Odes to Oats | boARd
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boARd – Gnome Man’s Land


Board games have always been an outlet for human social interaction. Their inherent tangibility and required physical presence lead them to fulfill some of our basic human needs of connection and belonging.


Our aim is to redefine how we use technology to better human social interaction, through the lens of board games. Through this project, we seek to introduce technology into board games in a manner that retains their essential tangible and social nature, while also broadening the landscape of possible interactions, mechanics, and experiences. Our approach is to do this from a user-centric perspective and try and use technology to not only ‘augment’ the game playing experience, but also try and make up for existing flaws/inconveniences.  



In the Fall of 2015, after in-depth research into tabletop games, we built a set of three low-fidelity prototypes in combination with games such as Settlers of Catan, Betrayal at House on the Hill, and basic games such as Connect 4 and Spot It. These prototypes focused on validating information display, interfaces, communications channels, and the potential of augmented reality in board games.


Currently, in the Spring of 2016, we are prototyping a custom game which incorporates these findings. This involves iterative prototyping, user testing, and furthering our explorative research to establish a set of design considerations. This is a collaboration between Cornell Tech (story development, technology, and prototyping) and Shenkar (design, animation, and modeling).


Gnome Man’s Land

Being a gnome in is tough. It’s a lot of hard work without much recognition. Sure, some gnomes make it big in suburbia where the lawn is greener. Some even get to travel the world, but most of them have to stick to their roots as humble mushroom farmers.


And mushroom growing is a thankless job. Everyone says “Yay, nature, thank you nature, for growing these mushrooms!” but no one realizes the real reasons mushrooms grow: TGC (Tender Gnome Care).


Gnome Man’s Land is a 2-4 player board game that blends the physical and digital. As you struggle to grow the biggest and widest-reaching mushroom garden, you must fight off foragers, the withering weather, and all the other gnomes trying to sabotage your magnificently moldy mushrooms in the limited space that is Gnome Man’s Land.