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Think Government is too conservative for games? Think again!

How do you showcase the beautiful animals and native fauna of Australia in a way that is engaging to the younger generation? KangaZoo was a solution created to do exactly this through collaboration between government and industry.

KangaZoo started out as a vague notion of wanting to gamify information to make it more engaging and accessible. Working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, PentaQuest took the team through our gamification design methodology. What emerged through this process was the need to create a ‘serious game’ to bring to life the Australian experience through immersive play.

KanagZoo is a mobile simulation game in which you play an Australian park ranger. Your job is to explore the great outdoors to rescue injured native animals and discover local flora. Along the way you will learn about the conditions these native animals thrive in, and other information about Australia.

The design and development process

The project team (DFAT, PentaQuest and Chaos Theory Games) teamed up with people and experts from different areas to ensure we were providing correct information and being inclusive of all those represented in Australia. These include AusTrade, The Australian National University, and The National Museum of Australia.

We were able to capture this diversity by including characters ranging in ability, background, age, and gender. KangaZoo acknowledges the traditional owners of the land and their deep connection to the native flora and fauna. Our serious game also teaches players about real actions that lead to positive environmental and social change.

As an outcome for KangaZoo, we are hoping to encourage players to visit and/or study in Australia. Throughout the game, players are asked if they have visited Australia before and if they are interested in visiting Australia in the future. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade explains the ultimate outcome of this game as attracting a new generation of international scientists that can help build a better future for Australia.

We’re proud that KangaZoo has also been named as a Finalist in the Australian Game Developer Awards for 2020.

From idea to award-finalist game

Here are some few pictures about the game design process:

Our ‘cuteness scale’ - in the process of designing KangaZoo, we had to decide what level of ‘cuteness’ to go with for our animals. This is the scale we used and we decided to sit around 2-4.

The sketch process of one of the game characters.

Our celebratory catch up drinks with Chaos Theory Games. Although we are based in Canberra and CTG is in Sydney and Adelaide, virtual collaboration on this project has been seamless. We’ve loved every minute working with DFAT and CTG!

Watch this clip to preview the game and start building your own sanctuary here:

Play KangaZoo now on iOS

Google play

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