COMM 344 – Game Design

The Game Design course allows students to understand the concepts behind designing a game and, it provides students with the skills to work in teams to create their own children’s board game and eventually turn that game into an iPad game.  Working together with two others, we came up with the game idea called “Movin’ On Up the Food Chain”.  The game gave the players the ability to trade energy to become different animals and plants in the food chain.  The ultimate goal was to have enough energy to trade in to become a human.  Although we worked on developing the game together, my main focus was to perfect the rules.  After testing the game on children, I made the proper revisions to the rules and to the game in general.  Then, I individually transformed the game into an outline for a potential iPad game.  The startup screen is below.

The startup screen for my iPad game

The startup screen for my iPad game

The Rules:

Movin’ On Up the Food Chain




A circular playing board, a pad of paper and pen, and 2 dice


The objective of the game is to be the first player to become a human.  To become a human, a player has to reach 35 energy points and draw a human chance card. The energy points can be traded in to become a human.


The youngest player goes first and the player to his or her left goes next, and so on.  All players start with three energy, but can never go below zero and will be kept track of on a sheet of paper.  Players begin by rolling 2 dice and combining the numbers to determine the number of moves he/she makes.  All players begin in the sun, which is the middle of the board and can choose 1 of 4 directions to go, which are indicated by the lines protruding from the sun.  The 4 white spots are the starting points.  Once game play has begun, the white spots continue to count as spots.  Whenever a player lands on a white spot, that player has the opportunity to steal 5 energy points from the player of their choice.  Depending on which direction a player chooses, he/she will start in different areas of the board, including arctic, jungle, swampland, and desert.  Players will then move clockwise around the circle and amount of moves will continue to depend on the die rolls.  When players land on a daylight spot, they add 5 energy points and when players land on a nighttime spot, they lose 2 energy points.  Dark blue spots are nighttime spots and light blue spots are daytime spots.  Every time players land on nighttime spots, they will be asked a question from the stack of question cards by the person to their left.   Once a question card has been used, put it to the side.  Also, if two players land on the same spot, a duel will occur.  During a duel, whichever player is higher on the food chain will automatically win.  If both players have not become members of the food chain, the players will roll a dice and the person with the highest number wins the duel.  The winner of the duel steals 5 energy points from the other player.


In addition to question cards, chance cards will be present in each area of the board.  Chance cards consist of different members of the food chain that will give players special abilities and advantages, including plants, animals, and people and other special directions, some positive and some negative.  Every time a player takes a turn, they will have the opportunity to pick a chance card.  In the event that a player picks a member of the food chain card, they will have the option to trade in energy to become that member.  If a direction card is picked, players must do what the card says.   Different members of the food chain require different amounts of energies, but remember, in order to become a human, a player must have 50 energy points.  Chance cards can be put back in the piles once they are done being used.

Game Rules


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