You love playing board games, but it’s time to sit down and make your own! I’ve been there. I stumbled into the world of board games and fell in love with games like Splendor, Pandemic Legacy (best game ever!), and Machi Koro. Who knew that there were more games than Monopoly? My friend is a die-hard gamer, and introduced me to a plethora of games. The more games I played, the more I realized that I too could make a board game. Here’s a few tips that I have picked up on how to make a board game.
1) Clear Vision of the Game
It’s easy to jump into making a board game, but if you want a winner, sit down and plot out a clear vision of the game. Decide on a theme, mechanics, and point of the game. Is it going to be a card game with a pirate theme in which points are scored? Do you want it to be a movement based game with miniatures on an actual board? No author begins their book writing without direction hoping that it’s a best seller. A game designer should have a clear vision of the game, and what he/she expects it to be before moving forward.
2) Don’t Overdo It!
While brainstorming up my game I thought of a million different mechanics that would make my game unique and strategic. The more layers of detail and mechanics I set began to make the game more and more convoluted. While playtesting I realized that no one would ever be able to remember all the rules I had made, and the multitude of mechanics made for a dull confusing game. It’s easy to think of lots of ideas for your game, but don’t overdo it. Your game doesn’t have to be the simplest game in the world, but it shouldn’t be the most complex.
3) Playtest Your Own Game & Than Playtest Some More!
Throughout the process of designing and making your board game you should take time to stop and playtest it. A game mechanic that sounds awesome may not in reality be that fun when you start playing it. You should play your game more than anyone else, and while you may be bias, you should continue to playtest your game to iron out kinks and ensure that the game is playing as you envisioned it. Playtesting can help the brainstorming process of making your board game better.
4) Don’t Turn Your Prototype Into an Art Masterpiece
There is a lure to instantly work at making your prototype look like a Van Gogh painting. Resist this urge! It is highly likely that the initial prototype of your board game will change drastically and frequently. You don’t want to put time and money into creating a prototype that is far from the final version of your game. I try to keep my prototypes as simple and cheap as possible. While you don’t want your game to look like garbage, you don’t want to put lots of time into something that is far from the complete version of your game. Wait to create a gorgeous prototype until the final version of your game.
5) Remember To Have Fun!
Making a board game can be frustrating. You may have an excellent idea, but find it harder to execute than you imagined. Don’t get bogged down in how long it takes to make a board game or how hard it can be at times. Remember that you are making a game for yourself and others to enjoy. If you find yourself not enjoying the process, ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” Making a board game should be fun! Enjoy the process!
What tips would you add to this list on how to make a board game? Answer in the comments or on our Facebook Community Page