Priyan Jayamaha

Creative Director | Game Designer

The idea for the Waka Hourua board game came to life during my Master's journey, where I delved into the world of mixed reality and its potential for engaging students in historical studies. My research journey involved talking to primary school teachers to understand how they teach history, the challenges they face, and their thoughts on using technology in the classroom. Additionally, I spent time immersing myself in the subject of early Polynesian navigation and sought insights from waka experts to deepen my knowledge and gain valuable feedback.

The Waka Hourua stands as an innovative educational board game crafted to illuminate the historical tapestry of early Polynesian migration for New Zealand's Primary School Students. This game goes beyond traditional methods by seamlessly integrating emerging technologies like Augmented Reality, elevating the learning journey into an immersive and interactive experience.

Throughout the development of the board game design, a wide range of game concepts and gameplay mechanics were explored. The primary goal was to craft an engaging, educational, and practical board game that can be easily played within a classroom setting, avoiding overly complex gameplay. An exploration game was developed featuring cooperative game mechanics that promote teamwork to simulate real-world sailing experiences. Instead of fostering competition within the team, the game emphasizes the significance of unity, encouraging players to collaborate closely to overcome the challenges of voyaging together.

Creating this board game has been an amazing adventure, and my hope is that it will make learning about the concepts and stories of early Polynesian navigation exciting and enjoyable for primary school students.

Leyon Don

Director Project Development

With 23 years of corporate experience in product development and people management, my passion lies in fostering the next generation's future through technology, communications, and collaboration.

My connection with Priyan dates back to our school days, and our collaboration has spanned numerous projects. When Priyan shared his Master's research on developing a mixed reality game for learning Polynesian navigation, I was captivated by the concept. I envisioned how this game could revolutionize children's collaboration, learning, and play through the integration of board games and AR technology.

The journey of the Waka Hourua game involved multiple iterations, progressing from a prototype to the final product. My expertise in product development and business, combined with Priyan's creative and technical skills, played a pivotal role in bringing the Waka Hourua Board Game to fruition.

I am thrilled by the opportunities Waka Hourua presents for the new generation of learners and am eager to expand this venture into other realms of education.

Cassin Turanga

3D Artist

I'm a 3D computer graphics artist with a deep passion for animation. My love for technology fuels my creativity, as I craft captivating characters and immersive environments that bring my imagination to life on the screen.
In addition to my role as an artist, I find joy in being an educator, especially when working with children and youth, introducing them to the exciting world of CGI and Animation. My experience as a short course tutor at Yoobee colleges underscores my dedication to sharing knowledge and skills in animation.

The development of the Waka Hourua game was an exciting journey for me. From the start, I contributed by creating assets, participating in playtesting, and connecting with individuals to gather valuable feedback for the project.

As a Maori, witnessing the Waka Hourua game come to life was truly special. This game offers a unique opportunity to learn about how Māori ancestors built canoes and navigated the ocean using the stars, wind, birds, and observations of nature. I'm thrilled to be a part of Waka Hourua and believe it will be a valuable tool for children to explore the early Polynesian navigation in Aotearoa.