Welcome to the nonfiction section of tabletop gaming! There's nothing better than a game when for understanding complex situations where the different parties have competing interests and different priorities.
Bay Area Regional Planner is a game of negotiation and urban planning. For the last 40 years, the San Francisco Bay Area has added jobs faster than housing, creating the highest housing costs in the nation. In the next 25 years, millions more will arrive. To bring rent down, the new housing demand has to be not just met, but exceeded. This means over 2 million new homes.
During the 12 game rounds, you’ll negotiate with the other players to decide where to zone for those new homes. Aside from housing supply, your goals may also consider neighborhood preservation, open space, traffic, and views.
Based on actual urban planning data and tested by housing activists, Bay Area Regional Planner is realistic yet easy to learn. With all players participating in simultaneous rounds,
it’s also a great conversation starter and introduction to city planning and Bay Area politics.
2-12 players 60-120 minutes 2 pages of game rules
Based on the real life debate over development at the North Berkeley BART parking lot, North Berkeley is a fast-paced game of negotiation where you take the role of a local interest groups and work out a plan that meets as many of your groups’ goals as possible.
2-6 players 25-40 minutes 4 pages of game rules
California Water Crisis
Take the role of one of California's three main regions (NorCal, SoCal, and the Central Valley) and try to find a solution to the fundamental cause of California's drought: there's more water demand than there's water. Based on extensive research on California water history and current conditions, California Water Crisis will expose you to real world challenges such as special interest groups, groundwater depletion, and population growth.
Providing realism and replay value, the 3 regions have different starting resources, weaknesses, and potential strategies. This game takes about 10 minutes to learn and about 40-60 minutes to play. In addition to the main game, there are also two scenarios: one set in the late 1800s in the bad old days of reckless resource exploitation, and a cooperative scenario set in the mid 21st century.
Action to stop climate change came too little and too late. Geoengineering, although dangerous and unproven, is now on the table. A world like this has no winners, but can you minimize the hardship your regions face? Beware, actions you plan now will set things in motion a few turns down the road that may be beyond your control! This fast paced educational board game is for 2-4 players or teams, and plays in 30 minutes.
U.S. High Speed Rail
The High Speed Rail Board Game is a fast (60 minute), fun, and educational game for 2 to 6 players where you negotiate with other politicians to bring high speed rail to your voters. Featuring innovative gameplay mechanics designed to capture the wheeling and dealing in infrastructure politics, the High Speed Rail Game takes a simple, interactive approach: when it's your turn to lay new track, you'll ask the other players for proposals and pick one to go with. With games averaging an hour and randomized starts, it's designed to please everyone from the experienced gamer to your housemates.