This is the rambling stream of consciousness part. If you are not interested in the roundabout process by which the game came about you can skip this and just read the blog post which gives the game outline and rules etc. The parameters are:
Place all your pieces. This makes me think of games like Beetle, Hangman and Yahtzee. I’m liking those ideas because they are all played with minimal equipment (pencil , paper, dice) which works well with the idea that this game should be playable in a limited space.
This also lends itself well to the theme of Trains. Trains are made up of components. Maybe the winner could be the first to build a complete train (like Beetle), or to complete a certain number of tasks like Yahtzee with each task representing an aspect of a train
What are trains made of? What characteristics do they have? What other things do I associate with the word ‘train’?
Trains / Lines I have travelled on
This game is to use the Storytelling mechanic. How can I link storytelling and Trains? Famous trains from art and literature maybe? Cultural significance of trains?
Oh and the games
Played on a plane. Well limited space obviously. Also I think it would be useful if the players have some control over how long the game should be played for, to match the variability of journey length. This got me thinking about the flights I have taken recently or am due to take.
Could the codes be useful – maybe for a word game (if I want to investigate the Hangman theme further)
Might I make the game closely linked to the idea of travelling from one place to another. Trains and planes are, after all, both forms of transport. An educational game about the place you are travelling to – a game related to the language spoken there, if it is different from your native language – a game about landmarks and famous people from that country / city etc.
What resources are available to me on a plane?
Other stuff that came to me
Top Trumps and the idea of ‘comparison to win’. Applicable to train characteristics and quality of storytelling possibly.
OK – so I’m liking the idea of ‘building a train’ whilst simultaneously building a story. Using the term story fairly loosely makes me think of games where players are required to remember long strings of objects. I don’t know what it is called but we play one which goes like this.
Player One – “I went to the shop and I bought an Apple”
Player Two – “I went to the shop and I bought an Apple, and a Banana”
Player Three (or back to one again) – “I went to the shop and I bought an Apple, a Banana and a Canteloupe”
Maybe players could construct their train from facts, names and other items gleaned from the materials available to them when they travel. If required, players could apply constraints to make the game more difficult and / or focused. For example, if flying to Paris the items mentioned might all relate to France in some way.
So it strikes me that a game with this structure might be used when travelling with children, to keep them occupied and to teach them (and possibly their parents)something about the places you can visit when you travel.