Design And Development of a Narrative Based Tabletop Game for Promoting Soft Skills Acquisition in Technical Students in The South African Context

Main Article Content

Lance R Bunt
Jacob J. Greeff


A serious tabletop game called “Gr8 Success!” has been developed for an undergraduate Communication skills module at the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa. This paper presents the details of the development process and discusses the first play tested prototype of the serious game in question. The game is described in the context of a conceptual framework being developed by researchers at the Serious Game Institute of South Africa (SGI-SA).


Plum Analytics

Article Details

Special Issues


Strauss, V. 2017. The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students. Retrieved from

Anonymous. 2017. NWU feedback on the draft language policy for higher education. Office of the DVC Teaching and Learning.

SGI-SA. 2017.

Nicholson, S., 2011. Making gameplay matter: Designing modern educational tabletop games. Knowledge Quest, 40(1), p.60.

Benford, S., Magerkurth, C. and Ljungstrand, P., 2005. Bridging the physical and digital in pervasive gaming. Communications of the ACM, 48(3), pp.54-57.

Piper, A.M., O'Brien, E., Morris, M.R. and Winograd, T., 2006, November. SIDES: a cooperative tabletop computer game for social skills development. In Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 1-10). ACM.

Magerkurth, C., Cheok, A.D., Mandryk, R.L. and Nilsen, T., 2005. Pervasive games: bringing computer entertainment back to the real world. Computers in Entertainment (CIE), 3(3), pp.4-4.

Xu, Y., Barba, E., Radu, I., Gandy, M. and MacIntyre, B., 2011. Chores Are Fun: Understanding Social Play in Board Games for Digital Tabletop Game Design. In DiGRA Conference.

Evenson, R. 1999. Soft skills, hard sell [Electronic version]. Techniques: Making Education & Career Connections, 74(3): 29-31.

Bancino, R. & Zevalkink, C. 2007. Soft skills: The new curriculum for hard-core technical professionals. Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers (J1), 82(5):20-22.

Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M., 2011. Self-determination theory. Handbook of theories of social psychology, 1(2011), pp.416-433.

Reber, A.S., 1989. Implicit learning and tacit knowledge. Journal of experimental psychology: General, 118(3), p.219.

Lewicki, P., Hill, T. and Bizot, E., 1988. Acquisition of procedural knowledge about a pattern of stimuli that cannot be articulated. Cognitive psychology, 20(1), pp.24-37.

McGonigal, J.E., 2011. Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Penguin Press, New York, 1st edition,. ISBN 1-101-46715-0.

Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L., 2000. Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well- being. American psychologist, 55(1), p.68.

Krathwohl, D.R., 2002. A revision of Bloom's taxonomy: An overview. Theory into practice, 41(4), pp.212-218.

Plomp, T., 2013. Educational design research: An introduction. Educational design research, pp.11-50.

Bunt, L., Leendertz, V. and Blignaut, A.S., 2017, October. A heuristic evaluation of the design and development of a statistics serious game. In Proceedings of the 16th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (p. 16). ACM.

Van den Akker, J., Gravemeijer, K., McKenney, S. and Nieveen, N. eds., 2006. Educational design research. Routledge.

Covey, S. 1989. The seven habits of highly effective people. New York, Simon and Schuster.