Relationship Goals is a gaming-based digital tool and web platform for schools. It  helps neurodiverse young people and those with learning disabilities (SEND) to understand and practise healthy relationships. Digital development is funded by the Tech for Good fund.

The Tech for Good fund is set up and run by Comic Relief and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The fund enables digital innovation in non-profit organisations working to improve people’s lives through technology.

Tech for Good technology partner

Tender is a charity working with young people to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence. They asked Milo to be their Tech for Good technology partner. We were tasked with helping them with the user experience design and development of a gaming-based digital tool. The objective is to increase capacity to help children with mild to moderate special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Digital platform

The accompanying web application transforms the digital services that Tender offers to schools. The digital platform helps deliver Relationships Education to vulnerable groups of young people. Through the digital platform the game and workshops can be set up and tailored to a learners' individual needs. Teachers can track students' progress, gaining insight into learning outcomes that they have achieved.

The challenge

  • Game based learning: To create a gaming-based digital tool to enable young people with special educational needs (SEND) to engage with sensitive topics from a safe distance. To develop empathy and to “rehearse” for real-life scenarios. To explore their rights, expectations and choices in relationships in a fun and age-appropriate way.
  • Digital platform: To create a digital service for schools to support the delivery of Relationships Education. Enable teachers to tailor the gaming-based digital tool to a learners' needs. Track pupils progress against learning outcomes and generate student reports.

UX design and co-design workshops

Our UX team co-designed every aspect of the game in partnership with neurodiverse young people, their schools and caregivers. When we asked, young people told us emphatically that they wanted a fun and engaging role-playing game. We co-designed the characters, stories, gameplay and visual design. The game would help them navigate the complexities of relationships and to help build their confidence.

Some of the designs created by young people during the UX and co-design sessions that were conducted  as part of the development of the Relationship Goals Game and App.
Our UX team organised a series of co-design workshops with neurodiverse young people. The co-design workshops help to determine the narrative, gameplay and characters.

Narrative game progression, themes and levels

Our UX design team worked with talented scriptwriters to develop the characters and create a narrative driven game. The game enables players to “rehearse” for real-life scenarios by allowing them to make choices in a safe environment. The script was written in such a way that the game can be configured for primary and secondary schools. The themes and language adapt to ensure that the levels are age appropriate.

An image depicting the Relationship Goals game for Tender.
The scriptwriters and UX team designed each chapter in the game to present challenging scenarios for players to explore. They can explore sensitive topics in a safe and supportive environment.

Level design and topic progression

The game has five levels and three mini-levels, each of which explores a different topic about relationships. These topics increase in their complexity and maturity as the game progresses. They cover topics such as empathy, personal space, online safety, peer pressure and consent.

  • Fresh Start: The player has arrived at a new school and wants to get to know their classmates. But, with so many different personalities in one place, can everyone get on and respect each other? ‍
  • The Photo: Embarrassing photos of someone known to the player are being sent around the school against their will. Their friend confides in them that they are also being pressured to send a photo by someone in class. Can the player help them work out what to do? ‍
  • Cupcakes: It’s the school bake sale and the player is starting to get to know their classmates really well. Some of their friends want to play a prank on another friend in their group: what should they do?
  • Red Flags: As friendships get closer, navigating everyone’s feelings gets tricky and people feel left out or get jealous. How does the player deal with this? Also, two of their classmates are now in a relationship! But something doesn’t seem quite right... Can the player work out if their relationship is healthy and support their friends?
  • Moving On: Every relationship goes through difficulties and resolving conflict is hard. Two of the player's friends are a couple, but one of them wants to end the relationship. Can the player support them to do this in a healthy way and feel confident about their next steps?

Relationship health and romance scores

The player's choices determine the health of the relationship and romance score that they have with each character. Choices are linked to one of the learning outcomes for each level. This means that adults can effectively support young people with Relationships Education. They can see what topics they understand, or find challenging and may need additional support with.

Image showing a menu of decisions available to the user whilst playing the Relationship Goals roleplaying game.
Players make choices in the game that help them navigate real-life social interactions.

Dating other characters

Whether a character will go on a date is dependent on the Relationship and Romance score with the player. The Relationship and Romance scores are balanced to reflect the outcome of the player choices during the game. The dating mini levels focus on building young people's understanding of romantic or intimate relationships and include:

  • Asking someone out on a date
  • Going on a date
  • Breaking up with someone

An image shows the different chapters available in the game, including the mini levels that allows players to ask someone out on a date, go on a date and break up.
Players progress through chapters unlocking dating options with other characters along the way.

Avatar builder

Students can create their own character using a highly customisable Avatar Builder. The Avatar Builder enables them to choose from a wide range of facial features, skin tones, hairstyles and outfits. The avatar is displayed next to the choices that the player is making.

Onboarding and in-game support

Throughout the game players are supported by Shay and Mr Hill. Friendly and supportive grown-ups explain how to play the game and highlight important concepts in Relationships Education, like consent. Shay checks-in with players to ensure that they are comfortable when taking next steps with other characters. Players are supported when dating or ending relationships.

