Board Game Construction Kit

The Creator Options Menu
The Player
Teaching Unit
Activity 1 - The Senario
Activity 2 - Research the Game
Activity 3 - Design The Game
Activity 4 - Making The Game With BGCK
Activity 5 - Critiquing
Activity 6 - Marketing The Game
Activity 7 - The Games Expo
Activity 8 - Evaluating The Unit

Designed by
Martin Fitzgibbons

Contributions to the manual by;
Greg Butler - Intouch Consultancy

A full Microsoft Publisher Version can be obtained from
Intouch on the Internet ( www.intouch.com.au )
Program Testing by
Russell Fitzgibbons

Introduction

There is no doubt that children, teenagers and adults all learn through playing games. Games provide a risk-free environment that allows for experimentation, decision-making and reflection. Games are a valuable tool for any teacher. As a result of this belief in the benefit of using games in the classroom BOARD GAME CONSTRUCTION KIT (BGCK) and Games Publisher Notes have been developed.

Games Publisher is a simulation that will allow your students to manage their own games company. They will need to take on roles and work together as they try to win the Games Expo, the most prestigious games show held each year. In managing their company they will need to use tools such as Desktop Publishing software in their efforts to researchñ, design and make the most popular game at the Expo. The Kit offers teachers of science and technology, or design and technology, a unique opportunity to combine learning, fun and an easy-to-use desktop publishing package for schools, into one unit.

Within this scenario, the Games Publisher notes have been designed to help teachers create a classroom environment where students not only undertake to play games, but they actively participate in the research, design and construction required to create a game and bring that game to market. In doing so they will develop critical skills in design, management, production and business. This is done in an environment that encourages creativity, co-operation and working together effectively as a team. As we look toward the future, these skills will be vital for all students if they are to succeed.
With busy schedules and many concerns, teachers also need support in the production of
resources and management of the learning environment. BGCK and Games Publisher notes
helps here by providing all the resources you need to plan, organise and present the unit. And because the kit is so easy to use, you can also modify these resources or easily create your own. Board Game Construction Kit is about having fun. Please enjoy.



The Board Game Construction Kit Creator is a program that is designed to facilitate the creation of Board Games software and Board Games hardcopy. There are a number of tools within the program to assist you with your creation.

You may access Ready made board layouts or create your own from scratch.
There is an Action Card creator for designing sets of cards to be used with your printed board games.

A built in text editor and instructions template allows students to prepare that essential documentation that must accompany all good board games.
Online help is available when you are not, so students can explore on their own.


BGCK Creator MENUS

The FILE options MENU ;

NEW BOARD

Select this option to create a new board. You will be asked to select whether you want a
freeform or ready-made board. After selecting your choice, you will be able to pick from a range of themes for the board game. Each theme has a set of pieces and a brief description of the type of game. Click on DISPLAY to view the pieces available for the theme.If you have selected to use a ready-made board you will then be asked to select the layout for the board. Click on each selection to see the layout of the board displayed on the right side of the window. After you have selected your layout or are creating your own layout you will then be able to begin designing your board layout.

OPEN BOARD

Select this option to load a previously created board. A file requester will appear asking
you to select the board to load. Select the board to load and select OPEN.

SAVE BOARD

There are 2 ways to save your board game;

1 - Save Work in Progress 2 - Save Work Completed

1. Select this option to save a your current incomplete creation. A file requester will
appear asking you to enter the name of the board you wish to save. Enter the name
and select SAVE. The default location is in the BOARDS folder which is located inside
the BGCK program folder.

2. Select this option to save a your complete board game, ready to run on any machine
with the BGCK Player software. Before you are allowed to save your game the BGCK
Professor must analyse your board game looking for strenghts and weaknesses and
will produce a report that can be printed. The Professor will also do his best to give
your game a rating and suggestions on improving the games playability.
If you decide to save your game ready for playing, click on continue. A file requester
will appear asking you to enter the name of the board you wish to save. Enter the
name and select SAVE. Refer to the PLAYER section on how to play your game.

