Introduction: Create, Play, and Share Your Own Custom Board Game Online
GameStructor is an online game creator for board games, card games, or dice games. The process to create your game components is streamlined with templates, images, and a built in drawing editor. There isn't any game engine rules controlling the game pieces, rather it's free flowing as if it were an actual board game. With this instructable I will walk you through creating my game called Space Wars which is a spin off of my favorite game Battle Cry. I won't go into too much details on the rules for the game itself, but rather building the components that make up the game and putting them all together. After I create this game I will be able to play it online and have an option to share it with others within the website.
Step 1: Building Board Tiles
This game will consist of a game board, battle command cards, and attack dice. In this step, we will build out game tiles for our board. Since this is a hex board I will create hex tiles to give my battle scene art and obstacles. You can create square tiles if your board is not going to be hex board type. Tiles have the option to be moved, flipped, randomized, or frozen. The option to set those attributes will be done when adding the tiles to the board.
There are 5 options to create art for the tile.
1.) You can draw directly on the tile. You can use the pencil icon and eraser toggle your editing mode and change the background color and pencil color with the color pickers. You can also add text to your tile and change the color of the text so it stands out during the game. The background color picker allows you to change the opacity on the tile which allows you many creative options.
2.) If your not good with drawing in the editor, there are templates you can choose from that will automatically fill in the art once you click on a template. After you have selected your template you can apply your own finishing touches to it.
3.) The Pixelate button will transform any image you upload and convert it to the tile canvas in pixel format.
5.) Users with enough reputation or support the site, will have the ability to upload their own image in a non-pixel format. Image import does have size restrictions and will be reviewed by an administrator.
I'll name the tile "Nebula" and give it some game description rules. You will be able to see the description of you tile during the game in context menus. After I create asteroids, dark matter, and some star tiles, I'll create my game tokens.
(click on the images to see in depth descriptions)
Step 2: Building Board Tokens
In this step we will build out game tokens for our board. Tokens are the movable pieces used on the game board. Once a token is created you can add as many you want to the game board, just like tiles. Tokens can be either squared or rounded. In image above I have used the zoom feature to carefully color this gold coin.
You have the same 5 options to make your tokens as you did the tiles.
1.) Drawing directly on the tile
2.) Using a template
3.) Pixel Image import
4.) Copy a public token
5.) Non Pixel Image import
The game will require 4 alien tokens and 4 human tokens. Now it's time to create my game board.
Step 3: Build the Game Board
The first step to creating the game board selecting the board type. Lets stick with the default hex layout to use my hex tiles. Next I will update the boards dimensions to 15 x 10. I want to add an image background to my board, so I set board base color to rgba(19,19,19,0) and apply to both board colors. Next, I used the set background image button to add in my space effect.
I will use the drop down buttons to select which tiles and tokens I want to add to the board. After it's added I can drag it anywhere on the board. These will be the starting location for the tokens and the locked position for the tiles. Whenever a tile or token is selected it will appear opaque and an additional dialog will appear in the top corner. These are additional properties you can apply to the token, or tile before the game starts. You will be able to edit these some of these properties during game play (click on the images above to see in depth descriptions). I will layout the tiles and tokens to match the original image at the start of the instructable. The game deck and dice will be created with similar steps done used to create the game board. Lets get moving...
Step 4: Create Game Cards
The editors for the cards are similar to creating and editing tokens and tiles. There are additional fields to put a description and title for the cards. The area for artwork is the canvas (the grayed out area). After I create all my cards for my game orders deck next I will create my battle dice sides.
Step 5: Create Dice Sides
I will create each dice side with different damage numbers on them. These will be used to create my game die. Gamestructor die are not limited to just six sides which will allow fine control over game probabilities. Let's build our decks and dice.
Step 6: Create Game Deck and Dice
The following editors will allow me to add cards to my deck and dice side to my die. As you can see some cards and sides are repeated to mix up the probabilities. Card order doesn't matter here because the decks will automatically be shuffled when the game starts. Games can use multiple dice types and multiple decks of cards. Cards and also be used as score sheets, money tracking, and info cards.
Step 7: Create Game Rules
This editor provides a template to construct your games rules. You can add your tiles, tokens, cards, and dice sides to the rules to help explain. The game rules can be viewed during the game for reference only. Gamestructor cannot enforce these rules. It is up to the players to obey them correctly. When you add an component to the rules it will appear in the editor as a word with brackets around it. example: ([Nebula]) Don't worry when you save the rules it will draw out the component when viewing.
Step 8: Creating the Game
Gamestructor provides a wizard to add all your game components to your game. Follow the 7 steps to pick your board, dice, decks, max cards a player can hold, and which tokens the users can add. Step 7 is just the finalizing step.
After you create your game, you need to create your game room to host your game. You have the option to password protect your room to control who joins. Click the host button to start your game.
Once your in the game room you have to select which game to play and click host. You have three options to choose from: your games, library games, or any public game in Gamestructor. I am creating this game under the Library account, so you should be able to play if you with in the Library option.
In the last step I will go over the game room layout.
Step 9: Playing the Game
When you first start your game it will start out as a blank screen. Select one of the links at the top to navigate your game. Anything you do on any page will stay in sync with all users until the game ends. All moves are saved instantly, so if something catastrophic happens you will be right were you left off. The game room allow you text chat to all players or a video session.
Game board screen - token moves appear to all users as you move them. The add tokens button will allow you to add any additional tokens you need during the game. Click on a token will bring up the properties window to update your token.
Cards in hand screen - here is where you can draw cards to your hand, play cards from your hand, or play cards from decks directly into play. These cards are only visible to you. Any card you put into play is visible to all users.
Cards in play screen - Cards can be picked up, moved around, written on, flip over, and turned around. This is the global area for game cards.
Dice screen - select which dice you want to roll and how many and click roll. The mini viewer will be updated with the same results, so all players can see the rolls no matter which screen they are on.
That's how you create and play your game on GameStructor
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