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A zine with role-playing games (RPGs) to teach engineering and science using actual engineering scenarios.
139 backers pledged $2,051 to help bring this project to life.

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The creation of Role-Playing Games (RPGs) made it possible for us to not just passively consume stories but to become an active participant in creating the story and affecting its outcome.  This spirit has inspired many educators to bring RPGs to the classroom to offer our students more opportunities to become an active part of their classroom experience.   This zine offers two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) games that have been played at both gaming cons and education conferences.  The funding is to make the layout more clean and useful (i.e. easy to use for busy educators) and to pay for art to make it more attractive and appealing. 

The games have been developed to be playable without any technical content for K-12 educators to introduce their students to science and engineering in action but also for engineering and science educators to use in-class, with course work and assignments affecting the in-game modifiers to dice rolls.

This project is to support the layout and production of two STEM RPG zines: Mission to Mars! and Engineering & Automobiles!


Mission to Mars!

Mission to Mars! is d20 roll-under mechanic (similar to other d20 Hack games) that replaces the traditional attributes (Strength, Dex, etc.) with engineering attributes (Research, Analysis, Experimentation Ingenuity, Creativity, and Leadership) that the National Academy of Engineering has identified as critical skills for engineers.  Each player character (PC) is a member of Mission Control (e.g. "Flight Control", "Guidance Control" etc.) that can be played by individual players or by a team deciding that PC's actions.

A launch pad problem motivates a flashback where the Mission Control team has to decide how they would have prepared for possible problems with their part of the launch vehicle (rocket).  The public domain NASA flight manual for the Saturn V provides more than enough information to provide information on systems and possible failures.  

Engineering & Automobiles!

Engineering & Automobiles!  uses a modified Fate RPG system to explore the conflicts that arise between the different product needs for a new car design.  The PCs roles are based on their affiliation within the company (Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Quality, etc.) and each has their own abilities and goals and can be played by an individual or a team.  The players are in a meeting to decide the final design of a new product and resolve engineering concerns found during vehicle testing.  The conflicts are resolved by a modified version of the Fate Fudge dice mechanics and each player has different abilities (e.g. persuasion, reason, intimidation) and reputation levels that can be used to assist other players arguments or to convince others to support their argument. 

The modified Fate RPG rules can be used to resolve in-class conflicts without in-class arguments, preventing shy students from making speeches and instructors from ruling on contentious arguments - the dice decide and all can agree on the outcome.  This system has been modified for a history game to resolve conflicts involved in the Cuban missile crisis.  

Creators 

Content:

Allen White has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry.  He has been an RPG enthusiast since he was 11 and has been using RPGs in the classroom since 2014 and presenting STEM classroom RPGs at both engineering education conventions and at gaming cons since 2016.  You can find the content he has previously presented at con and conferences at his website:

 https://steamhackrpgs.org/resources 

Art:

Ivy Fowler has created all of the beautiful art you see here and has agreed to create additional art for the zine if it funds.  You can find her work at:

 https://www.instagram.com/ivyafowler/ 

Risks and challenges

This is my first zine but the content already exists. The funds from this Kickstarter will pay for more Art from Ivy and for layout that will make it easier to use by educators. I have been an engineering professor for twelve years and an engineer for 26 years, so I am familiar with project management. This is, however, a new project area for me.

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Funding period

- (60 days)