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Anatomy card game | BMVC Capstone Project

Team Members


Alexia LaLande

Winnie Lin

Linda Ding

Cat Lau 

Gut it out actual cards.jfif

Submitted as a final capstone project for the Biomedical Visualization & Communications
Certificate at the University of British Columbia 


Initially, the client asked for a deck of study cards to accompany their online interactive anatomy modules for medical students. These cards were to include anatomical information, diagrams and explore the use of augmented reality (AR). Only a detailed plan was expected for the AR component, rather than a fully developed prototype. However, following initial meetings, the project evolved into an engaging anatomy card game that could be played by both medical students and those who did not necessarily have anatomy knowledge.



A questionnaire was sent out to UBC medical students to get an understanding of what types of card games they enjoyed, as well as their experience with AR. Given the time constraints (project to be completed in 3 months), we only received a few responses, all of which came from first-year medical students. Students who responded enjoyed fast-paced games with some strategy and had little experience with AR. In addition, a game design expert was consulted during the design process.


We wanted to create an accessible and modular card game which could be adapted and expanded based on preferences from the user. We liked the idea of drawing gameplay elements from  Rummy 500, UNO, Settlers of Catan and Dominion.

Preliminary Gameplay


  • The goal is to score the most points by  building a fully innervated and/or vascularized organ using the cards collected

  • Players start with a certain number of cards and during each round, players take turns drawing for a deck of cards. 

  • Players can use clinical cards on their turn for benefit or sabotage other players' strategies. 

  • Optional challenge: A player can double their points by naming all the relevant vessels and nerves for their completed hand. 

  • AR component: Players can use their phones during gameplay to scan cards to get a 3D visualization of organs with their corresponding vessels and nerves. 

Clients were also presented with design styles for illustrations and potential colour palettes. We collectively decided on a playful, but still anatomically accurate illustration style with bold colours (Option A).   

HIVE Client Meeting 2 - cards.jpg
HIVE Client Meeting -design.jpg
HIVE Client Meeting -colour.jpg


To test the game play, a printable low-fidelity prototype was produced (see below) along with a set of instructions. Given the virtual nature of the BMVC course (and the pandemic), each group member tested this game with their own friends and family. We also distributed this to our client and classmates who volunteered to help test and provide us feedback.  



Connector cards

(nerves and vessels)

HIVE Client Meeting 3 - low fid prototype.jpg

Organ cards

Organs prototype.png

Clinical cards

clinical cards prototype.png

Changes to gameplay from feedback

  • Players start with 5 cards and can have a maximum of 10 cards in their hand, otherwise they need to discard them 

  • Increase the number of connector and clinical cards 

  • Make the clinical cards more playful with a fun fact or pun 

  • Provide anatomy answer sheet as AR component won't be implemented immediately 

  • Provide players with an option to play different versions (quick play or long and strategic) 

Final Project

This anatomy card game for medical students was submitted and accepted as an abstract for the Experimental Biology conference in April 2022.

Gut it out will be added to The Hive resources and openly available to download and print for your playing pleasures in the very near future.  

Final Card Design.jpg
Draft2_Anatomy Rule Book_Updated.jpg
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anatomy answers final.png
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Wireframe AR.jpg
Final Card Design Winning.jpg
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