Guest post- Joanna

From the coordinator’s point of view

The 2016 has come with its new challenges and opportunities. The „Athena” is in production now and will be soon distributed to all CISV chapters around Norway. I can’t wait to have it shipped to Poland and show it to my family and friends. Finally, they will be able to understand what I’ve been constantly talking about for the past couple of months. If you are interested in getting one for yourself, let us know here.

In this post I will try to tell you a little bit more about our (Fiocco’s and mine) involvement in the project. So how was it to be the coordinators of the „CISV OnBoard” project? It was lots of fun, fair share of learning (very often learning by doing), quite inspirational but also a hard work. We started already in December 2014 when we received information that LNU (Norwegian Children and Youth Council) will give us funding for the project. The first question we asked ourselves was „How one actually make a board game?”. To answer this question we paired up with the Junior Committee of CISV Norway at Januarsmøtet to plan upcoming months, create a timeline for the project and recruit the project team. We contacted Hyperion - Norske Forbund For Fantastiske Fritidsinteresser and met with them twice in January in order to learn from them about board games and a game- making process.

Our facilitators hard at work.

Over the year we had several weekend meetings in Oslo with the project team that Fiocco and I needed to plan and prepare, both in terms of logistics (transport, food, materials, etc.) and agenda (lots of brainstorming sessions run by Fiocco).
At the beginning we focused solely on providing the project team with knowledge and skills necessary for running a project like this. We organized a kick-off meeting at the end of January, during which the team participated in sessions on: educational board game development with Fredrik from Hyperion, peace education in CISV with Mikkel from the Educational Committee and mosaic projects with Mathilde from the Mosaic Committee. We also played and analyzed a lot of different games that we borrowed from Hyperion.

In February, together with Andreas, we met with a professional game developer for a consultation on game testing and production. We got to know for example that it takes usually up to 2-3 years to develop and produce a board game (we only had couple of months) and that we will have to spend more time on testing than we thought. After that we decided to adjust the timeline and postpone the production of the game to the beginning of 2016.

We met with the project team again in February to spend the whole weekend on brainstorming and the creative process continued over Skype for the next month. A breakout came during the National Junior Camp where the project team created a game-like activity that was a very first version of the „Athena”. The activity was also presented at the cabin trip of CISV Oslo&Akershus and at Landsmøtet.

In May we got Camila (professional designer and CISVer) on board! We moved the CISV office for three days to Stavanger and introduced her to the project. We also discussed what needs to be done before the summer to have a beta version of the game ready for the Global Conference. And there was a lot to do! The project team had to create a moodboard for the game, a list of all elements, write down the rules (and believe me it takes forever to write them in a short and clear manner), ASKs and debriefing questions for the game. The team needed to send everything in to Mila before the end of June, so she would have enough time to design the game and print it before the Global Conference. We met several times at the Peace House over May and June and we made it!

The team also started writing their own blog around that time to document the whole process and to share their experience.
At the Global Conference (Fiocco and I were staffing the event and Håkon and Agathe attended the IJBM) the project team run a mosaic session with almost 100 participants. It was an opportunity to present the project to other CISV countries and to show them how youth can contribute to the development of our organization.

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In September the team continued testing the game and introducing last changes to make it more balanced. The official launch of the game took place at Høstmøtet. We had a short presentation of the project and the participants could play the game as a social activity in the evening. It was the first time when I actually had a chance to play the game just for fun, without thinking about the rules and pieces, and I had a wonderful time doing it (being the Alpha Snake and winning the game probably contributed a lot).

In December we worked remotely (from Norway, Sweden and Poland) on the project report. We recently handed it in to LNU, so keep your fingers crossed!

One of the most time consuming tasks was definitely budgeting. We had to keep track of spending and plan our activities accordingly. We also kept in touch with LNU and with their approval made some adjustments to the budget to address the needs of the project, e.g. to be able to have more meetings to develop and test the game.

Also at all times we could count on Andreas who was supervising the project and dealing, among the other things, with finance, merchandise and game production. Every week during our Monday morning meetings at the office we were following up with him on the project progress.

When we discussed project goals in December 2014 we decided that our primary goal for this project won’t be developing a board game but we wanted to focus on empowering juniors in CISV. It was really fulfilling to see how the team over the time started feeling the ownership of the project and took control over it. Fiocco and I could take a step back and proudly look at them when they were receiving an award for the most inspiring mosaic project of the year!
I had an amazing time working on this

project and I would like to thank everyone involved who helped to make this game happen! There were so many of you! Thank you!
With love, Asia

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