Skip to Content

Looking for volunteers for charity project - Medecins Sans Frontieres

11 replies [Last post]
Angablue
Angablue's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2017
First Design - needs changes
Game board design

Hello there!

A few months ago, I did an assessment for my University, where I had to develop a game board with a special theme. I created a game board inspired by the MSF (Doctors Without Borders) campaign: Not a Target.

After I concluded my assessment, I decided to show this game design idea to the organization DWB and they want to turn it into a real product. They also asked me to make some changes to the structure of the game, which I am struggling with. Basically, start all over again!

I came to the conclusion I cant do this project on my own, I need help. I need to find volunteers (unpaid job) to help me to move this game development further.

Doctors Without Border is an amazing charity that does a lot for millions of people in conflict zones.

This would be a great project to be involved and good for your portfolio too.

Please let me know if you can help.

Many thanks,

Elenice

Attached is a photo of the last prototype. This prototype was playtested by 20 members of the MSF team. More details about their feedback are below along with the current game instructions:

Game: NotaTarget Game, for 2 to 4 players
Player = MSF Volunteer

Objective: The object of the game is to reach the end by moving across the board from square one to the final square (77, Hospital), with the highest number of tokens/ rewards (medical supply and equipment).

How to play: Each player has to alternately roll the die, pick up their game piece (or pawn) and move forward that number of spaces on the board*, following the order: 1st Green pawn, 2nd Blue, 3rd Pink and 4th Yellow.
All players must get to the centre of the board and compare their total of tokens, wins the one with the highest number. If 2 or more players have the same amount of tokens, wins the one who got to the centre of the board (Hospital) first.

* Unless stated by the board

Important Note: Players can only collect token or penalty of pawn lands on that specific space. Players can only move forward on the numbered pathway unless stated by the board.

Feedback from playtesting:
1) The game lacks threat, there is no sense of urgency
2) The game needs more collaboration. It needs interaction between players, maybe exchange a number of tokens to save a patient. Maybe create teams, and establish tasks for each team.
3) Add element of decision making. Create consequences to that decision.
4) Add element of the patient (or patients). For example, a patient needs treatment so player can use token to deliver treatment
5) Add element of an outbreak where a player (or a team) can save an entire village with three tokens for example.
6) Reward the first person who gets to the centre of the board. Get to the centre first as a winning element.
7) Create a special token that can save lives. Maybe start the game with a set of tokens.
8) Land on a spot that you can choose a different pathway to go
9) Do not use "go back" squares but lose a token

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Welcome to BGDF!

Well your venture may be "noble", it may take a while to find a co-designer. The reason mainly is because most of the designers on this website are already engaged in designing "their OWN games". Some, just like you, post because they want feedback, comments, to share ideas, etc.

While at the moment it seems like nobody is prepared to "dive right in" and commit time to your project, maybe it would help to provide details about your "existing" game and what "people" want it to look like.

Some explanations about the current game - may pique interests with another designer. It's like saying: "I own a Red Ferrari"... And?! What do you want to do with it??

Sharing more information about the game could maybe help one or several designers in "indirectly" helping you without the need for a "partner" or "co-designer"...

But like I said, you need to offer more details and incentive regarding your design. Explain more and you'll see if people (other designers) are willing to help by sheer interest in the project (or not!)

Cheers,

Kristopher
Aka QuestCCG
"Indie" Game Designer
BGDF Moderator - Publisher List

Mosker
Mosker's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/30/2014
MSF

Fabulous cause, very much interested in what you are doing--especially as some of my own designs have ties to animal rescue, and with non-profits and causes, there are a host of additional issues that need balancing.

Feel free to email me directly (moskergames at gmail) or via the BGDF message, talk about Google docs if that works for you.

What has your local research for help turned up? There's a ton of talent here, but some face-to-face playtesting and meeting will probably be essential, and as I'm eight (I think) time zones away...

Best,
David

Angablue
Angablue's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2017
Thank you David, I will email

Thank you David, I will email you today.

Angablue
Angablue's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2017
Thanks for your reply

Thanks for your reply Kristopher.

I totally get what you're saying. Richard Durham warned me about that when I signed up for the website.
Luckily I also advertised at my Uni and got a couple of volunteers already.

I think I will follow your advice and post images of the existing prototype and see what extra feedback I can get.

Thanks again.

E

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Action Points (APs)

Angablue wrote:
I totally get what you're saying. Richard Durham warned me about that when I signed up for the website.

Believe me, the people on this website can definitely help... But you must know that your game is classified a "Roll & Move" game. Fundamentally that is one of the least popular mechanics in "modern" game design.

Angablue wrote:
Luckily I also advertised at my Uni and got a couple of volunteers already.

Glad you were able to find some additional people to help.

Angablue wrote:
I think I will follow your advice and post images of the existing prototype and see what extra feedback I can get.

Great... That's a good start. But you'd be best to "abandon" the "Roll & Move" mechanic towards something more strategic like Action Points (APs). Simply put on a player's turn, he/she gets "X" APs and can choose to spend them as they see fit.

See how much more strategy that adds, just by removing "Roll & Move"???

APs can be used for different things:

  • Movement (around the circular board)
  • Drawing cards that are actionable
  • Playing cards from his/her own hand
  • Performing some kind of Doctor-related task (to earn Victory Points)
  • etc.

This increases decision-making TENFOLD.

Gives you something to think about... Definitely HARD to "design" if you don't have the complete background with "Game Design". This is just ONE (1) example about how you can "transform" your game into something more strategic...

Cheers.

Angablue
Angablue's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2017
Thanks again Kristopher. I

Thanks again Kristopher.
I really like your idea of removing the "roll and move" mechanic.
Very good input. I am taking every word of advice on board.

