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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: [Project] Cardgame Women in HIstory rss

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Fernanda Nunes
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Hi,

I am an undergrad Graphic Designer student in Brazil and I was always interested in games, specially board games. I did a summer internship at the USC (university of southern California) gamelab which made me be more sure about my passion for games.
This way, I decided to do as my final thesis (to conclude my studies) an educational game about Women in History.

I have preference to make a card game with a cooperative game (I don't want to make women fight against each other).

I wonder if you guys have some tips to give me about mechanics and which games I should look to gather inspiration. I want to understand the educational part and also the coop part. Can be board games too (I am just starting the project so I can change if fits better).

Thank you so much for your time and I will definitely post the progress here!

*sorry about the typos*
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Andrew Rowse
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Coops are hard to get right. I think you should do a set collection game (like Sushi Go) using different classes of historical women - scientists, artists, nobility, etc. That will allow you to show off the graphic design without spending too much of your time going back and forth on rules.

At the end of the day, your thesis won't be judged on the quality of the rules and mechanics!
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lampeter
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That sounds like a really cool project!

I am very new to game design, so take my game designer badge with a grain of salt.

It might help you to track down a bunch of games that are billed as educational and just play them. Many are very stale and feel like they are just trying to coerce you into learning the material. It may help to have this experience as a player so you can avoid it in your game. And if you find an educational game that you enjoy, take a look at what made it both educational and fun.

As for other inspiration, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game comes to mind because I have been playing it recently. Basically, you choose characters with base statistics and play through many different scenarios with those characters, improving them over time. You also have a deck of weapons, magical items, and allies that can come to your aid. There are also decks of cards for the different locations that the characters visit on their quest to solve the scenario. You can try it out in app form for free.
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Bleicher
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I'm not much into coop games, but, from those I played, I would recommend you take a look at Hanabi, as it has a clever way of avoiding the "alpha player problem" which is usually an annoying aspect of cooperative games.

There are games on which each player has a specific profession, as in XCOM: The Board Game or Pandemic, and although that would be a bit harder to adapt to cards, they may give you some ideas that may fit your theme (perhaps assembling a team of women from different fields of knowledge?).

Well, I hope you are successful for this project. And by the way, are you aware of the Women and Gaming sub-forum?
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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I'm rather partial to Forbidden Desert, so I'd probably use that as a base if I was going to make an educational co-op about women in history.
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Chris Williams

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The first thought that occurs to me is splitting them up into groups into some fashion. E.g., scientists, fighters, healers, leaders, etc. Probably just get a list of a lot of them an see what headings pretty closely split them out into even sets.

Just that will help people to learn about them, if you're able to preserve the groupings in the game.

If you really want to make it educational, I know there's a series of games where you're trying to guess attributes about certain animals. "What continent is this animal from?" They keep the answers very broad, so you have a chance of getting the answer just from luck. In a similar vein is the Timeline series, where you just put things in chronological order.

But for a coop, the trick is to find something that 1) they're all working against and, 2) they have a mechanism for getting past it, which ideally ties into the theme.

You could go abstract and have something like, each player has a character trying to get across a field, with obstacles that are randomly sliding around to knock them off their course. Then the players can use the cards to get past those obstacles. The obstacles could stay undefined.

Or, to be less abstract, you could have resources of various kinds, and historical events pop up that require certain resources (scientific findings, military strength, leadership, etc.) to get past. Your characters know what problems are coming up and have some mechanism for earning resources. A simple mechanism for earning resources would be a yahtzee mechanic. Say, give each player a set of historic ladies, each with a set of dice rolls defined that - if you hit - gives you a certain number of resources.
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Canada
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KAndrw wrote:
Coops are hard to get right. I think you should do a set collection game (like Sushi Go) using different classes of historical women - scientists, artists, nobility, etc. That will allow you to show off the graphic design without spending too much of your time going back and forth on rules.


+1 for set collection. 7 Wonders is a sort of set collection game too, so you could look at that as an example.

You could have a lot of fun with this mixing specific famous women, historical events, and general groups of women who achieved something together. Like, if you collect a bunch of women pilots, you get a certain amount of points; if one of them is Amelia Earhart, you get the Air Races achievement & some bonus points. Or if one of them is Jackie Cochran instead, you get the Women Airforce Service Pilots achievement & some bonus points.

You could do this with lots of different types of things - like, collect enough suffragettes and you get the right to vote; collect the Famous Five for even more points.

Different types of women could have their points counted differently - like if you wanted to have female political leaders in your game, maybe there are just a whole bunch of individuals and your point total goes up exponentially the more you have (like 2 is worth 2 points, 3 is worth 4, 4 is worth 6 or something, etc.) But if you only have one woman politician, you lose points because it's tokenism
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Fernanda Nunes
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AHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS!

I was planning to use Forbidden Desert as reference for a coop game against the the board (or even something like Boss Monster ?)
7 wonders is one of my favorite games and I really liked the simplicity of sushi go. To be more graphical and educational it is a good way to start I think.

I bought Grizzle to see if I could do something coop using their ideas but I found sooo complicated (don't know if it was me or whateve, the game has good reviews).

I really appreciate all your help and I will post here in two weeks my first draft of the game!

All ideas were great, I will definetly research more about those women and try to separate them in groups to visualize better.

Also I didn't know about that branch of the forum, I will take a look there and maybe continue the post there (depending on where my project goes).


Thanks thanks thanks!
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Derek H
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Some ideas; not really co-op, though!

Professions:

* medical (nightinggale)
* exploration (earheart)
* politics (clinton, thatcher)
* writers (bronte)
* actresses (streep)
* singers (marlene)

Mechanics:

* Set collection - by country; age; profession etc.
* Trivia ("name the woman who...")
* Placing in historical order - e.g. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/85256/timeline-invention...
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Luc Noël
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User kungfugeek had done a hidden identity game using U.S. Presidents. I thought it was amusing and clever (and educational). Something in that vein could also work!

