About Game…

‘How to Become a President’ is a kind of serious game.

What is a Serious Game?

Serious Games are games designed for a primary goal different from pure entertainment. Now, it is actively used in the educational field [1].

Nowadays, the game is a useful material for learning. Motivation is one of the essential factors for continuous learning. Using learning tools as playing the game proved to help to maintain motivation [2].

App store

If you look around the game section for 5-7 years old in Appstore, most of the apps are for learning. These games are seven popular apps in Finland’s AppStore [3]. As you see, three of them are for learning – computer programming, language, and chemistry.


[1] Marc Prensky. 2003. Digital game-based learning. Comput. Entertain. 1, 1 (October 2003), 21. DOI:http://lps3.doi.org.libra.kaist.ac.kr/10.1145/950566.950596

[2] Marc Prensky. 2003. Digital game-based learning. Comput. Entertain. 1, 1 (October 2003), 21. DOI:http://lps3.doi.org.libra.kaist.ac.kr/10.1145/950566.950596

[3] https://sensortower.com/ios/rankings/top/iphone/finland/kids/ages-6-8?date=2020-05-07

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Game Introduction

How to Become a President in Finland is an iPad game for children aged 5 to 8, wants to be a president or learn what the president does. This game will help them understand the concept of democracy, budget, and duty of President.


You help the president of Finland. You have twelve citizens. Each citizen has a different job a wants an item suitable for the job. You must find a way to satisfy as many citizens as possible by utilizing the budget given to you! There are three rounds where you meet the citizens/ At the end of all rounds, the final score is given by the sum of the three-stage scores and the price of the remaining items.


You help the president perform his duties. Observe closely what citizens want. Based on this process, you would spend the money you’ve got wisely. With the items you purchased, you start the game. You have to meet citizens in each round and hand out the items to them. You may or may not have purchased the item that the particular citizen wants. No matter what choice you make, try to make citizens as happy as possible. That’s your duty:)

The minimum goal of the game is to make the items on both sides of the scale equalize. You have to guess the weight of the item while playing the game. Some items are heavier than you expected, and some items are way lighter than your imagine. Imagine the weight of the items and try to put a variety of items on top.

  • Learning democracy
  • Being a President!
  • Mini-game using Math
  • 3 rounds game
  • Multiple choices
  • Colorful, friendly characters


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Last Week

Defining Identification

The title of the game is ‘How to be a President in Finland’ and our team’s main character is ‘President’. However, there are many lines with inconsistent relationships between characters and users.

We want to make the children who play the game understand some of the president’s roles. If identification occurs in the process of enjoying media, immersion increases. In the storytelling process, the similarities with the characters, or the role of the characters, seem to have a significant impact on immersion[1]. Dorothée et al said if players feel stronger identification when they feel they are helping the character’s special role[2]. It is thought that if a character calls a player’s name or gives the perception that the user makes an important decision, the user will become more immersed. In order to enhance the familiarity with the characters in the game, it has been mentioned how to call citizens by their names instead of jobs(ex. Artist- Marianne, Police officer- Antti, Barista-Kirsikka…). It has yet to decide whether to change the job to name.

We are working on the lines of the character little by little.

Animation(Work in Progress)

Making animations for all the characters.

President A & B, Artist are done.


It is in the process of combining pages created individually.

Reference about Identification

[1] Jonathan Cohen (2001) Defining Identification: A Theoretical Look at the Identification of Audiences With Media Characters, Mass Communication & Society, 4:3, 245-264, DOI: 10.1207/S15327825MCS0403_01

[2]Hefner D., Klimmt C., Vorderer P. (2007) Identification with the Player Character as Determinant of Video Game Enjoyment. In: Ma L., Rauterberg M., Nakatsu R. (eds) Entertainment Computing – ICEC 2007. ICEC 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4740. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


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Game Making -Work in Process


Screen Recording 2020-04-23 at 6.02.26 AM

Coding_Work in Process.

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Purchase part animation

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Still Screens for game


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Digital Prototype 4 – Visual

Visualized the things needed for the game – character, background, items, speech bubbles and etc.

Character and Items

Game Props




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Digital Prototype 3 – Overall Game

Game overview

  1. At the beginning of the Game: Explain the concept of money and storyline.
  2. You see all the 12 people that gonna be part of the scales game later on.
  3. You have 18 Euros with which to buy different items.
    1. The items have different prices
  4. Once you’ve spent your money, the scales part starts, see details below.
  5. Each round
    1. You start the round with the items you bought (minus the ones you’ve already used)
      1. At the start of Round 2, you get 1 random item, 2 at the start of Round 3.
    2. The persons on each side of the scale are randomized
      1. Each person only appears once
      2. The number of persons for each side equals the round num  
      3. The weights of the items (see spreadsheet) on both sides are equal
      4. The persons are as happy as possible
    3. Whenever the scales are in balance (even with 0 items) you can end the round and go-to scoring
      1. See below for scoring
    4. After Round 3 the game ends
      1. You see your total score for the game
      2. You see which people you made happily and which you didn’t

Game screens

This is just a quick list, and some of these might be merged.

