• Marion, Indiana

News for IWU’s Campus

Students in the Board Game Concepts and Design class displayed their final projects during the first-ever Board Game Showcase in the Commons on Tuesday, April 17.

“I can’t think of a better way to culminate a class where students are reskinning board games and tabletop games than a convention experience,” Keith Lowe, Indiana Wesleyan assistant professor of illustration, said. “What each student or group did was reskin an existing board game. So in terms of designing the game, it was more about reimagining the visuals.” 

Lowe formerly served as the art director for MegaCon Games, a tabletop and board game company. 

At the showcase, students displayed their reimagined board games, explained the concepts and played with students who came to the event. 

Victoria Layne was one of the students in the class and worked in a group redesigning the game “Exploding Kittens.”

“We decided to make ‘Exploding Puppies’ and made it rock and roll themed,” Layne said. “It’s quick and easy and it’s a really fun game.” 

During the class, students are taught what goes into creating a board game including designing the board and game pieces, creating rules and the concept of the game, and making the game functional. 

While most students redesigned games, other students said they already had a new game concept in mind and were able to create that game instead. 

Drew Engels said he had already been thinking about a game he wanted to create and joined the class as an opportunity to learn more about creating a board game. 

“A couple of my friends said they were joining the class and I thought that it would be a good opportunity for me to make my game and learn a little bit more about board game design,” Engels said. 

Engels designed “Wild Card Blitz”. The game is a football-based game that has players follow a real football game and score points based on in-game events. 

“You play cards to get points that go along with things in the game,” Engels said. “So if a touchdown happens in the game and you have the touchdown card in your hand, you play it and get points.”

Lowe said allowing students to actually print their game designs and demo them with other people gives them confidence in their design abilities. 

“There was this experience where you see it on a screen, but then you get something physical and tangible and it’s much more real and authentic,” Lowe said. “There is something that just builds into your confidence. I think when that happens there’s something that’s just really transformative for a student.” 

This is the second time Lowe has taught Board Game Concepts and Design and he said he hopes to continue teaching it. 

“I’ve been encouraged by the response we’ve had,” Lowe said. “ I think we’ve had a lot of people come out to play. I would love to run this class again, maybe a little more frequently.”

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