In 2011 Coney were commissioned by Creative Partnerships and The Royal Opera House to work with pupils at Castleview School to create a piece of art to commemorate their old school as a new building was built for 2012. Working with teams from Year 8 to Year 11 we facilitated the creation of a boardgame with a twist, ingeniously named K@$tleVi£w by the pupils.
From initial discussions it became clear that the pupils wanted to make a game of some sort. We ran game design sessions with the pupils, who then split into three teams to devise prototype games. All ages worked together, with Year 11s taking on leadership roles and Year 8s becoming increasingly fearless in getting their points across. In total around 50 pupils contributed to the creation of the game, with individuals stepping into different stages of the process.
With Coney providing advice when it was occasionally needed, all three teams came up with contrasting, but highly playable ideas for innovative twists on the board game: one group came up with a Big Board game idea, with the playing board filling the whole class room, another came up with a DVD game idea, with players having to watch video clips filmed around the school, while another group came up with a game which melded the best bits of Monopoly and Trivial Pursuits and challenged players to carry out real-world dares such as “Text the seventh person in your address book the message I really really love Justin Bieber”.
After a brilliant pitching session, the third game idea narrowly won the vote, although aspects of all three ideas made it into the finished game. The final workshop sessions then focused on building and playtesting a working prototype of K@$tleVi£w and working with Coney on the design and look of the finished product. Finally, designer Rachael Smith went away with all the plans, and, checking in regularly with the pupils, built the game they had devised and designed.
In Autumn 2011 Coney returned to Castleview one last time to present the game to the pupils and observe an afternoon of impassioned playing. The game is a lot of fun to play, so an additional copy has been made for tea-breaks in the Coney HQ office.
“If it wasn’t for all our input it wouldn’t be as good as it is now, cos Coney don’t know about our school, whereas we do.”
Coney was here represented by Rachael Smith, Tassos Stevens, Tom Bowtell and Tracky Crombie.