Blog Updates from the project



Presenting: The Watchers!

by Kate Raynes-Goldie

Exciting news! The Gaming Privacy project has wrapped, and we are pleased to announce the outcome of our efforts: an iPad + board game called The Watchers which will be launching as a public beta May 15, 2012 . The game will be available in two versions : a freely downloadable DIY kit, or a fully assembled version, which will be sold at cost. In addition, the app component will be available both as an iPad app, and a web app for use on PCs and laptops. The web app version will be available for play on May 15th, with the iPad version to follow shortly after. All the game components are Creative Commons licensed for anyone to reuse and remix!

The Watchers takes place in an inter-dimensional town called Union City. Tasked with protecting the city is a secret arms-length government agency, made up of the top agents from each dimension. The team must investigate a number of mysterious events surrounding the town’s hat-based augmented reality network, known as Hatnet. Through these investigations, players learn a number of real-world privacy concepts as well as developing their critical thinking and risk assessment skills.

The game was created by David Fono and Kate Raynes-Goldie at Atmosphere Industries in collaboration with an amazing team of Canadian children: Chris, Jordan, Kiri, Mary, Mitchell, Peter, and Tinson. We would also like to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the research and logistical support of the at Ryerson University.

We’re also excited to announce that we will be presenting the game at a number of events leading up to our official launch on May 15:

  • Canadian Preview: April 20, 2012 TIFF Nexus Toronto, Canada
  • Australian Preview: April 28, 2012 Perth, Australia
  • Official Launch: May 15, 2012 , Toronto, Canada




Cutscene Montage

by David Fono

It’s a montage in one frame, but I think it sorta still qualifies as a montage.




Time for some game art!

by Kate Raynes-Goldie

In week 5 , we began creating the characters and concept art for the game. The game is set in Union City, which is located at the intersection of 7 zany universes, each inhabited by a unique species. Each child on our team first created their own dimensional species: the XYZs, the Puffballs, the Elvrin, the Milkzombies, the Hockeys, the Fliers and the Alphawolves. From there, they created each created a playable character. Together, these characters make up the secret crack team called “The Watchers” who are tasked with protecting the city from chaos and other badness. Most recently, they’ve been working on a lot of weird cases related to Hatnet — the interdimensional inter-network that connects to everyone’s brains through their hats!

Using their concept art and backstories, Dara Gold (our resident artist) worked with the children to create polished final versions of each character. Check them out! (and if you haven’t seen it already, Kiri — who made the Alphawolves — created this totally awesome trailer for us on her DS!)

101 the XYZ, by Tinson

The XYZs (pronounced zwiz ) are monkeys who have a symbiotic relationship with blobs who live on their heads. They have evolved together over a very long time. The blobs do everything for the monkeys and together they live in what is basically a utopia.

Petor the Puffball, by Peter

The puffballs are adorable creatures who are always hungry. They live in simple cottages. They are coloured differently depending on their talents, and enjoy snoozing.

Starling Maverick the Elvrin, by Mary

The Elvrin are an intelligent and secretive people, who live close to nature. They hail from a forest planet, where they enjoy hunting, playing strategy games, and crafting.

Zombo the Milkzombie, by Chris

Milkzombies love milk and have pigs for feet! The live in lava houses, and travel via milk-powered trains.

Bob the Hockey, by Mitchell

The Hockeys love to play hockey, but sometimes they can be emotional. They live in a stadium, and eat goop / candy / strawberry milk.

Dr. Evil (not evil!) the Flyer, by Jordan

Fliers are flying houses. They love to EXPLODE things, and give people mean looks. They will eat anything but worms.

Kara the Alphawolf, by Kiri

The Alphawolves live in the forest, and behave very much like normal wolves, but are much more intelligent (moreso than humans, even.) Loyalty to the pack is the foremost value amongst them.

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