Did you know that board games date back to 3100 BC? The ancient Egyptians played a game called Senet, which sprung the ideas for future games.
Just as the Egyptians filled a gap in their entertainment, so can you in the board game market.
If you’re tired of playing the same games at every family gathering, why not make your own? There are so many options for games you could build your idea from. And, you can make it completely customized to your game preference and taste.
There are six steps for how to make your own board game. Keep reading to find out what they are!
Step 1: Pick Your Poison
When you think of board games, you likely picture Monopoly. This is one of the most popular board games in the world, along with Trivial Pursuit.
One is based on going around the board buying properties. The other is based on answering trivia questions to progress around the board.
Both types of board games make great bases for your idea.
Perhaps strategy games are more your thing, like chess or backgammon. Or, maybe you enjoy roleplaying cooperative board games, like Dead of Winter or Pandemic.
Before you decide on an idea, do your research. Play a variety of different types of board games to see which one peaks your fancy most.
Notice which game types are missing elements or could benefit from something new. Incorporate those changes in your version of the game.
Step 2: Make the Rules
Every board game comes with clear rules. Some are challenging and require a few plays to get the hang of. Others are simple and quick to learn.
First, identify your audience. Will your children under the age of 10 be playing? Or will the adults in your family play while the kids sleep?
Second, decide how many players you want to include. Since it’s your own game, you can ensure there are enough players for every member of your family.
Third, how do you win? Many board games include a race to the finish line or a point system to decide who wins. This is a crucial element for your game.
Fourth, figure out how players move on the board. Will they roll dice or answer questions to move spaces? Can players land on top of each other and if so, what happens?
Create a concise list of rules in a notebook with a sketch of your board design.
Step 3: Get Feedback
Before you invest more time and money into creating your board game, it’s important to get some feedback.
If you can, explain your idea to the people you’ll likely want to play the game with. Show them the board sketch and tell them the rules.
After the first explanation, make note of any questions they have. These are likely points you need to make clearer in your instructions or in the game itself.
Be open to their suggestions. After all, you want this game to be fun and entertaining for them.
Step 4: Design the Board
Once you have feedback from multiple future players and game enthusiasts, it’s time to create the board. You have a handful of different routes you can take to make it.
The first is with cardboard. While this is the cheapest option, it’s not the most durable. It is, however, great for creating the first prototype of your board.
You could also use an older board game you no longer play to cover with your design. Use software like Adobe Illustrator to print out the sheet designs to cover the board.
For a more durable option, consider using fiberglass or wood for the board. A laser cutter makes creating different shapes for your board easy.
Step 5: Create Your Components
Perhaps your family would appreciate pieces made from things found around the house. For example, stones, thimbles, tiny figurines or toys, or even colored pasta noodles.
For a more professional way to make player pieces, consider 3-D printing. You can find 3-D printers quite affordably these days or you can outsource to a 3-D printing company.
With this option, you get complete creative control over what the pieces look like. If your game has other component pieces, get them printed as well.
For trivia cards or player cards, you can use thick stock paper to print on. Then, laminate and trim the cards for extra durability. Remember to print the logo of your game on the back of all the cards.
If your game requires dice, you have tons of options for sourcing them. There are tons of reputable companies that make custom dice, like RPG dice. You’re not even limited to only six sides!
Step 6: Expansions and Customization
One of the best parts of making your own board game is the customization. You can make the entire game based on your family, set in your country of origin, or based on a movie your kids love.
You could even get the pieces 3-D printed to look like your different family members! Or, write trivia cards with questions about your family and inside jokes.
After a few months of playing this version, your routine players may be ready for a change. This is where the possibilities for custom expansion packs come in.
As you learn more about how your game plays and what people like about it, you can introduce new concepts. Perhaps you add a new special card deck for landing on specific spaces.
You could update the trivia cards with newer, more relevant questions. This is important for players who begin to memorize the answers.
You could even expand the size of the board so more people can play at the same time. Your options are endless!
Ready to Learn How to Make Your Own Board Game?
If the typical board games on the shelf aren’t satisfying anymore, make your own! There are so many options and methods to DIY your own game.
From trivia cards to property ownership, create a game that suits your players.
Use the steps above to learn how to make your own board game. Then, check out our Entertainment page for more ideas for fun hobbies.