On the GameIT project

The main purpose of the GameIT project was to create innovative didactic tools – cooperative games to be, primarily, used in academic education to activate students and provide them an opportunity to develop essential 21st century competences.

Through games and gamification, students-players naturally improve skills of communication and cooperation, negotiation, strategic, creative and logical thinking. Moreover, they raise their fluency in English and become more sensitive to other cultures and intercultural issues, at the same time being aware of their cultural uniqueness.

The designers of “Planet Hexagon” – international team of academics from Norway, Romania, Slovenia and Poland – represent various fields. Thus, their intention was to create a universal tool of interdisciplinary character to be used in a wide scope of humanities: teacher education, pedagogy, modern language studies, environmental studies, social studies, art, economic sciences etc. The game may also be successfully used as supportive tool by HR departments, recruiters, career advisers and employee training schemes.

“Planet Hexagon” introduces us into social problems of communities living in the imaginary world in a “distant galaxy”, which by metaphor, resembles our earthly contemporary reality with its vices and virtues, ups and downs. “Planet Hexagon” is a competitive-cooperative game using hex tiles. Players collect points by creating various combinations of tiles. Each team takes on the role of one civilization with its own distinctive features and values, later defined as special skills (assets). Each civilization develops its colony on their own board, but all players use one common Supply Centre and exchange Main Assets. Every community implements their own plan, however, its success is mainly guaranteed by sharing and cooperation with others.

  • Raising intercultural awareness and tolerance for differences: understanding other cultures, working in intercultural teams, representing different civilizations in the game, various points of view, observation, empathy,
  • making players sensitive to intercultural issues and stressing advantages of balanced development and cooperation between various cultures,
  • improving collaboration skills: working together in a team, discussing the following move, deciding on where to put the tile, what to observe while looking at other teams boards,
  • developing strategic thinking: building strategy during the game, thinking about where and why to put the next tile, when to use special skill, etc.,
  • improving decision making and negotiotion skills,
  • developing communication skills in English.

Setting & Story

The plot is set in a distant galaxy, in which there are five planets. One of them, Planet Hexagon, remains uninhabited. Other planets are colonized by the following civilizations:

Lupidians: supporters of technology and industrialization

Arboretans: ecologists and hippies

Harvesters: farmers with strong social bonds

Urbanides: artists putting the emphasis on culture

Once upon a time in a distant galaxy, strange, intelligent creatures lived in one solar system. The solar system was quite small but crowded – it had only five planets, four of which were inhabited by four different civilizations. They never had to compete for any resources; each planet was a land of milk and honey and the inhabitants were lucky enough to have all they needed! Unfortunately, every civilization focused only on one aspect of their development, ignoring everything else almost completely. For one civilization the most important thing was technology, while for others nature, art or sense of community, respectively. They all lived in perfect bliss on their home planets and nobody thought that they would ever have to move to look for a new home. Little did they know what the future held for them!

The galaxy was ruled by eccentric but fair gods who did not like the fact that all civilizations lived separately and were completely indifferent to each other’s achievements. To punish the people for their short-sightedness and force them to change for the better, the gods decided to freeze all the planets in time and put a handful of colonists from each civilization on the surface of the fifth, uninhabited planet, telling them that only once they understand the benefits of balanced development in a spirit of cooperation, achieving true greatness and their full potential, the original planets will be unfrozen again. The civilization that develops most in the course of one year (4 seasons), and, consequently, pleases the gods to the highest extent, will get its planet back first and will be able to return and thrive, having learned an important lesson about cooperation and balanced development. The gods are keeping an eye on the colonists and provide them with help in the form of the Supply Centre. They give the colonist supplies, teach them valuable life lessons but also make bets on their favourites, combining business with pleasure.

Lupidians were the first to establish their colony and also the first to realize that cooperation is essential to survive in new harsh environment. The representatives of all 4 civilizations soon realized that they were not able to complete the task on their own. Discussions with members of other civilization teams started, and they resulted in the creation of a union, whose purpose was to ensure the cooperation between all peoples inhabiting the whole galaxy. Each civilization offered its individual contribution, that is their greatest asset (Main Asset), which could be used by other civilizations. Sharing the knowledge and experience would guarantee the success in achieving the common goal.

The gods are observing the course of events with great interest. Each civilization has equal chances for winning and the one that develops the most efficiently (achieves the highest score) will win and return to its home planet first. Due to the knowledge and experience achieved through contacts with other civilizations, colonists will be able to introduce some beneficial changes and guarantee a fantastic future for the inhabitants of their planets.

The game type and main idea

  • A competitive-cooperative game using hex tiles.
  • Designed for 4 players / 4 teams (possible to make variations).
  • Representatives of 4 different civilizations must regain their lost planet by starting together a completely new civilization.
  • Each team has its own board symbolizing their civilization with its own distinctive features and values.
  • Players have to build a colony using different tiles, which represent types of terrain and resources.
  • Each team develops its colony on their own board, but all players use one common Supply Centre and exchange Main Assets. Additionally, each civilization implements their own hidden plan, carefully observing the actions of other teams.
  • The winner is the team that has the most developed colony and gets the most points.
  • The success depends on: how well the players negotiate with other team members, which development strategies they adapt and the level of advancement of other civilizations.

Game Accessories

    Each board contains:
  • waiting spot for the tiles not used immediately,
  • black hole for discarded tiles,
  • place for the Hidden Goal of every civilization,
  • place for Main Asset card,
  • information about a particular civilization with its unique characteristics and bonuses,
  • cheat sheet explaining how to count points.

Click on the instructions below and read more about:

  • Civilizations and main assets,
  • description of tiles/hexes,
  • markers and how they work,
  • hidden goals,
  • civilization bonus,
  • awarding points with examples,
  • roles of players,
  • preparing the game,
  • gameplay,
  • course of the game – step by step,
  • guidelines for playing in larger groups.

We prepared 4 scenarios how to play the Planet Hexagon game in class.

Click on the appendix below to read the scenarios.

  • Scenario 1: Planet Hexagon as an introduction to teaching character education to students/prospective teachers

  • Scenario 2: Planet Hexagon as an introduction to collaborative game design project work in the field of computer science in teacher education

  • Scenario 3: Planet Hexagon as a class of English

  • Scenario 4: Planet Hexagon as an aid in teaching ESL didactics

Click below to download all materials of the game:

  • Instructions,
  • boards,
  • tiles,
  • cards,
  • box,
  • scenarios.

Download all the materials