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My Role

Desk research, Story & Concept generation, Art direction, Illustration.

The town of Kelby is a complex narrative interaction artifact based on one of 17 goals towards sustainable development of the United Nations, aims to raise awareness of the effects of marine pollution


André Calderolli, Dang Trung Nguyen, Julia Chlastacz, Johannes Longardt, Preeti Puri, Sneha Baliga, Yunrui Zhu


The Goal

The UN has outlined 17 goals toward sustainable development, an urgent call to action for countries in a global partnership. More

Our project specifically focussed on Goal 14.1: "Prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution by 2025". We aim to raise awareness about the ocean as a healthy and functioning ecosystem and that by polluting it, we eventually hurt ourselves. 



The story had to have characters with complete character arcs and a beginning, middle, and conclusion. It had to somehow reflect on the sustainability goal and bring it in as a metaphor without being overbearing.


Story & storyworld canvas


We created a story around a fictional town, where the townspeople believe in the protective powers of an ancient holy fountain they visit and worship - a practice that has continued for generations. 


However, the equilibrium between the townspeople and the natural world begins to go away when a powerful industrialist moves into town.


The holy fountain is used as a metaphor for the ocean and protects life in the town, whether humans, animals, or plants. By representing industries that affect marine pollution, the characters demonstrate how humans walk on a stretching tightrope that is eventually bound to tear under pressure, leading to our downfall.




The characters in the story are metaphors for industries and agents that play an important role in marine pollution. They demonstrate how humans can both destroy and heal and how our choices affect this.



The story


Kelby means "Farm near the spring" with old Norse roots and is a rural town with fertile land and a healthy population.

The townpeople believe in the protective powers of an ancient holy fountain. The balance falls apart when a powerful industrialist moves into town, and strange things happen in the city that seems to lead to disaster.

The user of our game is asked to solve the mystery before it’s too late!

User: What to do?

The user is a journalist who works for a major city newspaper and receives an anonymous tip about the neighboring town. He sets out on an adventure to find out precisely what is happening. Consequently, the user begins to solve the puzzle and contributes to a happy ending.


The story is divided into nine chapters. The user needs to complete each one to go to the next.


Interface: How do you interact?


The interaction is to just click through the choices on the screen. However, we included three types of interactions in our interaction architecture.


with characters



without influence




hidden passages





Talk events are often basic dialogues; some may have two other options within:

  • Knowing more events provide the user with more info 

  • Build relationship events influence interactions with characters


These options won't change the course of future events.




Watch events often occur when you choose not to speak directly with the character.

In these events, you:

  • Overhear conversations

  • Witness a character do something

  • Witness something happen




Explore events let you click on sections of a scene to discover more. In these events, you may find:

  • Easter eggs (secrets about Kelby’s past)

  • Documents that may help you solve the mystery




At certain parts of the story, links related to our sustainable development goals are made available on the map's library building.


For example, when Alec and Elena find out about the coal mine during their investigation, a link to how fossil fuels affect marine pollution becomes available.


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