The Undertaker

Category: Game Design, Graphic Design
Contribution: Game Designer, Visual Artist, Social Scientist

GameHUB is a cooperative project between Flemish educational institutes. I got to design one of the three cases in this project. The assignment here was to teach teenagers and young adults about what it means to be an entrepreneur and to manage a business. At the beginning of the project, the team decided that it would develop a game that would work as a template for many different businesses. As the project obviously needed a specific case as well, the decision was made to do a game about a funeral planner.

In order to develop the template and implement the specific case, I developed a fully playable paper prototype that is showcased on this page.  The prototype is presented as an expansion of “The Boîte”, a game that plays like fictional reality show on TV in which contestants start their own company. In the expansion, the players get the chance to take on the character of an undertaker.

The prototype has struck a nice balance between fun and learning. It does not try to replace the teacher in the classroom. Instead, it allows players to try to run a business and make mistakes along the way. These mistakes can then be discussed in the context of a class room. The game contains a lot of black humor and never comes across as an obviously educational game, while at the same time it does introduce players to how a business is started up and ran in Flanders.

Below you can see a brief video of people playing the prototype at the kick-off presentation of the GameHUB project.

After the prototype received some exposure at the kick-off, we were contacted by a national television production studio who wanted to use the template to develop a game that would be launched alongside a new television show they are currently producing. The management of GameHUB decided that this would be a good direction and the project was turned upside down in order to make a game about an ice cream salon using the template, leading to Crème de la Crème.