I’m a board game geek. No single week passes, or I’m playing a game with friends or my partner. So, when Code Geel asked me to do the design for a board game for internal communication for coffee company Douwe Egberts, I did not know how quickly I could say ‘yes’! The game was designed to gamify the communication of the brand’s new mission statements.
Degrees of freedom
Code Geel’s Cherique and Juul came up with a Snakes and Ladders variant with a tea and coffee skin. They added fields where you needed to answer questions about the mission.
When I heard this concept, I warned them that Snakes and Ladders is… not a great game. That is because it has no degrees of freedom: the player doesn’t make any decisions that affect the flow of the game. The die roll is all that matters. Juul and Cherique found a classic Snakes and Ladders game and played it. Immediately after that, they promptly decided I was completely right!
The game needed something extra, something interactive. That turned out to be a ’30 seconds’ variant. At the start of the game, players answer a few personal questions on specific cards. When you then land on a spot with an hourglass, you take one of these cards and play a short round of ‘forbidden word’. There’s a field that ask you to post a selfie on the intranet. There is even one where you can win a coupon to donate to the national Food Bank.
Cookies, crumbs, and teabags
Making this project a reality was awesome. I drew all fields and details. Obviously, everything is adhering to the Douwe Egberts brand guide. Not many brands allow you to use this many variants of brown!
We decided pretty soon that every field should be the image of a saucer. Because the game is printed on fabric, you can use the ‘board’ as a picnic blanket. We leaned into that illusion in the design. The game starts with a cup of tea being poured, one of the saucers is broken, and there are decorative details lying around. Cookies, crumbs, teabags, a spoon, a napkin…
The version we produced was printed at 100 x 140 cm (about 40 x 55 inch) and we chose to use actual espresso cups for pawns. This completes the picnic illusion. A board game, completely in Douwe Egberts coffee and tea style!
Board game for internal communication
Gamification is making a non-game activity into a game. This can facilitate communication, and involving people in your message more easily. I’d love to help you with the design of your board game for internal communication. Get in touch, and I will bring both my design and gaming experience to the table.
If you want to get a better impression of my style, have a look at the rest of my portfolio.