NZTA Game Design Competition 2016: Meet the winners

(Last Updated On: January 23, 2017)

nzta game design logoThe NZ Transport Agency’s Game Design Competition ran during Terms 1 and 2. It challenged Year 7-13 students to design games about safe road use. 

This year’s winning entries are:

Prickle in a Pickle

Overall Winner and Winner, Category 2: Playable Game – Prickle in a Pickle

By Sophie, Zola and Sophie, Columba College, Dunedin.

This board game puts players in the role of hedgehogs who must get home safely before a blizzard arrives.

Here’s how the students describe it:

“Prickle in a Pickle helps young children learn about general road safety in and out of New Zealand. Players make their way around the board, answering cards in the categories; pedestrians, self transport, fortune card, in the car, challenge a friend and hedgehog facts. We tested this game on five primary aged children, they all enjoyed the game and told us a few ways of how we could improve it.”

Judges’ comments: “Excellent polish & finish. This game looks beautiful. Lovely clean simple design. The “Prickles” character could be a good hook for younger kids. An interesting idea of blending facts about hedgehogs with road safety questions. The team has thought about their target audience and designed a game that appeals and engages young players.


the Roadbot's JourneyWinner Category 1: Game Design Document – The Roadbot’s Journey

By Sophie, Marshall, Autahi, and Xander, Rāwhiti School, Christchurch.

Their idea is that players help a robot learn about safe travel while helping it find its lost spaceship.

Judges’ comments: “This is a big ambitious game, which looks fun while putting important ideas about road use into action. The Roadbot is an appealing hook for younger players, and externalizing the learner (by having players teach the robot) enhances gameplay.”

“We like that each level asks the player to make decisions related to different kinds of road use (scootering, cycling, riding in a car). The maps and character sketches are gorgeous. The design is thoughtful, playful and responsive to feedback.”



Highly commended game design documents

AlertAlert, by Taylah, Milly, Chelsea, and Amelia, Rangiora New Life School.

From the judges: “This physical game looks fun and social. The team clearly put plenty of time into researching the topic before getting hands-on with the creative design process.”


Dangerous Drivers, by Niko, Joel, Zak, and Evan, Shirley Boys’ High School, Christchurch.DangerousDrivers

From the judges: “A very detailed entry. This game would get players thinking about the road as shared commons, and needing to be aware of other driver’s mistakes and bad decisions. Nicely presented concept video.”


Highly commended playable games


Lights – Bikes – Crossings, by Alexandra, Emma, Samara, Emma-Jane, and Brianna, Oxford Area School.Lights Bikes Crossings

From the judges: “We were impressed with the thought the team put into incorporating road safety, and making it relevant to a provincial setting. A well-executed board game with clear use of concept design, player testing, and refinement.”

dumb ways to driveDumb Ways to Drive, by Max, Eric and Tony, Pakuranga College, Auckland.

From the judges: “Good effort researching road safety issues. An ambitious yet simple fast-playing game. It integrates fun challenges with road safety messages – a good balance of engagement and education.”

JARS Road Safety GameJARS Road Safety, by Jessi, Abby, Renzo, and Sharif, Pakuranga College, Auckland.

From the judges: “This team used game design to make the road code much more interactive. Good use of player testing and feedback. The result is a playful game with thought given to its educational potential.”


Congratulations to all this year’s winning and commended games and game design documents.

For more go to

Compiled by Wayne Erb.


Categories: Article