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vridhhi c
India
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Hi everyone! So I am designing a card/board game as a part of my final year project based on the theme cell biology. This is mainly for school students who have trouble understanding the concepts in cell biology. I am facing hard time in order to make the game informative and playful at the same time. It'd be great if I could get some inputs. I just have 3 more weeks to design this game.
The ides of the game is to teach the functions of the cell organelles in the various cells(plant, animal, bacteria). I was thinking of a game more on the lines of making your own cell, where the cell organelles are printed on cards which are equally distributed among the players. depending on the organelles you get, you design a cell that runs on those functions. Although I don't see much scope in that.
The game is intended to be universal but starting from the age of 12+
 
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Josh Zscheile
Germany
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Mmh, you likely did not get many responses since your post is very, very broad. Which concepts exactly are you trying to portray? Which experience with card games and game design do you have? What group of students is it for?

You could make it some kind of collection game where you try to get complete cells from cell parts into your hand with different traits depending on the cards. For example, cards could be ribosomes, chloroplasts, vacuoles, cell membranes and so on (I only know these terms from german biology lessons, so sorry if some of them are misspelled in english). Some of these you definitely need for a functioning cell, some are optional and alter the cells behaviour.

If you want to portray cell division (mitosis, meiosis), you could try to have them get a diverse collection of cells where card values represent genetic information. You could choose for a diploid cell (card) to double itself (mitosis - take a diploid cell card with the same value) or to split itself into four haploid cell cards (meiosis - discard the diploid card and draw four haploid cell cards of the same value). Then you could merge two haploid cell cards into a new diploid card (discard two haploid cards, draw a diploid card of their mean value). Player interaction could come from 'trading' or 'stealing' haploid cards to create new diploid cells, which you want as many different from as you can get.

Both ideas have its flaws and would need much work, but since you only have 3 weeks, I think you can be glad if you get anything presentable out of this...
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Bojan Prakljacic
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For some cell on cell action just do a Splendor re-skin, lol.
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Adam P
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Sushi Go re-theme would work in a pinch.

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Anthony Haines
United Kingdom
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Well, I think you need to make a complete list of all the organelles which must be included, and also those which are nice to haves or optional. This is probably quite a short list. And then consider what those organelles actually do. In my opinion, the best way of making a teaching game is to map those characteristics onto the game.

So for example the dominant role of mitochondria is to produce power (i.e. readily available chemical energy - ATP) from fuel (glucose derivatives).
Chloroplasts on the other hand produce ATP using the energy from sunlight (plus water). And if you're so inclined you could include e.g. the Golgi apparatus (involved in protein production).
Now it seems obvious to me that your game could be about building an efficient 'engine' to win the game - there are various resources, and your objective is to process and inter-convert these, perhaps dealing with various additional challenges. For example if you're exposed to pathogenic bacteria, what you need is a phagocytosis pathway.
I've started playing Dominion recently, and deck building seems like a good fit, but there are plenty of other options - and you could easily incorporate other mechanics.

If I were you I'd try to keep it simple and cover the basics really well - if the game isn't fun you might as well not bother, and for the game to be fun you're going to need to spend time playtesting. Of course, that's advice from the perspective of a game player; it may be that a deck of cards which doesn't work as a game at all - but demonstrates that you know the material - is what you need for a good score. Find that out as soon as possible.
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vridhhi c
India
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Do you it is possible to have a board game format in the form of a card game?
So I was thinking of a board game where the players would have to go around the board and collect different cell organelles. Whoever has the maximum number of organelles or powerful organelles wins the game.
 
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vridhhi c
India
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Also thank you for your opinions.. Lets see if I am able to use that input somewhere.
 
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Anthony Haines
United Kingdom
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Thezonkedzebra wrote:
Do you it is possible to have a board game format in the form of a card game?
So I was thinking of a board game where the players would have to go around the board and collect different cell organelles. Whoever has the maximum number of organelles or powerful organelles wins the game.

Many games have both cards and a board - it shouldn't be a problem.

If you're going round a board collecting organelles, then you're representing eukaryogenesis, which incidentally I think is a good name for a game.
This presumably limits you you to mitochondria and plastids(chloroplasts) as organelles (which is fine).

I think your best bet would be to not reward accquisition of the most organelles, but instead reward appropriate use of them. For example, you could have mitochondrea giving you extra action points - for movement etc (if you have the energy), and chloroplasts giving you the energy.
I would be tempted to consider allowing cells to divide - and most cells wins the game. But that might be quite hard to manage reasonably in the context of a board game.

Alternatively, you could suppose that the cells already carry organelles, and the game is about maintaining a suitable number of them through varying conditions. Presumably you'd be able to make organelles divide, or destroy them as appropriate. The player would be thinking things like : "Well in a few moves I'm going to need a lot of metabolism, so I'll start replicating my mitochondria now... and I'll have to pay the (energy) tax on them, so I'll sit here in the sun until then... and as I leave I'll destroy most of the chloroplasts to get some of the investment back."
The trick here would be generating the right amount of unpredictability - not enough, and it's soon a solved problem; too much, or revealed too close in and strategising is impossible.

In this sort of scenario, it would probably be worth having mitochondrion and chloroplast meeples to place on your cells. And you'll probably need at least one resource (i.e. stored energy : sugar or starch).
 
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