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GAME DESIGN | GAME HACKS
for CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
CARDS | BOARD GAME | GAME NIGHT
About Us – GreaterPlaces + DotankDC
• Urban Planning tech startup in DC
• Named one of Planetizen’s Top 10
urban planning ...
WHAT WE WILL COVER
• Simple game design and solving problems
• Game design backgrounder & basics
• Examples of game hacks ...
GAMES FOR CITIES: FLIP CITIES*
* needs its own hack
CARDS AGAINST
URBANITY
STARTED AS A JOKE AT
NEW PARTNERS for
SMART GROWTH
CONFERENCE
CUSTOM GAME NIGHTS AROUND THE COUNTRY …
RICHMOND VA
ARLINGTON VA
SMART GROWTH
CONFERENCE - PDX
NERD TRAIN
CONGRESS FOR NEW...
WHY ARE GAMES HOT NOW?
• Games of all kinds are hot
• Video/phone games
• Kickstarter + Pinterest
• Game and Trivia nights...
WHAT IS IT ABOUT GAME HACKING FOR CITIES?
• Fun (expand # & type of participants)
• Portable (try lugging a projector for ...
WHAT PROBLEMS NEED SOLVING? ENGAGEMENT
• Participants not informed and/or don’t know what they want
• Going into new struc...
ELEMENTS OF A GAME
Player(s) + Information + Action + Payoff
SUB-ELEMENTS OF A GAME
Motivation + Engagement + Meaningful I...
TIMING
Game as part of a process used:
• For a process (a new tool)
• As co-creation - participants develop game
• As iceb...
GAME HACKS - ICE BREAKERS
Cards to start conversations – city
trivia
Game Elements
Audience: All
• Memory/Knowledge
• Timi...
GAME HACKS - ICE BREAKERS
Cards to start conversations –
similar to Table Topics
Game Elements
Audience: All
• Connection ...
GAME HACKS – SCRAPS NEIGHBORHOOD - BARCELONA
“Baseball cards” for places +
stickers (collect ‘em all)
Game Elements
Audien...
World Resources
Institute (WRI)
How to turn 200 page
pdf into an accessible,
interactive product
GAME HACKS - SAFE ACCESS ...
Why Turn Manuals into a
Game?
• Taxpayer investment
• Don’t want sitting on a shelf
• Competing interests with
limited bud...
Players assume different roles in
planning transit stations
Game Elements
Audience: Stakeholders
planning transit station ...
GAME HACKS - METHOD CARDS
Used by web designers to
communicate using visual, scannable
information
Game Elements
Audience:...
METHOD CARDS FOR PLACEMAKING
TURNING METHOD CARDS INTO A GAME
GAME HACKS FOR REGULATIONS
Center for Urban Pedagogy
Los Angeles CA
QUESTIONS?
GAME MECHANICS for CITIES
Applied to cities….
Role Playing
(Eminent Domain)
Builds empathy, understand constraints
Deck Bu...
GETTING STARTED - RESEARCH
• Audience
• Needs & Goals
• Player goals
• Your goals
• What are their constraints in meeting ...
GAME MECHANICS – CLASSIC BOARD GAME
• Board or path
• Usually driven by
luck/chance
• Graphically simple
• Fun experience ...
GAME MECHANICS – SIMPLE CARD GAMES
• Word play or matching
• Fun experience drives game
• Key - explainers
• City hack: Vo...
GAME MECHANICS – EURO BOARD GAME
• Heavy on strategy
• Resource constraints
• Mitigate “bad luck”
• Players expected to
co...
EXAMPLE: STREETCARS & STROADS
STEPS
1) Graphic design package &
printer (18” x 18”)
Or
Search “printable
template” for Chu...
NEXT - TOD: THE BOARD GAME
EXPLODING KITTENS - EXPLODING PUBLIC MEETING
How Exploding Meetings Work
1) Meetings stocked with “well
organized oppositi...
