“Become Relaxed Using Coping Exercises” (B.R.U.C.E.) is a tool to be used in the context of a counsellor providing therapy to teach a 1st-3rd grade student simple coping mechanisms for general anxiety. The individual playing this game may or may not be diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder or a variant of it. The player will be presented with a choice of different coping mechanisms to learn and will be guided through practising the one they choose to learn in the form of a point and click game. This game is not intended as an educational tool for GAD itself as it is only intended to be used in context by a licensed counsellor specifically to teach simple coping mechanisms.
B.R.U.C.E. was developed by a four person team on which I was the Scrum Master, although I did occasionally assist the team’s programmer and created the Git pipeline for the project. The main goal of developing this tool was to gain experience in developing for an audience that you are not a member of, since as developers we’re not always going to be working on our favorite game. In that realm I would solidly describe this project as a success, as I learned several lessons that have educated my approach to each and every project since.
The biggest takeaway from this project for me was realizing simultaneously how difficult it is to put yourself in a completely foreign frame of mind and how incredibly important doing that is to creating an experience. It is difficult to know how someone who is not you will interact with your software, and sometimes acknowledging that you can’t put yourself in that frame of mind is the right choice. There is no better way to find out whether you are centering your development on your audience besides having your intended audience test your product.