Introduction: How to Make an Educational Board Game
Example: Climate Change Board Game
Step 1: Pick Topic
Choose the target age group. Pick the topic that is important for them that is applicable to real-world and classroom content.
Example: We selected climate change.
Step 2: Narrow Topic
Narrow the topic to make it feasible for play within the time constraint of a class period.
Ensure the topic is appropriate for the age of the audience. Determine the learning goal of the game. Many topics have various subtopics within, select a subtopic that will meet your learning goal.
Example: Our first subtopic was animal migration due to climate change, however the feedback through discussion with peers was that the subtopic of migration was too limited.
Step 3: Design
Once you have a rough idea of the concept of the game, determine the rules and create a basic version of your game. Consider:
- How many players
- Length of the game
- What choices players will have
- How game progresses
- End goal of the game
Example: Our rules were designed for 4 players to play in one class period. Players took on roles (scientist, engineer, politician, construction worker) and worked together to explore lands, address flooding, and build homes. The end goal is to build 10 homes on adjacent land tiles to support a population of 100,000 people.
Step 4: Compare to Other Games
Try to play other games to get new ideas of designing fun and knowledgeable board game.
Example: We played Ticket to Ride and Pandemic board game.
Step 5: Redesign
Using aspects from other games and modify your game to include useful rules and constraints
*repeat until you have incorporated all feedback
Step 6: Feedback
Create a prototype of the game. Play your game with others and ask for feedback-what was fun, what was difficult, what did they learn? And include this feedback in future interactions of the redesign.
*repeat until peers have a positive playing experience and accomplish the learning goal.
Example: We played our game with classmates and received the feedback that their was too little motivation for the players to progress forward in the game. Future iterations included more motivators for players at the start of the game.