improve the support for children with neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy via occupation therapy and therapy aids. In particularly towards improving adherence towards these aids for faster rehabilitation. This is revealed in a canvassing session, conducted by HvA and we were tasked to explore this space further and to provide measurable data for analysis.

Outcomes

We created a working prototype of a game that would get the child to perform the hand exercises and be able to track & validate their hand movements. In future, with this game, we would be able to test and provide data across multiple vectors including:

  • Duration of and adherence to play
  • Difficulty of acheiving the hand movements
  • Effectiveness of the aid towards rehabilitation
  • Exploring interactive social play and it’s effect on adherence to play
  • Commercial applications and logistical considerations.

Design Process

Empathise

Desk research provided data from articles, research papers and mixed media relating to cerebral palsy, occupational therapy, as well as competitor analysis to review.

We conducted a couple of cultural probes, as well as other generative research such as interviews & surveys to collect data from children of our target group.

Analysis


We organised the data via affinity diagrams, empathy and stakeholder mapping to establish themes and crucial insights. With this information, we were able to use the IDEO method to discover the design challenge.

Define

From our research and analysis we were able to define the design challenge.

"How might we promote independence in everyday tasks, enhances self-esteem, and empower belonging with peers for children aged 8-12 with Cerebral Palsy levels I & II?"

And from that we attempted at generating some solution statements:

"By creating an adaptive smart toy that inspires them to increase the use of their spastic hand through intrinsically motivated play."

Main Insight 1
In developing empathy with the user, an emotional need arose. Children with Cerebral Palsy desire social belonging, but their therapy exercises can make them feel disconnected from this.

Ideation

We went through several rounds of ideation and evaluation of our ideas, using paper prototypes and rough sketching.

Main Insight 2
The responses of children and their parents were similar: they like video games that tell a story, building, fighting, fantasies, and mainly – magic.​

Prototyping

We used rough sketching and rapid paper prototypes to test our ideas.

We were also able to test various technical solutions such as Machine Learning models and hardware to try to find a suitable platform for our aid.

Development

The development process was spread across multiple streams including:

  • Hardware implementation
  • Core game play mechanics
  • Art direction & story telling
  • Game world and character design
  • Software programming

Testing

We were able to achieve multiple rounds of game testing.

Conclusion

We were able to complete 3 rounds of user testing and iterate twice. There is plenty of data from the 1st and 2nd round of testing to refine the build further.

Whilst the software can still very much considered to be in a beta state, it can provide the data needed as stated in the brief.

It’s a stable build from which provides the basis to add additional important components such as adaptive difficulty settings and multiplayer support.

Multiplayer support in particular is crucial in addressing the need for belonging and developing connection with their peers.

Adequete documentation has been provided to ensure the product can be developed further.

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