Standards - Systems

ImageUnderstand that we live and work within systems of cause and effect in which actions may have multiple origins and consequences.

Project Type: Group
Class: EDTEC 670 - Exploratory Learning Through Simulations and Games
Artifacts: Board Game Project “This Joint is Jumpin’!, Gamecrafter Purchase Page



Our team, consisting of myself, Manuel Oliverez, Jess Sanders and Teresa Richards, was charged with creating an educational board game in EDTEC 670.  The topic we chose was the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s and our target audience was 12th grade students. In this board game, players would take on the roles of Harlem residents going out on the town collecting guests for a “rent” party, during which they would be exposed to notable era political figures, artists, entertainers, and landmarks. The guests they collected were in the form of cards, and at the end of the game whoever scored the most points in obtaining runs (relationships between the people/places) of their cards would be the winner.

The Standard Connection

Understand that we live and work within systems of cause and effect in which actions may have multiple origins and consequences.

A board game in and of itself is a system chock full of cause and effect, but even the process our group went through could be considered as such. Working as a team, we each stepped up with our individual strengths to begin dividing up the development of the game. Given that the board game would need graphics work and I had a pretty fair hand at using Photoshop, I volunteered to work on graphics with another team member. My main task was creating our deck of cards containing the names and historic tidbits of various figures. In order to create those cards in their entirety, however, I of course would rely on the team member named as our subject matter expert to provide me with the content. Since the deck of cards was a key element of the game play, in that the relationship between a player’s cards would affect if they scored the most points at the end, it was crucial that not only I received accurate content from my team member but that I also double checked across all cards that the content would provide fair game play. Even just in that small sub section of the creation of the board game was a whole system of actions that could affect our intended players and the outcome of their game.

As for the game play itself, while much of a game is chance such as the luck of the draw or the roll of the die, we wanted to make sure the players could still have a hand in the outcome by providing them with some actions they could control. On certain spaces of the board, they would actually need to make a choice of either staying in the lead or going backwards but getting two free cards, both actions which could either help or hinder their game play. In addition, HOW they matched up their cards to make relationships was entirely up to them.

Challenges and Opportunities

I had a little bit of trouble getting started with the deck of cards, as the Game Crafter site our board game would be produced on had very precise specifications for the size and format of the cards. I of course was VERY concerned about ending up with faulty cards, since they were the basis of our game’s play. I had to play around with their template quite a bit to get it working well for our purposes, and also had to contact their support to make sure that before I went to work on creating a few dozen cards I had the right specifications to fit their cards. Working on this element of the board game helped me learn quite a bit about the Game Crafter site and products and I saw it as another opportunity to learn of a very useful (and fun!) instructional design tool.