Although it may seem like magic, the electricity that powers our homes is far from simple. The individuals in the Electric System Operator (ESO) control room make tough decisions daily to ensure electricity reaches British homes. They must consider various power sources, such as solar, wind, nuclear, gas, or biomass, as well as everyday activities citizens engage in, including transportation during peak hours and large events.
The goal of this project was to raise awareness about the importance and challenging nature of the ESO control room's work. By explaining this complex decision-making process in a friendly and interactive manner, we aimed to enable the ESO team to engage with different key stakeholders, educate audiences about their work, and enhance their brand. At Creamos, we approached this creative challenge by designing a video game.
Our responsibility was to simplify the complex information that the ESO considers to deliver energy and transform it into an interactive experience that encapsulates the essential characteristics of working in the control room: rapid decision-making, diverse metrics, and a continuous stream of incidents to resolve.
It all began with a clear vision: a gaming experience that seamlessly merged the real world with a dynamic control room. Picture this: you, as the player, navigating through a world where external events constantly throw curve balls your way.
We neatly categorised these events into two distinct groups: the regular and the extraordinary. The first category simulated the day-to-day activities of a bustling city – people flicking on lights, machines humming in offices. The latter, well, that's where the chaos and excitement lay. Think generator meltdowns and unexpected curve balls like a surprise Rugby World Cup match. Meanwhile, in the control room, we meticulously grouped energy sources into three buckets: manageable, renewable, and reversible.
But here's the kicker: we abided by a golden rule – "few commands, boundless impact." Your every move in response to these events had repercussions on three key metrics: the environment, your expenditure, and the frequency of the central grid, ultimately shaping tour final score. Through straightforward interactions, you got a first-hand taste of the challenges and resources that the ESO team in the control room faced during their shifts.