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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

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Anonymous

My science class has a project due. We are to make a board game dealing with weather. I was thinking about copying monopoly. (We're allowed) but I was hoping to due something more original. Note, this won't be a real board game or anything, just a class project. We have to have 80 questions at least so they must be put into the game also.

It's due on the 24th of may, so I'd like to have some idea by the 10th if possible so I can get started.

thanks,
ryan

Kreitler
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Re: 7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Hey Ryan,
Welcome! You've got a pretty neat problem to solve.
I'm glad you want to do something original. You can bet your teacher will see lots of Monopoly clones.

warriorgeek10 wrote:
We have to have 80 questions at least so they must be put into the game also.

Do you mean that you have to make answering weather questions part of the game? Are there any other specific requirements for the assignment?

Those are important questions, but this one is *more* important -- what kind of games do you love, and if you didn't have any restrictions other than "it has to be about weather", what kind of game would you like to make?

When you answer all those questions, we can help you start figuring out your design.

K.

Anonymous
7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Yes, you have to incorporate asking weather related questions. There are no rescritions other than there has to be 80 questions. I actually don't play to many board games, but my favorites are probably monoply, chinese checkers, and.....life. I'd like to make a game that's fun and won't remind people, oh, that was for science class. Oh, the board can't be bigger than 20 by 20 and must be foldable. I'll try to think of some more details later.

Kreitler
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

warriorgeek10 wrote:
Yes, you have to incorporate asking weather related questions. There are no rescritions other than there has to be 80 questions.

That's a tough restriction, because it defines a major portion of the game.

You might ask your teacher if you could "encode" some of the questions and answers into the game rules themselves. For instance:

Question: Why does it rain on the windward side of a mountain?"
Answer: "Water vapor in the clouds cools and condeneses as the clouds rise over the mountains."

This might translate into a "game rule" as follows: in the game, you're pushing a cloud around the board using "wind" cards, trying to dump water into certain spots to earn victory points. One of the rules is "If you push a cloud across a "mountain" square, it drops 1 unit of rain. If you push it across a "mountain peak" square, it drops 1 unit of snow".

Granted, this is a lot more work for you, because you have to figure out which question/answer pairs will make good rules and then try to build a game out of it. It's a much better teaching tool, though, because people who play the game will actually *use* the knowledge instead of just trying to remember it.

Assuming that your teacher doesn't buy it, you could still do a game like "Life" using the questions to control how far you can move (incorrect answer moves you 1 space, correct answer moves you a 2 for an easy question, 3 for a medium one, and 4 for a hard one, etc).

Hedge-o-Matic
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

I have to agree with Frietler on this. The use of questions is a huge creative barrier. When I first heard about this project, I was impressed. The possabilites are excellent. I love putting real science into games, and using scientific principles. But there's no reason to make a game so relelntlessly "educational". I think that using the many understood principles of meteorology would be fantastic as game variables. If you use the fundamental elemtns of weather in your game, then every turn the players will have to interpret the situation, and this analogy would form a unique "question" that their move would "answer".

I suggest using ideas like pressure zones, temperature fronts, and moisture could lead to complexities in game play. Thus, if you want to form a tornado, you'd just need to set up the proper mix of conditions, and the gmae rules would create what would, in effect, act sort of tornado-like. I think that this would instill an deeper appreciation for the complex interplay of variables that causes weather. This is, after all, what makes weather so intruiging and interesting.

Vidtory conditions in such a game could be to cause rain over a certain area of the board, or create a tornado that lasts for three consecutive turns, or hitting every space with rain at least once every three turns, or what have you. Man, this has got me thinking! I sense a design coming on. What a great theme!

Kreitler
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
Man, this has got me thinking! I sense a design coming on. What a great theme!

Yeah, me, too!

K.

Rick-Holzgrafe
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Quote:
Vidtory conditions in such a game could be to cause rain over a certain area of the board, or create a tornado that lasts for three consecutive turns, or hitting every space with rain at least once every three turns, or what have you. Man, this has got me thinking! I sense a design coming on. What a great theme!

Argh. :) I've had this theme in my head for weeks, but it's been back-burner while I've been working on Alley Cats and the next game-in-progress, Heir & Regent. My thoughts (very vague at this point) were for a two-player game in which each player is a Weather God out in an ocean (e.g. Pacific and Atlantic) with a continent between (like North America). Each player could only directly make weathery things happen off the coast but the goal would be to trigger weather effects on the continent. You'd have to mess with El Nino and the jet streams and create offshore highs and lows and bring cold air down from the north and so on.

Someday I'll come up with a theme that fewer than four other people at BGDF aren't already using! In the meantime, warriorgeek (or Hedge, or any of the rest of you!), if any of the above ideas are useful to you, feel free. And good luck with your project!

Kreitler
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Rick-Holzgrafe wrote:
Someday I'll come up with a theme that fewer than four other people at BGDF aren't already using! In the meantime, warriorgeek (or Hedge, or any of the rest of you!), if any of the above ideas are useful to you, feel free. And good luck with your project!

Hey Rick, don't stop on my account. Yeah, I feel a design coming on, but I've got three in the queue, so I won't be doing a new one any time soon. :P

Though I will confess that the design I was thinking about was about competing weather gods...

K.

DSfan
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Hello,

What about a card game? Players would make different storms, tornados, and what not, and try to eliminate other players.

