Balance of the Planet for the iPad

I’m talking with Chris Crawford about bringing Balance of the Planet to the iPad.

BotPlanet_disks

BotP_Mac0

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Chris’ work, the original Balance of the Planet was an environmental management simulation released in 1990. The goal of the “game” was to influence society towards a more sustainable ecological footprint by funding various subsidies with money raised by taxing polluters.

BotP_Mac1

BotP_Mac2

While trying to make things right, the player can also explore the causes and effects of various environmental problems through a point-and-click hypertext network of 154 factors.

BotP_Mac3

BotP_Mac4

Overall very advanced for its time with the ability to change the formulas behind the calculations and save your modifications as a bias – pro-nuclear, pro-environmentalist, pro-industry, etc.

In 2012 Chris launched a Kickstarter campaign to update Balance of the Planet. It failed to get funded.

You can download his prototype¬†here¬†(though it doesn’t have all the features shown in the video).

My iPad design follows Chris’ redesign – reducing the taxes from ten to six and the subsidies from thirteen to five.

BotPlanet_mockup_1a

BotPlanet_mockup_1b

 Couple of highlights about this design.

  • iPad only (maybe iPhone later)
  • Real time instead of turn-based (pause; speed increase/decrease controls at top)
  • Taxes/subsidies window touch scrolls (the charts flip 90 degrees in horizontal orientation)
  • Filterable chart built form top-to-bottom (vertical orientation) or left-to-right (horizontal orientation)
  • Cause/effect area to explore the hypertext network of causes and effects (displayed in chart area; pauses program)

I’ll post more about my design as it evolves.

This entry was posted in Side Projects and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.