Power House is a project group on the ETC Portugal campus. Our goal is to create an interactive exhibit the Casa da Luz electricity museum to provide an entertaining experience that simultaneously educates guests on the challenge of managing an isolated power grid, like the one on the Island of Madeira. Up to four players at a time can interact on the innovative touchboard powered by 15 RFID readers. In the game, entitled Power UP! Madeira, the players collect electricity from power plants and distribute it to cities with demand. Over time, they build up the island’s infrastructure, and must manage the challenge of being as ‘green’ as possible while meeting the island’s needs for consistent power.
In addition to juggling the grid, players also experience how weather and seasonal conditions impact how different kinds of renewable power operate, including solar power, wind, and hydroelectric.
Power UP! Madeira was developed over a single semester, and underwent frequent iterations. Through extensive balance testing and user testing, the game was refined to target the museum’s core demographic of high-school aged students and older tourists. Because of the international audience, the game is bilingual, equally playable by native English and Portuguese speakers.