Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Programming Post: Oregon Trail Live

If you are of a certain age, you might remember playing the original computer game version of Oregon Trail - one of the most notoriously difficult educational video games EVER created.
Or maybe you are a little younger and have played the game in its newest incarnation: the family-friendly card game you can get from Target.
Either way the game is super fun, actually teaches you a thing or two about history and how hard it was to be a pioneer - so of course I HAD to turn it into a live action teen program! Mostly I modified the card game and made my own decks of cards so here is how you can do it at your library:

Supplies you will need:

* 21 pieces of card stock or construction paper to create the board.
     The board can be any shape you want, as long as it fits whatever room you are doing it in.
     I decided on 21 pieces because the trail was around 2,100 miles, and this way each piece of paper       equals 100 miles.
* A 6-sided die, the bigger the better. Mine was legitimately huge, as I used a box. This was great but it did only last through one program, so you might want a more durable option.

I used a recycled speaker decoration from Summer Reading 2018's music theme. It died a noble death from being tossed about. 
* Print-outs of "supplies" deck of cards, 4 of each card per deck (choose one color for this deck):
     Food   -   Clean Water   -   Wagon Parts  -   Bullets   -   Medical Supplies   -   Clothes   -  Oxen
* Print-outs of "events" deck of cards (printed on different colored paper from the supplies)
     8 "Fort" cards
     6 "River Crossing" cards
     2 each of the following "calamities:"
           Typhoid - Measles - Cholera - Dysentery - Snake Bite - Bad Water - Oxen Have Died -       
           Starvation - Thief - Broken Arm - Snow Storm - Broken Wheel.

Most of the calamities require the players to use their supply cards to avoid death.

(I am sorry but I am NOT about to type out all the wording I used on each card. If you REALLY want them, you can always message me and I can e-mail the actual cards to you. Or make up your own, don't be lazy! Haha!)
* Print-Outs of "Independence Missouri" (the start) and "Willamette, Oregon," (the finish line)

My "supplies" cards. I used stock photos, and I laminated them.

Examples of one Fort card, one Calamity and one River Crossing card. 

Ok, so how do we play this thing?

Players will form a party of 6-8 individuals who will all "leave" from Independence, MO together. 

Each player starts the game with 2 randomly chosen supply cards (3 for smaller parties). It is perfectly fine for players to show their party what supplies they have, as they will be shared anyway.

Roll the die to choose the order the players will play in - high number goes first. 

Once an order is determined, you are ready to start down the trail. One at a time, each player will roll the die and if it lands on an even number the entire party advances one playing space. If a player rolls an odd number a card from the events deck must be drawn. (Again, please MESSAGE ME if you want me to send you my cards in an e-mail. I am NOT typing out each card again here. Too much work! It is a Publisher file. And you will have to mail me cookies. I like Chips Ahoy.)

       * If a player draws a FORT card, they may take 2 additional supplies cards.
       *If a player rolls a "CALAMITY" card, they must do what the card says. These may lead to the 
         death of the player or the entire party. If the entire party dies, the game ends. 
       * If a player draws a "RIVER CROSSING" card, they must roll the die again. An odd roll      
          means the party loses a supply card and stays in their spot, an even roll means the river has 
          been crossed safely and the party advances one space.

If a player draws a calamity that results in their death they leave the game but may donate any supply cards they have to other members of the party.  

The entire party "wins" if even ONE person makes it Oregon. Trust me, it doesn't happen often. The first time we did this program we played 7 times and made it to Oregon ONCE with ONE PERSON left in the party. 

Questions, comments or concerns? Shoot me an email using the links above or comment below!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Programming Post: Fandom Guess Who

Do you guys remember the old board game "Guess Who?" It was basically a 20-questions type of game where your opponent chose a character from a game board, then you asked them a series of yes/no questions to try and guess who they had chosen.

For those not familiar, it looked like this.

Since, as you know by now if you have ever read this blog, I happen to love turning  live-action versions of classic board and video games in to programs, I decided to update the game to be more appealing to my teens and created my own "Fandom Guess Who" game.

I created my game board on Publisher, on an 8.5" by 14" piece of paper. I chose 30 characters that I liked from a variety of different Fandoms (15 females and 15 males).

The fandoms I chose were:
Marvel
Disney
Steven Universe
Anime (Studio Ghibli, Dragon Ball and Naruto, to be more specific)
Harry Potter
Voltron
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
Riverdale
Star Wars
Rick and Morty
Video Games (Bendy and the Ink Machine and Super Mario)
Supernatural
Doctor Who and
Adventure Time.

I found images of each character standing alone, and used them to make a board that was 5 characters across by 5 characters down. Then I used the same images to create a deck of cards from which I could choose the character that was to be guessed.

This was my finished play board.

The rules were:
Only Yes/No type questions are allowed.
Only one question per person per round.
The group gets 20 questions total to make a guess, but guesses can be made at any time after the first question has been asked.
If you make a guess, and guess wrong, you you lose your next turn.
You may NOT ask any questions about a character's age.
You may NOT as any questions about a character's race, gender, species or skin color.
You may not ask any questions about a character's age.
You may not ask if a character is human or a cartoon.

Play can be done with any size group, (up to 20, since there are only 20 questions) but I would not recommend playing with more than 10 at a time to give everyone the chance to potentially ask at LEAST one question.

In addition to the board, each player needs some kind of marker to "block out" the characters they think have been excluded. If the boards are laminated, dry-erase markers are great, if not: beans, buttons or any small objects you have lots of will do.

It's a really easy and fun game, doesn't take a ton of work to put together, and costs virtually nothing. The teens enjoy it because they get to challenge and try to stump the staff while having fun. Plus you can play it any time, and practically anywhere.