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Wingspan designer’s next game explores the wonders of Mother Trees

Mycorrhizal magic.

The designer behind the bird-themed board game Wingspan – Elizabeth Hargrave – has revealed that her next title will focus on Mother Trees.

Yet to be given a title, the upcoming board game will centre around the concept of mycorrhiza, or the symbiotic relationship between mushrooms and plants.

“I am currently working on something on a game that is about the fact that mushrooms and trees trade resources with each other,” said Hargrave, in a recent interview with Dicebreaker, “there’s this great book called Finding the Mother Trees that served as inspiration, so the title could be Mother Tree."

Johnny, Lolies, Matt and Meehan play the digital version of Wingspan.

Hargrave confirmed that the board game would see players becoming Mother Trees, which are, as described by Suzanne Simard in her aforementioned book Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, ancient giants that have developed relationships with other plants and fungi through an interconnected web of roots.

As these Mother Trees, players will be using a “shared set of mushroom cards,” that they’ll be building networks with, similarly to the real-life forest bastions. Using these connections, players will be able to better spread out their seedlings and establish beneficial relationships between them and the various mycorrhizal fungi surrounding them.

Besides Wingspan and the upcoming mycorrhizal-themed board game, Hargrave is also responsible for designing Mariposas – a board game about the migration patterns of endangered Monarch butterflies – and co-creating The Fox Experiment with Jeff Frazer, a recently announced board game that is based on a real-life experiment run by the Soviet government that explored the science behind the domestication of wild foxes.

Wingspan board game in Coronation Street
Image credit: ITV

Hargrave’s debut design Wingspan – which made an appearance in the British soap opera show Coronation Street earlier this year – sees players competing with each other in order to gather the most points by attracting various bird breeds to their habitats. The board game has players taking turns to acquire cards, place birds on their boards by paying the required food and lay eggs on select birds. Depending on the bonus scoring requirement for each round, players will be able to acquire points both throughout the game and right at the end. Whichever player has the most points by the time the game is over is named the winner.

A Kickstarter campaign for Hargrave’s “Mother Tree” board game is set to launch sometime next year.

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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.