Visualizing Population Growth: Density of Housing in Unity

In a short time frame, I was only able to scratch the surface of a very large scale issue. That being said, when looking into the results of housing density due to population growth, I grew interested more in the different types of consequences that occurred when people moved to the coast. When discussing human relationship with bodies of water, the water symbolizes a life source and powerful resource. But when used as such in reality, nature suffers from human habit. Some photos, though only tangentially related, inspired me to think about a rather comically literal gameplay and visualization of the consequence of people moving the the coast.

Shocked by images of high collections of fish on shores ( due to water temperatures being too high) I looked more abstractly at what it might look like to explore bodies of water of gathering points.  


Different layers of "water bodies" symbolized what was once there in comparison to what is left, and different shapes that lie at the edges of the "water bodies" expressed small communities that congregated at the edges. In my first iteration I chose sand textures as the background to represent the lands being swallowed or left behind, and the fish to show the effects of altering animal habitats. In my second interaction I honed in closer on the implication of changing structures ( by using tessellated patterns) and changed to strictly cool colors. 

The Game
I made a first person player game in Unity that simulated a very direct consequence of an increase in housing along coastlines. I created a custom terrain that served as a course that could be explored with a low tide, but more easily explored when the waters increased. The houses will continuously and randomly regenerate. You, as the player, would run around the island chasing houses, which would turn into dead fish once you reach a house. Eventually the island will be completely covered with either houses or fish, rendering it impossible for you to move along the island unless the water has risen to a point where it serves as a second surface to run on.