Heart-It is a 3 dimensional board game to facilitate playful, constructivist learning through enacting red blood cells travelling across the heart chambers. At the same time, the players will also gain knowledge about the heart through daily experiences portrayed on the cards.
As a group, we were assigned to design a playful, constructivist way to teach children any field within anatomy. Our constraints were: 1) No digital game 2) 4 week time limit.
We began by researching different types of board games through online research and playing a few among ourselves, critiquing the pros and cons of each game.
At the end, we decided to focus on the heart since the heart is one of the most important organs in our body. We chose the age group to be children ages 12 and up and came up with easy yet important facts about the heart that we could incorporate into the cards that would be picked up each turn.
An example of a turn card would be: "You are enjoying a nice hot bath after a long day of work. Move 2 steps forward." On the bottom of the card, it would briefly explain: "Hot baths help increase your blood flow."
In order to have two paths for the players to cross, it made sense to overlap the paths by placing one path higher than the other so that the players would have access to both the paths. Through simplifying the shape of the path and calculating the number of the inclining steps, it was possible to have an equal amount of steps for each path. We also designed the paths so that the players would have to assemble them onto the board; otherwise the paths would take up too much space and would call for an unnecessarily large box.
As a team, we chose acrylic as our material so that the players would be able to see the lower path through the top path. Each route has heart symbols randomly placed for the challenge card, which would ask questions according to the information players would gather through the turn cards.
Using illustrator, we drew out everything we needed to be laser cut so that we would be ready to assemble as soon as the pieces got cut.
The box comes with an instruction on how to play the game, an instruction to assemble the paths onto the board, 2 packs of cards, a game board, and the various parts to be assembled.
Heart-It finished prototype inside box.
1. Game Equipment:
2 Packs of cards (Step cards and Challenge cards); 1 Game Board; 7 Columns, 4 Steps, 2 Routes, 4 Blood Cell pawns.
2. To start the Game:
Each player selects one of the four red blood cell pawns and chooses one of the two start positions. Shuffle the two packs of cards and place them accordingly on the cardholder.
3.Object of the Game:
The player who first moves his pawn from the start to the end wins. Depending on the route the player chooses, the ‘end’ will signify: The Red Blood Cell successfully entering the lungs; The oxygen carrying the red blood cell successfully entering the body.
4. Moving pieces:
The youngest player goes first; the player will draw a card from the pile of step cards and follow the directions on the card. If you land on a ‘Heart’, the opponent will draw a challenge card and read out the challenge. The player will have to answer correctly to advance forward. Move according to the number of steps marked on the card. Make a separate pile for the used cards and shuffle them back once you have finished all the cards.