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Glacial Retreat

Glacial Retreat is a climate-change themed educational board-game I designed in my Intersection of Biology, Technology, and Art Class. The goal of this project was to create a game that helps explain some aspect of climate change in a simple, fun, and optimistic way.

After watching the documentary Chasing Ice my teammates and I struggled to wrap our heads around the scale and impact of glacial retreat and sea ice degradation.  This game uses simple mechanics to make the players feel personally and imminently impacted by this large crisis.  As the game continues, the board's playable surface melts and shrinks leading to decreased options and increased difficulty. This teaches players about the real challenges faced by animals living on the ice.  The game is also optimistic. Players can save their ice sheet by collecting tasks that provide constructive ways to decrease climate change and increase the amount of available ice.

In the game, the players act as climate scientists walking across the ice sheets to conduct 'research' every turn, a player removes a game tile and inserts it into the board to shift the maze increasing their ability to cross the ice. When the players shift the maze, the tile turns from walk-able ice to uncross-able water.  As the game progresses, the tiles around the edges shift from ice to water forcing the players to move towards the center of the board.  Players can re-freeze the water by reaching their objectives and discovering a new way to reduce their carbon footprint.

For this project, I worked in a team of 4.  My role on the project was graphic designer and artist. I created the poster, the board game, and all the cards for the game. It was a fun project. I enjoyed working with the topic and especially loved the icy glacial blue I used for the water tiles.