Let us ask you this question. "Do you love games?" We believe that many of you on Kickstarter would say "yes".
Let us ask you this next question, "Do you love helping people?"
We believe that many of you on Kickstarter would say "yes" to this question too.
Then, how about this next question, "Do you love games that help people?"
We still believe that most of you would answer "yes", but also come up with a new question "but how would that work?"
We are trying to answer this question with World Agent BRAC.
In World Agent BRAC, we will provide you players with the engaging experience of being a microcredit loan manager at BRAC (see below). You will have fun from building a community and helping people in the virtual game world. Meanwhile, you will simultaneously be helping people in the real world!
Gameplay : You are an entry-level loan manager at BRAC. When you go to the office, you meet an applicant for a microcredit loan every day.
Your first challenge is to decide whether to accept or reject the loan application. You have to be careful in approving the loan. In some cases, a very honest, skilled person may apply for a risky loan for a high amount at a short term.
You look at the application and applicant's profile, then think "This lady wants to buy a cow with a microcredit loan. She has a good loan history. OK. Let's approve it."
Your second challenge is to monitor and support your clients. They make payments on their loans every month. If they successfully repay their loans, you get points, and the district that you are in charge of will develop. Once a certain number of clients pay back their loans, you will get promoted to the next level in BRAC, and move to the next district.
However, your clients are facing various risk factors, and they are prone to missing payments due to troubles, such as sickness or accidents. If your client misses certain payments, they will go into foreclosure, and the district regresses.
When you find that your client has misseda payment, you have to support them by taking advantage of options that you have, namely, giving business advice, holding a group meeting etc. You should try to avoid the worst situation, "foreclosure".
Your goal is to help your clients repay as many loans as possible, make the district prosper, and get promoted. Your ultimate goals is to make 4 districts prosperous, and become BRAC's regional manager for Dhaka!
Microcredit - Microcredit is a loan scheme dedicated to mediating poverty in developing countries, which requires no collateral and a relatively low interest rate. It was originally invented in Bangladesh in the 70’s, and has significantly contributed to the growth of the nation. Dr. Mohammed Yunus received a Nobel Peace Prize for the invention of microcredit, making it even better known. "Microfinance" is a concept that covers a broad range of financial programs, including microcredit.
Who are we?
MiCMALi is a Palo Alto based startup, and our team has experience in fields including in high-tech, games, and finance. It is a for-profit c-corporation, but partners with NPOs like BRAC and the Alliance Forum Foundation. Also it partners with Hoplite Research, a seasoned game studio based in Berkeley.
Your support through our Kickstarter campaign will directly help us complete the game, accelerate its release, and make the game experience richer. We have already built a prototype version of World Agent BRAC with internally raised funds.
But we need to achieve the basic goal of $50,000, in order to release the first version of the game.
Then, the following are stretch goals:
$100,000 - Upgrading the first version, adding features and making the game experience even richer.
$150,000 - Adding social features so that players can communicate with each other.
$200,000 - Expansion to other platforms such as Mac, Facebook, etc.
The project started in the Fall of 2013, and the alpha version prototype of the game was completed at the beginning of March 2014. If the current development plan holds, it will take another 8~10 weeks until the final product is completed. Given that the Kickstarter campaign will last until the middle April, the final product will be released 4~6 weeks after the campaign is closed. The first version of the game will be released in April~May, 2014.
How can WORLD AGENT BRAC help fight poverty?
MiCMALi is a for-profit corporation. However, we are also committed to the contributing to the world.
In World Agent BRAC, “Fighters” are people who are suffering from absolute poverty in impoverished regions like South Asia, Africa, or Latin America, and your playing World Agent BRAC will help “Fighters” in multiple ways.
One, providing “Fighters” with an education. Bangladesh is one of the most successful examples of getting out of absolute poverty, and microcredit has played a significant role in that success. Now it is time that they teach the world what they learned through their experience, and how they developed. In this light, we will organize training courses for microcredit where "Fighters" in other impoverished regions can learn from Bangladeshis.
Two, creating empathy. Through gameplay, we hope players will understand the life of a Fighter better, and feel closer to them. Better mutual understanding will foster empathy between people.
Three, fostering gratitude. We will try to encourage communication between Game Players and Fighters who receive an education. Gratitude from Fighters must be more meaningful than any other reward.
BRAC is an International NPO established in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1972. It has helped Bangladesh achieve high growth in the last decades through microcredit and other development programs. Today, BRAC is the largest NPO in the world, employing more than 100,000 people, and has branches in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Siera Leone, Liberaia, Haiti, and The Philippines.
Risks and challenges
Since the prototype is already available, there should not be a huge risk in terms of completion of the project. However, there is a potential risk that product planning design may take longer than we expect and the project may be delayed.
Our unique challenge is that World Agent BRAC must be engaging as well as enlightening. If the game is weighing too much on the enlightening or education side, the game is likely not to be as engaging or as fun as it should be.
We will fly to you(US east coast&LA only) and have dinner, share our thoughts and want to have your great feedback!Our CEO wants to talk about game, Micro finance and his 5 countries job experiences. Reward#1-#7 included.
#12-- Your name put on the one of the four district of the game --
In this game, at first we plan to have 4 scenarios. Each scenario has one district. YES! Your name is put on the one district.
***We need to modify a little bit your name into Bengal style. We will ask you about this when you get this position via e-mail. Reward #1-#7 included.
We will take you to the country where Microfinace was invented and developed, Bangladesh!!
The trip is about 5 days trip in Bangladesh.
You can visit some villages,slums and Microfinance institutions and experience what Microfinance actually is.
Reward #1-#7 included.
(***This cost does not included air fare. You need to book flight from your country to Dhaka, Bangladesh. We will arrange transportation in Bangladesh, hotels, field trips and some meetings).