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SWEET SURPRISE - a game about hidden sugars

game design, UI/UX, rapid prototyping

Game Board.jpg

Artist's Statement

Most people know that too much sugar is… bad. But how much sugar is too much sugar, and do people actually know how much sugar are in common foods? 

“Hidden sugars,” or added/processed sugars we don’t expect or know about it, are linked to diabetes and other health challenges, and they are in many, many foods - from drinks to appetizers to main dishes. The US dietary guidelines recommend a person consumes 50 grams of sugar each day, so our game is designed to teach people how much sugar is in common foods and how to craft a healthier diet that adheres to recommended sugar values. 


Up to 4 players can compete against each other to choose foods throughout the game that maximize their satisfaction points score while not going overboard with their sugar amounts. By playing this game, players of all types will learn where there are hidden sugars and realize they can change their diets for the better. With added elements that introduce strategy and competition, players will discover and explore different foods, challenge and outwit each other, and learn about hidden sugars together through Sweet Surprise. 

All game pieces available for download/print at the bottom of this page, including cards, boards, and player pieces.

Process Overview

In just three weeks, my team and I designed and built this educational player vs. player game for the prompt, "Those who play, teach." Sweet Surprise is a project from CS 377G: Designing Serious Games with Professor Christina Wodtke and Game Designer Chris Bennett. Our process was:

+ Research on potential topics we could teach

+ Development of Formal Elements and Values

+ Designing game boards, pieces, and cards

+ Three rounds of Playtesting and Iteration

+ A game that teaches players something fun and interesting!


Players were incredibly emotionally invested in their results and equally flabbergasted at the hidden sugars.

Playtester Quotes

“Where’s the sugar coming from?!” [Latte]

“Oh god. That Big Mac is dangerous.”

“I’m so mad at this strawberry shake. I had so much faith.”


This process document explains in detail our various brainstorming sessions, playtests, and iterative improvement.

Final Process Document: End to end game development

Printable Game Pieces

Rules, Board, Pieces, Cards

Skills: Research, Design, Testing, Iteration, Rapid prototyping, User experience

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