Case: Oma Päivä – a modern and fun tool to enhance the communication between a child and his or her parents
Customer: Väestöliitto, the Family Federation of Finland
What we did: game design, script, user interface, game programming (Unity 3d), graphics, animation, voice acting, testing, publishing and project management
Release: July 2016

Oma Päivä is a game app that is part of Väestöliitto’s Maailman paras syy campaign. The app was made to help parents find the right balance between work and family matters in their everyday life. The game is targeted for children aged 5–12 and their parents. This game lets the parents see and hear how their children view the family’s everyday life. It gives perspective on matters such as how children see the course of an ordinary day, how do they feel when their parents are at work, and what do they think their parents’ work is like.

With the game, a child creates his or her own story of a normal day and describes what everyone in the family does during the day – all the way from breakfast to bedtime. Oma Päivä was brainstormed by the experts of Väestöliitto and realised into a game by NordicEdu. Its purpose is to provide a modern, fun, diverse and easily accessible tool for children to express their feelings about the everyday life of their families; this can provide possibilities for face-to-face communication and improve interaction and within families.

A child plays the game by drawing pictures and using pre-made ones to create depictions of the events of the day. The pre-made pictures are designed so that the child’s own drawings fit nicely amongst them. The watercolour painted backgrounds and illustrations give the whole game a happy, storybook-esque look and feel, which boosts the child’s own creativity as well. Taking photographs is also utilised in the game; the child takes pictures of him- or herself when mimicking different facial expressions he or she and the other family members make during the day. Making funny faces in front of the camera is good for recording the child’s thoughts and feelings on the events of the day; it supports the purpose of the game to let children express themselves in ways they find suitable. The game also presents various questions about the events of the day. Some of questions the child can record spoken answers for. Some questions, then again, can be answered by placing a mark on a scale, for example, to express how happy or sad the child is at that point of the day.

Oma Päivä resembles a traditional story book with its atmosphere but by its function, it’s an interactive game-like experience. It, however, doesn’t have any competitiveness nor strict aims or goals, and it doesn’t try to be addictive either even though it’s fun to play. The focus is on the purpose to help children express themselves. The premise is that the child plays through the game once or twice. In the ideal situation, the game is played again, for example, after six months has passed. This is because then the parents can see the effects of changes they possibly made to the routines based on the information from the first playthroughs.

After the game ends with the depicted day reaching bedtime, the game events are stored and the content made by the child is easily and nicely readable straight from the mobile device. The parent – or the parents – can then go through the content together with the child. This content can also be sent to the parent as a report-like file via e-mail. Many Oma Päivä stories can be created and stored on a single mobile device so several children can use the same device to play.

Oma Päivä game app was produced together by Väestöliitto and the Emma and Elias programme of RAY, Finland’s Slot Machine Association. The game was launched at the Jazz Kids festival in Pori, which was held 12.—13.7.2016.

The game can be downloaded for free from all the mobile app stores.

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