4 Things to Consider Before Designing Your Own Tabletop Game

April 9, 2017

Ever thought of designing your own tabletop game?

You’ve played enough games to know what makes a game fun, challenging and interesting. Maybe you’ve already invented a tabletop game, but you only have one working prototype and the game pieces are mainly loose change and gum wrappers.

With today’s resources, designing a tabletop game has never been easier. Work with your idea and make your game come to life.

Here are a few things you need to consider before you send your game idea off to the printers.

1. Has this game been designed before?

Not a fun idea to explore, but an important one. Your creative genius might be inspired, but there are only so many basic concepts for tabletop games. New games are being created every day.

You need to know what aspects of your game have been used before and how. Play every board game you think might be similar and take away ideas. How can your game be better, fresher? What would make it stand out from the competition?

2. How well does your prototype work?

Put your creativity aside for the moment. Artwork is the last thing you need to consider when it comes to designing your own board game. First, you need to make sure the game works.

Create a rough draft and play it a few times. Ask friends to play it. Get outside opinions and constructive criticism. If you’ve got an idea for a new board game, the tabletop gaming community at Game Goblins would love to help you out. Our play space is a great place to find new players to challenge your prototype with new perspectives.

3. What kinds of pieces will your game require?

Cards, dice, chips, salsa? Right now, your prototype might be notebook paper and index cards. What kinds of pieces will players need to make the game come to life?

Will your game be minimalistic like Cards Against Humanity or complex, involving lots of pieces and cards, like Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization. Creating a tabletop game is more affordable now than it has ever been before. So there is no shortage of creative resources to work with. Ask around. Do some research.

Need a place to start? Check out The Game Crafters: https://www.thegamecrafter.com.

4. Lastly, consider the theme.

Your prototype is polished, you know what pieces you want each player to work with, now your game needs to be unified with a theme. You may have had a few ideas when you started designing your prototype. Now you know exactly what theme works with all aspects of your game.

You could keep it simple with just a matching design for all the game’s pieces, or go all out with a storyline and diverse characters. Developing your theme and artwork is the final step. It’s usually the most expensive step in developing a board game, so you want to get it right the first time.