Sunday, January 5, 2020

How to Make a Board Game DIY

          I have always loved making board games since I was a small child. Of course, the quality and type of these board games has changed a lot over the years. At first, I would take board games that were already made and change them. It all started when I bought a Jumanji board game that didn't have all the pieces, so I had to make my own rules.
          There is no wrong or right way to make a board game. If you are just starting out, the best thing to do is to pick a board game you like, and copy some of the aspects of it. For example, a lot of people start out by making a game that is like Monopoly. I have never made one like Monopoly, but I know lots of people who have.
Steps to Make a Board Game
  1. Make a list or sketch of what you think the game is going to be about. Here is an example of the notes I made as I thought about how to make the Loolilia board game. If you buy and play the game, you will notice that although it is similar to these notes, it also is different. The important thing to do when making these notes is to get all of your ideas out, even if they don't make sense in the order you write them.
    My original notes for Loolilia
  2. Make a rough draft of the board game. Make the board, tiles, and/or cards you think you will use in the game out of regular paper. You can draw it first, or you could create it on the computer with a program such as Microsoft Word or Photoshop. 
  3. Play the game using the rough draft with at least one other person. It is important you test out the game with other people so you can see any flaws in the game, or anything that is confusing to others.
  4. Edit your rough draft, and play the game again. If possible, it is best to follow this step multiple times.
  5. Write instructions for your board game. This is a crucial step. Sometimes people don't want to write the instructions because they think that they will remember the rules anyway. Speaking from experience, it is likely you will forget the instructions. Also, if you write the instructions, it's easier to explain the game to others, or for others to play the game without you.
    The rules to the rough draft for Loolilia
  6. Finalize your board game. This could mean drawing a nicer copy on paper, printing off a nicer copy, or getting the board game printed through a website such as The Game Crafter.
Suggestions for making a board game on paper:
  • Get 2, 4, or 6 pieces of cardstock and tape them together to make a game board. Make sure the tape is on the backside so it doesn't cover your design. It's best if you don't layer the paper, but lay it next to each other so that it can fold after taping it.
  • Laminate the cardstock after making the design, but before taping the pieces together. Also, you can laminate any cards you make.
    The original character cards (laminated)
    Printed and laminated tiles from the rough draft of Loolilia
  • Use materials you already have to make the playing pieces for your board game. When I first made Loolilia, I used Mega Blocks Dragons (similar to Legos) pieces for the playing pieces.
  • Use a cardboard box to store your board game. Decorate the box as well. You can glue decorative paper on to cover the box.
  • You can buy white cardboard playing pieces with stands. These can be colored on, or have images printed and glued on them. I used this on Amazon.
I just ordered a copy of Loolilia (my final draft from The Game Crafter), so when it arrives I will be uploading images of the final copy. 

The most important thing to remember when making a board game is to have fun with it!

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