Game Design Showcase: 28 July 2021

IAT 312 showcase poster - 2021 Summer

On Wednesday July 28 2021, stu­dents from my Foundations of Game Design course (IAT 312) will show­case their final game design projects where they were tasked to design a (dig­i­tal) boardgame that is not only fun to play (addresss­ing what  Lazzaro  calls “People Fun”), but also “trans­for­ma­tive” or “pur­pose­ful” (aka “Transformative Fun”, what Lazzaro refers to as fos­ter­ing altered states): That is, apart from being fun to play, the game should also be meaningful/purposeful or add value by some­how trans­form­ing the user, e.g., by pro­vid­ing a novel/meaningful user expe­ri­ence, dif­fer­ent perspectives/viewpoints, altered states etc. To this end, stu­dents reflected on topics that they care deeply about that could help create a better world, and are worth design­ing a pur­pose­ful game out of it.

The result­ing (online) board games tackle topics includ­ing work-life bal­ance as a stu­dent, priv­i­lege, sur­viv­ing as a refugee family, eth­i­cal food choices, sus­tain­able fish­ing, wild­fires, sus­tain­able space colonies, safe camp­ing, and sur­viv­ing as a strug­gling artist.

How to participate?

To par­tic­i­pate in our show­case, join us at 4:30pm Pacific Time using this Zoom Link

Schedule: 

4:30–4:40: Introductions from Instructor and TA, overview of the course and the projects in the showcase.

4:40 — 6:40 (max: 7pm): Game Showcase & team inter­view: Each team will be show­cased for about 12min (10-15min), start­ing with the short project video pitch/trailer of their game, fol­lowed by Bernhard inter­view­ing team mem­bers and Chelsea screen shar­ing live game footage. Time per­mit­ting, Bernhard will ask team ques­tions from audi­ence zoom chat. Short break after teams 1–1 to 1–5

6:40 – clos­ing (7pm): Final Q&A, audi­ence ques­tions, closing

Here’s a video record­ing of the show­case — thanks to all the stu­dents and espe­cially our won­der­ful TA Chelsea to help make this happen!

Project posters

Details about the Game Projects:

Better school life

Take it easy to work hard.

Team 1–1

Razor: Each player is a student that tries to get the highest grade out of all the students while maintaining an acceptable mental health state (happiness level).

Better school life is a fast-paced campus expe­ri­ence game in which multi-players will act as school stu­dents to finish a whole semes­ter. Players need to find the bal­ance between study and relax­ation, make sure to keep your­self in a good mood and try to get high grades for this semes­ter. There are lots of spe­cial events during the game, and be ready to pre­pare for the midterm and final.

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

Don't Just Sit In The Tent

Camp Safely!

Team 1–2

Razor: Choose the right equipment and route to take photos of different scenic spots and get back to camp the fastest!

It’s a camp­ing adven­ture game. A group of campers decided to take on a chal­lenge before dark to see who could finish shoot­ing three dif­fer­ent land­scapes and get back to camp the fastest before dark. The game requires a cer­tain amount of camp­ing knowl­edge to cope with unex­pected sit­u­a­tions during camp­ing. Players need to choose the right equip­ment and the cor­rect route to go and return to dif­fer­ent locations.

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

 - the Trucks‘n’Troubles

Seven days, stacked food truck bills, greasy competitors. Work hard, but not too hard, privilege favors the fortunate.

Team 1–3

Razor: Keep on truckin’ as you sell as much food as possible in order to sustain your food truck and discover the fundamentals of how situational outcomes quickly lead to privilege in this fast-food game.team13_157019_16624070_game-poster

Trucks’n’Troubles is a fast-paced game of sit­u­a­tional out­comes and com­pet­i­tive sales bat­tles between food trucks where play­ers must com­pete for the right to pick the best spots first in order to pay off their trucks by the end of a seven-day fes­ti­val. With harsh crit­ics giving you rat­ings each day, and events beyond your con­trol shak­ing things up, play­ers must work hard to sur­vive in the ruth­less market of fast food. Despite it being a col­or­ful and play­ful game, if you look below the sur­face, you will quickly real­ize that easy suc­cess is often attrib­uted to unearned privileges.

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

The Risk for Asylum

Would it be empathy that leads us to success?

