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Lilo's Lair #56: Tips for Making a Board Game. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment. Woman Owned.

Have I mentioned I love board games? I love board games. Each year new board games come out because guess what? Other people love board games too. That, or I think it could just be a “thing” to make a board game. I have known a few people that were all into the idea of making a game.  Maybe I just hang out in game stores too much. Just kidding–no such thing.

Anyway, are you interested in making a board game? I’ve gathered some tips to help you get started. This might be the perfect project for the coming Holiday seasons. Now would be a good time to start thinking the game out. Then when you are home, surrounded by friends and family you can force them to play your game–haha!

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1. Play Board Games!

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IMAGE FROM FIVETHIRTYEIGHT

One thing that is almost necessary before making your own is playing board games. Playing a lot of them. I made a blog about my favorite board games here. Though, remember what I said? You need to play a lot of them. That is why I’ve found a few of the best board games of 2017 for you to take a gander at.

Gloomhaven is a tactical combat game. Each player is an adventurer with their own skills and reasons for wandering around. You work together as a team to defeat the creatures of this dark land. While this happens, you gain loot and increase your abilities through experience. This game a sort of “choose your own adventure” thing going on. Gloomhaven has a 9/10 on Boardgamegeek.

First Martians: Adventure on the Red Planet is based on the game Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. Players are fighting against the harsh Martian environment. The game operates through adventures and challenges. First Martians has a 7.2 on Boardgamegeek.

Codenames Duet is a sequel of sorts to the favorite party game Duets. The difference in this game is working in teams. The name of the game is figuring out who else is your ally, that is a spy for your side. Codenames Duet has an 8 on Boardgamegeek.


2. Have a Clear Concept

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IMAGE FROM WRITER’S EDIT

Having a clear concept for your game is essential. Figure out what genre of game you want, how long you want the game to be, and the rules to make it all happen. An excellent way to start that is writing it all down. Write what kind of game you want and write down the rules. This will help make sense of them. If you know similar games to the one you want to make, then take a good look at the rules of those games to help you out.


3. Know Your Audience

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IMAGE FROM NEW STATESMAN

This is important with a lot of things, like starting a business or writing a book. It is also vital for making your board game. It’s essential so that you can make something a particular group of people can really enjoy. If you don’t, you could lose focus or be trying to please too many people (and please none). Like I said, this is a typical piece of advice for anyone that is creating something that will be used by others in some way. There must be something to it.


4. Give Some Control to the Players

What I mean is, don’t make the game purely about luck or chance. Even poker at least gives the sense of some player power. Especially if one is playing the long game to win the whole pot at the end of the day. Having a game that pure chance will turn a lot of folks off, or just bore them.


5. Keep It Simple

You’ll ruin a game with complexity. Remember that people have to learn the mechanics of your game. I’ve played games that required a lot of learning, and hardly anyone wants to play it again. They felt like they still weren’t sure they “got” everything and remembered a game that was just confusing, instead of enjoyable. A few of us might be willing to put in the time to learn it, but a lot of people won’t. Simple games are sometimes the best games.  


6. Make A Prototype

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IMAGE FROM NO FILM SCHOOL

You don’t have to spend a dime if you don’t want to. The first prototype can be a bunch of cut out notebook paper that you’ve handwritten on. You can make it look better, but ignore the artwork for now. What is important is getting a fun, working game. That means playing your prototype with as many people as you can, as many times as you can. The people you get to play may not be your audience, but that may make them better at pointing flaws out.


7. Don’t Be Fiercely Loyal to Any Part of Your Game

You might need to change your game. You might even need to change it a lot. You may start off with a role-playing board game set in a haunted house and then realize it could be more fun as a spaceship adventure. Don’t be afraid or too reluctant to change your game. It’s a process so just go with it. This might mean your really cool, a no-one-has-done-it idea will need to change. That is because the ultimate goal is a fun game.

bottom_tech_border. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment.

Click here to read Lilo Nash’s profile

DISCLAIMER: THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS POST ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE AUTHOR. THESE VIEWS AND OPINIONS DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THOSE OF SALJACK ENTERPRISES, ITS STAFF, AND ANY/ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO THE SALJACK ENTERPRISES WEBSITES. SALJACK ENTERPRISES MAKES NO WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION REGARDING, DOES NOT ENDORSE, IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH AND IS NOT IN ANY WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LINKED WEBSITES OR ANY CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON IT. IF YOU DECIDE TO VISIT ANY LINKED WEBSITE, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK, AND IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO REVIEW THE TERMS OF USE OF THE RELEVANT LINKED WEBSITE.

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16 thoughts on “Lilo’s Lair #56: Tips for Making a Board Game

  1. Chatingale says:

    These are good tips to keep in mind when trying to create something like a board game. Good logic is needed when creating something.

    Like

  2. grayicemake says:

    Simplicity is the key here. I mean it is a board game for crying out loud. Conceptualizing can be a challenge I will give it that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skydragonwendymarvell says:

    The concepts can be a massive challenge I agree. Considering the fact that Board game ideas has been pretty much exploited already.

    Like

  4. Mau says:

    I was just thinking of making a board game last night! But it’s discouraging because it seems super hard especially if you want to make it commercial. 😦

    Like

  5. valine13 says:

    Good tips! It is really helpful for those who will be needing to do one.

    Like

  6. darkkvader says:

    You need to have logic that is so wild. Cant separate that to any games any of us would be making. Thanks for the tips

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing! Just like other art forms, when making one’s first board game, enjoying the process is far more important than aspiring for commercial success.

    Like

  8. There are plenty of new board games popping up everyday. Most of them are pretty successful too, so they must have followed these guides!

    Like

  9. coyleon says:

    To create your own board game, you need to play a LOT of board games… so true! This has been a good read… and I’m intrigued what are your fave board games, too, Lilo. Better check that link there!

    Like

  10. rob3rtow says:

    Instead of doing charades during family gatherings, I’d rather play a board game. It’s far less embarrassing that way. Haha!

    Like

  11. I agree with giving some control to the players so they get right into the zone when playing. I get really competitive when this aspect is placed in board games.

    Like

  12. P Siason says:

    These tips are very helpful for those who want to create their own board game. There are so many board games available in the market now. If you want to make your own board game, keep these tips in mind. My favorite tip was making it simple because we don’t really want the players to get too confused over the technicalities of the game. Keep it simple – yet ENGAGING.

    Like

  13. I grew up in a generation wherein board games are the norm, that is why I love board games because it is fun and educational at the same time. Thank you for the tips!

    Like

  14. roberachi says:

    This is really interesting, I always wanted to make a board game of my own thanks for the tips. I agree that if the board game is too complex it will definitely reduce the interest of the players since following will be an issue.

    Like

  15. Rachel the Crafter says:

    This is good for school and other private institutes. It can also be used in any activities for as long as the leader can get more creative on how they can enhance the game mechanics. Somehow most kids and adults are now into the digital game and I hope that more will encourage to use this kind of game.

    Like

  16. saviourv says:

    Quite a useful post for those who want to make their own board games. And, as you mentioned, the best games are the simplest ones to get into. It doesn’t take too much to learn the basic rules of chess or checkers, for instance, but some other games may take more than a few minutes to explain their rules.

    Out of curiosity, if you had to make a board game, what would you make it about?

    Like

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