What if you used a small board (a board with maybe 10 rows, and 10 columns) and cards. On the board you would have a small pawn, that would be allowed to move if you give up a card from your hand (of cards).

The main goal would be trying to place storms on the board, and wipe out your opponents pawn, without getting your own.

There would be 2 main types of cards. The first are major, these cards could have "ingrediants" (SP?) on them to form a storm. Say playing both a cold front card mixing with a warm front card, creates a tornado. You would then place a small marker on your board, representing the tornado.

The second type, are wind direction cards. These cards have arrows (or maybe a weather vein, if you want creativeness) pointing either North, South, East, or West. All storms on the board would then move in the direction of the card played (e.g. I play a South card, all storms (even if there not yours) move 1 space to the south)

Once I read it, it sounds like a really good idea (with a little tender loving care). I would use it (And still might), once I get a few other designs of my chest.

While its not a full game, it is a very nice starting point, and hopefully it will help you too get an A!

-Justin

Kreitler
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

As I read all our design suggestions, one problem becomes clear -- it will be very hard to compress 80 questions' worth of data into a compact rules set.

However, reading Justin's post gave me another idea: you could take CCG (collectable card game) approach. You could have 80 different cards, each one with a very specific rule about the weather, and you could use these cards to compete with another player for "victory".

I don't want to get too specific with a particular design, because it's your game, but a card might look something like this:

Card: tornado
Effect: does 3 damage to one opponent.
Requirement: can only be played if both a High Pressure and Low Pressure are in play at the same time.

The key is in the "requirement" portion of the card -- it contains the scientific laws your teacher wants you to learn.

The basic game rules are very simple: "play a card and do what it says" -- but the fact that each card is a rule means you get a lot of complexity without a rulebook a mile thick.

This is pretty exciting -- any chance you could post the 80 questions? I think we'd all like a chance to work on a real design for this...

K.

Anonymous
7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Ok, I was looking through the box that has Life in it and thought of an idea. OK, how about the players are storm chasers. There are 4 little vans that are the storm chasers vehicles. The vans that come with life have 6 holes in them, so a total of 36 people could play....6 players in one van. (life comes with little blue and pink people that stick in the holes.) (the 36 is just a possibility. the chances of having that many players is low) There are various cards that have pictures of thunderstorms, tornadoes, and other things. These cards are upside down (so players don't know if they heading a towards a tonadoe or just a sprinkle) . Every turn, the player picks up another card from a different stack. These cards have questions on them. If they answer correctly, they get to move ahead on the board. Possibilities for the board include roads, corn fields, little cities, etc. What do you all think?

Anonymous
7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

I should be able to post questions when I finish them. LOL. I have to have 20 from each chapter in my science book. I have like 19 so far...I'll hurry and get them over here.

Kreitler
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

warriorgeek10 wrote:
What do you all think?

That's a good, straightforward design. I like the "storm chasers" angle. You might want to think of another way to use those 6 pegs -- like you said, you're unlike to have 36 people playing, and even if you did, a turn would take forever :).

Maybe you get a peg for each storm you catch, and when you get 6, you win.

Keep thinking -- sounds like you're onto a good start.

K.

Vassoul
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Interesting idea about the storm chasers. Take that theme, but introduce a slightly different mechanic. Have a large board with a grid on it with roads, towns, farms, etc. on it. The storm chasers start at opposite sides of the board or opposite corners (on roads). The storm starts at a random edge of the board and then starts to move in a semi-predictable pattern. For example, the storm always moves three squares north each turn. The slight variation is that the storm could move an extra square north, south, east, or west each turn based on the roll of a die (1-3 mean go in the right direction (say north), 3 means go left (west), 4 means go right (east), 6 means go in the wrong direction (south, making a net move north of two spaces)).

The chasers have a decent idea where the storm is heading because it is at least roughly predictable. They are speeding towards the storm to try to get in front of it, but not hit it. On their turns, they get to take a card off of the question pile. If they answer correctly, they get to roll a movement die and move that many spaces in the direction they choose. On roads, they can move faster, going two grid squares for every point on the die (roll a three, move six spaces). Off road, they can only move one grid space for every point on the die (roll a three, move three spaces).

If they get one wrong, they stay still (car stalls, can't make up their minds how to proceed, etc.). If they get one wrong a second time, the other team gets to roll the die and move them in whatever direction they want - most likely off of roads into a swamp or something (representing them not having the storm chasing abilities to stay on the roads, or whatever). If they got close to the storm and then got a question wrong, the other team could drive them into the storm, wrecking their car. They would have to go back to the edge of the board and start again.

The first team to get within three grid spaces of the front of the storm without crashing into it wins.

Just an idea...

Anonymous
7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Ok, I can definetely work with that. I like the idea of letting other players or teams have the chance to throw you into the tornado. LOL. That could get fun. Thanks, I can definetely seeing myself do something with your idea Vassol.

whenever i get done with it in hopefully a week or two I'll post pics and the rules.
later

Pt314
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7th Grader needs idea for science oriented board game

Maybe you could have a board showing some landmass, and you can have pieces showing high / low pressure / temperature. Then players draw out of a deck with 80 cards with different questions. If the player ansers correctly, they can tweak the board in some way to further some sort of goal, such as biggest storm to hit your own city.

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