PRINT BOARD

There are 2 ways to print your board game, as;

1 - A Prototype 2 - A Final Production

1. Selecting this option will allow you to print out your board game as a prototype for play testing. No borders and No graphics are printed. This allows for a quick way for
students to get a printout showing only the key elements so they can test its
playability.

2. Selecting this option will allow you to print out your board game design in various
sizes and with several options available such as borders. See the Resources at the
end of the manual for examples.

CLEAR BOARD

Select this option to clear the board. Remember that you lose all the current work when
the board is cleared, so use the Save Work In Progress Option If you wish to recall your
work later.

The Creator Options MENU;

MAKE CARDS

Use this option to create cards to be used with your printed board games. The ACTION
card squares do not appear when playing games on the computer.

To use the Card Maker follow these steps;

1. Decide on a front for your card by clicking on the small red or blue picture this allows
you to create 2 different styles or positive and negative cards. The card front will
change to the option you select.

2. Enter the action for this card in the text window to the right of the card front. Do not
allow text to go down below the bottom of the card as it will not be printed. An example of an action appears below. You can apply colour and size to your cards as you see fit
These cards can be used in wide variety of ways to enhance the fun that a simple board
game provides. Along with the General Knowledge type questions that can act as
revision for topics just covered, try some less traditional actions such as Singing Songs
and Miming that gets judged by the other players

YOU GET EATEN BY A NASTY CROCODILE
GO BACK TO THE START OR SING CROCODILE ROCK

3. If you wish to add more cards, click on the ADD button to make a new card to your
stack. When you have designed all the cards you need, select CONTINUE to return to
the creator screen. Your card designs have been stored and will be included with the
board game when it is saved to disk. To look at the other cards you have created in
the stack click on the NEXT/PREVIOUS buttons.

4. If you do not save your board game to disk, the cards you have created will be lost.
Please make sure you save the board game if you wish to have those cards available
to be printed for that game it is therefore wise to leave this activity to last.

PRINTCARDS

This menu item allows you to print out your Action Card. The card has a front and back which is folded and glued to itself OR with a piece of cardboard between for durability.

PRINT DICE

This menu item allows the printing of a DICE and SPINNER that need to be assembled by
students.

MAKE INSTRUCTIONS

This facility is included as a template for creating instruction to student’s games. After examining a number of commercial program instruction books, students should use this template as a basis for completing their Manuals. It is recommended that they save the instructions as a text file and import it into a Publisher program to create a professional end product. You replace and/or add any text between these symbols < >.


INSTRUCTIONS TEMPLATE

INSTRUCTIONS FOR < YOUR GAME >

About this Game
<Provide a brief description of your game in this section.>

Copyright Notices
< Discussion on shareware and public domain software versus commercial software. Rights and obligations of users of various types of software.>

Playing the Game on Computer

  1. Open the Games folder and double-click on the game you wish to play to load that game.
  2. Select the number of human and computer players (if any) and enter the name of each player.
  3. Each player must click on the dice or spinner to move their playing piece. The computer controlled players will roll the dice and move automatically.
  4. Player One begins the game and all players' pieces are moved by the computer.


Other Points

  1. Up to four human or computer players can play the game.
  2. You can select either a dice or spinner to use when playing the game.
  3. You also have the option to use one or three dice/spinners when playing the game.
  4. There is an option to turn sound on or off during the game.
  5. Select Quit from the menu to leave the gam»e at any time.
  6. < Add any additional comments you would like to make. >


Playing the Board Game

  1. Place the playing pieces on the START tile.
  2. Shuffle the ACTION cards (if any) and place them near the board.
  3. You can select either a dice or spinner to use when playing the game.
  4. Decide who will begin the game by rolling the dice to see who gets the highest number.
  5. Pack the game up after use to keep Mum and Dad happy.
  6. < Add any additional comments you would like to make. >


