Spring is a cooperative boardgame derived from the ethics and ideals I learnt from the East Anglian Rocketry Society. I approached the group with an initial interest in outer space, but left with a strong impression of the community involved. The project was both a collaboration in research as well as production. During board game research I met Ivan Maslarov, who developed the graphic design and illustration of Spring.
I wrote down the unwritten rules of the group, a code of conduct to start to understand how the group operated.
After discussing the ethics with John (below), the sixth was removed. The project then became about how to incorporate these ethics and ideals into an object so others can experience and gain from them. I chose to design a game because games allow for entire systems to be built, we can create characters, interactions, rules and situations. This makes a game a great vessel to incorporate the 10 things I learnt from rocketry.
In further conversation with John we concluded that the ethics were caused by a High Risk/Low Competition situation. Rocketry is dangerous and so the members must work together to ensure the safety of the group. Competition is minimal in the group, there is no way to "win" rocketry. The combination of these two things creates an environment rich in knowledge sharing and collaboration, as maintaining a base level of understanding in the group is essential for the EARS to survive.
In my game, Spring, the players are a biological activist group of the same name. They move around the city spreading seeds and growing plants, with the objective of making the entire city overgrown. The BCU (Biological Control Unit) is moving around the city destroying what they've grown and is the embodiment of risk which forces the collaboration amongst the players.
Above: Parked cars with the boots wide open, a community which trusts one another.
Below: I explain to a new member a method of parachute folding.
Mike prepares his 3m tall, carbon fibre rocket "Bulletproof" (above)
Malcolm prepares his 40cm cardboard box, while Mike stands by to help (below)