GUT IT OUT
Anatomy card game | BMVC Capstone Project
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.
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).
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.
(nerves and vessels)
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)
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.