Block’hood is a neighborhood-building sandbox game, which presents an ecological take on city planning. Celebrating the diversity of cities, Block’hoods invites players into the narrative that resources carry in their source and usage. It does so by giving players the access to +90 “blocks,” each with its unique inputs and outputs, to arrange and combine and to create unique neighborhoods and discover the implications of their designs. Upon understanding resource dependencies, Block’hood generates ecological awareness and empathy for the neighborhoods we live in.
Block’hood was conceived as a city simulator developed from an ecological perspective in architectural design. The game dismantles the notion of ‘waste’ by understanding every city element as a potential resource. This is an initiative used by urban farming facilities, where the waste of one production cycle becomes the input for another.
Once the notion of waste is eliminated, the players start seeing the world in a different light, one of interdependence and ecology. Everything is connected and every move has a consequence.All the information in the game is inspired in real world data, and while balanced to develop the narrative of the game, the engine is capable to simulate complex ecological dependencies.
At its core, Block’hood is a reflection of the resources and exchange rate of cities resources. Some very material, like water, others more abstract like culture or social capital. The game offers a way produce and exchange this resources as city currencies, reflecting on the ratios and production chains necessary to produce a given resource out of scarcity.
The problems of scarcity are tackled precisely to seek abundance, hoping that thousands of players will find creative ways to optimize and improve the patterns of the cities we live in. Block’hood in this sense, becomes a tool of participatory urbanism where every player has a voice and the means to propose alternative paths for our city development.
Block’hood invites players to dream of the cities they want to live in, and solve issues of scarcity and access, working together as a collective intelligence.
Block’hood wants to be a tool for architecture and design of our 21st-century cities, giving a voice to a large creative crowd to participate and have a voice in the production of the cities they live in.
1. Jose Sanchez, Director, Art Director, Programmer
2. Gentaro Makinoda, Designer