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Pipeline: a game to end the world water crisis

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Pipeline is an interactive mobile game designed to inform players of the world’s water crisis, without them even realizing it.

Players get to walk around the world and provide 24 rural countries with access to water for the first time.

Collect all the countries flags to save the world from the water crisis!

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charity: water is passionate about solving the water crisis. They fund water programs in 24 countries around the globe, focusing on providing rural communities with their first access to clean water. 


charity: water needed an innovative and engaging way to raise awareness about the world's water crisis.

With only a week to complete the project, I started brainstorming solutions right away. While talking with the client, I learned that most fundraising participants are between the ages of 9 and 27, so this is the target audience. There were some different options to engage these users in a new and innovative way and I ultimately landed on an informational game. But what type of game will tell charity: water’s story best? What type of game will the most people download and play? 

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Through my own research, data that was provided to me, and from doing surveys I found the following results:  

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Dennis is a 17 year old high school student. He regularly volunteers at the animal shelter after school because helping save the animals makes him feel good. Right now, his favorite game is Pokemon GO. He does not like games that don’t have clear goals and achievements along the way. 

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Before even thinking about design or sketching ideas for the app, I started out doing a ton of research on what makes popular games so successful. 


I presented the testers with these four different game concepts to test for:

  1. Usability - Did they player intuitively know how to play the game, collect items, move, and jump?

  2. Percieved Goals - Was it clear to the player what items were to be collected or what the point of the game was?

  3. Intrigue - What game would they actually download and play? Which one told charity: water’s story best?

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I found that players knew how to control most game movements based on their previous game play experiences. For example, tilting to move left/right, swiping up to jump, and swiping two bubbles to switch them were intuitive. Clickable arrows were definitely a pain point, so I removed those from any final designs. Players found running games and building games most intriguing. Those types of games were also found to have the most clear goals that fell in line with the water crisis solution.  

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Tilt phone left and right to move, swipe up to jump

Tilt phone left and right to move, swipe up to jump


Bringing clean water to people looks different in each country. Every level needs specific tools in order to provide water for that country.

‘Walk for Water’ from country to country to collect water and tools needed along the way. 

Collecting water drops along the way fills up your jerry can. Get Jerry full to level up and unlock new challenges! 

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Use the tools collected to hand dig or drill the wells

Tap to hand dig wells Spin to drill wells (as fast as you can)

Watch the water fill the pipes, the aquifer and come out of the faucet.


Complete the challenge to collect that countries flag and unlock the next level.

Collect all the flags to save the world from the world water crisis! 

Women walking for water for the last time in Malawi

 Pipeline is a fun and educational game that informs players about the world’s water crisis and what can be done to solve it.

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