Rainbow Agents

Rainbow Agents is a cooperative programming game where players work together to tend a community garden. By influencing the behavior of AI forest companions, players learn about state machines and agent intelligence.

Players collaborate to place plants in the garden, water them, and open treasure chests.

Players collaborate to place plants in the garden, water them, and open treasure chests.

Rainbow Agents was created as a museum exhibit for the New York Hall of Science and the Lawrence Hall of Science. The game promotes equity in computer science by directly targeting the needs of young girls and youth of color.

As the lead game designer on the project, I owned the design of Rainbow Agents all the way from the initial concept development through its installation at both museum sites. Specifically, my role included:

  • Working with clients to develop the initial game concept

  • Designing each of the game’s mechanics, with a focus on cooperation and pro-social mechanics

  • Designing and balancing the game’s systems, including cards, creatures, plants, and rewards

  • Working with engineers, UX designers, and museum representatives to build the custom hardware setup

  • Authoring and maintaining design documentation, including storyboards, design docs, user stories, and acceptance tests

  • Working with all areas of the development team to prioritize and implement features

The game is currently exhibited at the New York Hall of Science and the Lawrence Hall of Science, where it is used to conduct research about promoting equity in computer science.

The game is currently exhibited at the New York Hall of Science and the Lawrence Hall of Science, where it is used to conduct research about promoting equity in computer science.

Players program creatures by placing plant and watering cards into their state machines.

Players program creatures by placing plant and watering cards into their state machines.

Each creature has a unique state machine, making different creatures useful for different tasks. As players master each creature, they learn about if/then statements, random selection, and loops.

Each creature has a unique state machine, making different creatures useful for different tasks. As players master each creature, they learn about if/then statements, random selection, and loops.

By working together, players can unlock rewards including a watering event and special rainbow plants.

By working together, players can unlock rewards including a watering event and special rainbow plants.


Quinn Crossley