(Ottawa Citizen, 5 January 2011) -- In October, the Wrap featured a story about aspiring Ottawa board game designer Yves Tourigny and the board game he was developing, Northwest Passage. On Nov. 27, Northwest Passage received the coveted Ludor 2010 jury's award in the Ludo-Outaouais' Boardgame Designer Contest. Northwest Passage is an exploration game in which the players lead an expedition during the 1850s into the Arctic Archipelago to find the Northwest Passage and traces of the vanished Franklin Expedition. Players have to manage their crews, sometimes having to sacrifice efficiency for opportunity, in order to explore, collect geographical information, discover clues, find a passage west, and return safely home before they are trapped in the winter ice. "I've been interested in the Northwest Passage, and the calamitous expeditions undertaken to find it, for many years. The fate of the Franklin Expedition is an enduring and deeply Canadian mystery," Yves says. It is also one that has garndered considerable media attention in recent months, which pleases Yves, and makes his game all the more timely. To take part in the contest, game submissions must be unpublished, and not have won a previous competition. Game prototypes are submitted and a jury of five people play and rate the games. The winner is announced at the yearly Ludo-Outaouais game festival. This year, 11 games were submitted. Yves says that his game has one particularly unique design feature. "It's a semi-circular track north of the board that runs east to west. On it, a yellow circular marker indicates what round it currently is. It also indicates the southern extent of the pack ice. Only tiles that are lower (farther south) than the marker can be navigated by the players," he explains. "Tiles that are farther north than the marker are ice-bound. Ships cannot enter or exit. If a player finds his ship icebound, all is not lost: he or she can always send crew members out on the ice with sleds, hauling their equipment."
Posted 16 January 2011; 6:38:06 PM. Permalink