Team 1–4

Razor: Work collaboratively to help each other’s families escape from the Syrian war by collecting money and making it around the board to safety while tackling the obstacles that could split your family apart.team14_137409_16624320_312_Poster

Learn about the strug­gles and sac­ri­fices Syrian fam­i­lies must endure and make in order to flee the coun­try towards European coun­tries in order to pro­vide a better life for their chil­dren. In The Risk for Asylum, each player rep­re­sents one family of five mem­bers and is given a back­story and motive to flee along­side their friends. You must make it around the board and col­lect resource packs in order to safely tackle the obsta­cles that deeply impact your family.

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

Grocery Gamble

Sure your meal is delicious, but at what cost?

Team 1–5

Razor: How does food really get to your plate? Players must navigate the ethics and sustainability of the food industry while learning to curate meals.team15_136403_16623004_Grocery Gamble

Grocery Gamble is a fast-paced game where play­ers take on the role of con­sumers who are plan­ning to make sus­tain­able and eth­i­cal deli­cious meals, but they are just miss­ing some key ingre­di­ents. Like real-life gro­cery shop­ping, play­ers need to sift through ingre­di­ents by read­ing labels and pro­duc­tion loca­tions to find exactly what they are look­ing for. As play­ers col­lect and dis­card cards, they are racing against one another to hold on to the best scor­ing cards, and keep in mind you don’t want to come last. But if you do, don’t get down on your­self, dis­cuss and sell your meal to gain “good on you” points to boost your final score!

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

Just Keep Swimming

Fishin’ for disaster!

Team 2–1

Razor: Fish must migrate to their spawning grounds and avoid being captured from the Fishery, whose goal is to capture as much fish as possible to meet their quota of the day.team21_122249_16624026_IAT312-Poster-1

Just Keep Swimming is a 5 player strate­gic mul­ti­player game that shows the issue of over­fish­ing by explor­ing the rela­tion­ship between fish and fish­eries. Players role­play as either an over­fished species of Fish or a Fisherman rep­re­sent­ing the fish­ery. For the Fish role, play­ers must finish their migra­tion jour­ney while avoid­ing the fish­er­man. For the Fisherman role, the player must catch as many Fish as pos­si­ble before the Fish reach their des­ti­na­tion. Through this game­play, play­ers can deepen their aware­ness of how cer­tain fish species are at risk from over­fish­ing and other harm­ful impacts they face in the harsh real­ity where over­con­sump­tion and var­i­ous envi­ron­men­tal issues are rising.

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

Wyld Fyre

Fight fire! Make money. Stay cool Don’t die :)

Team 2–2

Razor: An environmental press-your-luck game that combines aspects of the revealing of cards in Diamant with the premise of the survival game “Eco”, where you try to prevent a disaster from happening.

Players embark on a jour­ney through yet another chal­leng­ing wild­fire season in BC, taking on a role of a large indus­try, choos­ing per­sonal profit gain over acts of good­will and con­tri­bu­tion to com­mu­nal and global sur­vival. How much damage will the play­ers do to the Province and their fellow play­ers in the quest for greater profit? Will the game end in a fiery blaze killing all play­ers? These deci­sions are in the hands of the greedy industries.

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

A New Horizon

Survival of your colony depends on your choices

Team 2–3

Razor: A tile-based game where players work against each other to build the most prosperous colony, while working together to reduce global pollution.team23_155742_16612315_Team 2-3 Poster

Experience a new world where you are forced into dilem­mas that lead to great impacts on others. As lead­ers, you will dis­cover the chal­lenges of man­ag­ing a colony, bal­anc­ing the preser­va­tion of the envi­ron­ment on the new planet while ensur­ing a stable civ­i­liza­tion. After all, you don’t want to repeat the same mis­takes as Earth.

1 minute game trailer:

full video:

Pain(t)

Pain(t) your picture perfect life here! *Artistic recognition not guaranteed

Team 2–4

Razor: In a game that highlights the struggles of becoming successful as an independent artist, build your way to the top starting with nothing! Players will need to manage their resources and make decisions carefully, or they will end up back at square one.team24_159233_16622676_IAT312_Poster

Pain(t) is an eye-opening expe­ri­ence that high­lights the hard­ship and exploita­tion that goes on behind the scenes through­out the visual arts indus­try. Players will get to wit­ness these strug­gles by play­ing as inde­pen­dent artists who are trying to make a name for them­selves, and will have to spend what few resources they have wisely: what will they be will­ing to give up in order to achieve their dreams?

1 minute game trailer:

full video: