Great Waves

Duration: 12 weeks

Team: Individual

Tools: Photoshop, Unity3D

Great Waves is an individual project aimed to spread tsunami awareness and to help the interactors understand the importance of natural and man-made defense systems as well as the precautions that are to be taken at Tsunami prone areas. Great Waves can be introduced to school children, so that they can learn about Tsunami through an interactive strategy building experience.


Lack of Awareness and Preparedness for Tsunami/h6>

Tsunamis are series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake.Tsunami waves travel fast and can rise to a height of no more than 3 meters causing high damage to the area under attack. Like other natural disasters ,Tsunamis cannot be predicted before hand but can be tracked once it originates and we can determine exactly when it would hit a given area.

One of the most Tsunami prone areas in the world is along the Pacific Ring of Fire,but the coastal areas along these areas are still not equipped to defend against Tsunami attacks.The increased need for urbanization and industrialization had resulted in the damage of natural defense systems and the lack of preparedness and awareness have led to the lack of man made defense systems or a well defined evacuation plan.This project aims to come up with a solution that would help the interactors to understand the importance of defense mechanisms as well as Tsunami awareness.


It was crucial that the solution should be interactive. This would help users to interact more and to look at the problem from their perspective. However, it had to be made sure that the solution, when designed in the form of a game, should not be about winning or losing but should focus on learning. The users should be given enough information and help for strategy building for this purpose. The primary aim should be learning and a venue for users to learn from the results and to apply it to build a better strategy.


The solution was designed through an iterative design process, that is, designing, testing and redesigning in parallel. Involvement of users from the start of design stage would help to understand possible design and functional issues. The interactive prototype was created using Unity 3D. Each phase of the design and testing focussed on a specific item to study how it would impact the overall experience and learning

Iteration 1

The first prototype focused on testing the primary mode of interaction. This model consisted of a simple rectangular area. The users had full freedom to place objects in any co-ordinate within the rectangular area.

During user testing it was seen that, having the ability to place objects anywhere distracted the user from the primary goal. Users focused on the layout and design of the object placement rather than strategy. This was also time consuming.

Iteration 2

Prototype two had an island structure and interactions were performed using buttons. Clicking on buttons would generate objects in predefined areas. Time, Budget and Homeless were introduced as parameters. User testing showed that this mode of interaction helped users to concentrate on strategy building. Having parameters like budget and homeless helped to enhance this. However, having time as a parameter had a negative impact since users felt that seeing the clock running out made them to play faster without analyzing the situation.

Iteration 3

The character and interaction with islanders were introduced in prototype three. This prototype also introduced a detailed result analysis. User testing showed an increase in replay and better strategy building. Having helped to learn helped users to understand and analyze the situation better.

Iteration 4

Issues found during the testing phase was taken into consideration and the solution was derived keeping these issues in mind. It also confirmed the need for uncertainty of the Tsunami attack to mimic the natural world.