Due to the unrelenting weather we have decided to extend the deadline for our Design a Board Game competition! If you have been beavering away then you have some extra time to tweak those rules; and if you’ve been busy in the sun then you have the chance to get something started.

I was (sitting in the sun) and thinking about the many different styles of game there are out there. At Tabletop we are often asked for games with a board, and despite being a BOARDgame café, games with actual boards are definitely in the minority in our Games Library.

For the competition you were asked to design a game with a rule set no longer than 500 words, which made use of common household items as playing pieces, and a square board no larger than 30cm x 30cm. These instructions do not preclude thinking outside of the box! If you want to design a print & play game that involves a little bit of cutting out – go for it!

What’s print and play

Print and play games are a fantastic way for designers to play test ideas without worrying about production costs. Getting a game to a state where you are happy for players to actually play it takes a huge amount of time and effort. Simply sending out files for players to print their own games takes a big part of the work-load away. Along with this, many print and play games are fully finished in their print and play form. They are designed to be accessible to any one with a printer and a full ink cartridge!  Sometimes these games later go into full production after being spotted by one of the big publishers.  

Roll and Move

Role a dice, and move your piece. This is the most elemental form of game playing. Often these games take the form of a race, first past the finish line wins. Sometimes players have to answer questions according to the square they’ve landed on, sometimes a snake will knock them backwards or a ladder will give them a boost. Whatever the details, roll and move games are a board game mainstay.  

Card Games

The card games our parents, and their parents played, are still around for a good reason! Their rules tend to be well honed and precise, while remaining easy to teach and understand. These games can be seen in many modern interpretations. If you want to design a card game, simply draw the cards out in the space of 30cmx30cm, and people can cut them out. Remember that players may need multiple copies of the same card, so you don’t need to draw each iteration, they can copy the original! 

Roll and Write

This is a style of game design which has become increasingly popular over the past year or so. There are so many examples of roll and write games available for free online, and many of these have gone on to get full releases from games publishing companies. If you decide to opt for a roll and write game for this competition I’d suggest keeping it simple with two shared 6 sided dice (D6) so that as many people as possible will be able to try your game out at home.


Have fun designing, and don’t forget to playtest! Remember the most important thing about this is that it’s YOUR Game! 

Enjoy.

C