Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


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Project introduction and background information

Solving design problems is a core activity in the engineering field. However, it is challenging to teaching design using problems that resemble those found in real engineering practice. Real problems are typically complex and multidisciplinary, requiring the course to cover both the general design content and the content from each specific discipline. Indeed, the diverse engineering disciplines use different tools and techniques, which must be effectively combined. This multidisciplinary content must also be meaningfully linked and delivered in a way that prevents students from losing their interest when dealing with content from a different discipline.

This project is a follow-up from a Comenius Teaching Fellow, in which the first version of the Ingenious Game was developed. Active games and gamification have a potential pedagogical importance when teaching design and development and can be integrated with other class activities, potentially as a part of individual or group activities.

The Ingenious game is a collaborative and competitive card game in which groups of students compete against each other to develop a product design and development process (PDDP) that effectively solves the issues that arise during gameplay. The game is played in four rounds based on a typical PDDP, and each member from a group of six players impersonates an engineer from a different discipline (mechanical, electrical, software, system, production, and industrial design engineering). By playing the game, the students are kept motivated and learn which choice of the engineering tools and techniques better solve the typical issues during the different PDDP phases .

Objective and expected outcomes

This project’s main objective is to consider the previous experience from using the Ingenious Game card game and create a new and improved version based on a software application. The game’s card version has already been played twice during the Modelling of Technical Design Processes course, and the students gave valuable feedback on improving its gameplay and learn support capabilities.

The main objective can be decomposed in three project goals related to the Ingenious Game software application to be developed:

1.      Increase the players immersive experience by automating task that are not directly adding value to the learning process.

2.      Take the advantage from automating the non-added learning value tasks, increase the game complexity towards better mimicking the design engineering reality.

3.      Improve the game’s flexibility accommodate new design and development scenarios.

4.       Get even better student feedback from using the game as a pedagogical approach.

Results and learnings

Although the project is still ongoing, it has realized its firs three goals. The achievement of the last goal will be verified in October 2023, when the game will be used again in the Modelling of Technical Design Processes course.


The experience from developing the Ingenious Game and the creation of a software application version led to the following recommendations:

·        Having first a card version from your game is a valuable step before going to a software version. During this project, making changes and experimenting things was easier in the card game. This experimentation led to a more mature gameplay dynamic, which was more readily implemented as a software.

·        Use a proven framework when developing the game, so that you are more likely to not forget important aspects to make the game attractive, engaging, and motivating for the students. During this project the Octalysis framework was used and proved very useful.

·        Resist the temptation of being dragged just by the playability and by the wonders from the technology. The main goal of a learning game is to support achieving the learning objectives, and which go beyond leisure.

Practical outcomes

The Ingenious Game project yielded the following concrete outcomes:

Result 1: A software application (the game itself) that can be used during a course gamification. A video teaser of the game is available at

Result 2: A professional looking game manual, which helps on the students’ engagement.

Result 3: A type of gameplay dynamics that can be adapted to other scenarios where multidisciplinary teams need to perform a process to solve a problem, and which each expert used different technique/approaches to collaborate to the solution,