The Hazard City Project

  • The Hazard City Project

    My 4th year Major Project at Massey University in 2012.

    Every year an incredible number of youth are involved in fatal and non-fatal accidents in New Zealand, carrying a massive social cost to our country annually. The Hazard City Project is an exploration into how graphic design and digital media technology could be used together to create an experience-driven educational tool (book and video game) for restricted drivers. The overall aim is to help increase engagement with safe driving practices and thereby reduce the number of accidents involving youth drivers in New Zealand.
  • The Game Concept
  • The video game concept was to use real world hazard management knowledge as core gameplay mechanics. The player must follow their character around Hazard City completing everyday missions and use their hazard management knowledge to modify actions and behaviours of the vehicle in order to keep it safe as it drives between objectives. Players earn experience and cash that they can use to increase their hazard management abilities, such as their perception, anticipation and recognition skills, while also using cash to buy different character and vehicle customisation objects.

    If the player fails to manage the hazards around the vehicle then their character will crash and die, reinforcing the importance of keeping yourself safe on the road. All the work and attachment the player has put into levelling up their character can be lost in an instant, as could their own life or someone they care for if hazards aren't managed properly in the real world.
  • The Booklet
  • The idea was to create a series of spreads that broke down and explained core hazard management ideas and practices rather than add more focus on physical driving skills such as steering or turning.

    Here's a breakdown of how it works.
  • Each illustration relates to one aspect of hazard management knowledge.
  • Transparent paper is used for all the main content of the booklet to enhance the interactivity of the image and text.
  • When opened up to the middle spread, more information is given with indications or illustrations that relate the text to visual aspects on the illustration page behind.
  • Here are some of the other illustrations that were used throughout each spread of the booklet.
  • The idea is that by engaging with the booklet for the informational content and also with the game for experience based learning, the hazard management process and knowledge will then transfer into the users own real world experiences. While there is no doubt that real world driving experiences are an important part of driver education, Hazard City provides an opportunity for youth to gain important hazard management experiences in a risk free environment instead of solely gaining these experiences driving on the open road.

    Thank you!