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Grave Robbers | Board Game

Grave Robbers is a variation of the Up the River board game, a very simple racing game with an ever-changing board (made of shifting tiles) and a few extra twists introduced by the special dice.


It was designed by me, Atwood Deng & Xian Lu for Tracy Fullerton’s Design for Interactive Media class (Fall 2015) at the University of Southern California. Our goal to introduce new rules, game mechanics, and a thematic narrative to the previously-existing game system.


After analyzing the original game system, we set our own player experience goal. We wanted our player to feel like they were following an unpredictable path.


To achieve this goal, we redesigned the game board, adding several extra elements such as cards, special tiles and an entirely new theme. In our version, the players are grave robbers in an Ancient Egyptian setting.
After several paper prototypes and playtest sessions, we presented this final prototype.


Click here to read our game’s manual.


The gambling dynamic that emerged from the gameplay kept players engaged until the end. Rolling the die to determine which side would succumb to the quicksand added an extra layer of ‘fun’ to the game, and players particularly liked being able to put own cards on tiles.


January 2, 2015


Interactive Media | Game Design