Winning the Game
The winner of the game is the first player to land on the FINISH tile by rolling the exact number. < Add any additional comments you would like to make. >

THEMES

The themes are provided to add an atmosphere to the game play and a focus for anciliary design items such as packaging and marketing items. Remember what is going to make their product stand out from the rest!
Example,

Yacht Race
Avast there me hearties!!
You will need all your navigation skills to sail from Sydney to Hobart braving some of the worst weather conditions on the east coast of Australia. Try to find the best wind conditions, avoid losing valuable crew members and keep a steady course as you sail down the coast. Remember to take your seasickness tablets.

Macintosh

To install Board Game Construction Kit on your Hard Disk, insert the Board Game disk
in any drive and double-click on the "BGCK" disk icon. Pull the "Board Game" drawer
onto your Hard Disk. To load the BGCK Creator simply open the "Board Game" drawer
and double-click on the "BGCK" icon.

Windows Compatible Machines

Insert the floppy disk into drive A:
Run Windows
Open the program Manager
Click on RUN.. in the FILE Menu
Type A:\SETUP. Follow the Setup program prompts for a trouble free installation.
An icon will appear in a new program group called BGCK.
Double-click on this icon to run the program.

BGCK Player


The Board Game construction Kit Player is a separate program that allows students to
play the games that they have created on different computers even their home
computers without having to own the Creator program and without breaking any
copyright. The method of playing varies slightly from Macintosh to Windows as far as
installing the player on another machine but once installed the operation ¹is the same for both platforms.

Macintosh:
Drag your Final Production Game(s) and the BGCK Player onto a disk and transport it to
the destination computer. To install your game simply drag the items from the disk to the appropriate location on your hard drive, you may wish to create a new folder first.

Windows:
At the time of printing this manual a final method of installation was not decided. Check
the Read Me file on the installation disk for instructions or RUN SetupP.bat file located in the BGCK folder. This file will install the necessary files onto a floppy disk and at the
other end of the installation when you insert the disk into the destination machine RUN
the InstallP.bat file which will copy all the necessary files onto the new machine.

Starting Up A Game

For both platforms you can launch the PLAYER by double-clicking its icon. After a short
while you will see a requester. You will need some expertise in locating files. Once you locate your file, select it and click OK. The game will commence after you set the
following options;

Dice or Spinner
Select either Dice or Spinner to use as the counter while playing the game. You can set
this to show 1 or 3 objects during the game.

Number of Players
Select the number of players for the game. If you select one player, you will be
automatically playing against a computer player, who will have playing piece Number 2.

Player Names
Enter the names for each player playing the game. You can cycle through the names by
pressing the TAB key.

Computer Players
Click in the box opposite the player's name to have that player become a computer-
controlled player. It is possible to have all players as computer players although this
would probably not be as much fun.

Continue
Select CONTINUE to go to the game page where you can then commence playing the
board game.

Teaching Unit Overview

The following Unit of work was developed by Greg Butler from Intouch Consultancy Pty
Ltd Australia (www.intouch.com.au) and is a subset of many resources that Greg has developed as a Unit of work called the Games Publisher which was intended to focus on developing expertise in using the Microsoft Publisher program.

Board Game Construction Kit is a classroom based simulation where students run a
small business that designs, manufactures and markets games. This computer package
was developed to stimulate initiative in investigation, design and construction. Board
Game Construction Kit supports themes including manufacturing, recreation,
communication, the history of games and lifestyles.

This package was designed to provide a broad focus, allowing teachers to use it in a variety of ways covering a range of curriculum areas. It was designed specifically to support the technology learning area of the national curriculum, however its broad nature will allow its use in many other learning areas. There is no prescribed way to use this kit. It is expected that teachers will use it as the basis for six to eight weeks of activities focussing on the above themes. Students will use computers to investigate, research, communicate, design and construct a game. The design of the activities is open-ended and teachers can adjust or redesign activities to suit their classes. The unit could be supplemented by your own lesson ideas based on the games/recreation/lifestyles themes. Many ideas for extra mathematical, literacy, science, human society, art, craft, music and physical development activities could be developed based on these themes.