RECAP
• Participants not informed and/or don’t know what they want
• Going into new structures
• People come in late to th...
WHAT’S NEXT FOR US?
HIRE US!
• Game design for facilitation,
planning and civics
• Custom Method Cards
• Traditional town ...
Game Design & Game Hacks for City Design
Game Design & Game Hacks for City Design
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Game Design & Game Hacks for City Design

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During Transportation Camp NE, we held an "un-session" on hacking simple games for cities + transportation as a new engaging outreach method.

Published in: Design
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Game Design & Game Hacks for City Design

  1. 1. GAME DESIGN | GAME HACKS for CIVIC ENGAGEMENT CARDS | BOARD GAME | GAME NIGHT
  2. 2. About Us – GreaterPlaces + DotankDC • Urban Planning tech startup in DC • Named one of Planetizen’s Top 10 urban planning resources (like Strong Towns!) • Working on mobile app and new print products • Stumbled into game design
  3. 3. WHAT WE WILL COVER • Simple game design and solving problems • Game design backgrounder & basics • Examples of game hacks already out there • Game design and mechanics • How can you hack card and board games for your work? • WILL NOT COVER – Video game design & super complex strategy games (at least not now)
  4. 4. GAMES FOR CITIES: FLIP CITIES* * needs its own hack
  5. 5. CARDS AGAINST URBANITY STARTED AS A JOKE AT NEW PARTNERS for SMART GROWTH CONFERENCE
  6. 6. CUSTOM GAME NIGHTS AROUND THE COUNTRY … RICHMOND VA ARLINGTON VA SMART GROWTH CONFERENCE - PDX NERD TRAIN CONGRESS FOR NEW URBANISM NY LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT)
  7. 7. WHY ARE GAMES HOT NOW? • Games of all kinds are hot • Video/phone games • Kickstarter + Pinterest • Game and Trivia nights in restaurants and bars • Participatory Planning & Open Government on the rise • Game Design already creeping into processes
  8. 8. WHAT IS IT ABOUT GAME HACKING FOR CITIES? • Fun (expand # & type of participants) • Portable (try lugging a projector for PowerPoint) • Relateble • Co-creation game ideas part of the game • Incidental learning stealth education • CHEAP – get game supplies online & Pinterest; or companies that now specialize in cards/games • Let’s take a look…..
  9. 9. WHAT PROBLEMS NEED SOLVING? ENGAGEMENT • Participants not informed and/or don’t know what they want • Going into new structures • People come in late to the process • Same people – same echo chamber • People tired of same tactics (Dot visual preference surveys) • People inundated with information • Well organized disruptors • Language and age barriers • WHAT WOULD YOU ADD? (USE THE CHAT BOX)
  10. 10. ELEMENTS OF A GAME Player(s) + Information + Action + Payoff SUB-ELEMENTS OF A GAME Motivation + Engagement + Meaningful Interaction Autonomy - Meaningful Choices Competence - Mastery Relatedness - Connections
  11. 11. TIMING Game as part of a process used: • For a process (a new tool) • As co-creation - participants develop game • As icebreakers before • To “blow off steam” after an event
  12. 12. GAME HACKS - ICE BREAKERS Cards to start conversations – city trivia Game Elements Audience: All • Memory/Knowledge • Timing/Race – answer Trivia question first • Connections
  13. 13. GAME HACKS - ICE BREAKERS Cards to start conversations – similar to Table Topics Game Elements Audience: All • Connection – answers questions connecting people to: • process • place • each other
  14. 14. GAME HACKS – SCRAPS NEIGHBORHOOD - BARCELONA “Baseball cards” for places + stickers (collect ‘em all) Game Elements Audience: Families with kids • Race (time element) • Mapping – location based scavenger hunt • Deck Building • Completion (fill out sticker sheets for a prize)
  15. 15. World Resources Institute (WRI) How to turn 200 page pdf into an accessible, interactive product GAME HACKS - SAFE ACCESS TO TRANSIT MANUAL – INDIA
  16. 16. Why Turn Manuals into a Game? • Taxpayer investment • Don’t want sitting on a shelf • Competing interests with limited budget • Graphics & “game rules” in place Need: Make sure everyone’s needs heard and considered
  17. 17. Players assume different roles in planning transit stations Game Elements Audience: Stakeholders planning transit station areas • Role playing • Trade-Offs • Area Control • Network Building • Conflict into Cooperation
  18. 18. GAME HACKS - METHOD CARDS Used by web designers to communicate using visual, scannable information Game Elements Audience: Public (teaching) or professional (brainstorming, strategy) • Deck Building • Puzzle – what combination of cards a best fit for task • Common vocabulary & mastery
  19. 19. METHOD CARDS FOR PLACEMAKING
  20. 20. TURNING METHOD CARDS INTO A GAME
  21. 21. GAME HACKS FOR REGULATIONS Center for Urban Pedagogy Los Angeles CA
  22. 22. QUESTIONS?
