G-FMS Curriculum Development Journal – July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013

A fruitful day of iterating and playtesting… Elijah had spent much of the night developing cards for the Go-Graphing Game and averaging out probabilities for the various actions. His selection of cards was quite impressive, and he spent the morning printing and cutting out cards in order to demo the game for the faculty. When Professors Disanto and Baker came in, however, the cards were not finished, and so I brought out the dominoes game again and started brainstorming with the professors how the game would be played.

By the end of an hour we had established the following points:

    Operations are symbolized by ( • – + ÷) which are labeled on the operations discs
    Players will pick tiles from a common pile rather than having dealt ‘hands’ of tiles
    A traditional selection of dominoes should be used, as the 12 point set is very challenging. These tiles could, however, be used in a more sophisticated module
    The bar separating the two numbers on each tile would represent =, and so therefore, the operations disc MUST join tiles
    Tiles can be played anywhere as long as they compute
    Points will be accessed at the end of each turn according to the total of each number involved in the equations played. So for example, if a player were to play a 4/6 tile with an addition operation joining to an open 2, the points gained would not be 6 (the result of the equation) but 12.
    A player might have the opportunity of creating multiple equations by placing a tile in corner formed by other tiles. If their operations work, this would be an opportunity to gain more points and play multiple operations discs.
    Player must announce when they are done with a turn, and at that point opponents are able to call into doubt the mathematics of that player’s equation.
      • If an opponent identifies inaccurate math, the move is taken back, the tile returned to the common draw pile, the operations disc returned to the original player, and points scored are taken back and given to the player that has identified the mistake.
      • If an opponent is incorrect in questioning the equation, and in fact it is correct, they lose their next turn.
    Introduce a timer in order to heighten the excitement of the game and to force players to work to pay attention for opportunities they might find even when it is not yet their turn.
    End of game happens when one player spends all their operations discs
    Victory is achieved by the player with the most points when the end of game has been reached.

Ideas for other modules of Dominoes Operation game involve:

    Including a MATH 100 SLO – Mod Nine Line

Both Jacqueline and Bill were excited about the Dominoes Operation Game as we played, it, and many of the points listed above came out our first playtest. Bill took issue with elements of the game that strayed from traditional dominoes, such as the multiple connection points and non-linear aspect of an ‘anywhere that fits’ tile placement rule, but I feel that the rule gives an opportunity for more strategic play while also demanding a more attentive player.

We then laid out the graphing game concept for Bill and Jacqueline, and got the following very helpful feedback:

    • Home base not necessary – let players start wherever they wish.
    • The current equations have less chance for negative outcomes and so occupying the (-X,-Y) quadrant is far less likely than the all positive quadrant. In order to have a more balanced game it will be necessary to add more negative numbers on the right hand of the equation.
    • Being that that quadrant is less accessible, and that Professor Baker felt most students would try to avoid the more difficult equations involving negative numbers, we considered extra points depending on which quadrant a given player was majority holder of. He positive quadrant (upper right) would be a multiple of 1, the negative/positive quadrants (upper left and lower right) would be a multiple of 2, and the negative quadrant (lower left) would be a multiple of 3.
    • Timed game, limited rounds, or timed move in order save on time
    • Victory Condition: Player with the most occupied points wins with extra points given for majority control of a given quadrant.

In the meantime, the science team was getting some very useful input from Nelson and Francisco. Here I quote from Kidany’s notes:

The feedback that we received was about how the elements where being combined, we were combining elements of different types not knowing that they needed to be similar, but that was a quick fix. The end decision was to allow the beginning stages of the game to just focus on making the octet rule the center of the game experience. At the beginning, combining elements of different types is allowed this will let new students concentrate better on one rule at a time. As the semester progresses the difficulty of the game will increase. The rules will change adding more restrictions to the game, and at the second level the students will have to combine elements appropriately. The students will need to place elements that belong together to form real [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][actual] chemical bonds.

Professor Nuñez-Rodriguez consults with the Hive's Dylan Shad, Kidany Cabrera, and Amara Dioubate

Professor Nuñez-Rodriguez consults with the Hive’s Dylan Shad, Kidany Cabrera, and Amara Dioubate

The professors also wanted us to make it a point to teach the names of the elements to the students, make them remember the atomic symbols for example NA = sodium, CL = chlorine and so on.

For our next game, we brainstormed about cells, and DNA. We haven’t gotten very far yet we are still working the whole thing out.


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Eugenio María de Hostos Community College
500 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451