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A competitive and collaborative board game on the governance and distribution of Covid vaccines in a make believe world.

What's your Agenda

Collaborators: Anjana Balyan and Medha Agarwal


Tools: Illustrator, InDesign, Dimension, Photoshop

Skills: Research, Game Design, Graphic Design, Publication Design, Story telling

Target Audience: 12+ people who like to play strategic board games

3D Model of the game


This project was a part of a class that required us to study and learn about the unique position of Covid vaccines in today's world. Apart from their speedy testing and distribution, there are also social and political aspects that have created a space of distrust among many people world wide. Our team did a deep dive into the reasons behind these fears, distrust and perception. We narrowed down our study to focus on how the Indian government dealt with producing and distributing vaccines. We released most of the faults in the system arise from the fact that even during a major health crisis, many people are trying to turn large profits. Not that profiteering is bad, but there is a point where it can harm others. This point is determined by the intention of the people involved and the corresponding actions they take. Using this idea of stakeholders with different intentions we developed a cooperative and competitive game.

Research on vaccines

As part of a class called, Vaccines: Truth or Dare, my peers and I were given the task of researching about the Covid vaccines throughout the world. We focused on conflicting views on the vaccines, their manufacturing, distribution access and overall perception. Anjana (collaborator) and I, scoured through newspaper articles, social media posts, studies and videos. Within a few days of doing this, we realised that we were most interested in seeing how the Government of India had been dealing with the task of vaccine manufacturing and distribution. Recognising the strong polarisation of public opinions and the political climate of the country, we landed on the idea of intention and how it reflects in the actions of the various stakeholders involved in the whole process. The best way to demonstrate this complexity was through board games.

Design Brief

Creating a board game based on the real world politics around Covid vaccines that highlights the complex system comprising stakeholders with their own motives interacting and working together (or not) to shield people from a pandemic.

Board game ideation and testing

We worked on figuring out the game mechanics. Since we were working through the pandemic, we used Miro Board application to collaborate online. We tried different variations of the players roles, objectives, strengths, limitations and actions. With each iteration, the look of the board and it's corresponding assets also changed. At the end, we had a game that was both competitive and collaborative where players had the choice of being any one of three stakeholders. They had individual agendas that they had to fulfill in order to win but all the players lost if a certain number of vaccination goals were not met and the infection spread. The changes made with each play test can be seen in the gallery.

User Testing

The game was a moderate success amongst the users. While it was interesting, it had a long learning curve. The players needed a hook to keep playing as they learnt. This hook could be in the form of the visual and tactile nature of the game. They test models were just paper cutouts and hence were not very attractive. But well thought out visual aesthetics could be the solution to this.

Visual Design

After going through various examples of strategic board games, we recognised the use of intricate illustrations and lot of colours. They predominantly had primary colours. We also decided to use primary colours but we wanted to keep our illustrations reletavely simpler and experiment more with the art style rather than the intricacy.

Visual Design

We sketched and digitally created the designs for all our cards, pawns, board and packaging. While the pawns are kept simple with minimal elements, the cards are a little more detailed. The board has an organic shape but has well marked out areas to place each piece. Over all, the visuals are made whimsical in order to make the actual learning process of the game seem less daunting.

User Manual

The user manual continues the whimsical appearance with it's choice of fonts and illustrations. It's contents are however explanatory . Skim through it to know more about how to play the game.

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