The Challenge


Seven Days Vermont and the Echo Center needed to create an engaging ways to educate kids and aquarium visitors about storm water runoff. 

Seven Days Vermont, a Burlington VT based newspaper, and the Echo Center, a Burlington aquarium collaborated on a summer awareness campaign to help educate the local population on the dangers of storm water runoff and how bet to prevent it. Storm water runoff is a major cause of pollution in Lake Champlain. Encouraging people to use water collection barrels and then empty them on grass or in their gardens rather than hard surfaces is key to continued lake health. The goal was to create a game that could reinforce those messages.

The Audience: Kids and aquarium visitors

The Goal: Change the way that people handle storm water run off.

The Process

The game turn around was very quick for this project, a month from start to finish. 

On initial brainstorming we proposed creating a game experience that can truly draw people in and be more of an attraction that just a simple web or mobile game. Based on this goal we designed a classic arcade feeling game with pixel art and sound effects where the player had to catch water drops in their barrel and empty them on the grass for points. We also worked with the Seven Days team to create the classic arcade cabinet we could present the game in, making it an attraction that could be installed in the Echo Center. 

The game was built in Unity to work on mobile devices, web, and the arcade cabinet in the on-site location. The game tracked high scores on all platforms encouraging competition for high scores in a classic arcade style.

Balance of Game Tools

ECHO Exterior.jpg

The Results

It's messaging was a great success in the Burlington community. In testing groups without explicit in-game messaging students could easily talk about what water barrels were for, how they should be emptied on grass, and the benefit that resulted in. 

RunOff has been located on site at the Echo Center for two years! The game has been played by thousands of players both at the Aquarium on the arcade cabinet and online through the RunOff website and mobile app.