They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. That holds for a kitchen remodel (maybe not) and designing your own board games. Let’s face, as great as board games are, if you play them often enough, then you could get bored. That is why you’re well within your rights to create your own board game. First, you have to decide what type of board game you want to invent. You’re choices are as endless as the results of a dice roll. They include the following:
- Two-player abstract strategy games: These are the games where each player knows exactly what is going on at all times. In other words, they can see the board before them and need to make moves to set up moves. Examples are things like checkers, chess, Othello, backgammon and the ever-popular Hare and Hounds.
- Multi-player elimination games: With these board games, you play until there is only one winner due in no small part to the bankrupting of your fellow player. Games like Monopoly, Jenga, Risk, Axis & Allies and the ever-popular Hey, That’s My Fish are examples of this type of board game.
- Multi-player non-elimination games: There is no chance to take a snack break while everyone continues playing with games like Clue, Candy Land, Yahtzee, Life, Mahjong and the ever-popular Tigris & Euphrates.
Within those categories, you should determine whether your game is for the kiddies or kiddies of all ages.
Picking a Theme
Every board game needs a theme. Back in the day, every TV show and popular movie had a version of a board game. There are still plenty of those popping up today but it you happen to have a classic Star Trek or Planet of the Apes (original) board game with all the pieces, you could be sitting on a gold mine.
The End First
It will also help to decide how someone wins your game and work backwards. Basically, you want to construct obstacles to that win. It’s kind of like writing a story. Your “hero” has a goal to achieve. What makes a story exciting are the challenges that hero overcomes on route to that goal. For your board game, those challenges can be included on the squares a player lands on or in a card they must draw.
Obviously, for a board game to be a board game you need a board. This can run the gamut between flat piece of cardboard to elaborate “mousetrap” proportions. When constructing your board, remember your theme. For instance, if you game is called, Outrun The Lava, then your board should incorporate tiny active volcanoes that spews some form of lava juice.
Run A Test
Once you have the board, the challenges and the way of moving players forward, you’ll need to test this game. That means bringing in the family and friends and letting them have at it. You’ll discover all the hiccups and be able to make adjustments going forward. By the way, if there are kids in the picture, then let them be the game masters. The best way to stimulate the imagination is to create a fantasy world.
What games have you invented?