$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 65.53

4,615 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
29.1% of Goal | 29 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 Hide
75 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Works in Progress

Subject: [WIP] The Playful Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, components ready) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer


For the 2016 Children's Game Print and Play Design Contest

Unicorn started out as simple simultaneous action pair matching game for young children, but has since evolved into an assortment of children's games using the same deck of cards.

Components

The deck consists of 13 pairs of animal cards plus a single unicorn card that cannot be paired.



Low-ink components: A low-ink set of cards is provided. Children can also paint or colour in the backgrounds on these card fronts (but they should not colour in the backs - if they do you will need to sleeve the cards with regular playing cards to achieve uniform backs).

No ink components: Simply use all the black (or red, but not both) cards from a standard deck (for 13 pairs), plus one joker (the unicorn).

Games and rules

Several games have been developed for the Unicorn deck. However, for the design contest I have chosen to enter The Playful Unicorn, a push-your-luck matching game for 2-4 players (2 is best) aged 3 and up.

The rules for The Playful Unicorn are provided on a card-sized reference sheet, and also in a storybook. There are two versions of the storybook: one with full colour graphics, and a second low ink version with blank spaces for children to draw their own pictures in. Here are some sample pages.



After the contest I will provide a booklet of rules for the other games too.

Downloads

Components (cards and rules storybook) are available at https://goo.gl/tYoX2i

Contest categories

No School/No Reading/No Math
Push Your Luck
Matching/Pattern Recognition
Best Original Artwork
Best Colouring Book Components
Children's Choice
6 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Hmm. Looking at the pairs of cards, I think I need to make the pictures join up when they are side by side. So I need to align the horizons and any overlapping features, and remove one sun or moon from each pair...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
The artwork is really sweet. I am looking forward to seeing where you go with it from here.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
It just occurred to me that I probably should explain the graphic style I'm using. These are freebee animal icons from the internet on top of simple semi-transparent vector shapes to create the environments.

Rather than focussing on cutesy animals with big eyes, I am trying to get a couple of subliminal messages across here. I'm an ecologist in my day job and ecology is all about the relationships between different species, and between species and their environments. I want kids to understand that it's not just an animal, it's a part of an ecosystem. I want to show a range of environments rather than just the usual African savannah associated with our favourite zoo animals. So many of these environments are shrinking or disappearing day by day...

The silhouette animals may look slightly lonely in their environments, but this is often how it is. Life is a struggle for most living things, and finding a mate can be one of the biggest challenges for many species. That's also the aim of this game - matching them up - so I hope the slightly melancholy mood of the cards doesn't spoil any enjoyment of the game.

The whole Noah's ark thing and the unicorn that misses out is a metaphor for extinction. We are currently in the middle of the creates mass extinction event the earth has ever seen, far bigger than that which dealt to the dinosaurs. Can we save enough species to keep the world as we know it going?

OK enough depressing stuff. This is meant to be a fun family game. I hope some of the above message filters through from the art style, but to be honest the primary aim is to make the cards beautiful and to build some reading and pattern recognition skills with simple animal names (bat, wolf) through to more challenging ones (polar bear, chameleon).

4 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C. L.
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Looks so very appealing (and I kind of like the idea of two suns). The second elephant card looks more mammoth than elephant to me. Maybe use the same icon as the first card, but make it a bit larger?

I'll try to think a bit about how you might sneak in your message. I used to do stuff like that...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
GreenTea532 wrote:
Looks so very appealing (and I kind of like the idea of two suns). The second elephant card looks more mammoth than elephant to me. Maybe use the same icon as the first card, but make it a bit larger?

I'll try to think a bit about how you might sneak in your message. I used to do stuff like that...


Thanks. I will play with the elephant a bit. Was going to put some ecology stuff in the rules. Plus I'm trying to add other stuff to the cards that might be interesting e.g. Constellations, landmarks etc. Idea is for the cards to form launch pads for other learning e.g. Why is there no sun on the unicorn card? could launch into the basics of rainbows and light.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Have done some more cards and modified the old ones according to the posts above. Now they look like this...






