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Barry and Jason - Designing Sustainably, The Whole Buffalo Way!

Are you looking to save the world, one game design at a time? Then have we got the animal-themed design mantra for you! We call it The Whole Buffalo.


Because back in the days of hunting and gathering, when a majestic buffalo was brought down, not a single piece of that animal was wasted. The skin became clothing and shoes and bedding, the hair became rope, the hooves became rattles, the bones became knives, and the teeth were glued back together to make funny mouthpieces for Halloween. (We may have made that last one up, but you get the idea.) Thinking of the Whole Buffalo means you use what you've got, make as little waste as possible, and try to employ natural materials over synthetic ones. And have fun with it!

When you use the Whole Buffalo method in your design, these are the important questions to ask yourself:

  • How can I use the otherwise-empty space of my packaging more creatively?

  • Do I need to use plastic? If so, will it be made from recycled material?

  • What part of my design will become "trash" the moment the game is opened, and is it necessary?

  • Can I combine elements to make something even greater than its parts?

Beyond inventing games, we also manufacture and distribute our creations, so we know that not all of these questions will seemingly apply to inventors.

But remember that everything starts with YOU. And if you build these elements and questions into your design, then it's easier for the big corporate fat cats you're working with to see how to implement Whole Buffalo thinking into their own supply chain. Even Hasbro, one of the fattest cats in Kittytown, is banning all plastic wrap from its packaging. Meow!

As for us, we've 'Gone Buffalo' in some fun ways:

  1. We have innovated "under the lid technology," putting a spinner under the lid of Game Night in a Can, putting a dry-erase scoreboard under the lid of Dr. Biscuits' Radical Road Trip, and using the underside of the lid as the game board for our upcoming Bill & Ted's Historical Trivia Travel Game.

  2. We don't wrap our games in plastic. We just use a strategically-placed sticker or two where needed.

  3. Because you use some sheets of paper to play Game Night in a Can, we plant a tree for every can sold with Trees for the Future.

We're excited to see how else we can implement the Whole Buffalo as we grow,

and now we're even more excited to see how you do it too!

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