An AR children's game for raising environmental awareness.

My Role

Product designer
User researcher


Individual project


Apple Reality Composer


5 weeks
(October - November 2020)



In this project, I was tasked to craft an educational, augmented reality experience about climate change solutions via Apple Xcode's Reality Composer. I created a gamified experience for city-dwelling children to learn about overheating cities and offer a small-scale, actionable solution. Using iPad Pro's LiDAR feature, users are able to interact with the game in any physical space.


Through exploratory research across multiple age groups, I discovered that children around ages 8 to 12 usually know little about climate change but are very willing to help make a difference. I also found that children often see climate change as one giant issue and are easily overwhelmed by it. Thus I asked myself:

How might we introduce environmental awareness to children in a friendly and relatable way that encourages curiosity and interest in climate change?

Game Journey

Stage 1: Physical touchpoint

The player places a Greeni fiducial code in their living space and scans it with an iPad to enter the game.

Stage 2: Entering the digital world

Upon tapping the plant in the first scene, the player is welcomed by a large city they can explore and is prompted to start the game.

Stage 3: Visualizing the problem

The player is shown a simple and easy-to-digest visualization of how climate change causes rapidly rising temperatures within cities.

Stage 4: Offering a solution

After explaining the problem, the hero of the game is introduced to the player!

This little tree teaches the player how it can cool down metropolitan areas using the water vapor that it releases.

Stage 5: Offering a solution

Then, the player is brought back to the city and is prompted to build green spaces around the city to help lower the temperature.

Each time the player builds a green space, a short fact about how that specific natural space (community garden, park, living wall, etc) can help the city will appear. The thermometer level on the right side of the scene will also drop lower as more green spaces are added to the city.

Stage 6: Extending the journey

Once all the green spaces are built, the game ends and the player is encouraged to plant something into their neighborhood.

Product Demo



I interviewed 6 children between the ages of 6 to 12 from friends and family to better understand their lifestyle patterns and thoughts on climate change. Due to Covid-19, I was only able to interview 6 children, so the insights might be biased toward the interviewees.

I asked the interviewees about their interests and hobbies, their attitudes on climate change, as well as how climate change might affect their daily routine, hobbies, and interests.

Below are some summarized quotes of the most frequent responses:



I also ask each interviewee to rate how climate aware they are and how willing they are to help the environment. Most respondents were not very aware of climate change but were generally willing to help make a difference.


After studying the responses, I decided to create a light-hearted game to introduce one aspect of climate change: over-heating cities.

I chose this topic because most users I interviewed were city-dwellers and most of their interactions with nature are from small parks in their neighborhoods or occasional visits to walking trails with their parents.



The player is introduced to a large city in augmented reality through an iPad and is prompted to start the game.

Building understanding

The player is briefly taught about climate change through visuals within the city scene.

Presenting the problem

Then the player learns that the city is affected by warming climates as well as the negative consequences of overheating cities.

Offering a solution

The player is introduced to a solution to the rising climates in the city and learns how plants can help cool down urban spaces.

Implementing the solution

The player is prompted to add green spaces into the city to help lower the temperature. As the player builds more nature, fun facts about each green space will appear.


Once all green spaces are filled in, the player wins the game!

Final Game

Using the storyboard as a guide, I built Greeni using Reality Composer.

If you would like to play the game, please let me know and I'm happy to share the USDZ file.


Beginning scene when the player first enters the game

Prompt for the player to begin the game

Scene describing how heat is trapped in the city (screenshot in Reality Composer)

Details of how plants can help cool down urban areas

Prompt to interact with the green space to cool down the city

Facts about the garden and the green wall

Facts about the park

Facts about the rooftop garden

Game completed!


What I learned

• Learning from and designing for children was really rewarding. It challenged me to use different methods when asking questions and I loved listening to their honest, thoughtful, and detailed responses. ​
• Through making this game, I learned about the different considerations around user flows, signifiers, and affordances compared to making an app or website. It was really exciting to teach users about a created world, design a story for them to follow, as well as account for different types of paths they might follow.
• It was extremely fun to work with Xcode's Reality Composer on both MacBook and iPad, as well as explore ways to use augmented reality tools.

Next Steps

• Test and interview more users to account for broader and more diverse audiences.​
• This project is quite conceptual and experimental and I would like to explore how it can become a real product. For example, I'm interested to research how AR can be more accessible, as well as how this virtual experience and the fiducial code might be packaged and marketed. ​
• I would also love to continue working with Reality Composer as well as exploring game design further!

View more projects