I have a few more animals in mind, but feel free to suggest your favourites and I'll see what I can do... I'm still not sure how many I need - I need to do some more play testing!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Van 't veld
Belgium
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Looks amazing!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Tapirs are a favorite in our household, but something tells me there is a dearth of related iconography. I am glad you included bats!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
lampeter wrote:
Tapirs are a favorite in our household, but something tells me there is a dearth of related iconography.




Voila!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
!!!!!!!!!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)


These panda cards aren't working for me. Think I will drop them...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C. L.
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
How about more birds? And a primate, if you can find a good icon. And bugs -- a dung beetle would be awesome.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Tuck
England
LONDON
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
JohnKean wrote:


These panda cards aren't working for me. Think I will drop them...


Really beautiful illustrations. (Yes, tricky for a panda to be recognised in silhouette!)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
tucky60 wrote:
JohnKean wrote:


These panda cards aren't working for me. Think I will drop them...


Really beautiful illustrations. (Yes, tricky for a panda to be recognised in silhouette!)


Yes, I tried a silhouette panda and it was pretty much an amorphous blob. So the pandas are gone and I've replaced them with bison. I wanted something with a lot of green...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carolyn Choate
United States
Laurel
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
The artwork is gorgeous.I really like that you took it a different direction from the usual cutsey kid art.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
cm006j wrote:
The artwork is gorgeous.I really like that you took it a different direction from the usual cutsey kid art.


Thanks Carolyn. Truth be told, I am no artist, but stumbled on this technique of layering semi transparent shapes (sort of a poor man's Todd Sanders) and wow it works great! "Looks like a bought one", as my kids would say. I almost feel like an artist, even though I know the feeling can't last. I've got another game idea but need some pictures of fairy tale characters, so it's back to trawling google image search for the dregs of the art world, sigh...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
I played the prototype game with my two boys (9 and 10) using just the black cards from a standard pack (13 pairs) plus a joker (unicorn). The boys liked it, and the simultaneous actions worked well, but I'm worried it is too complicated for the target age group. I think it needs refining.

We also tried a different game with the same cards. This was a variant of Memory, and it was a hit! So now I'm wondering about a base deck of 27 cards (13 pairs plus unicorn) that can be laid out on three 3x3 pages, plus another sheet of cards with rules for several different games. I'm not sure if that would be eligible for the contest though - I might just have to choose one or two to enter...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Here's the rules for the Memory variant I mentioned in the previous post.

Unicorn memory

For 2 to 4 players, aged 4 and up.

Set up
Lay 13 pairs plus the unicorn card face down on the table, mix them up, and spread them out so that no cards are touching.
The youngest player goes first, followed by the person to their left.

On your turn
Turn any card face up. If it matches an already face up card, then collect the pair and have another turn.
Otherwise turn a second card face up. Likewise, if this matches another face up card then collect the pair and have another turn.
If no cards match, then turn face down any two face up cards. Your turn is over.

The unicorn
If at any point you turn up the unicorn, you must turn back down any cards that you just turned up, including the unicorn. Then you must return one of your pairs to the table (if you have any), placing one card face up and the other face down. Finally mix up the cards on the table as in the set up phase. Your turn is over.

Game end
The game is over once all pairs have been found and only the face down unicorn card remains. The player with the most pairs wins. If there is a draw then both players win!


The nice thing about this game is that the leader can go backwards so all players can have a hope of winning right up to the end. Also, as more pairs get extracted the chance of getting the unicorn increases, as does the tension. And having some cards left face up as a result of the mischievous unicorn somewhat eases the memory requirement.

Another variant which I have not yet tried is just to keep turning up cards until you either get a pair (which you keep) or the unicorn. Then turn all the cards back face down, mix them, and proceed to the next player. This turns it into pure luck and would be suitable for even younger kids (probably down to 3).

