Simcoach Games and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 release a pair of free mobile video games –available in Apple, Amazon, and Google Play stores, designed to build awareness to career opportunities as heavy equipment operators.
Dig In: An Excavator Game and Dig In: A Dozer Game put players in the seats of heavy equipment operators to attempt fun challenges. Players move dirt and rocks, bust up boulders and concrete and dig and fill holes, all while trying to work efficiently and avoid causing damage. Each game takes the players through multiple levels where the tasks vary and difficulty increases. As players progress through each game, they receive messages connecting them to real-life construction apprenticeships.
“We are promoting new gaming apps to help educate youth about working in construction,” says Jim Kunz, Business Manager for Local 66. “When kids download and play the games, we are hoping to peak their interest in learning more about available apprenticeship programs and careers available to them.”
Veteran and apprentice operating engineers in Southwestern PA informed the design of the games. After consulting with these subject matter experts, Simcoach Games followed an iterative development process, involving several rounds of prototyping and playtesting with high schoolers.
“Our game development process is what leads to engaging and effective games,” says Jessica Trybus, Chief Games Officer and Founder of Simcoach Games. “We aim to expose and inspire kids to possibilities. So our focus is on ‘finding the fun’ in these games – and to do this we prioritize involving youth in the development process.”