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Analysing primary research and in-depth play testing to build a unique board game from scratch.

Pando is the largest living organism in the world, it is a tree system connected by roots in Utah and has been around since the ice age. Inspired by this, the objective of the game is to have the largest area of forest connected together by the end of the game before the ice age arrives. Players expand their land and burn their opponents to grow faster. This game has gone through seven iterations of the mechanics (how it is played) since the original design and up to 30 different designs for some of the pieces used. This has insured that the game is a lot of fun and looks great when out on the table.

The creation of this board game was inspired by my LSBU final year dissertation which explored the question, are board games becoming obsolete in the digital age? For this, I created a survey with a few dozen questions for people to fill out anonymously, just under 500 people filled this out and provided really unique data into the market and how people interact with board games as a whole.

Edward Chinn Illustrated Dissertation
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Considering all of this data, I decided it would be a good idea to build my own board game based on it. This meant using the data to look at what people are interested in, what player counts my game should cater to, the theme and the different mechanisms users enjoy. Below is the entire development process documented thoroughly from initial ideas all the way up to the functional game pictured in the gallery.

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The main aspects of design used throughout this project were graphical, packaging and UX. Although others were used to bring the product together as a whole, these helped the final product become something super engaging and well thought through. Despite its simple components, the game looks beautiful when spread out on a table or inside its organised packaging. The rules are simple to learn and new players have the option of using a reference card to help them out.

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After this project, I did create more board games (you can view another one here) but Pando is the only one with such in-depth research and planning thanks to all of the valuable data that had been repurposed from my old university dissertation.

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