The game designs of the future are here--created by middle schoolers, no less.
And we're done! Last day of school! Yay!!!!!!
Thanks to everyone who thumbed, asked questions or posted comments. My students get so excited (and a wee bit competitive) as the thumbs and comments roll in. Thanks to the BGG community for your support, and we'll see you in the fall!
Every semester I am fortunate to teach board game design to my middle school students in our gifted class. The whole semester is all about board games and culminates with each student designing their own full prototype and writing a full ruleset. This semester, I have 28 students' designs to proudly present.
New this year, I had some very prolific designers! Two students not only made their own games, but also collaborated on at least two others! It was exciting to see them so driven and focused on this fantastic hobby.
We use a process inspired by the Stanford d.school's model of prototype development which emphasizes quick prototype development and quality feedback. Given that we spend one quarter playing and studying games, students basically have one quarter to design, build, and test their own prototypes. So quick prototype development and feedback are really important to us, as are the design mindsets:
Bias towards action
Collaborate across boundaries
Focus on human values
Be mindful of process
Prototype towards a solution
Show, don't tell
Over the course of the semester, the students created a short game with random materials, then learned about mechanics. Then, each learned the rules for a published game and taught it to the class in small rotating groups so they each played between 6 and 8 games (more would come later). Next, they worked on selecting a theme that incorporated conflict, and then chose mechanics that would complement the theme. They then worked on prototyping, clarifying objectives and victory conditions, changing the prototype, and finally writing rules.
So, I have these amazing prototypes to share with everyone. As always, I am eternally surprised by the creativity and difficult choices my students make in developing their prototypes. A mountain of work in a semester, and these fantastic students deserve every bit of credit you can sling their way.
For their blurbs below, they had to provide the following information:
1. Provide a short Description:
2. Describe the gameplay—what do players do on their turns, how do the components of the game interact with each other?
3. Why did you choose this theme?
4. Game Mechanics: what are they and how are they used?
5. How do players win and how the game ends?
6. WHY IS YOUR GAME AWESOME AND AMAZING?
More designs and pictures will continue to be added.
Please feel free to thumb, ask questions, and/or comment on games. My students definitely pay attention to this. I will have students respond to every comment and question.
Special thanks to three generous, talented local game designers for coming in to my classes to talk about their games and to answer questions. Thanks to the following designers who came in to speak with my class:
My soulmate, mark sellmeyer, Spin Monkeys and graphic designer of Fistful of Dinero.
Aaron belmer,Aaron BelmerUnited States
Chris Darden,Chris Darden(cbdarden)United States
Lake Saint Louis
I created a Meta Geeklist for all my former posts about my students' work. You can subscribe to it, if you'd like to see what we've done and get updates on future posts. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/156902/meta-geeklist-f...
Also, I have a website where I am putting all my game design materials. Please note I am a lot behind, but my goal for summer is to push out all the materials I've been updating this semester, so take a look at http://www.kathleenmercury.com. I welcome collaboration, comments, and suggestions.
Thanks so much for supporting my students and their work!
- [+] Dice rolls