The serious game was developed by Irabor Thomas-Julian, Nicolas Antoine-Moussiaux, and Simon Rüegg as part of Thomas-Julian's Ph.D. program at the University of Liège, in collaboration with OCTOpUS'S.

Game description

Tipping Point is an educational board game designed to teach decision-making by simulating a complex world with exponential growth, delays, and limited resources. It mirrors the Tragedy of the Commons archetype, where shared resources are vulnerable to overuse and depletion. Players must judiciously allocate resources and construct houses while managing waste within the confines of a limited board space. The game's mechanics encourage players to consider the long-term consequences of their decisions. 

The game is available for free and can be downloaded and 3D printed. Also available in paper/ cardboard format! 


Tipping Point is versatile and can be used to explore a variety of real-world challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and urbanization. It is a valuable tool for developing systems thinking skills and promoting collaboration.

The objective of the game: each player tries to get as many points as possible in 6 rounds. If the playing field is full before the 6th round, all players lose.


Each player receives 2 random resource tokens.

Game turns (years):

A year is divided into 4 phases. Each phase is completed by all players before the next phase begins.

Game mechanism to systems characteristics:

Interconnectedness : based on players strategic placement of tokens, they can generate more resources.

Delays:  game actions occur in phases thus anticipation necessary. (e.g., waste tokens are removed based on free spaces at the end of the round).

Feedback: decisions of players affect the rate of waste token generation.

Uncertainty: resource tokens are given different values (R1 or R3) the value of the resources sometimes affects the actions that can be taken. Also, lack of information sharing due to percieved competition (due to the framing of the games objective) increases players likelihood to lose the game quickly on the first try.

Adaptation: Given the combination of actions that can be done in the game, winning is not dependent on one strategy, the degree of uncertainty means that players need to search for the most optimal solution for that round and make decisions based on what they see, have, and, potentially anticipate.


The project's relevance lies in addressing the pressing need for effective decision-making skills in today's complex and interconnected world. By leveraging game-based learning, "The Tipping Point" offers an approach to develop these skills. Through interactive gameplay, participants will explore cause-and-effect relationships and navigate through uncertain scenarios. The game's immersive environment will challenge players to think critically, adapt to changing circumstances, and make informed decisions. 

"Tipping Point" is intentionally designed to elicit an emotional response from players. The game initially presents itself as competitive, but as players progress, they come to realize that collaboration is essential for success. This unique approach creates a sense of intrigue and curiosity among players as they navigate the game.

Contact us if you are interested in knowing more about the game in detail: tjirabor@uliege.be

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