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  • Iconography Help

  • Arthur Wohlwill

    Member
    June 20, 2021 at 11:30 am
    Premium Member Founding Member

    I am working on a game that is meant to be educational but may have some broader appeal. Players first roll dice to determine what type of cat they have and then they mark the key genetic features in the boxes as shown. A female can have 2 “orange” chromosomes 2 “black” one or one of each. (Shown as covered ovals). A male can have an “orange” or a “black” and a Y chromosome which has no gene for fur color. In addition either cat can have one or 2 chromosomes carrying variants for white spots. Having 2 white rectangles means the cats has white spots over half the body, having one white and one grey means that cat has a few white spots and having 2 grey rectangles means the cat has no spots. Once the players fill up the grid (3X3, only a portion is shown here, they then “mate” the cats in adjacent boxes and produce offspring using the symbols. While there are standard symbols to use for classes, they may not be the most effective for new learners. What I have here is just a basic idea. How can I make the iconography better and more understandable?

  • Ru Nacken-van der Rest

    Member
    June 30, 2021 at 2:46 am

    I saw this question a week ago and couldn’t figure it out I’m afraid. It is quite a hard puzzle to distill the gene-info into clear symbols.

    Could you post some more states of the game. Like the starting-state of the 3×3 grid, halfway through and the mating-phase. And also, what happens when they mate? Do you write down the offspring on a new grid, or is that points or something?

    That might help in thinking of a good way to solve your question.

    One thing that does immediately come to mind when talking about genes is a flowchart structure.

    • Ru Nacken-van der Rest

      Member
      June 30, 2021 at 3:49 am

      Alright, I gave it a go. Like I said, a flowchart-type view makes a ton of sense to me. You can just follow two dotted lines and end up with all the possible combinations. For a male-cat, the Y-chromosone in the middle prevents that you are able to select both black & orange.

      Also, some other considerations:

      – The gender is important for the mating, so I gave it a color and different position to differentiate more. But I also think it can be more of a background-feature, since your attention should be drawn to the genes more. So cropping the (well-known) icon is no problem I think, and might give your grid a more ‘designed’ feel.

      – The ‘white’ spots genes will have a very light color. This is important – it should be very clear that the checkboxes are the only things that can be ‘filled in’. Leaving the gene-color white might confuse players if that’s a square you can fill in as well.

      – Oh yeah, I think making the genes a more specific shape (diamonds seem good) also helps prevent confusion. People are used to color in circles & boxes.

      – One extra variant for a lady-cat: to have the actual fur behind the checkbox to make it clearer what the genes actually do.

      • Arthur Wohlwill

        Member
        June 30, 2021 at 2:12 pm
        Premium Member Founding Member

        That looks great! Thanks A lot! I also made a version for a more general audience. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1QHYJ7uBVSPFQYsrZL4JdLnpp6IxVd5x8zcE0KZTnYYs/edit?usp=sharing

        • Ru Nacken-van der Rest

          Member
          July 1, 2021 at 3:51 am

          You got it Arthur!

          If you have any other specific follow-up questions, let me know – I’m happy to help.

          Based on your google-doc I couldn’t really make out what the flow/order of things is, but I believe you roll a dice and then fill in a checkbox based on that number, and then you check which genes are responsible for that trait? In that case you might want to turn those checkbox-gene graphics around.

          Also, the second sheet does not make sense to me, since you are missing some cat-variations: where are the female XoXO types? I only see XoXo and XOXO. Also, I suppose with a Y gene not carrying info on orange/black trait, you actually have one less variation for male-cats no? Or is the XO gene dominant and will a female XOXo look exactly the same as a XOXO cat?

          About the missing cat-variant: you could do that with 2 dice rolls, once for each trait, and perhaps you can even put that info on the sheet itself, so you don’t need that extra helper-sheet: saves paper / table-real estate, and I think – with just 3 columns – you’ll have more than enough space to make it work on a single sheet. 🙂

          See my updated version based on your link / my thoughts:

          • Arthur Wohlwill

            Member
            July 1, 2021 at 9:02 am
            Premium Member Founding Member

            I forgot to give you a link to the actual rules. You are correct that the die roll is used to put a cat in the box, but then you mate adjacent male and female cats to get the offspring which you score.

  • Arthur Wohlwill

    Member
    June 30, 2021 at 2:07 pm
    Premium Member Founding Member

    Here are links to the game and to a somewhat revised version for a more general audience https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1QHYJ7uBVSPFQYsrZL4JdLnpp6IxVd5x8zcE0KZTnYYs/edit?usp=sharing and

    • Ru Nacken-van der Rest

      Member
      July 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      Arthur, did you check out this new game Genotype by the way?

      “Gregor Mendel is the 19th Century Augustinian Friar credited with the discovery of modern genetics. In Genotype, you play as his assistants, competing to collect experimental data on pea plants by trying to control how the plants inherit key Traits from their parents: seed shape, flower color, stem color, and plant height.”

      There are some overlapping themes, so be sure to check that out to see if you can get some inspiration from how they handle genetic traits. 👍

      https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/252752/genotype-mendelian-genetics-game

      • Arthur Wohlwill

        Member
        July 10, 2021 at 7:08 pm
        Premium Member Founding Member

        I do plan on checking it out, a friend has it. But it probably too complex for non gamers, which are my main target audience.

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