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!
1. Play Board Games!
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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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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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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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.