A two to four player board game where players pose as employees juggling productivity and procrastination within a modular office floor plan. Navigate uncertainty as ‘The Boss’ moves unpredictably, adding a touch of panic and experience the delicate interplay of diligence and distraction.
The Procrastinators           
Game Design
Role: Concept, Game Mechanics, Visual Design 

 Objective ///

Your mission is simple: embrace the joy of procrastination in the workplace. Roam the office, dropping off tasks for your colleagues to handle, all while skillfully avoiding rooms overflowing with work. Be the first to gather 20 Procrastination Points by trading in tasks, and claim victory in this thrilling office showdown.

Set Up ///

Get ready for an ever-changing game board! With 18 room tiles at your disposal, create a unique office layout every time you play. This area-based board game highlights colorful rooms, each marked by a number, offering a visually engaging experience as you navigate through the world of workplace shenanigans.

First Prototype ///

In the initial prototype we introduced different office rooms denoted by colors and numbers. Each color corresponds to an action card drawn when landing in a room, while the number represents the amount of work tokens exchanged for procrastination points. During playtesting, we focused on player movement while leaving the boss's movement undecided. Through observation, we made several adjustments to the rules and setup based on feedback.
We identified the need to limit employee movement between rooms, add variety to the chosen paths, determine rules for entering rooms with existing work tokens, prominently label rooms, address the lack of interaction with dropped work tokens, and devise a mechanism for the boss to catch employees. Additionally, we recognized the importance of balancing the acquisition of procrastination points with the presence of work tokens. These insights guided our iterative design process, enriching the gameplay experience.

Second Iteration ///

In our second iteration, we introduced a minimum of one entry/exit door in each room, adding a new layer of consideration for players. We also incorporated the boss's movement by creating a designated path around the office, where each room was exposed to the boss's path. If the boss landed adjacent to the room a player was in, they were busted. Testing the boss's movement, we limited its maximum movement to six steps on a dice roll after each player's turn, following either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
Through user testing and multiple gameplay sessions, we made several modifications to address observed issues from the previous prototype. We discovered that players were able to dodge the boss by calculating its maximum movement range, so we introduced a spinner mechanism to determine the boss's landing in a random set of rooms. This change injected a sense of panic as the probability of the boss landing in a player's room increased. These iterative improvements refined the game mechanics, enhancing the overall experience for players.

Illustration ///
In the final iteration of our board game, we introduced four color categories to increase the likelihood of employees getting caught. The board consisted of 18 tiles, including five large rooms, 12 small rooms, and one employee cubicle room. Players began in the employee room and traversed the board, with the tiles arranged by the players themselves to create a unique layout for each gameplay. Doors and numbers were added to each tile to enhance gameplay. The tiles were meticulously crafted using 3.6 mm MDF sheets, with illustrations printed on glossy sticker sheets and hand-cut to be pasted onto the tiles.
To add personality to the game, each employee character was given a distinct identity: Ms. Panic, Mr. Overthinker, Mr. Anxiety, and Mrs. Insecurity. These characteristics were chosen to reflect the influences that we think often lead to procrastination. The colors of the characters were chosen to match their respective moods. When caught by the boss, the player pieces were inverted, revealing a "CAUGHT" sign taped onto each character's face. The player pieces were also laser-cut and adorned with illustration stickers on both sides, completing the immersive experience of the game.

© Mahima Jain 2024