Brain Damage Rehabilitation - Play Store
Game Designer, Product Owner
20 weeks (Fall 2019)
Carl Hvarfvenius Blomgren
Regrowth is a mobile app designed to make rehabilitation fun.
The player completes mini-games to earn flowers and
plants to grow in a garden.
The mini-games are designed for patients with brain damage, and are aimed at improving and training memory, reaction and cognitive abilities. Therefore, to get the full experience out of Regrowth, the developers recommend the game to be used in discussion with doctors and psychiatrists.
Challenges for improving cognitive abilities.
Giving positive feedback no mater how "well" the player does for motivation.
Adapting the game after people with severe
Why was this game needed?
There aren’t many games for people with brain damage that have a feedback system and encourage the player.
Easy access, everyone with a Android. The other rehabilitation games are expensive and need to get through the hospital.
Make rehab into a more positive experience.
With having such a specific target audience there was a lot of research for making this game accurate. Taking help from Brain Damage Rehabilitation for young adults at Danderyds Hospital with both patients and doctors to adapt the game after what they needed. Having monthly feedback season on what we could improve and what was missing. During the production I was the one having contact and meetings with the doctors and patients.
Research in other rehabilitation games such as Cogmed, that Danderyds Hospital uses for their patients.
Gameplay & Core Loop
The game consists of a variety of mini-games that rehabilitates the players mind, such as training their memory, reaction and cognitive ability. There is also a garden that the player can plant flowers in.
When the player completes any given mini-game they are rewarded with a box filled with flowers. The boxes can be filled with a variety of different flowers. The flowers are used in the garden where the player plants them. The player is free to decorate and expand their garden over the course of the game.
To gain more flowers for the garden the player needs to complete more mini-games and obtain more boxes. The player can also gain flowers from daily rewards. The game tracks the players progress and the better the player is doing on a mini-game, the more difficult they will become and vice versa, and the flowers rewarded inside the boxes change accordingly as well. As the recovery of the player progresses, their garden will grow, becoming more colorful and lively.
The rewards a player can acquire through playing various mini-games and completing daily missions are divided into different tiers. This is done so players who are suffering from brain damage of various severities can all enjoy the game equally without being overwhelmed. As the player progresses through the game the more complex the rewards will be, this complexity mostly relates to visuals and animations, which might be overwhelming to people who haven’t progressed much in their rehabilitation. For that reason the starting rewards will be much simpler than the rewards one can get later on in the game.
The rewards are handed out in the form of tier boxes, which can be tapped on to reveal the reward they contain. Each tier box can contain different reward types and amounts. Before you start a mini-game you can already tell what rewards you will receive after completing the task, this is done instead of randomized rewards to reduce the complexity of the game.
Each mini-game has a reward associated with it, these are shown as tier boxes in the mini-game selection screen. When tapped, the tier boxes will show the exact rewards contained inside of them. After completing a mini-game the tier boxes will appear on the screen, where the player can tap them to obtain their reward. There is a button to skip this part, as it is purely for flavor and mechanically the rewards are added to the player’s inventory immediately after completion of the mini-game.
As the player gets better at the mini-games, they become more complex and challenging and with it the rewards increase. While the challenge of a mini-game may drop again after the player performed poorly for an extended period of time, the rewards are always derived from the maximum challenge rating the player had achieved previously. So once you have unlocked Tier two rewards for a mini-game, you will never again receive Tier one rewards, when playing that mini-game. This is made to motivate players to retrain on mini-games they have regressed at and also to avoid punishing the player for poor performance, which may be out of their control.
The difficulty and complexity of mini-games available to the player is related to their performance in previous mini-games. As the main focus of the game is to aid in the rehabilitation of victims of brain damage, the game needs to be able to adjust its complexity dynamically, both mechanically and aesthetically, to the players mental capacity. The game also features an override feature, which is intended to be used by the player’s doctor to monitor their progress and adjust the difficulty parameters accordingly in case of sudden regression.
The garden works as an incentive for the player to play mini-games. The very first time the player starts playing Regrowth the garden is empty and it’s up to the player to fill it with flowers. The garden is customizable through the game and the player can plant, grow and move plants at their own leisure.
This mini-game is for the players memory, to be able to remember what they have read and then differ them from other words. This enhance the player in reading, and remember task in their daily life.
Find the animal
This mini-game is for the players cognitive and motoric abilities. To see what they need to press and find it in the cluster of animals.
Having contact with the target audience and having meetings with them.
Giving the group the information and research that was required.
Responsible to adapt the gameplay after the target audience.