Birds in the City: Bengaluru Edition – a board game based on the relationship between urbanization and bird diversity in the context of Bengaluru city.

Historically, the Bengaluru metropolis has been home to urban parks, lakes, botanical gardens and wooded areas alongside the quaint residential neighbourhoods. However, the city has experienced some extreme changes in its landscape and environment over the years – the increase in urban sprawl, development of the city’s infrastructure, expanding transportation systems – which have also affected the urban wildlife that the city supports in different ways. Birds are one such example of wildlife that has coexisted in most urban landscapes alongside humans. Bengaluru still boasts of being a paradise for bird watching although  the number and species of birds that one sees in and around the city has changed over time. As a part of this project, we have designed Birds in the City: Bengaluru Edition, a board game that helps players collectively experience this relationship between urbanization and its effects on bird diversity in the context and background of the city of Bengaluru.

It is a collaborative game that is played collectively to win bird diversity badges. It contains a representative map-board of a dynamic cityscape inspired by diverse habitats and landmarks of urban and peri-urban regions of Bengaluru, bird tokens, resource tags, city event cards and player action dice. The game has been iteratively developed through five versions and has been playtested thoroughly. It is now being made ready for production. A companion booklet that explains the what, why and how of the concepts used in the game is also under development.


Birds in the City: Bengaluru Edition intends to bring people closer to nature within contexts that they can relate to. We envision the interactive format and across the table conversations prompted by the play experience of this game. Our goal is to enable players to learn about the challenges that an ever-changing urban environment creates for the biodiversity of the city. Our audience are mainly young adults, but we also aim to keep it accessible to all residents of Bengaluru across different age groups. We hope that the game will invoke curiosity and sensitize its players to the changes in their city and their impact on urban wildlife, making them more aware, empathetic and interested in the natural world around them. 

By Prasad Sandbhor, Priti Bangal

Start Date: August 2021

Prasad Sandbhor:
Priti Bangal:

In the media: The Hindu | Hindustan Times

Status Report & Updates:

Board Game concept and prototype
Game concept is ready and 3 versions of prototypes have been play tested across 8 sessions, version 4 is being play tested. The design phase has almost concluded and the final version will be ready soon.

Game illustrations and auxillary materials
The bird illustrations are ready and other illustrations are in progress.
An information guide about the birds in the game and documentation of the design journey so far will be published.

Background research
The team has built an extensive literature and media library for the game. This and the material from their interviews with experts like Dr. Subramanya will be published on their website in English and Kannada. Shortlisting birds for the game, identifying elements unique to Bangalore city and its challenges, events and changes in the city are being incorporated into the gameplay through iterations.

Website design (and community outreach)
The website has been launched. It will host outreach material such as blog posts and articles as part of the background research, and can be accessed at the links below:

English: blog link
Kannada: blog link

The periodically published bogs will reveal the game design process while the game is being  finished! Their final community engagement sessions with the game will be conducted as both online and offline sessions starting  December onwards and continuing past the grant period.

Follow them on twitter @playinnature_in for updates!