Board Games Reclaimed!


Evoke Lab (Room 2100), Calit2 Building, UCI

1-5 pm, February 27, 2017

Game designer Heather Logas (Space for Play) is coming to UC-Irvine to run an innovative, hands-on workshop on board game (re)design with Tess & Karen Tanenbaum of the Transformative Play Lab (Department of Informatics). Board Games Reclaimed! gives students the opportunity to explore the iterative design process in a creative and playful way. In this workshop, students take a simple, familiar game (Candyland) and re-imagine a new set of rules, dynamics, interactions and mechanisms for it.

Teams of 4-5 participants will be tasked with “reclaiming” Candyland, both physically and mechanically.  Teams must choose one of two design goals: 1) create a party game for college students or 2) create a family night board game that every member of the family will enjoy (including younger kids, older kids and adults).  Copies of Candyland will be provided, as well as basic art materials, game making supplies (e.g. dice) and blank rule sheets.  Teams may use any additional supplies (art materials, found objects, their own bodies, etc) they wish in order to remake their games.  Iterative playtesting will be encouraged to help guide the re-design of the game. The workshop will conclude with a group reflection on the process and what was learned.

This event is sponsored by Illuminations and primarily aimed at UCI undergraduates.

Edit: The event is full! Thank you for your interest!

Contact Karen Tanenbaum: with any questions or problems.


The workshop is intended for ~30 undergraduate students.  Participants need not have any prior experience in games or other types of design in order to participate, and all majors are welcome.

Planned Schedule

Workshop runs 1 pm – 5pm in the Evoke Lab (Room 2100) in the Calit2 Building on UC-Irvine.

  • Introductory Remarks: Welcome, introductions and team creation (15 min)
  • First Playtest: Teams play the original Candyland, taking notes about what could be changed to better fit their design goals (15 min)
  • Game Making Round 1: Teams attempt to add to and modify the game to better meet their goals (90 minutes)
  • Break (15 min): Coffee & snacks provided
  • Second Playtest: Teams have a chance to play other teams’ games and give feedback (30 min)
  • Game Making Round 2: Teams re-group to discuss what they learned during the play testing and work on adapting the game, incorporating feedback (60 min)
  • Closing Remarks: Wrap up & reflection on the process (15 min)

About Heather

Heather Logas has been designing games professionally since 2004, teaching game design since 2008 and teaching game making through workshop style events since 2010. Making games is a specialized form of personal expression that uses rules and systems as raw materials. Making board games can be done collaboratively or solo and is an excellent way to physically manifest systems for careful examination and to share with others, making the process perfect for ideation around difficult problems.  Game makers in our workshops have created games about everything from meditation to business strategy. Heather is the founder of Space for Play, a consultancy dedicated to assisting organizations gain clarity to their challenges though system analysis via board game making.She has an MFA in Digital Arts & New Media from the University of California-Santa Cruz and was a game designer and lecturer at the Center for Games & Playable Media at UCSC. You can find her on twitter as @systemsleuth.