Board Game Tips

How to get started

Creating a board game based on a battle book can be easy and fun. A great starting point might be a general discussion of the characters, places, and plot twists from your book that might make fun parts of game. Characters might be player pieces/pawns? The places in the book might be squares or maybe just part of the decoration? A mix of good and bad events that befall the characters might be put on game spaces to advance players toward the finish space or set players back.

Check out the Board Game brainstorming sheet from Coaching Resources and Tools

Deciding on a game path

Game paths can be winding like Chutes & Ladders or Life, go around a square like Monopoly, follow a spiral, or have start and finish spaces like Parcheesi. You might have a team meeting where you share some favorite board games and look at the paths on those popular games.

The Internet has many board game templates to give you ideas.

A favorite tip from previous teams is to use sticky notes to plan your "spaces" before teams start actually drawing on their game boards. With sticky notes, you can keep moving actions or other aspects around until the game works the way you want.

Break out the art supplies

Your team is encouraged to illustrate the spaces or open areas of your game board to make it colorful and fun to view. While team members should be doing the work of creating the game, coaches can help by providing pencils, markers, paints, stickers, or other art supplies.

Steal from games you own

You can use dice, spinners, and player pieces/pawns from commercial games team members may already own.

See what other teams have done

Ideas can be sparked by looking at other teams' board games, or it may help to see how they handled an issue you are working on.

View Board Games from Previous Teams

Write up the rules of play as your last step

The rules of your board game should written clearly for anyone to follow. Again, you might look at games you already own for simple statements such as "The object of XYZ game is..." and "The first player to [reach the finish line or earn x points] wins the game."

In the Games Arena

Upon arrival at the Games Arena, each team will set up its board game for other teams to play. Each board game will be played by at least two other teams. Judges will be moving throughout the arena completing their scoresheets to evaluate each board game. At the end of the time slot, each team will need to clean up its board game and take it with them.