  23. 23. GAME MECHANICS for CITIES Applied to cities…. Role Playing (Eminent Domain) Builds empathy, understand constraints Deck Building Strategic combinations Area Movement & Control Area planning, regulatory Cooperative Play Stakeholder interaction Economy Management Constraints, Budgets, tradeoffs Pick up and Deliver Transportation, logistics Hand Management (Pandemic, Exploding Kittens) Optimal sequence/grouping Network Building (Catan, Ticket to Ride, Airlines Europe) Transportation network building
  24. 24. GETTING STARTED - RESEARCH • Audience • Needs & Goals • Player goals • Your goals • What are their constraints in meeting full potential? • Preferred playing style (solo, cooperation, competition)? • Who is everyone playing with? • What interactions do they enjoy? • What metrics do players care about?
  25. 25. GAME MECHANICS – CLASSIC BOARD GAME • Board or path • Usually driven by luck/chance • Graphically simple • Fun experience drives game • City hack: Point A to Point B, regulatory process, vocabulary
  26. 26. GAME MECHANICS – SIMPLE CARD GAMES • Word play or matching • Fun experience drives game • Key - explainers • City hack: Vocabulary building, placemaking matches
  27. 27. GAME MECHANICS – EURO BOARD GAME • Heavy on strategy • Resource constraints • Mitigate “bad luck” • Players expected to collaborate or compete • City Hack: Mimic complex processes (training, resource allocation, build out)
  28. 28. EXAMPLE: STREETCARS & STROADS STEPS 1) Graphic design package & printer (18” x 18”) Or Search “printable template” for Chutes & Ladders 2) Funnest: Coming up with squares to send forward/back 3) Cost: ~$10
  29. 29. NEXT - TOD: THE BOARD GAME
  30. 30. EXPLODING KITTENS - EXPLODING PUBLIC MEETING How Exploding Meetings Work 1) Meetings stocked with “well organized opposition” (WOO) 2) Unless – you know how to handle said WOO 3) Facilitators have strategies to lessen the chance of exploding meeting How “Exploding Kittens” Works 1) Deck packed with kitten cards – cause player to explode 2) Unless – you can defuse said kitten 3) Deck also has strategy cards to lessen chance of drawing kitten card
  31. 31. RECAP • Participants not informed and/or don’t know what they want • Going into new structures • People come in late to the process • Same people – same echo chamber • People tired of same tactics (Dot visual preference surveys) • People inundated with information • Well organized disruptors • Language and age barriers
  32. 32. WHAT’S NEXT FOR US? HIRE US! • Game design for facilitation, planning and civics • Custom Method Cards • Traditional town planning + smart cites THE APP (Soft Launch @ CNU) Tech+Data driven urban design • Content • Community • Connections • Commerce (Marketplace)

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