Education

Game with a message

Sabesh Bharathi   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

According to the deforestation statistics of 2021, we are losing a forest equal to the size of a football field every second, and the higher carbon emission rates since COVID-19 began are testimony to the increasing carbon footprint in our environment.

These devastating facts and the growing impact of climate change made me realise that one cannot be a mere spectator. So, I decided to highlight the theme of climate change and pollution at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021.

My winning submission WWDC Swift Student Challenge was called “Ruby’s Dilemma”, an interactive game for people to experience and understand their role in conserving the environment. The challenge is an exciting experience that prompts students world over to come up with creative, innovative, and original ideas in the form of a ‘Swift Playground’.

Ruby the rabbit

Ruby’s Dilemma highlights environmental issues through use of AR

Ruby’s Dilemma highlights environmental issues through use of AR   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

I created a mascot called Ruby, a lovable rabbit, and chose Augmented Reality (AR), where Ruby had to be saved from a monster who tried to destroy its habitat, which stood for Earth.

The players helped Ruby navigate a labyrinth, and run to a safer place. If a player made a mistake, it caused destruction.

The final level of the game changes the dynamics, as the users discover that whatever he/she had seen so far was an illusion. As Ruby reflects on the previous levels, it is revealed that volcanoes are factory emissions, the lava is toxic waste, and the cruel monster is not a dragon, but a human.

The game starts with a few on-device game views and later progresses to a stage that uses AR, which was implemented with the use of RealityKit and ARKit, provided by Apple.

I faced several technical challenges during my submission. I conducted many trials and had to overcome several glitches to polish the AR content to make it fun for the end-user. I also tuned the background music with Apple’s GarageBand to make a unique and original.

Regardless of the verdict, the most important part was the development process. The community bonding and the overall experience was memorable.

The game concludes by leaving an important message: that humans have an important part to play in conserving the environment.

The writer is a second-year student, Department of IT, SSN College of Engineering, Chennai


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 6:13:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/on-winning-the-apple-worldwide-developers-conference-swift-student-challenge/article36398711.ece

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