How to Make a Board Game That’s Creative and Playable

How to Make a Board Game That People Will Love

Board game development relies on your creative vision, but that can also prevent playability. Here’s how to make a board game that people love to play.

Why trade wood for sheep when you can create a game about sheep rearing?

We’re deep in the golden age of board games. There are games out there to match every theme, gameplay style, and group size. If you’re entering that busy genre, you might want some pointers.

Here’s how to make a board game that people will love.

Sir Gamealot

An excellent author is well-read. The same holds true for board game designers.

If you want to design a creative board game, then you need to have a played a lot of them. This will give you the ability to come up with new systems, spot flaws, and, above all, make your game fun.

Educate yourself on what’s out there. You might even find your idea already exists – in which case, you’ll need to do it better!

Settling for Catan

Every board game falls into some kind of genre. For the purposes of design and marketing, you need to understand what category your game will reside in.

Your board game could span multiple genres, but it’ll still retain many of their core elements. For instance, games like Blood Rage and Eclipse both combine multiple genres.

So before you go on the hunt for rocking concept art to inspire you, you need to settle on your basics.

All The Meeples (So Many Meeples)

Both your gameplay and your theme will influence what pieces you’ll need to include with the game.

Eurogames, for example, tend toward the abstract. They often use wooden meeples to represent ideas like economics and politics. 

If you’re aiming for a pen and paper styled game, you might need players to bring their DnD dice. These are just two examples that show how diverse a board game’s components can be.

These will all factor into the final price of your board game, so they’re important considerations to get right.

Ticket to Write

Board gamers usually enjoy details. That’ll be a strength when you plan out your own game.

You should sketch out the basic principles of your game before you get anywhere close to designing a finished project. This’ll help you create your systems and ensure they all interact well together.

Speculative Ops

It’s a rare modern board game that doesn’t have some kind of errata. Some even undergo significant changes for second or third editions.

That alone is proof enough that prototyping is vital to board game design. That’s how you’ll iron out the kinks and bring your game as close to perfect as can be.

Prototyping and iterating will allow you to design and test your game with other people. What works in your head might not function right in the cold light of day. The more eyes on a project, the more likely it is for flaws to become apparent.

How to Make a Board Game the Right Way

If you’re trying to find out how to make a board game the right way, then you might have discovered that a lot of it lies in preparation. Designing a board game is a long, drawn-out process, so get ready for some hair-pulling before you get close to the fun and satisfaction of the finished product.

Ready to design your game’s theme? Check out some art ideas that could bring your game to life. 


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