People love board games and for some the challenge of making one is as big as winning the game itself. The possible prestige of creating and marketing a board game is a goal many pursue with passion. So what’s involved in making a board game?
There are many aspects to board game creation but the first and most important is the idea itself that will be the foundation of your game. However before you even work on that you need to make a few decisions regarding the target group for the game. For example, is it for young children to stimulate growth or learning in some way or is it for older ones that just want to have some fun? Is it targeted at adults that want to be stimulated or have their mental faculties challenged? Is it a fun way to get people out of their comfort zones and take a risk? Is it a fun game to just bring the family together for some quality time?
Once some of these frame work directives are established you need to look for an idea. Now you don’t have to sit and meditate until you’re inspired with an original idea. You might starve to death in the process. It can be developed by taking a number of parameters and moving them around. For example choose one or two from a selection of possible platforms such as, discovery, risk, task, challenge, reward, suspense, action, bargaining, speed or knowledge.
Decide what will be the end objective from the platform you have chosen. For example, ‘discovery’ could be a ‘who done it’ murder game such as Cluedo, ‘risk’ could be a financial game to pursue wealth such as Monopoly, ‘task’ could be a drawing game such as Pictionary and so on.
Be flexible with these ideas, as they’re only a guide. The next thing to consider is the process of the game. Will you have dice, cards, actions, questions, guessing, timers, scoring or some other form of chance? Again choose one or two and see what you can come up with.
Once you’ve got some framework ideas you can add others into your game to give it a twist and make it original. For example can you apply strategy to your game where working with an opponent helps to defeat a third? Or suspicion to promote decision making? Can you incorporate a “ball from left field” creating the need for flexibility? Can you incorporate a challenge that will make them think out side the square? Can you add a loss factor to promote character or technical difficulty for endurance?
If you have gone through this process and developed an idea you have to bring it to maturity. You do that by playing it over and over to identify and solve every problem. The most important issues to consider are, playing time, enjoyment level and technical difficulty in regard to the target group. Talk to the players and find out what they liked and disliked about the game and refine until they just have to play it again!
Finally, you need to decide whether you want to take the game to market and generate an income from it. The major game companies are very difficult to get into because of their in house and contract game designers. One great alternative is to approach the “make your own board game niche” and sell to them directly the outline of the game, the graphics for printing and the instructions to create and play the game. You can then sell it on the internet.