Paper Game Jam entry: Autumn Sprint

In this game a group of players has to build a tree and its ecological environment in autumn, through a series of one minute drawing sessions.

This is a really simple game that is playable with just papers, colors and a timer (in any form, analogical, smartphone, whatever can count a minute).

It has been designed for the first Paper Game Jam, held in the weekend of October 4th, 2014. The jam theme was “Autumn”.

Aim of the game is to build a five year old tree, representing autumn in the meantime. Game play is really simple: in turns (called “sprints”) of one minute, the players must create a minimal set of complete colored drawings so to grow the tree by one annual growth ring, four leaves and one special entity, typically a wood animal. If they make it in time, the tree can grow of one ring, otherwise it remains as it it. The game ends when the tree gets to five years old i.e. has five rings.


The crucial point in Autumn Sprint is being accurate and strict with the time and the drawing rules, so that you can make it in a minute but just so: this way I grant you that is great fun.

You will soon fin that a minute is really short, so you with your team must work in team efficiently (one of the several interesting feedback you get from this game).

This game is a constructive non directly competitive gam – but it’s actually a frantic race with time. Its get set up in minutes and a full game lasts about 10-15 minutes: the right time span for kids age 5-10 attention Sorriso. And in the end you also get a nice composition.

The game


Players: the game can be played by 2 to 5 players, one needs to be an adult. We tested one adult

Setting up

Setting up is very simple: you need to create some cards with just animals names that live in the woods (which may depend on the region you live in). We had porcupines, foxes, wild boards, generic“bird”, snails, squirrels; then you also need a set of color cards (like black green yellow orange brown).

You also need plenty of rectangular pieces of paper for the drawings and a set of 10 rectangular pieces of paper 10cm x 2 cm that will constitute the tree trunk.


You play in one minute sprints. Before starting the timer, the players must have their pieces of paper and colors ready.

Timer is started, and immediately one animal is picked at random and also one color; say “fox” and “yellow”.

In 1 minute the team must colour at least:
– two paper stripes (that will be used to thicken the tree ring, colours either yellow brown orange or black)
– four leaves
– the yellow fox
All drawings must have a completed outline and be fully colored inside.

If the team makes it, all drawings are added to the main composition: the stripes on the trunk sides (representing the yearly growth ring), some leaves on top, others on the ground, and the animal in the appropriate place., It the team didn’t make it, what has been produced in the minute is set aside, and a new turn begins.

In particular the rectangles are added to the tree trunk making it thicker, as in the picture.

You will get frantic, exciting one minutes, and the resulting drawings are really great at times.

In out testing we had an external judge to validate the correctness of the drawings.


I thank Matteo Nesci (9 year old) and Maia Polsinelli (9 year old) for enthusiastically testing the game.

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