Hello all this is my lastest project that I have started in Febuary 2011 for this project I have joined forces with my fellow pier Wesley McNulty, and for this project we have been give a brief to design a board or card game. This blog will be my research report for of you to see the stages and process of project as its happening.
To start of this project we started to brainstorm all the board and card games that we’ve played or know of to search for some ideas as a possible new game that could be made. We were very interested in specifically board games as they were mostly played by ourselves such as monopoly, mousetrap, battleship, etc…..
We particually were interested in making a game that is for sustainability as that is the point of our course. But not only will the materials that the board game will be made will be completely sustainable but also the way in which the game is played.
As an idea we wanted to incorporate education into the mix with our board game to teach and encourage people of all ages to really ingage with the game and its ethics. We thought that monopoly was the best game for this kind of game sector as it teaches people or families in a fun way to invest, build and lose money at the roll of a dice.
After much chatting and debating on our ideas for a game on sustainability, the best board game most similar was “Monopoly” as it is a educational game that teaches people of all ages to manage, expand and lose money as well as awareness of actual real life place with in London, UK….
So we decided to venture on our first research outing to “Trago Mills” a large multi-product store on the end of Falmouth Highstreet, Cornwall. When we got into Trago Mills and found the Board game section of the store we uncovered all the typical games we had written down on your spidergram lists: “Buckaroo, Mousehunt, Snakes’n'ladders, Operation, etc….)
Eventually we got to the Monopoly section, which to our surprise covered the whole top shelve with the different varities of Monopoly: Monopoly Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford, UK Cities, Digital, U-Build, etc”…..
Here are some of the pictures we took of the various board games we found there…..
Some of the pictures are a little unfocused as we were taking the pictures on our mobile phones…..
After we had got the information and research from the board games we decided to design a game that was like monopoly in many ways but instead of just cities or places within cities, we wanted to expand the scale of the monopoly geography to Shire Counties around the England. There was simply too many counties within England to put them all in our board.
Also like monopoly “Evolution and U-Build” they have changed the shapes of their boards so we decided to redesign the shape of the board to include more players so we chose to reshape it into a Pentegon shape.
From our trip to Trago’s we liked the idea of a digital chip’n'pin device as we were designing this board to cover whole countires and each player would need millions if not billions of money so as to save on paper useage but design a more futuristic style machine with a “Flex-i-card” that you swipe across the machine (like a London Oyster Card)
After our trip we returned home and went about designing the shape of the board game and some personal characteristics the we wanted the bard game to have that differented from the rest of the series.
Here are some pictures of us mocking up a design for our board…
What e came up with was to design a board that could be packaged in its box as minimulus as possible so just a pentegon shape the board game could be folded five times to make a single triangle this would reduce the amount of card-board used in its production.
And the new shape ment that more players could play on the board as well there is more space to place all the cards, peices and information that the board will present.
For the second week of this project we started sketching out the layout of the board, where everything went and the designs/redesigns of the playing cards and pieces. As this was a sustainable version of the monopoly edition we wanted to incorporate the alternative sustainable energy sources: SOLAR, GEOTHERMAL, NUCLEAR, WIND, TIDE, ETC. From the traditional parts of the game known now: ELECTRIC & WATER COMPANY. So as best educate the new generations today that would now play this version and learn about sustainable sources as fun as possible.
Here are some of the sketches that we came up with…..
Also one of the largest factors of this project is the budget of £30, so we had to look at the various board game prices on sale to see what kind of board game you can buy for £30 or less and what people were prepared to spend on the kind of board games that we were basing ours on.
Monopoly – Original: £16.99
Monopoly Here and Now Uk Edition: £19.99
Monopoly – Mega Edition: £29.99
The most expensive board games that we found obviously electonic such as “Monopoly Evolution and Here and Now”, which uses a chip and pin system to manage your money.
During our Tutorial of the week we had a chat with our tutor Mike and we explained our ideas of our “Monopoly -Eco/Shire” edition the comments that were made were good, where the main idea of the game is to buy counties within the counties and develop modern sustainable energies to richen the counties the player buys.
During our tutorial we encountered some reconsiderations for our board game, such as developing the idea of county development more than just developing with sustainable energy but also development into infastructure. Also to develop our research into individual county richness (e.g. what is good about the Yorkshire Dales compared with London). One of the largest problems we had with our idea is that most poeple we talk to about our idea would rather play the original monopoly than a sustainble version if that had the choice.
So we looked to changing the initial idea of our sustainble monopoly game type with something a little more “Our Own Game” and so we went back to the sketchboard and looked into redesigning the game all together.
Here is what we had started with and what we came up with later as a redesign…..
For this redesign of our board game I have allocated all the counties on the North East, West, Middle and South have been placed as you would see them on the map with the left and right on the board.
Another change in the board design from the monopoly equalivent is an additional third dice that will have a small picture of the card that you must pick up.
These cards have been relabelled and redesigned from the tradition monopoly board community chest and chance cards to: community bin and chance in the design of two recycling containers: bin and box to re-empower the sustainabilty aspect of the game.
For this week was a pure bredded concept and prototype week, with re-designs of our playing cards, currency, playing pieces as well as the rules.
