A Board Game Surprise



My best friend Miya’s birthday was coming up soon and I had been scratching my head about what to get her as a present. She was away with her family on vacation, so my plan was to send her something by snail mail. I knew that when her family all got together they enjoyed playing board games until super late at night. Although they were all gamers, they sometimes had trouble understanding the world of Gamestar and what Miya’s job as a game mechanic involved.

Right then, the puzzle was solved in my head. I thought to myself, “Why don’t I combine Miya’s two favorite things and make her and her family a board game using Gamestar Mechanic?” The game elements I had to think about were the same—goal, core mechanic, challenge, surprise, and narrative. I decided to design the board and the pieces in Gamestar, print them and maybe buy a dice or spinner to make it playable as a board game. That way she could play a new game with her family and also it could help them understand more about her activity as a mechanic.

I got started immediately. I launched Gamestar Mechanic and brought out some blank sheets of paper to sketch out my ideas as I was designing the game. I decided to make her a game that was about resolving conflicts, like an argument or disagreement. The goal of the game was to help the four schools, which were in constant disagreement, resolve their differences and learn to coexist peacefully. I designed a huge fancy board using the vertical and horizontal scrolling level parameters and many of the colored block sprites.

Then, in order to turn my digital game into a board game I printed each section of the scrolling space separately and taped it together. I then printed the sprites from each district, cut the sections out and mounted them on cardboard so they could work as board game pieces. To customize the dice for the game, I printed six different block sprites and glued one each to the six sides of the dice. For each type of block sprite, I also designed corresponding cards in Gamestar. Finally, I used the game label to detail the rules of the game. The game turned out really well. Now I can’t wait for this game to reach my friend.