How It Works

So many play possibilities!

    1. Choose your role (guide, builder or observer).

      The guide and builder explore how the puzzle pieces fit together (this will avoid undue frustration once the game begins).

      The observer instructs the guide and the builder to put on blindfolds.

      The observer gives the builder the light puzzle pieces.

      The observer assembles a pattern of dark pieces and gives it to the guide.

    2. Game objective: The builder must assemble their puzzle pieces to match the guide's pattern. They have only their words to describe the pattern.

      Observers watch, but may not speak. If the guide's pieces fall apart, an observer can put them back together.

      When the builder and guide believe they have matching puzzle patterns, they remove their blindfolds.

    3. After the gameplay here are some questions to ask...

      What was the most challenging for the guide, builder, and observer?

      How did the players help each other?

      What instructions worked most/least effectively? Why?

      How did your communication change throughout the game? Why did it change?

  • Observers as Lifelines

    Two people playing with the Observer giving a hint

    Observers can provide a one sentence hint at a player's request.

    Maximum 3 hints per game - choose these lifelines wisely!


    What made each hint useful (or not)?

  • Questions Only

    Two people playing, one can only ask questions and is questioning the Guide

    The builder can only speak in questions

    The guide only speaks when responding to the builder's questions.


    What's the difference between learning from instructions and learning from questions?

  • Multiple Guides

    Two guides sharing a pattern with the builder, while the Observer watches

    2 or more guides share a puzzle pattern and provide directions to 1 builder

    The builder is blindfolded, but the guides DO NOT wear blindfolds.

    The guides take turns, providing one sentence instructions at a time.


    What's challenging about having multiple bosses?

  • Text Message Communication

    Two people playing and communicating via text messages

    The builder and guide DO NOT wear blindfolds.

    They sit back to back so they can't see each other's puzzle pieces.

    They can only communicate in text message.


    What are some ways you were able to get a lot of info into few words?

  • Syncing it Up

    Two people playing while the Observer watches

    An observer builds two slightly different patterns - one out of the light pieces and one out of the dark pieces.

    Each pattern is given to a different blindfolded player.

    The 2 blindfolded players must make the shapes identical, moving as few puzzle pieces as possible.


    What skills were required to solve this challenge?

  • Multiple Builders

    Three people building the same pattern while the Observer watches

    1 guide provides directions to 2 or more builders.

    The builders share puzzle pieces, and take turns building.


    What are the drawbacks of having multiple people work on the same problem? What are the benefits?

  • Co-Building

    Two players trying to build together

    2 blindfolded players each start with loose puzzle pieces.

    They must create two identical patterns using all five of their pieces.

    The players decide what pattern to create as they play.


    How did you decide what pattern to build?

  • A Guide Without a Puzzle

    Two people playing and trying to create the same pattern at the same time, with the Guide dictacting what to build

    2 builders start with loose pieces and must create two identical patterns.

    A guide decides what pattern they build.

    The guide DOES NOT have a built puzzle to refer to and must imagine the pattern they are describing.


    What's challenging about describing a picture you have in your head?

The Empathy Toy's History

It all started as a student project with a very specific assignment: design a navigational aid for the blind. Address the key questions of, "Where am I? Where am I going? How do I get there?" ...and how a visually impaired person might get others to help them answer them.