Thursday, December 17, 2015

Simple Game for the Classroom and Explorations in Game Design

This is the first part of a series for a classroom game design project that can be used in many classes and subjects. The whole project is based on a very simple game I created. Students will modify that game so it's about the topic they are studying in class.

Here's the flow of the overall project. Each of these stages has its own post, which you can access by clicking the link.
  • Learn and play Roll-n-Flip - Students need to learn to play the basic game of Roll-n-Flip first. It should take one class period or less to learn the game and to play it a couple times. 
  • Redesign Roll-n-Flip - Next, students will modify the game by adding a theme (based on your lesson) and possibly other rules. This can take more or less than one class period, depending on how much you want them to develop their version of the game.
  • Play and improve their game - In this step students test the game their group made and then at least one game created by another group. You could also give them time to improve their game based on feedback. This process can be a class period or more, depending how much you want to focus on game design.
  • Reflection - For the last part of the activity, students will reflect on what they learned about your course content and about game design. This reflection "seals the deal" for the learning, making this possibly the most important of step of the project.

How to Play Roll-n-Flip

This is a simple game of chance and pressing your luck. Played with these simple rules, it could entertain students in ages 8 - 12. Remember that the goal of the project is to entertain your students, but to redesign this game. Older students would play it so they can fully understand the basic game first. They'll see it can easily be modified to be more enjoyable by older players.

This video (just under three minutes) is probably the best way to see how the game works. 

After watching the video, read the full rules.

In order to play, you will need these components for each set (which works for 2 - 5 players):
  • This Google Drawing contains the cards for the game. Ideally you'd print this on card stock, but paper will work if necessary. Cut those 11 cards out.
  • 10 chips per player - These can be poker chips, bingo chips, plastic coins or any small tokens.
  • 1 Six-sided die
  • 1 Pawn - This can be any small piece as long as players won't confuse it with their chips.
If you can't find chips and a pawn, this Google Drawing has some squares you can cut out for these purposes. (Ignore the additional cards on that template for now.)

Coming soon: Tips for redesigning the game for use in many subjects

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