Designing a collaborative game


As part of the Design Survivor: Design for Desirability course at Harvard, I co-designed a game. Bank Heist is a collaborative game for mobile where communication is required to advance through a series of challenges. Players have disparate information and will need to quickly communicate back and forth in order to solve each challenge.

We took inspiration from the VR game, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. In that game, one person, wearing a VR headset, is tasked with diffusing a bomb but the instructions to do so are only available to the other game players in the room via a computer screen. In order to be successful, all of the players must collaborative effectively, listening closely to the instructions being passed back and forth.


In Bank Heist, there are four characters, each with different challenges and different pieces of information. The Mastermind coordinates team efforts and keeps track of time, the Hacker breaches all things electronic, the Cat Burglar specializes in breaking and entering undetected, and the Technician is the expert of using power, bombs and explosives.

The disparate information creates a challenge for the players in which they must find ways to communicate effectively under time pressure in order to successfully rob the bank. Teams must be strategic in choosing what pieces of information to share and when in order to navigate the series of challenges on screen.

Bank Heist is intended to help people to improve their communication skills through a fun and interactive game. It makes for a fun night with one group playing together or multiple groups competing to rob a bank in the shortest time.

Special credit goes to my collaborators on this project: Will Song, Adiya Abdilkhay, and Jackie Kim.