  1. Title screen
  2. Explanation with the 12 people present 
  3. Purchased items with money
    (with people maybe still present so you can see what’s needed)
  4. Scales start screen
  5. For every 3 rounds:
    1. Scales gameplay screen
    2. Scales scoring screen
  6. Game end screen with the total score and people appearing again showing how happy they were

Scales phase detailed rules

  • There are 3 rounds:
    • 1st with just 1 person on each side
      • You start the round with the items you purchased
    • 2nd with 2 persons on each side
      • You start the round with the items you didn’t use on Round 1
      • You also get one random item
    • 3rd with 3 persons on each side
      • You start the round with the items you didn’t use on Round 2
      • You also get two random items
    • There are 1 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 3 + 3 = 12 persons in total
  • Each person has at least one specific item they want
    • Some items work for more people than one
    • The Chocolate bar item makes any person happy, it’s kind of a wildcard
  • A person starts as unhappy
    • To make them neutral give them at least 2 items
    • To make them happy give them the item they want
    • If there are more than 1 persons on the side, you distribute the wanted items first and the rest is used up to make the other persons neutral if possible
  • You can only end the round if the scales are balanced
    • The items have different weights
    • The combined weights on both sides of the scales must match
  • Scoring:
    • 1 for each item on the scales
    • 3 for each happy person
    • 0 for each neutral person
    • –3 for each unhappy person
    • 1 for each item you didn’t use at the end of round 3

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Digital Prototyping 2 – How to avoid the situation everyone satisfied

We found the concept of the scale game attractive – Provide each citizen with what they needed. The scale game aims to satisfy all the characters in the game. However, we wanted to put concept a democratic situation that it was difficult to make a choice to satisfy everyone in the game. We did another ideation on how to include a situation that everyone couldn’t be satisfied with the scale game.

Yujin’s Sketch 1

The idea of the game is that the position of the lever’s support points changes depending on the number of people who want the item. And not enough items are available to satisfy everyone. The more people want, the shorter the distance between people at the pedestal. The player needs to put more items to be placed on the short levers to win. When a stage is completed, the popularity level goes up according to the degree to which the character is satisfied.

Yujin’s Sketch 2

The game tries to complicate the needs of the characters in the game, creating a situation where everyone can’t be satisfied. The higher the level, the greater the number of people standing on either side of the scale. And their needs are all different. When only a few people in the groups are fully satisfied, the other people in that group become more unhappy. Try to satisfy as many people as possible with limited items. When a stage is completed, the popularity level goes up according to the degree to which the character is satisfied.

Jane’s Sketch

It is a game to buy food, clothes, and houses by utilizing limited goods, which are basically necessary items in a person’s life. The player can put an item on the other side of the scale as much as the credit is given.

Kalle’s Sketch

Added the concept of weight to the items in the game, creating a situation in which everyone cannot be satisfied. The player must put the item in the weighing basket. When a character gets the desired item on the scale, the character becomes happy. However, if the scale is not balanced, the character with less weight will be greatly dissatisfied, even if he/she gets the item he/she wants. If the character did not get the item he/she wanted, but the scale gets the balance. This character becomes neutral statues. The player gets 0(zero) points from him/her. Characters’ satisfaction measures at the end of each stage. The total sum of the measured scores is the score of the corresponding stage. As the stage progresses, the number of characters in the game increases.

Our game structure was determined as Kalle’s Sketch. We decided to add all the characters’ favorite items. The item is chocolate.

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Digital Prototyping 1 – Evaluating paper prototype

We conducted a paper prototype evaluation. Based on the evaluation results, we tried to set the direction of digital prototyping. Using ‘Figma’, each person rapidly prototypes their ideas. There were sketches about games and game structure.

Game Idea

Kalle’s Sketch

In this game, users match dropping items to the character by tilting a tablet. At the start of the game, the tutorial shows players the items that are matched to the characters. Some of them have one or more known items but the other characters have unknown needs. There is also a bomb item that every character hates. Gather as many as matching items and get point.

Clementine’s Sketch

The game aims to balance items by putting them on the scale. Equalize the scale by placing the appropriate number of items on both sides of the scale. Each scale has a character standing in front of it. When the items the characters in front of the scales want coming up on their scales, they are satisfied. If the player satisfies everyone as much as he/she can, the player wins.

Kiira’s Sketch

Each character in the game has a variety of needs. Some characters like yellow, and some like black. Users should move dials that exist next to the character to find a point that satisfies as many people as possible. The feature of the game is that there is no moment for everyone to be happy.

Game Structure

There is an idea of how the game should proceed in general.

Yujin’s Sketch

Before the game started, this sketch shows the overall tutorial. It contains an explanation of political parties and a description of the budget.


To decide which game to make, the members voted. The results of the vote are as follows. Clementine’s Sketch(The scale game) won the most votes. But there was an opinion that the concept of ‘not being able to satisfy everyone’ is relatively not standing out. So we did ideation to create a situation that everyone couldn’t satisfy in the scale game.

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