Priyan Jayamaha

Creative Director | Game Designer

The idea for the Waka Hourua board game came to life during my Master's journey, where I delved into the world of mixed reality and its potential for engaging students in historical studies. My research journey involved talking to primary school teachers to understand how they teach history, the challenges they face, and their thoughts on using technology in the classroom. Additionally, I spent time immersing myself in the subject of early Polynesian navigation and sought insights from waka experts to deepen my knowledge and gain valuable feedback.

The Waka Hourua stands as an innovative educational board game crafted to illuminate the historical tapestry of early Polynesian migration for New Zealand's Primary School Students. This game goes beyond traditional methods by seamlessly integrating emerging technologies like Augmented Reality, elevating the learning journey into an immersive and interactive experience.

Throughout the development of the board game design, a wide range of game concepts and gameplay mechanics were explored. The primary goal was to craft an engaging, educational, and practical board game that can be easily played within a classroom setting, avoiding overly complex gameplay. An exploration game was developed featuring cooperative game mechanics that promote teamwork to simulate real-world sailing experiences. Instead of fostering competition within the team, the game emphasizes the significance of unity, encouraging players to collaborate closely to overcome the challenges of voyaging together.

Creating this board game has been an amazing adventure, and my hope is that it will make learning about the concepts and stories of early Polynesian navigation exciting and enjoyable for primary school students.