Nicholas Farmer Virtual Sprouts

January 25, 2014 5:49 pm Published by


Virtual Sprouts, an extension of the widely successful LA Sprouts program, brings the garden and its many fruits and vegetables quite literally into the palm of our players' hands teaching young players the joys of nature and its produce. We strive to push the boundaries of interactive education for inner city elementary and middle school children by creating a wildly fun foodie experience which also acts as an important obesity prevention intervention.  Specifically designed for both Android and iOS mobile tablets, our adorable and enriching garden game uses the latest mobile platforms to their fullest capacity. We've designed the mobile application to utilize the internal gyroscope, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor found within these devices as well as their vast multi-touch gesture libraries to create a unique immersive experience that will capture the attention of and engage young players.    

As we strive to find humorous and sincerely innovative game mechanics to communicate our health message to kids, we are excited to present Virtual Sprouts in the USC Family of Schools, community point-of-care clinics, and at the California Science Center.  After months of planning, paper prototyping, and preliminary market and demographic research, Virtual Sprouts is now entering its intervention digital design and production development phase where I and our Interactive Design Team, headed by Prof. Marientina Gotsis, have the responsibility of producing and finalizing the main narrative for this virtual gardening app, digitally prototyping essential game mechanics, and debugging the didactic tools that will eventually form the multifaceted scholastic game.

Learning Outcomes:

Working on this advanced iterative development process has helped me hone my people skills while learning to express my concerns and creative solutions to better assist our team.  Developing a cohesive and successful game presents many opportunities for collaborative work, and there are stresses as each new idea may put into question work that has already been done by other team members.  It has been exciting to make Virtual Sprouts a much more successful interactive experience, and my confidence has grown as a result of our great discussions as we resolve such issues.

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