Monsters! is a game designed for elementary school kids in order to promote design thinking within a public school curriculum. When ideating for the project, we focused on promoting collaboration instead of competition and divergent thinking. We also drew from our own experiences and the inaccessibility of the design vocabulary used in human centric design. We were really inspired by projects that had similar themes, such Rigamajig and Anjiplay.
With Monsters!, we designed the playflow of the game to walk players through the human centered design process. Children were encouraged to give their own personality to their monsters We believed that by investing themselves into the game by making the monsters, players would be more engaged with critiquing making the final outcome. Monsters were given different silhouettes in order to use their form to inform the solution. By the time the game ended, we hoped that children would understand the joy of creating without competition.
After creating their monsters' personalities and gaining a problem, players would use a spinner to draw constructive cards to simulate constraints in design thinking. Cards would deliberately change how groups approached the problem. Feedback cards would be quotes from the monster, simulating user feedback. Process cards would force the group to explore divergent thinking to explore multiple options. Group cards would change group dynamics, trying to encourage participation. Critique cards would be drawn after the group presents their solution in order to facilitate constructive feedback.
Testing was given to 10-12 year old children. After the game was done surveys were given to the classes to answer questions and gave feedback. Players really enjoyed the creation of the monster. We realized through these two tests that without us facilitating the game, it is difficult to explain design thinking.
With this feedback we identified a need to create an authority on the process design thinking, an intuitive way to guide people through the process, and more customizations with creating the monster. With this, we decided we needed a rebranding in order to reflect these new changes.