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A game that can simplify cooperation before a construction logistics process starts

From a board game to an online version in the midst of a pandemic. The construction logistics game designed as part of the CIVIC project has been developed further during the MIMIC project. In addition, another new game has been developed, which can be played online, in order to satisfy more players and thus more organisations. It is a game where everyone can be a winner provided that they follow the rules and don't focus all their efforts on winning.

The goal and background of the game

During the CIVIC project, a board game was developed with the aim of encouraging the various partners in a construction logistics project to really understand the benefits of cooperation. The game was played in a number of workshops with participants from all the phases of a construction logistics project, including CIVIC's own project team members but also employees of the Swedish Transport Administration. As part of the MIMIC project, the game has now been developed further on the basis of input from these workshops. Karl Bergström from Chalmers University of Technology is responsible for the development of the game. 

The goal was take to game onto another level so that more people could play it at once and it would be faster to play. But during the development process, the COVID-19 pandemic reached Europe and the decision was made to add another element by enabling the game to be played online.

We are aiming to challenge the players' ideas about cooperation to promote a more in-depth discussion between them in the next stage of their work.

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- Hopefully, the game will encourage a better understanding and better opportunities for cooperation around construction logistics solutions in the future, says Karl, BergströmChalmers Tekniska Högskola.

 

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- The basic idea of the game is to involve more people and arouse their interest because this is an entertaining way of engaging with the various partners, adds Rodrigue Al Fahel, projektledare for MIMICCLOSER.  

The rules of the game in brief

In the improved version of the game, up to 20 people can play, but they are divided up into smaller groups of around five. Just as in the first version, a facilitator is needed to organise the game, explain the rules and answer questions. All the players are given a role in the game and must first plan their tactics without talking to their co-players. When they have done this, each player must ensure that their own needs and those of their co-players are met. 

As a construction client, to win you need to have as many houses on the site as possible. For a city or municipality, winning means keeping disruption to a minimum.

- Winning isn't about getting the most points. The game is more of a role play experience, explains Karl.

The challenges of the game

- One of the main challenges involved in the game is the players who are not familiar with it. These people often think that the rules, such as not talking during the strategic part at the beginning, are not very important. But as a game leader, I know that this is a decisive factor in making sure that the game corresponds with the challenges involved in real-life construction logistics projects and so it is important to follow this rule, explains Karl

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the game workshops that were originally planned were moved online. This presented a major challenge during the testing process, because a key feature of the game is the game leader who is available to give the groups different types of support.

-We carried out our first test on Zoom and it was difficult. I felt as if I couldn't see because I wasn't able to move in and out of the groups without the software beeping. I disturbed them more than I intended to. I also couldn't approach the groups or the players without anyone noticing and listen in on the discussions or help someone who was getting left behind. When I noticed an issue that was affecting everyone, I needed to be able to speak a bit louder and attract the attention of all the groups, explains Karl.