I really appreciate your help.

bluesea
bluesea's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
A REQUEST FOR SOME

A REQUEST FOR SOME DETAILS:

1. How will this game be used by MSF? What is their purpose for 'commissioning' a game? Will this game be used internally for training or publicly for fund raising purposes, or both?

2. By asking you to work on this game, has MSF established a budget for artwork assets and printing costs? What budget have you set for the production of the game? How many copies will will be needed?

3. Given that decent games take months (even years) to design and playtest, what is MSF's time frame for deliverables? What is yours?

4. Do the rules need to be translated into multiple languages?

5. What type of games do YOU like to play?

A CAUTION:
One suggestion was using action points. I agree that this will push the game on to a much more interesting development path. However, one possible hindrance with action points is that players, especially non-gamers, may be prone to analysis paralysis. That is, they may take far to long to take their turn because they are trying to make the most optimal and efficient decisions and play out all scenarios in their head before taking their go.

You may want to consider or at least try out one action point type game. The one that comes to mind first is "Tikal":

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/54/tikal

https://www.amazon.com/Rio-Grande-Games-132-Tikal/dp/B0007YDBTG/ref=sr_1...

There's likely an app as well.

See if you like how Tikal, or a similar action point system, plays before you commit to that design path.

AS AN ASIDE...
I was involved with the development of a board game design project with the World Bank many years ago. Additionally, I have worked on public/private infrastructure development in West Africa and the Middle East. I am familiar with the wonderful energy that organizations will approach such a project. But there will likely be very little internal expertise or experience at the organization's HQ to be able to manage such a project. If this grows into a serious endeavor with real money behind it, you may want to consider bringing on board an experienced board game developer as a consultant to work with you side-by-side to design your game. This will not be free, however, as it is a big time commitment.

Please feel free to PM me if you want to discuss anything. It is an intriguing opportunity; my interests are piqued, but I need more details. This would make for an interesting Kickstarter project.

Cheers.

Angablue
Angablue's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2017
Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your input Bluesea. Noted your opinion about APs and everything else. At this moment, I am collecting as much suggestions as possible. I will get the Tikal game asap to let you know my thoughts on that.

Answering your questions:

1) MSF did not commission me the game. I created it for my Uni assessment and later I offered the idea to the organization. The UK Head of Operations liked it and informed me that one of their sponsors will finance its production. The intention is to use the game to raise awareness of their campaign: NotaTarget, among sponsors events. At this point, they have no plan to commercialize it.

2) The budget is low (5-10k), just for production of the approved game, just a small run though. The game idea is a very new thing for them, they will prefer to see the initial feedback, then if successful, they will produce more units. The initial design work, printing and prototypes have been so far paid by me. MSF expects the whole idea to be developed and financed by us, volunteers.

3) There is no time frame. MSF understands it will take time to develop the game.

4) Initially, the game will be only produced in English.

5) I like to play Checkers, I know, what can I say I am old. I also love to play "8 ball pool" app.

Please let me know if you have any more questions or if I missed something.

Thanks again!

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Not a Scythe Fan

bluesea wrote:
...A CAUTION:
One suggestion was using action points. I agree that this will push the game on to a much more interesting development path. However, one possible hindrance with action points is that players, especially non-gamers, may be prone to analysis paralysis. That is, they may take far to long to take their turn because they are trying to make the most optimal and efficient decisions and play out all scenarios in their head before taking their go...

To be real honest, Analysis-Paralysis is a much graver problem than just trying to find the optimal decision. It goes way beyond that... In this context, the use of APs is more efficient a mechanical change and can be done rather easily.

Then the designers can attack deeper problems such as Player Interaction.

Since it seems like each player is in his "own world", there seems like not to much hindrance which could lead to over-complexifying and that could lead to Analysis-Paralysis.

I was trying to keep the mechanics change as simple as possible.

And lastly ANY GAME is supposed to be FUN. Not Analysis and trying to be the Winner each time a game is played. Analysis-Paralysis scenarios are mostly "over-thinkers" that cannot let a game play out as it should. There is NO FUN in ALWAYS trying to make the most OPTIMAL choice. That to me sounds like the OPPOSITE to fun... A chore/effort. Not at all anything that I enjoy in games. That's why I don't like Scythe... Too much planning and optimal play trying to make the best of each turn.

To me that is BORING. I'd rather play Yahtzee and let the dice decide my fate than have to constantly analyse the board and figure out what is the BEST set of decisions I can make on EACH turn. Yuck!

Angablue
Angablue's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2017
I have added the above input

I have added the above input to my brainstorming.

Thank you guys again for your contribution.

bluesea
bluesea's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Also I wanted to add that

Also I wanted to add that there are some other good places for learning about board game design. Here are some of my favorite sites, articles, and videos.

cardboardedison.com
(an aggregated and curated resource for board game design news, information, interviews, etc.)

www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/26/boardgamegeek/board-game-design
(similar to bgdf.com)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9bT77zzr-4
(a masterful lecture on board game design.)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUZjn6m_Qvs
(A great, quick (10min) primer on design. Good place to start.)

fivethirtyeight.com/features/designing-the-best-board-game-on-the-planet/
(A really interesting article on board games written for muggles.)

This is a good start. Follow the links that interest you on cardboardedison.com and you will find sooooooooo much more.

e: I forget to mention that given that you are working with a small budget for the game, consider making a card game. The cards themselves are simple to design, they are easy to print and relatively inexpensive (especially with POD services these days), and players like cards. A typical deck has 54 cards total. And many POD services print on 18 card sheets. So you can scale the card count accordingly.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut