December 6, 2012 2:34 PM   Subscribe

ONOPO is a reimagining of an iconic American board game. I attempted to simplify and clarify the game system, removing any thematic metaphors and other non-essential elements. Inspired by abstract strategy games, I designed a minimal iconographic system which uses as little language as possible.

I enjoy designing and working with systems, and this project was an exercise in consistency and constraint. The name is partly a reduction of the original and partly an homage to Oulipo, the "workshop for potential literature."

I made this as a sort of design challenge for myself, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out.
Role: (re)designer
posted by oulipian (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by cortex on January 20, 2013: Advance to blue triple circle!

I don't like the original version of the game, either mechanically or thematically, but that does look incredibly clean and appealing.
posted by ignignokt at 2:39 PM on December 6, 2012

Thanks! I totally agree about the gameplay of the original. When it comes to boardgames I'm much more of a Settlers or Puerto Rico fan! But the original presented plenty of opportunity for distilling the design down to its essential elements. I had a lot of fun working on it.
posted by oulipian at 2:52 PM on December 6, 2012

I like this idea! But why keep the active play area as a ring around a mostly empty square? Seems like a lot of wasted space you could do away with on a total reimagining.
posted by Jezztek at 11:04 AM on December 7, 2012

True! That's a good suggestion, especially since I think the board is meant to resemble a city block, which is part of the thematic metaphor that I was aiming to remove from the original.

I considered making the board circular, but in the end decided to keep the dimensions of the board, cards and bills the same. In some ways I was thinking of it more as a re-skinning of the original than a complete redesign. Distilling the design down to a set of minimums. I might make a physical prototype of ONOPO just to try it out, so using the same dimensions will make that a lot easier.

Leaving certain remnants of the original also makes the project easier to understand at a glance. For the same reason, I used mostly similar colours.
posted by oulipian at 11:38 AM on December 7, 2012

Is there a reason that the Baltic/Mediterranean pairing uses the "level one" and "level two" ring iconography, but Park Place/Boardwalk use "two" and "three?"
posted by Golfhaus at 6:13 PM on December 7, 2012

I just thought it worked best that way. The purple spaces are the weakest on the board and the blue spaces are the strongest, so visually it makes sense. Making the final space on the board "level 2" wouldn't look right.
posted by oulipian at 6:20 PM on December 7, 2012

Okay, now, how do we go about fixing the gameplay?
posted by JHarris at 8:53 PM on December 8, 2012

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! ONOPO is a featured story on Co.Design today. I've also posted some more writing about the project here.
posted by oulipian at 8:59 AM on December 12, 2012

How did I miss this before? So great, just made a proper post about it.
posted by cortex at 10:40 AM on January 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

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