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The Sand Merchant

The Sand Merchant

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October 26, 2018 at 5:15 AM
Created by juliana.rademaker
Comments (5)
Dear The Sand Merchant group,

In the beginning, I would like to tell you that, in my opinion, your project proposal and it's topic it truly interesting. There are a few things which seem to look like great ideas. I love the fact that you took into account not only young people, but you didn't forget about those more experienced already professionally connected with the construction industry. Secondly, the belief that competition might be a "trigger for innovation in designing and constructing" is promising.

From my experience and interest in awareness rising actions, I think I can found some tips which you might find helpful. If I were you I would think about:

- what do you want as a form of projects submissions? (should it be technical or maybe only the idea counts)
- can you also perceive artists (here especially fine arts) as your target group? => In my opinion, quite often they can catch much more ideas (different from what we have) connected with any problem than specialists working in a particular field. BUT! You need to know that you shouldn't require from them 'specification or scientific research' (regarding laboratory work or demanding documentation, they prefer to act, create than explain what they did or want to do). BUT! Maybe it will be easier to find numerous abstract ideas in the competition and than inspire people by showing them what we can 'imagine' and than 'create' to change the way of life of others. Can you think about what they can propose? (Maybe city made from paper or a city which is not a city made with concrete, or a 3D printed city, etc...
- what would be the prize? Can it be something great as a possibility to construct your city with the cooperation of experts?

I want to attach a link to the TED speech of one of my favorite artists. Maybe you will find inspiring how functional and great (not only in terms of aesthetics) the art can be. My favorite is a 'moving roof'. I'm extremely curious about your opinion of this short talk. The link is below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAy1zBtTbw

Congratulations guys! I really can't wait to see the final result of your work.

Best,
Maria Mruk
4 months ago
Thank you for sharing your amazing idea with me. Although I know that this project’s focus has been converted to creating a game instead of competition, I shall try to concentrate on commenting on the competition part since it is what the group has written in its proposal document.

In my opinion, creating a competition can bring about tangible outcomes through platforms where industry practitioners such as architects, engineers, and academia can work together to come up with alternatives to concrete material. In this line of thought, this would be a catalyst engendering a paradigm shift when industry experts and academia would be more aware of dire situations of sand resource.

With this in mind, I am curious about: 1) what incentives/means/profits can facilitate industry experts to join sand alternative competition/game, 2) what would be communicational methods in convincing academia for hackathons, 3) who would be responsible for running the competition/game in the long run (including finances), 4) to what extent the competition/game can have impact on raising awareness to public, and at last but not least, 5) what geographical area/countries/communities would be suitable to execute this competition.

I strongly believe that this competition/game has a great potential for brining the world to pay attention not only to sand depletion issue, but also to cooperate on creating viable alternatives to concrete and cement. I send my all due respect to Isabelle, Jeong Hyun, Juliana, Salima, and Stephanie, for initiating such a delightful and novel idea. :)
4 months ago
Don't forget to introduce yourself and your project in a few sentences here in the first step ;)
4 months ago
Looks like the game is coming along nicely! The rules, the board, I'm excited to test it out.

I'm interested in seeing how you strcuture the context in where this game is played in. My main question would be: How would a day with 'The Sand Merchants (c)' look like if were CSR representative or a sustainability manager contracting your team?

-How long would the whole session last? -Would the players do something like an educational workshop that first educated the players on the sand crisis before playing? -Or more like an escape room, where players would just jump in? -And how long would each session last, the whole period surrounding the game? Who would show them how to play, an online manual or a live teacher?

Like how a game played at I think thinking about the context in which this game is carried out can help people interested in your project see that you have a clear vision for this game in the future..

I was thinking about how this game could be offered in something similar to a corporate team-building session, where the activities are tightly scheduled, with different activities to supplement the game/your main activity.

In any case, I would love to see how your project grows, esand pecially how that wavy board will be used!
4 months ago
I am still saddened that I did not get to try the game, hopefully someday when I can find it in stores!
Loved your pitch and if you ever need any support do not hesitate to ask - your project is the one I have most faith in actually becoming real! Try to approach other structures like The Good Festival in order to gain attraction and meet players/people in the industry. I was wondering also how long a game would last approximately?
Good luck!
3 months ago

