Feb. 25, 2022
Board games are making a comeback these days, and you can find many wonderful and creative games in most hobby stores or online. Have you ever thought about the fact that someone is paying to design these board games? Why shouldn't you get rich by designing the world's next red-hot board game?
Based on my research, there seems to be some general parts to making board games, starting with the basic concepts. If you need the Artwork Guidelines, please download HERE.
All creative projects start with some kind of inspiring spark. It doesn't matter which part of the game comes to you first, as long as you start with a corner of the puzzle.
You can start by coming up with a game mechanic. Maybe it's a game where people have to lie to each other or have to occupy land on a board. Once you have a starting point for the board game, write it down.
The next thing you can try is to take your core concept and brainstorm it. The brainstorming process is essentially coming up with as many ideas as possible around a specific problem or topic. You don't care about the quality of the ideas, only the process of coming up with them. Now, be as creative as possible and don't judge the ideas. Write them down.
The only thing that really binds all board games together is the use of game boards. All games must have one main goal. Players must know what they can and cannot do to reach the goal. Players must know what to do when they get into a stalemate. Other elements include game tokens, points, objectives, leaderboards, etc.
One of the core decisions you must make about a board game is how its basic design will work. In our chess example, it involves two players competing directly against each other in a head-to-head fashion. Some games have one player against a group of other players, or perhaps two or more teams competing against each other. Games can also be cooperative. The list goes on.
The basic design of your game will depend on many things, but mostly on how the core concept relates to that design.
Once you have at least the basics of what can be played, you will need to test it. While the game may work well on paper, problems or new opportunities may arise once the game actually starts.
During the early prototype phase, you will most likely test the game on your own or with friends, family, and others who are developing the game with you. In other words, test it internally.
Prototypes should be very rough. It makes no sense to spend time and money on artwork and expensive materials when you simply don't know if the core game will work. The good news is that there is plenty of simple software available to help design everything from board layouts to 3D models for 3D printing. There are now 3D printing stores that can produce your designs at very competitive prices.
At some point, you will need people outside of your inner circle to test your game. Here you will really learn where the blind spots are and meet the cunning minds of gamers. The most important thing is to get detailed player feedback and a comprehensive record of all sessions. These balance issues must be tweaked until they become acceptable.
If you want to sell your game to the mass market, you need a lot of different things to come into place. The traditional approach is to bring your prototype board game to a game publisher in the hope that they will buy it from you or strike a royalty deal. If you do get results, this is the path that won't cause headaches. The publisher is ready to produce, distribute, and market the game. You don't have to fund it out of your own pocket.
There are many great resources on the Internet that can provide you with very detailed instructions. There is nothing you can't learn on the Internet. The only thing that can stop you is time and dedication. If you have always dreamed of making a board game that will bring joy to others, then go for it. Even if it doesn't bring you fame and fortune, it will always be an accomplishment to be proud of.
Visit HOPES website to see more, and we're looking for game designers to cooperate.