The Board Game Construction Kit package comprises eight detailed teaching and learning activities. Each one of these activities may be used to form the basis of one or more lessons. Some activities may be completed in one lesson while others will take two, three or more lessons to complete. Each activity includes ideas for related lessons that may be developed. It is expected that students using the kit will work in teams to complete the activities that make up Board Game Construction Kit. Each team would comprise two, three or four students.

The eight activities have been designed to develop a broad range of skills. These include investigation, research, communication, enterprise and technical skills. By the very nature of the unit, students will be involved in activities that will develop skills in design and construction. Teachers can extend the skills developed by providing students with opportunities to make their games using a range of media.
If you are undertaking the unit with one computer in your classroom you will need to plan activities for the students who are not using the computer. Some have been provided in this kit.

These notes have been provided to form the basis of your teaching program. You may adjust it to suit your needs more closely.

Activity 1 - The Senario

Aims

Outcomes


Teachers role

  1. Photocopy Student task card 1 for each team. [Note: there is also a blank task card for your ideas on additional activities.]
  2. Photocopy the Student learning contract for each student.
  3. Read the Scenario (scenario.pub) to the whole class. When completed display the Business goals (bus_goal.pub) for all students to see. Alternatively, have the students read the Scenario in their teams. Note: The teacher’s role in this simulation is that of the Expo Manager, an extremely important and powerful character in the games industry.
  4. Give out Student task cards and contracts.
  5. Break the students into teams* and allow each team to have a short discussion on the Scenario and Business goals. They may wish to clarify points with the teacher at this stage.
  6. Allow the students time to think of a name for their company. This can be included in their contracts. Have students discuss, within their teams, the question ‘Why do humans play games?’ Students can report the results of their discussions in either split teams or as a whole class.
  7. As a class, generate ideas about the reasons for games in human society eg, entertainment, enjoyment, learning and social interaction.
  8. Introduce the Student learning contract. Explain that students will be required to simulate the workings of a small games business and produce a game within a limited time frame. Have students complete and sign their contract. Students should store the contract in a folder or workbook.
  9. Display Business goals to remind students of what they are trying to achieve.


* It is felt the word ‘team’ better represents the joint effort and co-operative attitude required for successful group work. A team creates the picture of working together towards common goals, where as a group is merely a collection of people.

Note: It is recommended that you have the students create a portfolio of the work they undertake during the unit. This could include a journal, copies of completed worksheets, notes, and background information they collect in their research. It could be stored in a workbook or folder. A journal template file has been included.

Ideas for related activities


Activity 2 - Research the Game

Aims


Outcomes


Teacher’s Role:

  1. Photocopy Student task card 2 and make one copy for each team.
  2. Photocopy the Games component survey and make one copy for each team.
  3. Have the students consider existing games. The following questions might help:
    1. What games have you used at home?
    2. Who are the games designed for?
    3. What purpose do the games have?
    4. What components are included in a game?
  4. Have the students use the Games components survey to record the common components found in different games.
  5. Have the students brainstorm headings which can be used to organise the information collected about the games, eg, the name of the game, the type of game, the number of players, the materials used for the production of the game.
  6. Using this information, have students use Microsoft Publisher to design and print their own market survey form. Make copies of this form and have students undertake market research. An example market survey form is included for reference/adaptation.
  7. If only one computer is available, provide a roster for its use. A roster template is included.
  8. Support students where required.


