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Game Design to Learn: A Toolbox


Gamestorming (blog)
A toolkit for innovators, rule-breakers, and change makers, this blog encourages gaming in as a way of exercising our brain and learning.  Tons of great posts to browse through.


My Gamestorm
This Google Doc will help you to keep track of your ideas during your initial planning process.

Game Pieces

Video Gamemakers Toolbox

Manrique, Victor. 
The 35 Gamification Mechanics  
(English & Spanish) , 
Epic Win Blog, 2015.​


Set available in the library.

Grow a Game Card Deck (by tiltfactor)

Grow a Game App (by tiltfactor)

Vexata (by tiltfactor)
Since game mechanics are one of the principal ways that games communicate, learning to “read” mechanics is a critical skill for developing game literacy. Vexata is a new game literacy tool that builds off lessons learned from Tiltfactor’s Grow A Game cards and our team’s years of experience working in game design education. While the Grow A Game cards present an open system within which users develop their game designs, Vexata presents the discrete system of a board game to better help middle school students. Players move around a game board periodically adopting new rules that relate to specific values. By reflecting on how the rules and values relate, players improve their game literacy. Vexata is simple to understand, complex enough to have high replay value, and fun!

CARTEL: a board game for teaching game theory
This board game follows the theoretical background and principles of Game Theory, one of the most well-known theories in Economics and a method of analyzing and modeling the strategic interaction between Firms in an oligopoly.

Scavenging for Game pieces

  • Check out the toy section at a local thrift show.  Scavage boards and pieces from these. Share what you don't use. Check out this list from a user on Stack Exchange:
    • Scrabble : 100 Wooden Tiles. The backs are blank, or you could have the letters have some meaning within your game, or cover up the letters with stickers.

    • Risk : Colored Wooden Cubes/Plastic Stars. Old and Classic Editions come with wooden cubes.

    • Yahtzee Jr. : 1" indented Cubes. Useful if you want to make custom dice.

    • Advance to Boardwalk : 4 Colors of 20 stackable squares. Upwwords comes with stackable letters.

    • Trumpet : Cards numbered 1-11 in 6 different suits, when you want to design 5-6 player games and a standard deck won't do.

    • Bottletops : Hundreds of Wooden disks, most white, some red.

    • Bingo/Sequence : The $1 Store version of these usually come with red plastic "tiddlywinks", or numbered cardboard chits (useful for wargaming).

    • Pente : Colored glass beads in two colors.

    • Monopoly/Global Pursuit - Paper money.

    • Dicecapades : More dice than you will know what do do with.

    • Sorry/Parchisi : 4 Colored pawns in 4 colors.

  • The tops from soda bottles and milk jugs make great game pieces.
  • Does you family have a large collection of left over nuts and bolts.  Ask if you can raid these.
  • Small common objects (rocks, paperclips, etc.)
  • Small toys (Barbie shoes, Hot Wheels, etc.)
  • Use polymer clay.
  • Add stickers to the sides of standard dice and tokens.

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

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