From the original thread:
kungfugeek wrote:

Rules
Keep your president card a secret! If you have multiple president cards, choose one to use before the game starts. You can use this card to keep it hidden!
1. Choose an opponent. Make sure they want to play.
2. The older player starts the game. Take turns.
3. On your turn, guess your opponent’s president. If you’re right, you win!
4. Otherwise, you have to give a clue about your own president.
The clue has to be something useful. For example, saying that, “My president was a man” doesn’t narrow things down at all, and would be invalid. But saying, “My president is still alive” narrows things down quite a bit. You can use the facts on the back of your card for ideas!
5. After you give your clue, your opponent takes his turn, starting with their guess for your president.
6. The first player to guess the other player’s president wins! He takes the loser’s president card as his own, and laughs.
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Paul Wagner
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Women of Hanabi

From the Biography Deck, everyone is dealt, face-down, a woman whom they are trying to correctly re-create their biographical information from a deck of 50? 100? women in History. Place this woman's card in a stand in front of you, facing you, and hidden from the other players' views.

Each woman's Bio Cardwill contain five (six?) Traits (much like the five/six card colors in Hanabi), and each trait will also on this bio card will have a listed value varying from 4 to 14.

Each player in the game will also have a deck of 50 "Trait/Number" cards.

Each card will have a Trait heading on it. Each card will ALSO have a
number on it. The numbers will range from value 1 to value 5, but each
number appears twice (and only twice) on each Trait.

So, let's say the five Traits are Wealth, Nobility/parentage, Talent, Education, and Grit.

Then there are two Wealth cards valued at 1, two at 2, two at 3, two at 4, and two at 5. This would be true of all the other Traits, too.

Everyone has their own deck of these 50 cards (10 cards each of the five Traits), and shuffles their personal deck, and draws five cards and holds them facing AWAY from them (as in Hanabi).

On every turn, as in Hanabi, you may play a card, discard a card, or ask a question about your hand (there are six(?) "question chits" in front of you also). Every time you ask a question, flip over a chit. No chits? -- you can't ask questions. Want to create a chit? Discard a card.

As you take a turn, you may inquire about a Trait, or a Number, but never both simultaneously.

When you "play" a card, you must state which Trait you think it is, and then turn it face up in front of you. You are trying to re-create the value of your character's trait, using a total of 3 (and ONLY 3, and it MUST BE 3 cards). If you are correct, the card remains on your tableau. If it is incorrect, you must place it in your discard area.

The trick would be that some character's trait's values would necessarily need to be low, while others might need very high ones.

If you drew Mother Teresa, for example, her Wealth value might be 4 (the lowest number you can create using 3 cards).
If you drew Cleopatra, for example, her Wealth value might be 14 (the highest number you can create using 3 cards).

The game ends when everyone has "filled" their tableau in front of them playing three cards in each of the 5 traits. (If you did not manage to correctly place 3 cards on each trait, then you will not be in contention for winning the game unless all other players also failed to do so.)

Anyone who re-created their character exactly is a "Winner", and the game may end in a tie.

If no one re-creates their character exactly, then figure the difference between the card value and the tableau value, do this for all five traits, and then add the numbers together. Everyone announces his/her totals. LOWEST total wins! (Again, there may be ties. A way to create a tie-breaker would then be to have one trait on each character have an astericks on it -- of the tied players, whoever is closest to THAT Trait is then the winner! Still tied? Both win!)

Examples of Characters:

Mother Teresa

Wealth -- 4
Nobility -- 4
Education -- 10
Talent* -- 14
Grit -- 14

In your game notes you would include the bio of Mother Teresa, who was born to an Albanian family in 1910, had no noble parentage,
finished high school but also took basic medical training to help the poor, had a "talent" in that she was exceedingly pious, and
had enormous Grit in dealing with, in her own words, "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all
those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are
shunned by everyone." Her tie-breaker is her Trait of Piety.

Queen Victoria

Wealth -- 14
Nobility* -- 14
Education -- 11
Talent -- 6
Grit -- 6

Queen Victoria's father was a Prince and her mother, a Princess. She never wanted for material things. She was privately tutored
through her schooling years; at 18 she became the Queeen. She showed some small talent in governing (see: The Great Famine/Starvation,
the "widow of Windsor", Mrs. Brown), and she led a sheltered, protected, regal life (the Grit rating being the many assassination
attempts she endured). Her tie-breaker is her Noble parentage.

******

Not sure if this would work, it would of course need to be play-tested. Just an idea is all.
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Fernanda Nunes
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Hey folks!

First I would like to thank you all for the insights and motivation to keep the project going on! I am still on the research phase but I see good things coming on! It is awesome to know that this project can come true and you guys ideas helped a lot!


Here some updates of the project and the shape that is getting:
- Game about Women in History
- Audience: kids starting to learn history (I still need to find the exact age, I assume is between 10 and 12 yo)
- It is a game to play at home with friends and parents (not for school purpose)
- Can be a card game (preference) or with board (less likely)
- I will use the suggestion you guys gave to try to organize the women by their areas and contribution
- Motivation: This is especially for girls but of course boys need too! Since our history classes has almost 90% represention of men in history, would be cool if our kids known who were those women that did lots of stuff too! And this is a way to make the kids, especially girls, more likely to pursue their careers and know that they can do it too!

It will be only a small part, but I really believe in the social contribution of the game!

I will start to work on mechanics (test what works) in two weeks and I will let you guys know how it is going!

Thank you again!

FN
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