Ideas for related activities


Activity 3 - Design The Game

Aims


Outcomes


Teacher’s role

  1. Photocopy Student task card 3 and make one copy for each team.
  2. Provide students with butcher’s paper or similar and have them brainstorm as many ideas as possible for their game. Ask each team to choose one of these ideas.
  3. Have students identify the goal of their proposed game and theme.
  4. Photocopy the Games Publisher inventory and make one copy for each person.
  5. Have students complete the inventory and think about the materials and processes they will use to create their game.
  6. Have students establish tasks and assign responsibility for individual tasks to each team member. eg some students may make action cards others may make packaging and others the board.
  7. Have students use a Publisher to prepare presentations on their designs. They could create overhead transparencies or handouts with the material they generate in a Publisher.
  8. Organise students’ presentations, either to the whole class or to the teacher. This activity can be used as the basis for a teacher/student conference.

Ideas for related activities


Activity 4 - Making The Game With BGCK

Aim

Outcomes


Teacher’s role

  1. Photocopy Student task card 4 and make one copy for each team.
  2. Demonstrate the BGCK software and develop a simple game. Print a prototype for testing.
  3. Provide hands on computer time for students. If using one computer you will need to provide a roster for computer use.
  4. Provide materials such as cardboard, paper, ballpoint pens, felt-tip pens, acrylic, wood and textiles for the production of all components of the game. If you dÎo not have sufficient expertise in working with these materials, link students to people who do. Support students where required.


Ideas for related activities


Activity 5 - Critiquing

Aims

Outcomes


Teacher’s role

  1. Photocopy Student task card 5 and make one copy for each team.
  2. Photocopy Critiquing sheet and make one copy for each person.
  3. Have each team critique the prototype of another team. Ask them to record their findings on the critiquing sheets.
  4. Give the critiquing sheets on their prototype to each respective team. Allow time for teams to adapt prototypes if necessary, and complete their product.


Ideas for related activities


Activity 6 - Marketing The Game

Aim

Outcomes


Teacher’s role

  1. Photocopy Student task card 6 and make one copy for each team.
  2. Photocopy What’s in an ad? and make one copy for each team.
  3. Have students collect a range of single and half page printed advertisements.
  4. Have students analyse the advertisements they have collected using the What’s in an ad? worksheet.
  5. Have students produce a rough of their own advertisement.
  6. Allow students computer access time to design and print out their own advertisement.
  7. If possible, enlarge the advertisements to A3 size on a photocopier. Print the advertisement on coloured paper to enhance it.



Ideas for related activities


Activity 7 - The Games Expo

Aims

Outcomes


Teacher’s role

  1. Photocopy Student task card 7 and make one copy for each team.
  2. Provide a venue for the Games Expo. A suitable venue would allow for the participating audience to play the games. You might consider setting up the venue as a trade display.
  3. Discuss with students ‘What makes a good display?’
  4. Have teams develop a display for their game to be used at the Games Expo.
  5. Provide ways for students to receive feedback from the audience, eg, evaluation sheets, a suggestions box, ‘voting on a game’ competition. A sample game evaluation coupon is provided for visitors to fill in.
  6. Organise a class discussion on the success of the Games Expo.


Ideas for related activities



Activity 8 - Evaluating The Unit

Aim

Outcomes

Teacher’s role

  1. Photocopy Student task card 8 and make one copy for each team.
  2. Photocopy the Peer assessment sheet and make copies for each student.
  3. Working outside of their teams, provide opportunity for students to view and play other students’ games. Students can then complete a Peer assessment sheet.
  4. Photocopy the Self-assessment sheet and make copies for each student.
  5. Using the portfolio the students collected throughout the unit, have each student complete a Self-assessment sheet.
  6. Provide feedback on the success of the students’ project, bearing in mind that
  7. while the game itself is a team effort, the journal entries and Peer assessment
  8. sheets are reflective of the individual’s efforts.

Note: This activity provides an excellent opportunity for student/teacher conferencing.

Ideas for related activities


* It is felt the word team better represents the joint effort and cooperative attitude required for successful group work. A team creates the picture of working together towards common goals, whereas a group is merely a collection of people.

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