An image showing Shay, one the supportive adult characters in the Relationship Goals game.
Shay supports players by offering advice on dating and explaining key features of the game. 

Character profiles

The player can read background information about each character. The character profiles give insights to the personality, values, likes and dislikes of the game characters. They help players make informed choices whilst playing the game.

An image showing a character profile from the Relationship Goals game.
Players can find out about the personality of the in-game characters by reading their profiles.


At the end of each level the player participates in a tournament round. Tournaments test their knowledge and understanding of the learning outcomes through a series of fun interactive activities.

An image showing the Tournament from the Relationship Goals game.
At the end of each level a tournament consolidates the players knowledge and understanding of the learning outcomes.


The game characters are all voiced by professional actors which brings the game to life for players. It also helps students with visual impairments, or low levels of literacy play the game. The game pauses as each dialogue or action is presented. This gives the opportunity for players to move at their own pace through the game. They can take as much time as required to re-read or re-listen to dialogue before making choices. A settings panel enables players to configure the game to meet their individual needs. They can decide whether to include SFX or Voice Over audio.

An image showing the settings panel from the Relationship Goals game.
Voice over audio was recorded with professional actors to support young people with low levels of literacy.

Customisable online game engine

The digital tool is supported by a highly customisable online game engine. The game engine allows non-technical teams to script, set up and publish new game levels without assistance. The game engine was built using Strapi, an open-source headless content management system (CMS) and includes:

  • Scenes: Set up scenes by adding backgrounds, UI layout, characters, and character emotions in the scene.
  • Script: Adding script and linking sequences together
  • Player choices: Adding player choices, linking choices to game outcomes and balancing the scores for Relationship and Romance health
  • Tournaments: Creating fun mini-games from a library of game types and linking them to learning outcomes
  • Dating: Creating the conditions for dating each character
  • Onboarding: Creating help files and in-game onboarding sequences for explaining key features
  • Profiles: Creating profiles for each of the in-game characters
  • Media: Uploading voice over audio files and linking them to script and player choices

An image depicting the game engine CMS for the Relationship Goals game.
The game engine enables non-technical users to set up scenes and configure the digital tool via an online CMS.

Digital platform for schools

The digital tool, workshops and reports are managed via an easy to use digital platform designed specifically for teachers. Teachers set up workshop groups and create game accounts for students. They can configure the chapters available within the game. Additionally they can decide whether students can progress at their own pace or require support from those leading the workshops. The language used in the game can be tailored to meet the needs of different age groups. The schools platform includes:

  • Accounts: School and user account management
  • Training: Training resources for teachers
  • Workshops: Workshop setup and game configuration
  • Reports: Reports for students, workshops and schools

An image showing the schools web application for the Relationship Goals game that enables teachers to set up and run student workshops. Teachers can configure the game to meet the needs of their students.
The Relationship Goals digital platform for schools is a web application that enables teachers to configure the game to meet the individual needs of their students.

Digital innovation in Relationships Education

Tender is utilising digital innovation to protect vulnerable young people from sexual assault and domestic violence. Relationship Goals aims to create a lasting, positive impact on how neurodiverse young people approach real-life social interactions. They are groups that have consistently been left out or ignored by conventional relationship education. By educating young people to recognise the early warning signs of unhealthy relationships, we prevent them from becoming victims or perpetrators. Relationship Goals empowers them to have healthy, equal relationships that enrich their lives.

Growth of digital services

The Relationship Goals platform expands the scope of the digital services that Tender offers to schools. It supports the growth of Tenders educational programmes and increases the number of young people that can participate. Schools can tailor the game-based digital tools to meet the needs of their students. They can track pupils' progress and support the delivery of Relationships Education.


Tender is currently piloting the game and digital platform in schools. The aim is to scale the service nationally during 2022-23. During this time Milo will be supporting Tender as their Tech for Good technology partner. We will be improving the game and digital platform, and respond to feedback from young people and schools.

Accessing the service

The game is available to play online in the browser and on iOS and Android devices. To find out how to access the service please visit the Relationship Goals website or contact Tender.

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App design & development services

Game, mobile & web application development

A multidisciplinary team was necessary for the creation of Relationship Goals. We helped with user experience design, game design, web design, character design, illustration, web application development and game development.

Game & user experience design

  • Concept development
  • Co-design workshops
  • Concept validation
  • Wireframing
  • Storyboarding
  • Game prototyping
  • Game design document (GDD)
  • Character design & illustration
  • Content development
  • User interface design
  • Voice over recording & SFX
  • Website design
  • User testing
  • Creative direction

Game & web application development

  • Game engine development
  • Unity game development (web, iOS & Android)
  • Web application development
  • Headless CMS (Strapi)
  • Heroku cloud application platform
  • App analytics
  • SendGrid
  • Squarespace development
  • Multi device testing
  • Support & maintenance
  • Project management
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