Game instructions and guidelines

This page is in draft

All the games on this site have been developed for different purposes and situations - for example, planning regeneration projects, using social media, designing engagement processes. You can find these different versions under our games.

However, there are common game components underlying most of the games, and a common sequence, which we have brought together here so you can develop your own versions of the game as well as use the pre-prepared ones.

See also

General game overview

The games on this site have generally been designed so that you can play them "for real" as part of a process for engagement or collaboration, or as a simulation at a conference, for example.

Games sessions generally start by either describing a real scenario or situation (e.g. the neighbourhood, organisation or network), or creating a fictitious but realist situation. This should include (as appropriate) location, structure, history, key interests, challenges to be tackled.

Players then work in groups to choose ideas for action that would address the challenges. These ideas might be a communication tool, project or other activity. Each idea is outlined on a card, together with an image so the cards can be easily identified. There is also a "budget" of 1, 2, or 3 points indicating resources needed, or difficulty of implementing. The game facilitator sets an overall budget - say 15 points - and groups have to make choices within that total.

Once groups have selected their cards, within budget, they may organise them into a sequence, or otherwise arrange them on a sheet showing how they relate to each other.

Once the card-based planning is completed, groups turn to storytelling. They chose or invent one or more characters, and tell the story of how the characters will use the tools, or become involved in projects or other activities.

During the storytelling the game facilitators may throw in various crises or opportunities. These may be invented on the spot, or pre-prepared on cards.

Groups present their plans and stories to each other, and look for some key lessons.

Summary of the game sequence

Plan for the game.

  • Is it going to played "for real" or as a simulation - for example, at a conference.
  • If "for real" where will it sit in a wider process? What will have happened before, what follow-through is planned?
  • Do you have an opportunity for a dry-run to see how things will go?

You can run the game with any number of people - provided you split people into managable groups. It is best to have 4-7 people in a group, and ideally more than one group. If you have a lot of groups it is difficult for one facilitator to organise.

You can run a workshop session at a conference

Prepare the game

  • Decide how to develop the scenario/situation within which the game will be played (e.g. some research, invent on the spot)
  • Identify and invite the players.
  • Choose/develop the project or ideas cards
  • Develop a "cast list" of characters - or guidance about how these will be created at the workshop.
  • Create the storyline sheets.
  • Organise the venue: flexible seating for groups, flip charts.


Game components

  • Presentation about the game
  • Venue checklist
  • Scenario checklist
  • Examples of characters
  • Cards template and sets from games
  • Planning sheet
  • Storytelling sheet

These components are described in more detail here

Game questions and answers