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Ready, steady, croak!

May 21, 2013

This week Miss B decided that she wanted to create a new game. She decided that it should be about frogs and should be a sort of race game. The next thing I knew she was industriously colouring in bits of paper, cutting up bits of card, and sticking things to other things.

The green frog is definitely doing better at the moment, but the red frog has a heap of bonus counters just out of view...

The green frog is definitely doing better at the moment, but the red frog has a heap of bonus counters just out of view…

By bedtime she had created two small game boards, coloured blue to represent ponds. Each pond had a start space and five numbered lily pads.

The next day we played the prototype. I found some little Lego frogs (from the Frog Rush game) to use as playing pieces and provided (on request) some counters for keeping score and a die. She explained that the game is a race where you each have your own board and you have to roll the number of the next lily pad to move onto it. If you roll a 6 you reroll and use the new result. When you land on the 2, 3 or 4 you get to turn over one of the bonus chits she had made and if it has a number on it you get that many counters as bonus points. The game ends when someone lands on pad 5, at which point your score is the number of the lily pad you are on plus your bonus points.

Of course, this was just an exercise in repeatedly rolling a die until you finally get the result you want. Miss B was fine with that but she felt that the “reroll on a 6” rule was a bit lacking, so she resolved to do something about it.

We took a break, during which she got out some pens and scrounged some blank cards from my prototyping stash and set to work. Half an hour later she had a small pile of cards with “Hop!” (which she had chosen for the game’s name) written on the back and various numbers written on the front. Some also had rain clouds drawn on the front. The numbers, apparently indicated something special that should happen, like moving to the next space or having another go. At my suggestion Miss B added the relevant instructions to the cards as we went along. It also turned out that the rain cloud indicated that you should lose one of your scoring counters. In order to add choice, we had three of the cards each at a time, which lay face down on the table and when we rolled a 6 we chose one to turn over.

This is choice for a six-year-old.

Our second game went much the same way as the first but was slowed down quite a lot by Miss B having to write on the cards. She seemed more satisfied with the experience though and found an old ice cream tub to use as a box to store her game in, writing up a label for the top, which read: “Hop!” a dice game by a 6 year old girl called B—-.

So, we’ll see how this develops. Will Miss B evolve the game any further? We’ll just have to see…

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Categories: Making Games Tags: ,
  1. Nicky & Jim
    May 21, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    That’s one smart kid you have there. I would say maybe she’ll have her own games company when she’s older, but I have a feeling she’ll be aiming rather higher.

    • May 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Heh! I think perhaps we might need to have a discussion about the pros and cons of world domination. 😉

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