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October 26, 2018 at 5:18 AM
Created by juliana.rademaker
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November 2, 2018 at 12:03 PM
Created by juliana.rademaker
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November 2, 2018 at 12:04 PM
Created by juliana.rademaker
Comments (5)
I really like the idea of "paradigm shift" that is at the basis of your project. The idea of creating a game instead of a competition for experts is also good because a game could be more appealing and it can reach a bigger audience. However, I think the game-format could also present some risks. For example, the importance of this tool can be underestimated or its final objectives could not be very clear or not taken very seriously. Besides working on the design of the game and the concept behind it, I think it would be useful to identify a way to target the right "players", to advertise it in a way and in a context so the game does not lose its impact. Sell well your product!
4 months ago
Very very nice idea! I really love the way you make the sand crisis appealing by making it fun. The trailer is very exciting and makes me want to learn more about it. I see that you want to target different schools and the public, but it would maybe be more effective if you could find exactly where your project could end up, and which target group it would be addressed to. This would be useful notably for the real making of the game, as you may find that certain students might be more attracted to certain things while others to different things. I think it would be also a good idea to target already existing big construction companies to play the game (maybe through HR training etc), as current engineering or architecture students might not be decision-makers right now, but they often become trainees to big companies. Otherwise, I really love it, and can't wait to see the final product!
4 months ago
I really love the trailer! It made me excited and anxious to play! I think it is a great idea to raise awareness through games and fun. When playing the "testing game" last Friday, I could see how nice and effective a game can be when putting ourselves in front of real-world decisions, without actually being in "real-world".
I think one of the main problems against introducing materials other than sand is the argument that the buildings are safer with concrete. If you could propose an indicator of "safety" in the game, i guess it would be a really nice way to show that buildings can still be safe and environmental friendly. :)
I also think that you should do a partnership with the VR lab in Campus Biotech, since they were really open in developing games to raise awareness.
I wish you very good luck and persistence in the next steps, knowing already that you will build something great!
4 months ago
I really liked the pitch where Stephanie sold the game like a merchant (street vendor?) - Have you ever felt..., What do you think...
I think you should do that in your final pitch. It really also goes well together with your group name.
I also like that in the pitch in the picture above the SDGs are front and center - it puts the game into a bigger context.
4 months ago
I think your project is a great example of gamification! Introducing such a hard and relatively unknown (yet) topic to the public, through a board game can encourage a very broad target group of people to be aware, learn about the sand crisis and shift mindsets, while at the same time having fun. I believe, the board game has definitely a more sustainable, long-lasting effect than the competition, this is a very positive turnout, applying your theory of change. I consider the synergy action very important, especially for the design and construction of your game, you definitely need experts from different fields, like engineers and architects and it is great you decide to include them.
For the part of the "rules" of alternative material to the sand, I think it would be also beneficial for you to check if there are more options to the alternatives, such as reduction of material use intensity and/or increased use of recycled material, so I think you have to see what's out there as solutions.
A small suggestion for the project's communication of documentation for external use, as you have created it here, it's to maybe create a more vivid visualisation of the documentation for future purposes and for also good internal use.
You have done a great job and I am looking forward to seeing your next steps and final product!
4 months ago

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November 4, 2018 at 3:28 PM
Created by eeesssss91
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November 4, 2018 at 3:28 PM
Created by eeesssss91
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November 4, 2018 at 3:36 PM
Created by eeesssss91
Comments (4)
The project is a great idea and an innovative way to create a *paradigm shift* ! ;) and the trailer is absolutely amazing!!!!
Keep up the good work!
4 months ago
Hope your game testing went well and that you were able to find enough people! Can't wait to see the end result!
4 months ago
Hi guys, still love the mini video, just watched it again. It is really an eye catcher! Maybe you could add to it and make it a promotion video for your game (include name and some basic rules into video).
4 months ago
I really like this video. It looks fun and professional like game advertisement we see on social media everyday. Also, I think it really summarize your plan for the game .
For next step, maybe you can pay more attention to the music, because the audio changes too frequently and it distracts from the video itself.
4 months ago

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November 5, 2018 at 9:06 AM
Created by eeesssss91
Comments (2)
The project has undergone a very organic growth. The fine-tuning process from the initial idea around an award ceremony to what it is currently is quite impressive. Looking forward to seeing what shapes it will take next!
4 months ago
I totally agree with Caleb here! It is really impressive how quickly you developed your new idea (idea 2) and went full steam ahead, organizing the gaming event in the reading week! Sorry I missed it. Looking forward to see your prototypes!
4 months ago

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November 5, 2018 at 9:06 AM
Created by eeesssss91
Comments (2)
I think that approaching a paradigm shift through a "disarming" way like a game is an awesome idea. I love it!! It seems to me that you really thought about your target audience carefully which is strategically very important. I also agree with your major assumptions that you laid out in the Project Concept.
I would love to know if you were satisfied with your first gaming session and what you took away from that test.
I can't way to try your game for myself!! Great work!!
Good luck for the Hackathon :)
4 months ago
As someone who was able to try your game last week, I can say that you succeed bringing different actors together in the game and leading them to work together.
4 months ago

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November 21, 2018 at 1:29 PM
Created by eeesssss91
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November 21, 2018 at 1:31 PM
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November 21, 2018 at 1:31 PM
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November 21, 2018 at 1:32 PM
Created by eeesssss91
Comments (3)
This prototype looks amazing. The waves add an amazing artistic touch to the board!



4 months ago
Congratulations on the work, mostly on your testing and learning process! Seeing how much you have tried for your project to be tested has been inspiring.
Having a prototype since so early on must have been very useful for the iteration process. I would love to play the game sometime soon!
4 months ago
Game board is amazing guys! It looks awesome.
Using fablab was a smart touch. Did you talk about creating the money and tokens also at the fablab?
4 months ago

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DON"T TOUCH MY LAND! 

