What did I do?
When users launch the game for the first time, they choose a faction from one of three endangered ecosystems: Flora for our Forests, Reef for our dying Coral Reefs, and Glacier for our melting Ice Caps. Each faction has three subclasses based on endangered animals from that biome for different play styles - for example, the Glacier biome has a Polar Bear (tank), Narwhal (support), and Arctic Fox (ADC). Once you choose your faction and Subclass, you get taken to the Map.
The Map is an area where you can see the real-time TerraTories around your physical location. By zooming in, you can see the individual tiled hexagons that you can claim for your team and the goal areas to clean during your events, powered by OpenStreetMap. You can also see other players around you if they’re engaged in events, and start your own events from here. Events can be a solo mission to generate Geo (our in-game currency), or a multiplayer experience that claims TerraTory.
Solo events are either Maintain, Scavenge, or Scout, depending on if they’re done in territory owned by you, nobody, or another team (respectively). As you pick up trash, you use your device to scan it for Geo. The app verifies the trash, gives you points, and tells you what kind of recyclable it is and how to find that information on the material itself. If you can find a bar code, like on a can or a bottle, it can tell you even more about the material and how its properties affect the environment.
Raids are group activities that allow teams to come together and capture tiles held by other factions by cleaning it up. This is where players can use the stored raid buffs and make serious gains on other teams' TerraTory. By banding together, raids collect more trash and clean up a bigger area. Players take a picture of the area before and after their Raid to show the progress they made. Afterwards, they bring their trash to a local landfill and upload a receipt, earning Geo for everyone who participated.
Challenges that Educate
There are three kinds of challenges: bounties, weekly quizzes, and sponsored purchases. Bounties refresh weekly and have the user look in their community for certain kinds of trash and trash-disposal centers. Our research showed that a big reason many litter is because they don't know where to put their trash, so by tasking the user with finding those areas, we create a more capable player base. There's also a wonderful opportunity to educate users with challenges like "Find and dispose of 5 PET bottles". If the player doesn't know what a PET bottle is, they're able to get that information right there in the challenge. Players are given three rotating bounties every week based on level and earn extra Geo for completing all three.
Weekly quizzes offer an opportunity to earn Geo by completing a quiz based on a weekly article put out by our publishers. If players feel they know the topic space already, they can take the quiz without reading the article for extra Geo. Geo is awarded for every correct answer.
Finally, another big concern with sustainable lifestyles is a lack of awareness of sustainable alternatives to regular consumables. For example, many users had difficulty understanding how they would find a shampoo without a plastic bottle... until they were told about shampoo that came in bars, like soap. This also offers a fantastic monetization route, as certain sustainable products could pay to be listed or the app could make a commission for every sale.
Users are given an avatar that is visible to other players on the map. They can visit the shop to donate to a sustainable-focused charity and receive an item for their avatar in exchange. Avatar customization includes accessories, garments, and pets for your avatar.