Project length: October 2016 to December 2016
Zookeeper+ was myself and another designer's final project for our Simulations and Serious Games course. The criteria of the assignment was to create a game that involved the management of a zoo. It had to communicate a serious issue or aspect of zoos that would be apparent through the gameplay. This could have been digital or physical, and we both decided to make a physical board game.
My responsibilities in this project were designing the gameplay and creating the layout of the board as well as the additional panels that displayed costs and animal happiness.
My partner and I's goal in this was to demonstrate the stress that impacts zoo animals on a daily basis and how to best manage that. You, the player, would be in charge of managing a run-down zoo that's on the verge of closing and it's your job now to bring it back up from the ashes. Your mechanics to manage include money, animal happiness, and staff.
Every day the player would receive an "Event" card. This could entail either you lose a staff member or maybe a new baby tiger is born and you have to decide how to approach that situation. The experience itself was rather stressful according to our playtesters, which is what we wanted. You were able to beat the game and restore the zoo, but it took a lot of strategy and planning to reach that.