A B. Tech student Shreyansh Anchlia along with the ideation from faculty members Dr. Goldie Gabrani and Nishtha Phutela of BML Munjal University (BMU), a Hero Group initiative, has developed a game called 'Unlock Me', to help spread awareness about COVID-19. The game serves both an educational as well as an entertainment purpose. The background music has been composed by another B. Tech student of BML Munjal University, Gurramkonda Vishal Bharadwaj. It is available on all Android phones, running Version 4.4 and above. It is a secure app and asks for no personal information to start.
The game plays out as a simulation of real-life risks related to COVID-19, such as players getting infected by coming in the vicinity of coronavirus infected places and people. Players need to make the right choices and be wary of these risky practices as they move through the game, as these reduce their health.
Through a series of events, the player earns sanitizers which act like powerups. After gaining enough experience a question is presented in order to test the player's knowledge regarding the current scenario. These questions are solved in a different section of the game where samples of the virus are analyzed.
In the course of the game, the player also gets to learn about announcements by the Health Ministry, which also educates them as they progress through the game. After completing a specific number of levels and getting all the answers right, the player unlocks a 'cure' for the virus, thereby unlocking a new mode in which the player needs to deliver it to those in need. Unlock Me has been developed in Unity3d as a top-down arcade game. New levels will be added to the game in the coming months, along with an Arena Mode that will get unlocked after level 100.
Speaking on the launch of the game, Prof Maneek Kumar, Dean, School of Engineering and Technology BML Munjal University says, "In these times, we read so many advisories related to COVID-19 but aren't sure how they'll play out once we're out in the open again. The game Unlock me simulates the real-life situations and experiences to help give players an understanding and feel for discriminating between right practices and wrong practices, and thereby reduce their risk of contracting the virus."
The gaming industry in India is gaining traction steadily, with a deeper penetration of the Internet and increased smartphone usage in the country. "BMU has taken a leap forward in tech innovation to create a game that has a deeper penetration and easier understanding for the masses", said Prof. Manoj Arora, Vice Chancellor, BMU. The development of these state-of-the-art technologies and tech-oriented studies have allowed students and faculty to explore uncharted territories in the face of this pandemic and develop ingenious solutions that contribute to the betterment of society.