March 1, 2021
Getting Started in Board Game Design?
Check out these books, podcasts, and online communities
It's tempting to jump right into designing your first board game, but you'll be more successful if you invest time in learning the fundamentals of game design and connecting with others in the community. There are many great ways to do this, whether its through a facebook group like Digital Board Game Labs, a podcast like the one produced by Board Game Design Lab Community, video content like Jamey Stegmaier's YouTube channel, or books by designers like Joe Slack. Here is a list of some of our favorite resources:
Learn the Fundamentals of Game Design
Check out this reading list maintained by the Board Game Design Lab facebook community for links to helpful books and articles on a variety of game design topics.
Play More Games
Research existing board games and create lists of ones you own, love, and want to play at BoardGameGeek.com
Join Facebook Groups
There seems to be at least one facebook group for every facet of the game design process, from prototyping and art & graphic design to marketing, creating sell sheets, finding reviewers, and more.
Get Your Game into Tabletop Simulator
Tabletop Simulator (aka "TTS") is one of the most popular online platforms for testing and playing games. Using a platform like TTS can also help you save money and time on prototyping. Check out Alexei Menardo's Digital Board Games Lab facebook group for tips on how to start building and releasing your games in Tabletop Simulator Workshop.
Create a Physical Prototype of Your Game
In the beginning, construction paper, coins, paperclips, and existing game components are a great way to get your game concept to the table and work out the kinks. But when you're ready for something that looks and feels more finished, head over to TheGameCrafter.com to order custom boards, cards, and other game pieces. You can even sell your games through their site.
Discord server communities like Break My Game and Virtual Playtesting are great ways to find game enthusiasts and designers to playtest your game, and to playtest games by other designers. (While you're there, don't forget to hop onto the Small Furry Games discord server, too.)
Write Great Rules
Here's a helpful article about rulebook writing, and what should be included in your rules. (If you need help writing or editing your rules, check out our services.)
Practice Your Pitch
Carla at Weird Giraffe Games has some great advice about how to effectively pitch your game to a publisher, and Joe Slack wrote an entire book about it. You can also join the Weird Giraffe discord server to practice your pitch (live!) once a month.
Enter a Contest
Design contests are a great way to get your games out into the world, receive feedback, and connect with other designers. Cardboard Edison keeps a great calendar of game design contests on their website.
Check out this list of board game conventions.