Planetology is an interactive environmental problem solving game, based on a similar concept to EarthCraft. Students each have a role and have ‘Planet Challenges’ they have to solve. The game is played on a three layered board on an imaginary world called “Maya”. Challenges are solved by students developing realistic and scientifically valid responses to a number of primarily environmental problems.


Game Documents

In no particular order, here are all the documents I made while planning, designing and playing this game… Now bear in mind I rewrote the main mechanism of this game three times. The Year 10s we played it with found it too hard (version 1) so I rewrote it simpler (way easier budget) (version 2). Then I rewrote it again to transform it to a geography-only game (version 3). Version 3 is ONLY Year 10 Geography problems: climate change, coasts and wellbeing. Version 1 and 2 documents are right at the bottom of this page.

The planning spreadsheet for version 3.

That might not make much sense, email me if you want it explained!

The student handbook:

The ‘role files’ outlining what each role does and what the planet challenges are:

Planetology skills and knowledge as found in the Australian curriculum:

So the role of ‘Fate’ runs the game, but they needs lots of information, SECRET information:

Here is a spreadsheet that shows how you can divide the game up differently depending on how many different students you have playing the game:

So income in Version 3 is done by recieving a card – either you earn or you don’t earn, and the amount is random. Print these out and cut them up and make a separate pile for each role:

Here are some counters that represent each of the planet challenges. You can print these out in cardboard and make them stand up somehow. I eventually found actual pieces (e.g. 3D printing, 2nd hand shop toys, discount store toys etc…).

They have to fill out this form to solve a challenge:

Sometimes they might need to make a contract with another role to solve a challenge:

So this is a document that I haven’t fully finished. It is ‘environmental wisdom’ – quotes from thinkers, that I was going to read from at the start of each game session. You might want to trim the number of quotes if you do end up using it:

Here’s the form for if they want to invent something:

Here’s the form for if they want to develop a policy to solve a problem:

Here is the money:

Here are the roles:

Here’s some files needed for setting up the board:

Here are the headings for the “National Record” whiteboard:

Here are the pieces I use for each role – these are fake lego minifigures. You can get a massive set of 50 for like $10 at Target:

Here are the “circumstances”. It is a random event card relevant to each role. You take one at the end of your turn:

Version 1

Here are the documents for Version 1 (the harder version where they had to fill out budget forms each day):

Version 2

This is the game rewritten more simply. It still contains challenges for all kinds of things. Version 3 is ONLY Year 10 Geography problems: climate change, coasts and wellbeing.