♥♥♥♥♥ 

November 21, 2018 at 1:35 PM
Created by eeesssss91
Comments (3)
I barely saw you girls testing your game but I hope it went well although I heard it was a bit difficult! Maybe more information from the hackathon? Good luck (fingers crossed)
4 months ago
Unfortunately I could not participate to the game but I heard it looked very good. You must be very proud of your product and I think it is very cool that you had the possibility to create a physical prototype in the FabLab. Now that you tested it, do you have any idea how to involve experts as players?
4 months ago
Thank you much girls for the game testing on the hackathon, I really had fun. As I already told you, it was a little bit confusing at beginning, but after the explanation and discussions that followed the end of the game, I realized that is really how it works in reality: it's a confusing area where players are the one who decides the rules and they act according to the changes of circumstances, also due to other actors choices.
I really hope you'll find a way to spread the message of the sand crisis through this game and at the same time push for the introduction of the alternative materials into constructing framework. In doing so, I think you should focus on making strategic decisions on how to properly use and advertise the tool that you developed, maybe participating in some exhibitions or fairs related to construction.
I really wish that your project will have a great impact :)
4 months ago

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We tested game for the first time with our wonderful classmates and professionals. 

We received many helpful suggestion, and will upgrade our gram based on them. 

Thanks again for your participation and suggestion! ♥♥♥♥♥

November 30, 2018 at 5:51 AM
Created by eeesssss91
Comments (2)
I had so much fun playing the game!
Especially the little surprise... I am still not over it.
Some people though that playing the game was very loud and complicated but I enjoyed the atmosphere actually and after 1st round game was not that hard to follow.
However, money was really scarce and rather than sand we focused on the money.
Alternatives were not that useful and we did not know that to do with them. I think they should be more valuable.
As cities we were much more powerful than the companies but I think in real life it is opposite.
Finally, after the suprise I felt like we had so much sand which did not make sense. Maybe you could give us less send or take money from us as a punishment.
4 months ago
Hi guys, it was such a good testing session and at the end such a good presentation in front of the experts.
Your game is really representing the global sand issue, including perfectly the alternatives, the environmental consequences, the different actors, the different levels from local to international, the money flow, ect.
I could not see how did you change the game after the testing and feedbacks: it is true that the lack of importance of the alternatives in the game was before quite harmful to the morality of your game, which is creating a paradigm shift if I understood right. The other important point was also for me the refugees "consequence", because during the testing you presented the refugees like a "disadvantage" as for the rest of the game, which was maybe not the best way of representing or formulating it. In my opinion, maybe it would be interesting to change this refugee thing because it could be a down for your amazing game: firstly because we're talking about internally displaced persons, and secondly because refugees=disadvantage is I'm sure not how you want to express it, where as juste housings distroyed and people having to move can be considered as a disadvantage.
This is the only point that should maybe be revised for me in this amazing project of the Sand Merchant, because as I said before everything else is perfectly done: the negociations between the architects/private actors and municipalities being really representative of what we could understand of the reality when we did research for our own project in Switzerland.
Really congratulations, even the graphics were perfect (just a little bit sad I didn't got my token or chip).
Maybe an improvement for the future of the game could be to make it playable without a game master! You could had a little timer in it and make each team game masters for one round so it's equitable? Just because I would then definitely buy it ;)
Anyway, congratulations to you and I really hope this project will keep going because it was a great - actually really beyong great - one!
Alice
3 months ago

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These are the feedback from our participants!

We discussed the way to improve our game based on those feedback. 

- lack of money

- alternatives were not useful in the game 

- recover of sand amount 

November 30, 2018 at 5:54 AM
Created by eeesssss91
Comments (3)
I love the idea of creating a game over sand crisis. As a matter of fact, sometimes games help better than any sophisticated research or academic paper in explaining and raising awareness on an issue that is so underestimated. Moreover, I also appreciated the fact that you made use of the instruments in the fablab to improve the graphics and the general layout of the game, that was very smart, bravissime! I would like to ask two questions: as I perceived from the testing of last week, the game is very long and might involve more time than expected so not to motivate players to put the same effort from the beginning to the end. Have you thought about a way to make it shorter? Second question, do you have a clear strategy on where to spread the game, who to target and how to motivate those people to play your game instead of doing something else?
Despite these two questions, I really like your concept and your effort in making the best out of it, congrats!!
4 months ago
Unlike Davide, I did not think the game was too long. When we played other board games it take hours to finish. Still, you can decide a ''supposed finishing time'' to keep people's attention in the game.

A sheet of rules would be very useful. You should be really specific and clear since the game is little complicated at first.
You can specify the end goal for the end.

For money, maybe people can sell the properties they built back to the bank to gain some money?

For the pitch session maybe you can record yourself playing the game, then put that video in speed mode at the background while you are pitching. It could be fun!
4 months ago
I just wanted to start off with how much I loved this game and getting to participate! I think that these major feedback aspects will address the issues raised by participants quite thoroughly.

I think that a debrief session about the underlying implications of your choices would be helpful. You clearly thought this game's message and its rules out very carefully and I think that there are clear metaphors behind them all. For example, alternatives were not useful in the game, but maybe this is because in real life there are barriers to using them. However, without this explanation it makes less sense.

Good luck and keep up the great work ladies!
4 months ago

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