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CHIRP: Saving the environment through mobile gaming

by Anj Garong, Team CHASE! Mentor

1,963 views

19 Nov 2012 Print This Post Print This Post

    Who knew that a mobile phone game can help anyone learn about the environment and, at the same time, teach us valuable experience in pursuing a career? That’s the world we live in today and that’s what we at iACADEMY accomplished for our entry to Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2012.

    Gaming for the environment

    Created by Team CHASE!, CHIRP is a Windows Phone game about a stubborn boy that turned into a bird because he harms the environment. The only way for him to become human again is to make the environment clean, green, healthy and wealthy while also helping build a community.

    CHIRP emphasizes the use of technology to let people know the right thing to do, in turn, helping achieve the world’s millenium development goals.

    Our game shows this concept through the use of a mobile phone. Players get hints on how to save the earth, particularly, the environment. By playing our game, social awareness about the importance of natural resources is rapidly spread.

    This project means stepping up and embracing a whole new experience not just for us at Team CHASE!, but also for the whole iACADEMY family. Producing a worldwide qualifier entry for a competition like the Microsoft Imagine Cup means a high degree of cooperation across courses and year levels. CHIRP is proudly an output of the creative minds, collective effort, and endless support of our school.

    Finding the time to achieve our goals

    One of the things that has been a major concern during the development of the project was time management. Our team found it hard to meet our internal deadlines as each of us had our own work to do. I have a day job, three of the competitors were also going to offices as interns, while the other competitor was doing a thesis project. There were tough times indeed.

    To overcome this obstacle, the team always reminded themselves of one word: commitment. Commitment made each of the members aligned and back on track. Though aside from commitment, another reason why the team was able to reach the final product is their family and friends – those people who have always been there through the team’s ups and downs.

    Valuable lessons

    If there is one thing that our team could have done differently, it is getting feedback at the early phase of development for each round. There were a couple of times when we got relevant feedback that required changes in the code and design but we were not able to do all the revisions due to the lack of time.

    It was a big lesson learned.

    Key take-away

    Team CHASE!

    At the completion of the project, one thing stood out – the phrase “Hang on and keep the faith!” Besides, this is what Team CHASE! is all about, as we say, “Don’t just follow your dream. Chase it. Catch it. Live it.”

    Today, three of Team CHASE!’s members are already professional mobile developers for different platforms. There is no doubt that the CHIRP experience was a great way to jumpstart our career.

    For more information on the game, go to http://chirp.ph/. To learn more about the Microsoft Imagine Cup, go to http://www.imaginecup.com/.



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