I'm also thinking about a deduction game, a bluffing game and others that could be played with the same set of cards.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Interesting. I will try it out with memory cards that we already have and let you know how it goes. It does sound like it might be longer than ordinary memory, which usually drags in my family; however, I am curious to see if the possibility of losing progress "improves" our memories a bit. I have a 5 year old and a 7 year old to test it on. I really like your lucky little kid variant. I have an enthusiastic 3 year old who would love it. I love that it builds itself around what kids that age like to do anyway (flip all the cards until they get a match).

I am also interested in your deduction game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Hi Lampeter,

Would love to know what you and the kids think. My boys are a bit older than the target minimum age so it's a little hard to judge from their reception. Like normal memory, it may take a few turns before the pairs start matching up, and I guess if it drags too much you could reduce the number of pairs in the deck. The main justification for 13 is that it adds up to 27 cards, exactly half a standard Artscow type deck order, or 3 PnP pages (plus optional backs).

We figured out a Go Fish variant today too, with the unicorn card again having special abilities. Will post those rules soon too. Would like a simple rummy game too, but initial trials have been pretty lame. Perhaps you and the kids could suggest something for this pack configuration (13 pairs plus unicorn)?

Good luck and thanks for your interest!
JK

PS can you and the kids figure out what country your tapirs are pictured in?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
Here's the push-your-luck game I mentioned...

Unlucky unicorn

For 2 to 4 Players, aged 3 and up

Place all cards face down and mix them up. The youngest player starts, and turns proceed to the left.

On your turn, draw cards one at a time and lay them face up in a line in front of you. You may stop drawing cards at any time.

If you stop before turning over the unicorn, then you get to keep any pairs that you have made. Put the pairs aside, turn the remaining cards face down, and mix them up for the next player.

If you decide to keep going and you draw the unicorn then your turn is over and you lose all of the cards you have drawn this turn, including any pairs (though you still keep any pairs earned in previous turns). Flip the cards face down again and mix them up for the next player.

The game ends when all pairs have been claimed and only the unicorn remains. The player with the most pairs wins. If there's a draw, both players win.


This is press-your-luck in its purest form. The cool thing about this simple, mostly luck-based game is that the more cards you turn up, the greater the chance of forming a pair with the next card you choose, but also the greater chance of finding the unicorn and losing it all. Hopefully the rules are simple enough for kids as young as 3, and hopefully the actions of mixing up cards, choosing and pairing are fun for kids of that (or any) age.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
And the Go Fish variant...

Unicorn fish

A game for 3-5 players, aged 4 and up.

Set up
Shuffle the deck (13 pairs plus the unicorn card) and deal 4 cards to each player (3 cards if 5 players). Place the remaining cards face down as the draw pile.
The youngest player plays first, then the player to their left.

Any time
At any time, if you can form a pair from your hand, place them face up on the table in front of you.
If you ever run out of cards in your hand, take two from the top of the draw pile.

On your turn
On your turn, ask another player for a particular card that you have in your hand (e.g. "Leo, do you have a lion?"). If the player has that card, they must hand it to you, you use it to form a pair on the table, and the pair on the table and you have another turn. However, if the other player does not have the card that you ask for, they reply "Go fish" and you must take a card from the draw pile; your turn is over.

The unicorn
If someone asks you for a card that you have, and you also have the unicorn, then you can give them the unicorn card instead. They must give you their card, which you use to form a pair on the table in front of you, and their turn is over.

Game end
The game ends when all pairs have been formed and only the unicorn card remains. Players score one point for each pair they have, and the player with the unicorn loses one point. The player (or players) with the highest score wins!


This is exactly the same as the classic Go Fish game, except there is only two of each type of card (instead of four) and the unicorn allows reversals. After the first use of the unicorn, players know where it is and can keep that in mind when asking for cards. The unicorn becomes particularly powerful near the end of the game, but you don't want to be left with it, which makes for some interesting decisions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
I just finished up some testing with my kids. We used some dinosaur memory cards we have, with a volcano in lieu of the unicorn.