We started our week again with a tutorial, which we began thinking not just to use only the shires of England that were labelled as shires but also to include all the counties of England, which meant we had to rescale our game board to incorporate the additional spaces for the counties from 25 to 36.
Here are some of the pictures of our newly designed concept of our large scale Hexagon Board…..
After designing our new scaled up board we had to then include and design the playing cards as well for the additional counties. What we wanted to design for the cards were cut-out borders of each county so that the players can see exactly what the counties would look like if they were separated.
Here are some pictures of our started concepts of the playing cards from Middle east and West England…..
Another thing that we talked about for our redesign was currency, as designing a chip and pin device would most likely blow our budget. So we decided to use the more traditional paper note money but would be designed more modern to fit the current times. For our game since players would be buying whole counties we had to increase the values of the notes from £1 – £500, to £1 million to £1 billion as that would be the kind of money most realistically the counties would value around.
Here is our original template we based our currency on….
We had decided that the best currency amounts to use where 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 million and 1 billion so it was as useable and readable as traditional monopoly so as not to confuse any players in our new version. Also we wanted to make the money graphics and imagery more recognisable and include real made products that resemble the amount of the notes worth.
For the money we have included a “ A Bugatti Veyron, A British Challenger Tank, A G-6 Aeroplane, Apollo 18 Rocket, The London Eye Ferris Wheel, The O2 Arena & A Destroyer Battleship…..
Here is the finished template of what of the money we have designed to be used for the game….
For cards was a much more complicated thing, as each county we were developing had different natural qualities such as high terrain, rich water supply or coast lines meant that judging the worth’s of the various counties had to be estimated.
We researched into the British natural statistics survey to find out how best to calculate the worth’s of each county. And what kind of development would best suit the counties in question. So what evidence I found I placed into a noted chart for windiest and sunniest counties as solar panels and wind turbines we thought would be most recognisable to players.
Here are some of the cards that we have designed that are rich in such natural energy supply……
For the beginning of this week we had a tutorial with our tutor “Mike” talking about the progress of our ideas for this game. When we explained to Mike the style and overwhelming complexity of our game, we decided that a typical family based game was not suitable. So we re-looked at marketing our game for a more educational direction such as primary/secondary schools or more adult board gamers.
We chose from this point to design the game to create more awareness to this public market that would benefit from this game and encourage people to fully understand the benefits the UK could have from having a more sustainable Country in a full fun way.
The playing pieces was the next stage of the final concept development, in traditional monopoly the playing pieces were various items that represented England (e.g. Thimble, Cannon, Sports car, Yorkshire terrier, etc.) So for our sustainable and modern version we want to redevelop the pieces keeping the monopoly English patriarchy with modern varieties.
TESLER ELECTRIC SPORTS CAR
G-5 PRIVATE AIRCRAFT
BLACK AND DECKER POWERDRILL
BATTLE DESTROYER SHIP
For cost and time we laser-cut and engraved the pieces from a digital format using 3mm Perspex and using a heat wire, folded the lower section of the piece so it would stand up and reflect the image like a mirror.
Here are the pieces we had decided to use for the final board game….
For the hexagon board to best make the board playing more manageable, illustrated a map of England for the front graphics of the playing board with a guided route travelling through England as each player circled likewise around the map.
We marked out the districts N, S, E & W in the same colours according to colours on the board pieces to educate people geographically where the counties come from on a map of England.
In each of the corners which play a very memberable part of monopoly we decided to change these as well but to add a modern flare with recogniseable objects and things that consumers/users will clearly know. Such as:
START – Go around again and receive 200 million
BANK HOLIDAY – Miss a go
STUCK IN TRAFFIC or JUST PASSING BY
NATIONAL LOTTERY – Collect 100 million
FREE PARKING – All taxes and public costs in the middle of the board duing play, go straight to player that lands on this space
AN ACCIDENT ON THE ROAD – Go get stuck in traffic
Like Monopoply there are utility pieces and cards for the board game as well such as: “ELECTRIC” and “WATER” company. We decided to add to this collection with other sustainable energy supplies that are used in current times so as to help teach users about sustainable energy generators.
HYDROELECTRIC PLANT- Dam’s that pass water through turbines to generate electricity.
NUCLEAR PLANT – Plant that uses concentrated nuclear matter to generate electricity.
WINDFARM – Collection of wind turbines to generate electricity.
GEOTHERMAL PLANT - Plant that sends water currents through pipes deep underground to produce consistant heat for water and central heating in houses or flats.
RECYCLING CENTRE – A centre that recycles/remouldes re-useable wastes and packaging.
ELECTRIC COMPANY – An electric plant that generates electricity from a variety of methods to homes and cities.
The final pieces of the board that are included in traditional monopoly are the taxes. For this I wanted to include more taxes, especially as England is renowned for multiple taxes i thought it would be informal for educating users on the kinds of taxes and why it is that we all in real life must pay these taxes at some point in our lives. The taxes include: “INFLATION, INCOME, COUNCIL and CONGESTION TAX (LONDON).
With all the objects for the game now included the only thing that was needed before making it a playing tool was our very own logo, for this we chose something that best illustrated visually and verbaly our concept…….
With all this together this is the final design for our board game we hope you like it…