Since the end of 2015, the Outside! team of volunteers and homeless people have been working on the creation of a board game about life on the street.
At a first series of weekly meetings, the volunteers gathered the stories which now form the centrepiece of the game.
During these meetings, the homeless people who have agreed to take part in the project talked about their daily lives and the difficulties they face, but they also recounted more positive anecdotes.
In March 2016 the team set about creating the game with the help of Let’s play together, a not-for-profit association.
The first task was to design the board itself: how many places should it have, and how should players move between them? At this stage the team was advised by board games expert Nicolas Ovigneur.
The places on the board are based on the themes identified when the stories were gathered: they are the places which, in real life, homeless people are obliged to visit.
The first event cards were then created, based on the stories collected: they affect the player’s resources, represented by their energy gauge, morale gauge and finances.
The team presented a prototype to the general public at the Brussels Games Festival, held in the Cinquantenaire park in August 2016.
The festival provided an opportunity to test the then barely functional prototype. It got an enthusiastic reception from a curious public, and the many suggestions made helped to develop this first version.
Since then the game has changed enormously: there are more event cards and more rules. The board has gone through many versions and is now more or less finalised. A graphic designer is currently working on a more esthetic version.
The game now needs to be tested in other not-for-profit associations, as in the picture at Puerto, so that it can be enriched with further experiences.
At the official opening of the new building, DoucheFLUX patron Elina Dumont joined in and played a game of Outside!. She tested the new improved board designed by Anton, our graphic designer.
The French actress, who is well acquainted with the plight of homeless people, was able to give her opinion on the prototype.