Prognosis is a 2D digital game designed and developed by the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab over a two week period as a way to blow off steam. Drawing on the genre of games known as “god “games, Prognosis situates players as a major city official of Metroville and tasks them with managing the city’s finances, education levels, and, most importantly, a variety of a health concerns. The player does this by dispatching different professionals in mobile health units to different neighborhood “hot spots” and seeing what effects take place over many in-game months. The game is designed for PC and Mac.
The goal of Prognosis is to manage a number of statistics in the city of Metroville by allocating resources in the form of professionals over many turns. There are three city-wide statistics: health, education, and finances. Each neighborhood has three statistics, STI prevalence, teen pregnancy incidence, and community health factors, that aggregate to make up the city’s health stat. The game ends when a player has fulfilled the level’s goal.
When a playthrough begins, a player selects a “god” that serves as their in-game persona. Each god has a particular goal they are trying to accomplish in the city - this effectively acts as the game’s level selection.
Terry Lee, MPH/PhD - Director, Department of Public Wellness
From his first doctor’s visit as a small child, Terrance knew he wanted to help others lead healthy lives. He believes poor sex ed has been one of the greatest disservices to young people. Now that he’s the public health director, he’ll be redoubling the city’s efforts on this front, starting with lowering teen pregnancy.
Goal: Keep the city’s teen pregnancy incidence below 20% for three months.
Sophia Minter, JD - Mayor, Metroville
As a headstrong communicator, Sophia has a knack for corralling the city’s aldermen to push through her latest agenda. It wasn’t until the city park near her home fell into disarray that she realized how desperately Metroville needed funds dedicated to fostering safe community spaces. Now there’s no stopping her.
Goal: Max out community health in all neighborhoods simultaneously. You can’t use units without sufficient finances.
There are currently five neighborhoods that must be managed: Ash Park, Freemason, Philmont, Quinn Square, and the Unity District. Each neighborhood has a starting value for the three health sub-statistics that are known to the player, and an ambient change per turn that is not known to the player.
There are currently five types of professionals that can be dispatched: doctors, nurses, community organizers, politicians, and advocates. Each professional has between two and three effects before any level modifiers. The following details the text accompanying each professional, their effects, and an individual unit’s maximum effect in a turn:
Extremely efficient at diagnosing and treating STIs, but their services cost the city money.
With a wide scope of preventative health, they can lower both STIs and teen pregnancy rates.
When they come to a neighborhood, they raise community health and educate along the way. However, they cost money.
Upon visiting their constituents, they raise money for the city and buff other global stats in their MHU.
Your go-to buffers, they increase health effects in an MHU and raise education while they’re at it.
By dragging and dropping professionals to the empty spots in a neighborhood’s pop-up, the player can dispatch professionals (units) to that neighborhood to affect change. The player can only affect three neighborhoods in a turn; in-game, this is described as the player only being able to dispatch three mobile health units each month. All mobile health units do not need to be dispatched in a given turn, and not all of them need to be filled with three units. At the end of a turn (either due to time running out or the player fast-forwarding), a unit’s effects will take place and change the corresponding statistics. Then, ambient effects in the neighborhoods will take place, resulting in the next turn’s values for the neighborhood and city statistics.
Units will, by default, stay in their assigned neighborhoods on successive turns. If the player wishes to dispatch different units to that neighborhood, or send those units to a different neighborhood, she must first click on the neighborhood and recall the mobile health unit to replenish her inventory.