if_designaward2021_red_l_rgb

edutainment for financial literacy

Platypus: A Finlit Story is an edutainment mobile game that helps young users acquire reliable financial knowledge through an economic-themed intergalactic journey.

if_designaward2021_red_l_rgb
https://sc-website-2019-uploads-current.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/21131441/PlatyCaseMain.png
Platypus_Supercharge_mainPlatypus_layer2

An intergalactic journey for financial literacy

Financial literacy is an indispensable skill today. While once upon a time one stepped into adulthood escorted by traditional rituals, 21st century teens become adults when they move away from home—in other words: they handle their own finances.

Yet, these kids hardly get any pointers on how to navigate the financial world on their own. OTP Fay Andras Foundation reached out to us to help them fill this knowledge gap by harnessing the power of digital innovation.

But how to convey a great deal of learning material while engaging teenagers? 

black quote mark

We came up with an innovative solution together that not only capable of teaching teens financial literacy but also speaks their digital language.

The concept of a financial literacy edutainment mobile game took shape: Platypus – A FinLit Story!

Edutainment for financial literacy

Apart from the apparent knowledge gap, finances are often considered a dry, complex and abstract area of life. In fact, a whole range of fintech companies is now focusing on helping customers by simplifying all parts of this (seemingly vital) topic. 

Our solution aims to treat the root of the problem: the goal was to introduce financial literacy at an early age when adopting a financially conscious mindset is a lot easier. We just needed to find a way to make it enticing in the eyes of teenagers… So we made it fun by building on the principles of edutainment.

In this vein Platypus: A FinLit Story is a clever hybrid. It’s a free educational mobile game mixing the elements of a runner/shooter game with trivia, all wrapped up in a compelling story, a sci-fi fable starring space-travelling animals.

Platypus: an edutainment app for financial literacy
Platypus: A Finlit Story is an engaging mobile game for financial literacy that effortlessly sets young users on an educational journey with its fast-paced gameplay and captivating storyline

Education meets engagement in an economics-themed Space Western

After the creation of hundreds of screen designs, lines of dialogues, and a detailed storyboard, our final app was ready featuring an engaging narrative. 

Engagement starts with an epic but quirky tale about space-travelling animals with financial superpowers zipping from planet to planet and saving galaxies on a journey where Good fights the forces of Evil.

Platypus storyboard
Our storyboard introducing us to the Galaxy of the Medici family

To support our concept of “learning while having fun” we integrated all knowledge-worthy information into the game’s adventurous “space western” narrative.

Our game tells the story of Cash and Flow, junior members of the Platypus Syndicate. This is an intergalactic society of a financially adept tribe of platypi, who are watching over the economic development of planet Earth.

Against the Syndicate’s will, Cash and Flow answer the call for help from other planets in financial trouble. They take out a bank loan to get their hands on a cutting-edge spaceship named Treasury… and there begins the adventure!

Throughout this intergalactic journey, players learn about various topics of financial literacy while the young heroes explore and save the troubled galaxies from financial decline and collect enough money to repay their spaceship loan.

Re-inventing freemium: progress bought with newly acquired knowledge

Platypus’ success arises from its ability to effortlessly set young users on an educational journey. This could be thanked to the user testing that was done throughout the project, and which ensured that the game matches the mental models of the young audience resulting in an intuitive and motivating experience. 

Today’s teens can use and enjoy a mobile runner game intuitively from day one, no explanation needed. But to motivate them to learn about financial topics we needed to come up with a more ingenious approach: we used a re-invented freemium model. 

Our game is free, but progress can be “bought” by answering a wide range of financial-themed quizzes from different economic domains.

Platypus is designed to encompass 5 major finance topics that constitute the 5 galaxies our group of heroes travels to. These are:

  • Business enterprises
  • State
  • Banks
  • Financial awareness
  • Households

In each galaxy, there are 7 planets, equivalent to the levels the player has to accomplish in the runner game. During their journey, players encounter quizzes to test their knowledge, and new challenges are introduced to keep them on their toes.

black quote mark

With varying themes and an ascending level of complexity, quizzes allow players to gradually up the challenge and become more proficient in the world of finance as they proceed in the game.

Skyrocketing the learning experience with a carefully designed visual language

To take the overall learning experience to an even higher level, we relied on the power of meticulous world-building while designing the game: besides making the story more enjoyable, it shares knowledge in a more subtle, indirect way.

The game’s overall visual design places heavy emphasis on custom sci-fi objects and interiors: cool, futuristic-looking equipment that signals the importance of civilization and technological advancement.

Platypus - Visual Language
The game's special visual language

When it came to character design, Cash and Flow’s team consists of different animals, which was a purposeful way of including an element of diversity in our story. Even so, we have envisioned our heroes along a distinct visual code. We used friendly, rounded shapes and applied muted yet cheerful pastel colours to them.

Keeping in mind the tone of the entire storytelling, our characters are not only cute and loveable but also somewhat quirky and weird. The visual language of their personal objects also follows this directive, making it easy to distinguish a “good” weapon from an “evil” one.

Platypus - characters in the game
Our characters and their financial superpowers
black quote mark

The app’s visual language strongly supports its mission further: the visual variability of the different galaxies conveys a sense of adventure and discovery while feeding the interest to learn continuously. 

A ready-to-use tool for educators to bring fun to school desks

One of Platypus’ strongest suits is that besides supporting individual learning, it can be an asset during regular classes too. The app’s “classroom mode” offers educators a ready-to-use tool to bring fun to school desks. 

The runner game concept provides teachers with the flexibility of short, enlightening game sessions to crank up pupil excitement—and a memorable gameplay makes knowledge stick more!

In this way, our app proposes an ideal solution to combat the financial knowledge gap not only on an individual but on a systematic level as well. 

Ending our story on a high note

When designing Platypus, we wanted to create something truly unique: an uncomplicated game with a very ambitious edutainment goal.

Building on the 26 years of professional experience the OTP Fay Andras Foundation focusing on financial, economic and management education for young people and combining it with our innovative power, our shared project quickly became a success story.

Our unique design choices seemed to resonate well with the app’s audience, reaching instant popularity among teens. More than 20K downloads and 4.6+ avg. ratings later the OTP Fay Andras Foundation found itself on the top charts of the Hungarian app stores.

Leaving a remarkable online footprint, Platypus managed to position the organisation as a digital innovator rather than a specialist in classroom education.

Are you looking for your own uniquely built edutainment solution? Let’s get in touch!

rotate phone rotate your phone to browse our website