Make a board Game

Make a board game - in the case study you will see our process when we make a board game for organisations and businesses. This is a game involving young people.

Consultation – consultation with young people was regarded as vital in order to ensure that the game reflected what young people actually wanted. They were involved in the design aspects, play mechanics and decisions about the content.
Young people’s comments when asked what they enjoyed most about the consultation day included:
Working with people from different schools and designing our game,’
Working as a group and actually designing the game,’
All the ideas that we pooled together and shared that led to the final plan.’

Make a Board Game

Make a Board Game - Routes into Languages Cymru partnered up with board game consultants from Adrenaline Brush. The purpose was to work with young people to invent a game about modern foreign languages. Before proceeding with the game the following points were taken into consideration:
Business goals – what is the business imperative for creating a board game and what will it achieve that other approaches are not achieving.
Organisation culture – is a game suited to the organisation’s culture and values.
Consultation – is consultation needed to ensure engagement of the game with users and a sense of ownership.
Content – what elements can be included in the game or need to be included in the game.
Mechanics & Design – what play mechanics would work for the game and what must be included in the design such as logo and corporate colours.
Marketing – how will the game be marketed – how to market the game internally or externally.
Budget – is the budget set aside for the project realistic.

Content – this was a critical stage in the process. A considerable amount of time was spent analysing what should go in the game. It was important not to focus on a particular language or to have a game that was about learning phrases or words.  This would result in boredom and young people perhaps feeling  a little conned. Ultimately, the game had to encourage young people to think about the benefits of learning a modern foreign language. Further, it had to be fun and engaging. Moreover, it had to remain relevant over time and not become dated within a year.

Mechanics & Design – Young people wanted a game that was a game first and foremost. The learning although very important was secondary. They also wanted the game that had a nice design and good devilish play mechanics too.

Routes were very clear that the business goal was to leave a legacy of their work.  The organisation promoted the take-up of modern foreign languages by young people in high schools. Hence a game was considered as a long lasting solution because it could be played in schools. Furthermore, the game could be used as a resource for many years to come.
Ellie Jones, Project Manager from Routes into Languages Cymru said, ‘Routes into Languages Cymru has been promoting foreign languages in schools since 2009. We wanted to find a new and refreshing way of promoting languages in schools. A board game is a fun way for people of all ages to think about foreign languages and to take up the challenge of learning a new language.’
Central to the commission was the involvement of young people at every stage of the process because ultimately they would be the end users of the game. Equally important was the focus and content of the game. The board game consultants from Adrenaline Brush advised on the importance of a good design and good play mechanics. They also facilitated the launch of the game.

Budget – importantly Routes had set aside a realistic budget for the game that was . They budgeted for two consultation days, the making of a video, the production of a substantial number of games  as well as marketing and promotion.

Make a Board Game - On the left the game goes to print - here the proofs are being checked before a final print run.

Marketing – the game was launched in the presence of the Mayor and Madame Mayoress. The marketing day involved groups of young people who considered how best to promote the game itself.


Board Game Printing

Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Ian Roberts said,

‘On visiting the launch of Languages Go Global in Wales, I must say how impressed both the Mayoress and I were with the overall scheme.  The enthusiasm of the children, and indeed the whole team was so impressive, that we decided to re-visit later in the day to see the results of the scheme’.