My name is Frank and I am a guy who likes board games.
The holidays are just around the corner. Which of course means spending time with family and friends. One of my favorite things to do with my family and friends is to play board games. However, we regularly get bored with the games in our current collection. This leads us to constantly having to locate and purchase new games to play. After years of constantly doing the same thing, I've realized that I'm tired paying for new board games but I still want to play them.
So this year I decided to do something different. Instead of buying a new board game I decided to make my own board game. But just creating my game doesn't help everyone else because my game may not interest you.
Inline with the holidays and this glorious time of year, I want to help those who love board games build their own board game. In this guide, you will be giving the tools and knowledge of how to build your own game. T
My game is called "Startup the Game" and I hope that through this instructable I can encourage others to build their own games and enjoy family meltdowns around their own games instead of the same boardwalk monopoly meltdown we see year after year.
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Step 1: Pick a Game Style
To start building your game you need to first need to decide what kind of board game you want to build.
With the immense number of board games out there, this task does seem a little daunting. However it is not impossible.
Wikipedia has a list of every board game that currently exists. Looking at this list for inspiration you can create your own board game and even develop your own unique set of rules. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_board_games
My game is a mixture of Monopoly and Risk, my two favorite board games.
Step 2: Sketch It Out
After picking the style of your board game, the next step is to NOT to start crafting the board and pieces.
The next step is to sketch the board and trying to figure out the rules.
Figuring out the look and rules of your board game will provide you with the ability to carefully craft your perfect board game. The sketches can also act as a guide during your stage when you put your board game together.
The sketch can be a detailed or simple as you want. But laying out your ideas on paper will make building game easier in the long run.
Step 3: Build the Board, If Needed
Not all board games need a board but many do. There are a variety of ways that you can construct your game board from the simple printed out sheet to a crafted laser cut piece of wood.
1) Draw it out.
Using cardboard or paper found around your house you can design your board using simple tools such as pens, pencils, markers, and paint. You could even use glitter!
2) Print it out
Using a design software such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape you can design a board for your game with a little more precession. Using a design software also allows you to become more complicated or integrate board.
3) Machine it out
Laser cutters are awesome and can produce really cool designs in a variety of materials. I personally like to laser cut designs on Wood or fiber glass. I would start with cardboard until you are satisfied with your design, it's more cost effective in the end.
Step 4: Make Your Pieces
After your board has been finalized you need pieces to play your game. There are a varitey of ways to generate your pieces for your game.
1) Use existing board game pieces or things from around the house.
There is nothing wrong with using tools already available to you. Look to your existing board games or small items around your house to find the pieces of your game. My personal Favorite is discarded beer bottle tops
2) 3-D designs and printing
Thanks to the massive number of 3D printing companies the price of reliable 3D printers has dropped considerably. This makes 3-D printing objects in your own home feasible. Another great advantage of this is that you don't need to design the pieces yourself.
Thingiverse- game pieces is a great resource that has objects that makers, designers, and engineers have uploaded to the public domain
It is also possible to order prints of your design online if you do not have access to a 3D printer.
I have included my own design of piece using tinkered that will hold a picture or playing card. This way you can print out many of these pieces and give them a card or color to differentiate them.
Be creative with this process and remember to have fun designing or searching.
Step 5: Cast a Die
Not every board game needs them but let's face it many of them do. So let's figure out ways to get dice for your game.
1) Existing Die
Use die from existing board games. Resourceful but kinda lame.
2) Print or design your own die
Using your favorite modeling software you can always design your own dies to be as special as you want. Of course, if you don't have a design software but still want to print things out you can always use existing designs from online resources such as Thingiverse.
For a simple die design DB3JHF crafted a design that is print ready and easily solves all you six sided die needs.
3) Smart Phone die
The great thing about smart phones is that there are millions of applications, so luck beholds there is an app that turns your smart phone into dice.
IOS: Dice by Benoit Layer is a great allows you to ways play games even if you forgot the die.
Android: Dice by Teazel Ltd forfeits allows you to pay games without physical pieces.
* Note please do not throw your phone like a pair of dice. This will likely break your phone and make you look like an idiot*
Step 6: Playing Cards
Playing cards, the easier piece of any game to get destroyed or lost over time.
Again, not all games need playing or game cards. Still having a full tool set makes you a better Board Game developer
1) Hand made cards
Using paper, cardboard or any other household material you can produce your own playing cards. Simplicity at it's finest. I opted to make hand cut and designed cards for my game.
2) Printed Out Cards
Another option is to print out your cards. Using Microsoft word you can design your cards to be printed out on a basic. A design software, like photoshop or illustrator, will allow you to design more eloquent cards. The best part is that if you lose a card you can just print out a new one.
Which might be needed after your family tosses the board after a crushing defeat...
3) Virtual Application- Flash Cards
There are a number of flash card apps designed to help people memorize a certain subject. Using this existing technology you can produce your own game cards and cut back on paper waste.
App Advice has a list of the 5 best flash card application for mobile devices. Any of these applications will provide you the means of producing your own playing cards.
I went with Studyblue because of its easy User Interface(UI)
Step 7: Quick Wrap UP
By this point you have all the core pieces for making your own board game.
- The Rules
- The Board
- Player Pieces
- Playing Cards
Note that not every board game uses all or any of these pieces.
So now you are wondering why did I read this. Honestly, I don't know but I'm betting you are a resourceful individual who is looking to add new skills to your board game development toolkit.
The idea is to make your own game fun and enjoyable without heading to the store.
Be as creative and innovative as you can be when you build your very own board game and show the world what you created.
I don't know about you but I'm ready to play some games and watch some hilarious board game fueled drama!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!