Board games are very great educational tools and can be a great way to integrate learning with fun.
Board games can help you learn social skills like teamwork, good morals, obeying rules, negotiation, and so on.
It can also be a fun way to learn some complex topics that may not be included in your school curriculum.
Steps to Create Your Board Game
1. Brainstorm: You have to figure out the theme and idea of your game. You can create games on several topics like history, music, math, science, fashion and so on.
2. Number of Players: Next, you have to decide if you want it to be a single-player game, or a multi-player game.
If it’s a multi-player game, what’s the minimum and the maximum number of players that can play?
You have to write that down too and include it in the rulebook of the game.
3. Rules of The Game: You’ll have to brainstorm carefully here. What are potential issues that may arise as the players move the pieces around the game board? What are the penalties and rewards?
4. Testing the Idea: Before you go along with the idea, you have to create a draft and have a friend (or a couple of friends in case of multiplayer games) play it with you. This will help you see if the idea is a good one, and help you decipher any potential errors or problems that may arise when playing the game.
You can create a hand sketch on cardboard paper and use a makeshift material as the pieces.
If you’re familiar with design software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, you can use them to design and print out sketches of your board.
5. Print /Create The Board: If you don’t want to spend too much, you can just draw the board and have it laminated and framed. But if you want to put some money into the project, you can head over to a 3-D printing outfit, and have them print out the board.
Another budget idea is to design it using computer software, then print it out and put it in a glass frame-your board is ready.
6. Create Your Game Pieces: Depending on the type of pieces, you can either have the pieces printed (in case of cards) or 3-D printed (in case of dices or other unique pieces.
Again, you can just make your dices at home, or design your cards by hand or using computer software.
So basically, to create a board game you’ll need:
- A game idea
- A rule book
- The game board
- The game pieces (dices, cards, etc.)
Now let’s do some practical- let’s create a game board:
- Game Idea: Build a Car
Each player will be able to build their favorite car upon successful completion of the game and the first person to finish building a car wins the game.
- Number of Players: 2 players or 2 groups of players.
- Game Pieces:
- A game dice
- Pieces/components of the car to be built. Each player receives one component/part when they get to the point of the board that says “Collect a car part”
- A small toy car that each player can move around the board after rolling the dice.
- Game Rules
The game starts with each player choosing the brand of vehicle that they want to build.
- The first player then picks a dice and rolls it, then they move the small toy car to correspond with the number that they got from rolling the dice.
- The second player takes a turn and does the same.
- Players receive different parts required to assemble their cars however, they can only get a part when they get to the point of the board where it says “Collect a car part”.
The parts could include wheels, doors, seats, windows, windshield, tail lights, and so on.
The parts should be handed out in a logical manner that makes it easy for them to progressively assemble a car as they continue to play the game.
- Should a player fall on the portion of the board labeled ‘return’, then they would have to go back to the starting point and would not receive any new parts until they scale through the obstacle point.
You can buy a dice and the tiny toy cars to be used as the moving pieces or use Lego parts as the moving pieces and make your own dice at home using paper.
You can print out a cube template online and trim it with scissors. Use a pen or marker to make dots on all the sides of the cubes as seen in the photo below.
Creating your first board game might seem like a challenge but once you’ve done it the first time, it becomes really easy and the good thing is that you can easily use the principles of this game to build several board games; all you need to do is to brainstorm the idea and the rules.
Creating the Game Board
Your game board will look like the one below, you would only have to substitute ‘collect a rock’ with ‘collect a car part’.
You would also need a dice and an object that each player can move around the board. Dinosaurs were used in the sample below but you can use any object or tiny toy cars so that it correlates to the theme of the game.
You can also expand your board to make the game more extensive and interesting.
Another thing is to add obstacles to the game such as a point in the board where each player would have to return to the beginning of the game should they fall on it.
If you follow these steps carefully, you would have created a very interesting board game suitable for school projects and children of all ages.