A downloadable serious for Windows


Gaian is a 16-bit themed experience where players take control of and grow their own tree, and learn what a tree needs in order to survive.

Players place either roots, wood, or leaves to grow their tree. Leaves gather sunlight, roots gather water and nutrients, and wood increases the player's capacity to store water and nutrients.

Gaian is a single player PC game that features immersive gameplay, art, and music, and low system requirements.

Our game addresses the serious issue of climate change by making people aware of what is needed to grow and care for a tree, and what can potentially harm a tree.

Player Experience Goal

Players will feel challenged by having to manage their resource inventory.

Players will feel a sense of accomplishment by keeping their tree alive and healthy.

Players will feel a sense of empowerment and will feel more confident in their abilities after making good choices.

Target Audience

The target audience is people aged from ten years and older and who have an interest in the environment, environmental conservation and preservation, or gardening. Furthermore the game may appeal to people who live in areas that are or have been affected by issues such as deforestation, forest regeneration, or global warming.

Key Features

  • Place either roots, wood, or leaves to grow your tree - leaves gather sunlight, roots gather water and nutrients, and wood increases the player's capacity to store water and nutrients
  • Random events can either help or hinder your tree's progress
  • Unique 16-bit 2d art style and soundtrack

Number of Players

1 player

Gameplay Synopsis

Gaian is a minimalist nature-themed abstract puzzle game, and is set in an unnamed forest. Although technically 3d, Gaian presents as a 2d experience that utilises a grid system for gameplay to represent both the player’s tree and other objects within the game. Tree components such as leaves, branches and wood, roots, and water can be placed in certain grid squares which allow the tree to grow and increase the player’s resources. Resources allow the player to not only continue to purchase more tree components and therefore increase their resources and the efficiency of their tree, but also to protect their tree from potential threats. Resources include water, nutrients, and sunlight.

The core game loop is the process of players adding additional tree components to their tree in order to increase its efficiency and in turn their resources. This allows the player to use those resources to add more tree components and continue to grow their tree in size.

Events are also a feature within Gaian. Events are randomly occurring environmental opportunities or threats that can have either a positive or a negative effect on tree components, or the efficiency of the player's tree and its ability to produce resources. If a tree succumbs to too many threats the player may need to remove components to increase the efficiency of their tree and give it time to recover, or else their tree may die.


Game created by Vernon Grieger, Donald Mackay, and Ethan Pearce. Concept by Vernon Grieger.


Install instructions

Download and unzip Gaian.zip, then run Gaian.exe.


Gaian.zip 236 MB
Gaian Sell Sheet (PDF) 893 kB

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