Unlucky Unicorn was a huge hit with my 3 year old. The length and complexity were perfect. She has only been 3 for a few months now, so I expect any 3 year old could handle it. She was actually very prudent about collecting her matches and not pushing her luck too far, and she beat me soundly.

I also tried the memory game with my 5 year old and my 7 year old, separately. I started with my 5 year old as the rules were written, and he quickly got frustrated about the cards being shuffled up again just as he was starting to remember where things were. We do not play a ton of memory, and he is still prone to picking the same card again and again. So I modified it a little bit, and we gave it another go.

- During set-up, I turned 5 non-matching cards face-up before shuffling and laying out the cards.

- At the end of the turn, we only turned over 1 card to keep the balance of face-up cards.

- When the unicorn (volcano) was turned, we did return a matching pair (one face up, one face down), but we left any currently face-up cards as they were when shuffling up and laying out the cards.

My 5 year old lost interest somewhere in there, and my 7 year old wandered up and wanted to play, so I tried this version with her. It worked relatively well, and I liked having some face-up cards in the mix to keep from getting too discouraged about losing matched pairs and reshuffling. My 7 year old seemed to like it, and the length seemed perfect for her.

I think, with the reshuffling, that it could potentially come undone at the end, with each person choosing the volcano right after the reshuffle and losing a matched pair time after time (though it didn't happen that way for us). Perhaps ending when there are 5 cards left would fix that?

Anyway, I hope that helps. We will try out the Unicorn Fish too.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JK
New Zealand
flag msg tools
designer
Re: [WIP] Unicorn (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest, ideas phase)
lampeter wrote:
Unlucky Unicorn was a huge hit with my 3 year old. The length and complexity were perfect.


Hooray! Really pleased you had fun with this one. I'll put that one down as a keeper.

lampeter wrote:
I also tried the memory game with my 5 year old and my 7 year old, separately.


Sounds like this one didn't go quite so well...

lampeter wrote:
I modified it a little bit.

- During set-up, I turned 5 non-matching cards face-up before shuffling and laying out the cards.


That's a good way to adjust the difficulty!

lampeter wrote:
- At the end of the turn, we only turned over 1 card to keep the balance of face-up cards.


I'm not 100% sure I follow you on this one. Do you mean that you flipped two cards face up during the turn, but only one of them face down at the end?

lampeter wrote:
- When the unicorn (volcano) was turned, we did return a matching pair (one face up, one face down), but we left any currently face-up cards as they were when shuffling up and laying out the cards.


That was the intent in my rules too - face up cards from previous turns (or unicorn action) should stay face up until they are matched, even during shuffles. Sounds like I need to clarify the rules.

To combat the frustration of getting the unicorn early in the game (before you have any pair to return and therefore get a face up card) I might try that if you don't have a pair to return, then you turn a random card face up before shuffling. Wold that help?

lampeter wrote:
My 7 year old seemed to like it, and the length seemed perfect for her.


OK that's really valuable to know. Sounds like 5 or 6 years old would be the minimum age suggestion.

lampeter wrote:
I think, with the reshuffling, that it could potentially come undone at the end, with each person choosing the volcano right after the reshuffle and losing a matched pair time after time (though it didn't happen that way for us). Perhaps ending when there are 5 cards left would fix that?


Aha! But when I played with my (slightly older) boys, that uncertainty at the end was the best fun. Getting down to three cards left, you turn one over and it's an animal. Now you have a 50-50 choice, and if you get it wrong not only do you lose a pair but the next player gets a chance at cleaning up... We thought that the game ended within a reasonable time, but I could do some math to see how many turns on average it would take to finish.

lampeter wrote:
Anyway, I hope that helps. We will try out the Unicorn Fish too.


Yes, definitely very helpful, thank you! Really good feedback.

If you and the kids have any other ideas for games with the same card configuration, post the rules here and I'll include them (with full credits of course!)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.