The Map of

San Diego Game

 

 

by Shawn Aeria


| Instructional Objective | Learners & Context | Object of Game | Game Materials |

| Time Required | Rules | Design Process and Lessons Learned | References |


 

Instructional Objective

The goal of the game is for the learners to gain some contextual history and knowledge of the city and county of San Diego. A sense of the highway system will also be imparted through gameplay.

 

 

Learners & Context of Use

The game is designed for Middle School and older learners. The game-play is simple enough for younger players, but some of the questions will require a finer sense of history than a younger child could appreciate.

The game could be used in classroom and casual settings. The intended application could fit in with any program designed to impart knowledge of the San Diego county region. I could see it used as a tool to help people new to the area get in touch with their surroundings. College students could have the game in their dorms. Human Resource departments could use the game for people who were hired from other states. The game should be played more than once. The learners would become more familiar with the layout of San Diego as well as gain bits of knowledge about San Diego that could be of use in their daily lives.

 

 

Object of the Game

The goal of the game is to accumulate a certain number of points. The number of points needed would be dependent upon how much time could be allotted for the game. A quick game could be played up to 100 points. A greater point total would be set for a more in-depth game experience.


 

Game Materials

List each of the physical objects one would find in the box. For example, the board, each type of card, each type of prize or token, etc.)

  • Game board/map of San Diego
  • Four player pieces of varying color
  • 2 six-sided dice
  • Nine stacks of Question Cards.
  • One stack of Mission Cards
  • Instructions
  • Pencil and paper to keep score

The game board link leads to the original map that was used as the basis of the game board. This image was originally found at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/Libs/PCL/Map_collection/world_cities/San_Diego.jpg. A less detailed map would be much more ideal. The game board would be better if it were more abstracted so that more vital areas could receive more space on the board.

The Question Cards are divided into nine stacks. Each stack represents one portion of the map. The map portions are not equal. This is to balance the importance of each area. Each card has printing on each side. One side is for questions and the other is for answers. The answers will be presented in a multiple-choice format. A point total is listed on the front of the card to denote the questions point value. Advanced learners would play for the full point total without having the multiple choice answers read tot hem. Beginning learners would play for the full point total and would have the multiple choice answers read to them. Intermediate play would have the most options; the learner can answer the question for full points by not having the multiple choice answers read to them and for half points if they need to have their answer options read to them.

The Mission Cards add more chance to the game. They will grant special quests and abilities in the game. For example, the Theme Park Quest Card will grant the player 40 points if they can visit Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park and Legoland within ten turns. On the other hand, cards such as the Hidden Freeway Underpass card would allow the learner to change their direction of travel anywhere on the map once.

 

 

 

Time Required

The game is very flexible in needed time span. This flexibility is necessary due to the nature of the game. Advanced learners could get through the questions and gain points very quickly, whereas those less versed would require a longer playtime. The time can simply be set for a half-hour and at the end of time, the one with the most points would be the winner. If playing for a point value, the number could be set at 100 points to win. This should result in a game that lasts no longer than an hour. Even if the players demonstrate little knowledge of San Diego trivia and history, this should be enough time for enough quests to be accomplished.

 

 

The Rules

Setup

1. Open board on a flat surface that gives all players equal access to the board.

2. Place all cards in separate stacks. Keep Mission Cards face side down. Question cards should be placed so that the answers are hidden.

Gameplay

1. Each player must roll one die. Whoever gets the highest roll selects a playing piece and places it on a Mission Card Spot. The player with the next highest roll chooses next. This continues until everyone has placed their piece. Note: Players do not get to draw a Mission Card at this time.

2. The player who placed their piece last gets to play first. This follows until the player who placed their piece goes last.

3. The players roll two dice. When the game begins the players must decide which way they will be travelling. On following turns they must continue the direction they were travelling on the previous round. The players may choose to stop moving at any time during their turn. For example, if a player rolls five on the dice, but only need three to get to a Question Spot, they may cease movement on the Spot.

4. The direction of movement cannot be changed until one of the following has occurred: the player lands on a Question Spot; the player lands on a Mission Card Spot; or the player has a Mission Card that allows reversal of motion.

5. Players must land on question spots to be asked questions. The answers will be presented in a multiple-choice format. When a question is answered correctly, the player recieves the number of points printed on the card. The person who moved previously acts as the questioner. If this happens on the first turn, the player who goes last asks the question. The questioner draws a Question Card corresponding to the map grid and the color landed on by the player. There are three levels of difficulty for answering questions.

Level One: Beginning learners would play for the full point total and would have the multiple choice answers read to them.

Level Two: Intermediate play would have the most options; the learner can answer the question for full points by not having the multiple choice answers read to them and for half points if they need to have their answer options read to them.

Level Three: Advanced learners would play for the full point total without having the multiple choice answers read to them.

6. If the player does not answer the question correctly, the remaining players may attempt to jump in and steal the question. If they answer correctly, they gain half the points that the original player would have recieved. If they answer incorrectly, they lose half of the points the original player would have recieved. All other remaining players may attempt this with the exception of the Questioner.

7. After successfully answering a question, the player must move to another map grid before stopping at another Question Spot. This does not apply to players who jumped in on someone else's question.

8. When the players land on a Mission Card spot, they get to draw one Mission card. Some Mission Cards may be saved for later and others must be played immediately. The card should state when it comes into effect.

9. The game concludes at a predetermined win scenario. The game can be played towards a point limit. For example, the first player with 100 points could be the winner. Alternately, the game can be played to a time limit. PLay could be set to end in 30 minutes and whoever has the most points would be the winner.

 

 

Design Process and Lessons Learned

The design of the game board was an obvious decision. Imparting knowledge of San Diego's freeway system is a very important part of the game. The current version of the game is actually far simpler than earlier systems. The original rules were far more complex. Too much of the game was spent on the system rather than the information the game was trying to convey. The game is now much more streamlined and quicker to play. The sections of the map were originally intended to be quadrants. This did not work well--there were too many questions to fit in the cards this way. Nine sections may be too many, but this represents each region more fairly for the game's purposes and intent.

The current map is not very satisfactory. There is too much meaningless content cluttering up the map, while important landmarks are written in with pen. A more fanciful map would suit the game much better. An illustrated map with nice wide freeways for the game pieces to travel on would have been much more appropriate. Such a map was never found. The game-play does suffer for the amount of extraneous information on the map. It should be noted that a more polished map would result in better play. The core system is sound, even if the materials are not.

 

 

References

Books & Journals

  • Schad, J. (1995). Afoot and Afield in San Diego County (2 ed.). Berkeley: Wilderness Press.

 

Electronic


Return to the Board Game Table of Contents.

 

Last updated October 23 2000