The Design Process of a Board Game for Exploring the Territories of the United States


The paper reports the design experience of a board game with an educational aspect, which takes place on the location of states and territories of the United States. Based on a territorial acquisition dynamic, the goal was to articulate the design process of a board game that provides information for individuals who are willing to learn the locations of the U.S. states by playing a game. The game was developed using an iterative design process based on focus groups studies and brainstorming sessions. A mechanic-driven design approach was adopted instead of a theme or setting-driven alternative and a relatively abstract game was developed. The initial design idea was formed and refined according to the player feedback. The paper details play-testing sessions conducted and documents the design experience from a qualitative perspective. Our preliminary results suggest that the initial design is moderately balanced and despite the lack of quantitative evidence, our subjective observations indicate that participants’ knowledge about the location of states was improved in an entertaining and interactive way.

Author Biographies

Mehmet Kosa, PhD Candidate at Middle East Technical University
PhD cadidate at Information Systems focusing on motivations for gaming
Murat Yilmaz, Cankaya University
Computer Engineering


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June 12, 2017
How to Cite
Kosa, M., & Yilmaz, M. (2017). The Design Process of a Board Game for Exploring the Territories of the United States. Press Start, 4(1), 36-52. Retrieved from


Game Design, Game Design Process; Non-Digital Game; Board Game; Focus Groups