I originally envisioned this project working as the equivalent of an Australian freeform in the classroom. This model would work with 20 or more students forming a community of characters aiming to fulfill some communal goal measuring happiness versus players objectives. But the components I'm throwing together to make this project were all designed for running games with a far smaller number of players.
Freeforms typically have clusters of players working toward specific ends, they also have cross factional groups with their own agendas. I've already considered this at some level, but I've been thinking about pushing it further. Since most board games seem to work best with 4-6 players, it might be better to run 5 concurrent board games, each with an evenly distributed number or players (4-6 per game). Each player would be struggling to win their own game, while working together to ensure that their game has the best team score compared to the other games being played.
I could do this really asymmetrically, perhaps running a series of "dragonfly breweries", each operated by a wealthy individual who is trying to lure the most talented individuals to their operation. Halfway through the game, you could provide a lesson on unionism, then let the workers organise in their own ways to regain power for themselves. Or play a second round of the game after discussing concepts such as socialism and communism to see which communal structures work best for the success of the group. But this initial set-up might not be the most suitable in a game for kids. I'm not worried about their ability to fathom the concepts, but more worried about their emotional maturity with regard to playing a game that is inherently stacked toward certain players. Hell, I know plenty of adults who don't have the emotional maturity to handle asymmetrical game set-ups.
More thinking to do. Maybe it'll be ready for a playtest session on Tuesday night, before my new regular Pathfinder game.