Transformation Game Workshops

The Transformation Game – the Game in the Box

This game is such a fabulous, unique and amazing tool! It changed my life; not only the first time (at Findhorn, in the fall of 1996) but a number of times, profoundly. Here is my sharing about ways you can use it.  Be sure to also visit the official website for more information.

§  Playing The Transformation Game

The Transformation Game is a board game that was created in the 1970s by Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler, who worked at the Findhorn Foundation, a spiritual center in Scotland ( Now they live in Asheville, NC and offer game events and facilitator trainings at InnerLinks Associates (

The game looks like any other, with a game board, paths, markers and cards. However, the path does not end in a goal and is not a competition. Each person has their own playing path, each space they land on reflects directly on their intention for the Game. Thus, the player’s game provides a playful yet substantial way of understanding and gracefully transforming your life. As you move along your ‘life path’ in this board game, you gain wider perspectives on your particular patterns and attitudes, recognize your strengths, review and resolve challenges, and explore new possibilities. It is multileveled, complex, challenging and fun — an effective tool toward realizing your highest potential and achieving your life purposes.

§  Understand the meaning of the game

The game reflects what is happening in your real life. It is a tool for personal, group and intuitive development. The players and the facilitator enter into a deep, soul-searching process that can be challenging and transformative; may cause emotional upheaval; and may lead to release of old patterns and locked-in behaviors, opening up new horizons and possibilities. Even as the game plunges players into a profound viewing of their life journey, it is usually also fun and lighthearted, with surprises that can be totally hilarious.

Because the game goes deep, participants and facilitator agree at the start to observe confidentiality, thus creating a safe space for everyone to share from their hearts and be open and honest about their current life situations and the problems they may be struggling to resolve.

Each person comes to the game with two intentions, what they want to give and what they want to receive. Examples of what to give:  Full, focused intention to the other players, my sense of humor, compassion and understanding, etc.

Players are invited to consider what is “up” for them at this point in their life – it may be career issues, a family situation, a relationship issue, health problems, a financial conundrum or any other issue that demands their attention at the time. The player states an intention for what she wants to receive, accomplish or learn by playing the game.

§ Examples of intentions (what to receive):

*I intend to fully release my former negative attitude toward my mother, heal my relationship to her; and extend my love and joy to her.

*I intend to discover what has held me back from progressing in my job, and find a new way to relate to my daily tasks, so that I will experience joy and fulfillment in my working life.

*I intend to give up my tendency to criticize my wife, and find new ways to appreciate and love her wholeheartedly

*I intend to find a way to finance my dream journey to Europe.

By setting an intention, the player sends their call out to the Universe and, through the Game, the Universe responds to the call. During the game process, the player usually receives the insights they were asking for or needing. The game does not provide a yes / no answer to life’s complex issues, instead it opens up a wider perspective for the player. E.g. a player sets this intention: “I intend to resolve my issues with my marriage.” The game will not tell the player whether or not they should divorce. Rather, the game will reveal insights of what their life will look like if they chooses to stay; and also how their life may unfold if they divorce. It is like having a black-and-white photo of a scene change into color  – you see everything in a new, expanded perspective.

§  Understand How the Game works

The Transformation Game is designed so that any person may buy the game box from a store, or through the InnerLinks website, read the instructions included and play the game together with other people. Often people come across the game the first time by joining a game workshop led by a certified facilitator. Generally, people find that they benefit from playing the game with a facilitator one or a few times before venturing to play it on their own. That way people gain familiarity with the process and later on they may buy the game box so they can play the gamemany times again.

Certified facilitators are equipped with a manual of instructions that are more extensive than the instructions that come with the box , and trained to facilitate a highly complex game process, giving players an experience that is profound and transforming.

The game board has four life paths, each designed in a Celtic knot pattern that has no end. On the board, there are four packs of cards – angel cards (which were invented for The Transformation Game), insights, setbacks and universal feedback. At the start, each player rolls the die to determine how many cards to place in their “Unconscious” envelope, without looking at them. These cards come up as the player proceeds through the game. Each player begins with their marker in the center circle on the board. Then the player rolls the die, and when the marker lands on an angel square in the center, the player is born, leaves the center and begins moving their marker along the life path. They now receive a score card for the Physical Level, and draw an Angel card from their Unconscious envelope to serve as their guardian angel throughout the game process.

On the life path, the player encounters 11 different squares: An Angel square, Appreciation, Blessing, Depression, Free Will, Insight, Intuitive Flash, Miracle, Service, Setback and the Transformation square. When a player lands on a square, they follows instructions for that specific space. On some squares, the player takes action that awards them “awareness tokens,” also called “blessings.” These are placed on the score card. Players may also receive “service tokens” and “pain tokens” depending on how their game unfolds.

Players move through four different playing levels – the physical level, the emotional level, the mental level and the spiritual level. As they complete their physical level score card, they move to the emotional level, and so on. Each level offers its own unique insights. A player completes her game when she has used all the cards in her Unconscious, released all her pain tokens and filled all her score cards.

§  How to use the Game for individual as well as group development

The game is know for synchronistic occurrences. At the Findhorn Foundation, very often players who sign up for a workshop do not know each other beforehand. Even so, players may move through the game in synchronicity with one another. One player lands on a depression square, within a few minutes another does the same, and yet another; and suddenly all players are dealing with pain – pain they experienced at some point in their life. Then, as the game continues, when one player emerges out of their state of depression and encounters relief and joy, simultaneously, the other players do the same!

While serving as a tool for individual development, the game can also be a tool for team development and group work. In Findhorn Foundation, the game was used for team building on a regular basis. The kitchen department, the maintenance department, the management team and the finance department – all these different work teams benefited from playing the game. Especially when a new group formed, or a new project was initiated, the game came in handy to help surface questions, problems and things to keep in mind. The game also can help teams brainstorm new ideas and find new solutions.

When a team gathers to play the game, they agree on a group purpose for playing, as well as playing with individual purposes. As the game unfolds and players progress through squares, they consider the meaning of cards and events from both individual and group aspects. The process provides a rapid way for group members to get to know each other beyond surface level and genuinely bond. The game helps groups develop a supportive and caring approach to their daily work. Not surprisingly, when a group plays, group cards come up frequently. Group cards indicate that a problem or an insight relates to everyone present. The facilitator needs to stay aware of both individual purposes and the overarching group purpose and remind players of both, as needed.

§ Logistics and timing

game board has four paths. Traditionally, the Transformation Game is played by two, three or four players. However, five or six players can also play. For more than four players, the facilitator may ask players to share a path but use their own markers; or, the facilitator may use two game boards set up side by side on the table, providing up to eight paths.

A group of three people can receive valuable insights during a game that lasts only three of four hours. For four players, a period of four or five hours is advisable. Even a small group of two or three players may want to play a whole day, and four or more players definitely benefit from setting aside a whole day for the game.Other forms of games developed by InnerLinks include The Solo Game; The Game of Transformation, a larger format played over four days; the Planetary Game which is played over several days and may include 100 or more players; and Frameworks, a game process suitable for businesses and organizations.

Joan Newcomb is a Certified Transformation Game Facilitator, trained by Joy Drake and Kathy Tyler in 1997. Over the years, she’s facilitated innumerable games games of up to 6 people at a time. She presently hosts them in people’s homes (or locations you provide) in the Puget Sound area or in her workshop space in Tacoma, Washington. Email Joan to find out more, or schedule a game.