A successful UPGRADE! upgrade - some design notes

Updated: Dec 29, 2019


This week I showcased the latest version of the trainer edition of UPGRADE!. This was the first time that the large format main board had been used along with the redesigned elements on both this and the player boards. As with many other recent changes, the goal has been to reduce the time to independent play (TIP) and to deepen the learning experience. It is a continual improvement process with modification ideas gleaned from comments and through observation of participants.


In this case the goal was to simplify the management of the simulation's external sourcing partner and to make it easier to calculate the workload costs to run the various IT solutions.


The external sourcing partner worker track is generally fine in its earlier form but resetting the track at the beginning of a round was a little clumsy.

The goal of this aspect of the game is that any resources that are not used in one round are unavailable in the next. The larger main board gave more space to support this.


The previous round of changes introduced the idea of only looking at the increase in workload, not the actual total workload. This meant that the idea of workload is introduced slowly during the game - one less thing to focus on initially. This was further extended by adding small workload cubes to be used to track the additional workload and also to reveal the cost of the additional workload. At the start of the game each player has an area, at the top of their player board, with 10 workload cubes. As additional workload is needed, the cube is moved to the solution and reveals the additional cost to be paid at the end of the round.


Small changes but with a significant impact on the pace of adoption and the enjoyment of the players.

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