Know nuts about conservation of heritage buildings in Singapore? Fret not, play Protecc, designed by a team of Masters of Architecture graduates to educate about conservation in Singapore. What inspires the creation of the educational card game? Let's find out more in the article below.
Q: Please give the readers a short introduction about yourself and your organization. What is your role? What is your organization about? What is your “origin” story?
We are a team of 5 Masters of Architecture graduates who developed the Protecc card game while we were enrolled at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. We created this card game for the purpose of designing and creating a toolkit to educate locals about conservation in Singapore.
Q: What is the mission, vision or guiding principles of your organization? What values does your organization embody?
Protecc was designed to allow both Singaporeans and foreigners to understand the significance of Singapore’s post-war history and celebrate pioneering ideas that contributed to its success. The effects of rapid urban development in the early years of independence of Singapore had resulted in the loss of pieces of history, from post-colonial to colonial. Protecc’s mission is to bring back these heritage pieces of architecture in a medium where everyone can appreciate and in the process understand that any conservation process is not straightforward and in fact can be affected by a multitude of factors.
Q: What inspires the ideas behind Protecc? What is your creation process like?
Conservation is complex and to create awareness and appreciation, there is a need to make the information accessible to all. To achieve this, we looked at popular card games such as monopoly deal and their playing mechanism and developed a card game littered with colloquial terms to appeal to Singaporeans and to further celebrate its culture.
We started off by doing research and consulting conservation experts on the architectural heritage of Singapore. Next, we picked buildings that have great significance and value to Singapore and went down for site visits where we took pictures. Following that, we drew and designed the graphics for the cards and added interesting facts about the buildings, which allow players to learn as they play. The game went through rounds of iterations before being produced.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect when producing the game?
It was challenging to break down architectural and conservation terms and re-write them in such a way that is not only understood by the masses, but also did not lose their fundamental meaning. We wanted everyone (from young to old) to understand the importance and significance of the building and thus we had to simplify certain phrases that are commonly used in architecture and conservation.
Q: What mistakes did your team make during development? What about this game you wished could have been done better?
During one of our first few iterations, we accidentally printed and produced cards that were too small for players. The words were too tiny, and some people had trouble reading them. We had to redesign our cards and have them reproduced again. We just wanted to make sure our cards are visually pleasing as much as they are fun to play with!
Q: The government encourages us to market our products abroad. Are there any new markets you are looking to enter and why?
We are trying to promote our products abroad as well to share our local heritage. Many people, even locals have a mindset that Singapore does not have deep history/heritage and we would like to change that. Protecc is not only a fun family game, it also educates people on many different interesting and unique historical buildings that Singapore has.
Q: What was it like doing crowdfunding through Kickstarter? What advice would you give new game designers trying to leverage on the potential of crowdfunding?
Crowd funding through channels like Kickstarter was a new experience for us, we had to ensure that firstly there is a market for our product as the theme of conservation is very niche in the world of board games. Secondly, we also have to understand that these channels will essentially take a cut of the money and we have to account for that as well. It was challenging to price the items way before we get the number of people interested to purchase our products as the cost of production varies depending on the number of units produced. One advice we would like to give new game designers would be to understand your target audience (in terms of location and age) and have a target of how many sets you would like to sell in mind before you start crowdfunding.
Q: What are your favorite games or genre of games? Is there any game you think is underrated?
We like card games as they are very portable and a good to go game to bring to events.
Q: Where can Protecc be found?
You can find our more about our product on our past Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/715793983/protecc-conserve-singapores-history