I love making up games. Some turn out to be really fun, and others… not so much. But for any kind of board game, there are at least a few things you’ve got to have. This series will cover how to make some of the things you need to create your very own board game.
First I will list a few things that your game can be about. Choose a kind of game that you like to play, but also keep in mind that, say Chance games are easier to make than Strategy. (At least for me!)
Drawing/Art (like Pictionary)
Get up and do something! (like Charades)
The Board: Every board game has to have a board – that’s the whole reason it’s called a board game! You can make a board out of stiff paper, thin cardboard, or you can cover an old game-board with paper and start over! (Make sure that you or your family don’t want the game before you cover it!) Another great way is to draw the board on cardstock, and laminate it. You can even tape together four pieces of paper after they are laminated for a bigger board. Here are a few suggestions for making the board to get you started, but there are many more ideas you can use.
Square: Think Monopoly – a square or rectangle, divided into spaces, going around the outside of the board. The nice thing about a square is it’s easy to make. Also, it allows room for you to put the name of your game or the logo in the center, as well as any stacks of cards.
To make a square board, use a ruler to make straight lines a ruler-width away from the edge of the board. Also use the ruler to divide the square you just created into spaces. Make sure the spaces are big enough to hold several playing-pieces at once. (Note: If a ruler-width isn’t wide enough, trace something else to make bigger spaces, or measure at intervals along the edge.)
Circle: A circle board is more interesting than a square board, but it is hard to make one big enough to hold an adequate number of spaces, and the edges of the spaces will be slightly curved instead of the nice straight edges of a square space. A circle board still has room for the logo and stacks of cards, if you make it big enough.
To make a circle board, find two circle shaped objects, one smaller than the other, and trace around them, making sure the smaller one is centered in the big one. Divide the circle into spaces.
Squiggle: This shape allows you to fit many spaces into a board, but there isn’t much room for anything else. A squiggle also lends itself nicely to shortcuts (more on that in a later post.)
To make a squiggle board, take your pencil back and forth across the board in a zigzag, but with curved corners. There isn’t a good way that I know of to make the squiggles nice and symmetrical, but just try to parallel the two sides evenly. You can make tight squiggles for lots of spaces, or loose squiggles so you have room to draw pictures, the logo, or put cards in between them.
Stepping stone: Stepping stone spaces are made of individual pieces instead of one connected loop. The nice thing about this is you can use up pretty scraps of paper making it! You can fill up the entire board with spaces, but be sure to draw arrows that show which way the playing-pieces are supposed to move, because it’s hard to tell when the spaces aren’t connected.
To make a stepping stone board, use a circle or square hole punch to punch spaces out of pretty or plain colored paper. Draw arrows showing which way the playing-pieces are supposed to go.
So there are a few suggestions for the board. A few more things:
Be sure to make your Start and Finish spaces big enough to hold the maximum number of playing pieces for one game. (In other words, don’t make the Start space only big enough to hold one playing piece when there are 5 players trying to fit their pieces on Start.)
Have fun decorating around the board. You can draw things pertaining to the game (i.e a forest landscape if the game is about woodland animals), or decorate it with doodles and designs.
Make up your logo. Decide on the name of your game, and write it in fancy lettering somewhere prominent on the board.
I hope you are inspired to make up a game! Next up will the spaces of the board.