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Board games are exceptionally and eternally fun because they mix creativity, competition and tactility to make some truly amazing experiences.
Make your own board game
Whether you prefer something as simple as Snakes And Ladders or prefer more elaborate and complex games such as Settlers of Catan or Betrayal At House On The Hill, board games offer something new and unique to everyone.
However, if every game you play leaves you feeling slightly wanting, you can also make your own board game, and thanks to modern design and printing technologies it is now easier than ever to create your prototypes.
From the simple to the truly ambitious, here are the key steps to making your own board game?
Brainstorm And Play A Lot Of Games
Creating a new game often involves a lot of elements, from art design to board structure to whether your game will include cards, dice or other elements.
Before you get to any of these, however, all games are built around a singular idea and finding that idea needs to come before everything else.
Chess for example was initially inspired by military sorties, snakes and ladders were inspired by the Hindu philosophy of destiny, and Monopoly was initially a critique of its namesake under the title The Landlord’s Game.
One great way to think of this idea is to play a lot of games and look at the elements you enjoy as well as the elements you would change to make the game more fun.
If you have house rules for existing games, think about why you have them and whether you could make a game that does not need them.
Sketch and Build Your Prototype
Once you have a starting point, it is time to build the outline of your rules.
A good way to progress with this is to continually ask questions and write down the answers, such as;
- What will the board look like?
- What setting or art style do you wish to use?
- How will the game pieces look, and will they be uniform or unique?
- Do you need extra components such as dice or a deck of cards?
- How long should the game run?
- How many players should the game work with?
And questions like these. You do not need to know everything right away, and it may take a while to think about all of the ideas.
Once you a basic outline of the rules, sketch out a basic idea of how the board will look, with how many spaces, what elements will be on the board, make a rudimentary deck of cards if the game requires it and sketch some basic tokens and player pieces.
Play, Tweak And Print
Once you have an initial prototype, it’s time to bring a few friends in and play! Playing and playtesting is a vital part of any development cycle, as whilst most elements can be analysed through the editing process, you will not know if it is fun or inherently easy to play until you try.
Essentially you are testing your rules and your game concept, and the aim is to make sure your friends can play the game using your rules and any rules printed onto cards and play pieces whilst asking as few questions to the designer themselves as possible.
Every question or issue will need to be tweaked and fixed and then playtested again.
Once you are mostly happy with the game’s mechanics, it is time to design and print your prototype,
If you need a deck or character cards, you can flashcard printer online and have them delivered in a range of sizes, whilst rulebooks can be printed and bound as required.
Even the board can be printed online, either by finding a specialist who prints onto cardboard or by printing a large format piece of paper and sticking it on later for your prototype.