Quick Look: Book: How to Create Your First Board Game (6th Edition)
Author: Aaron Frias
Publisher: Gearlock Games
Year Published: 2022
No. of Pages: 200
Reading Time: Depends upon how fast you read and/or have it read to you
From the Publisher:
We all have an idea for a board game but most of us are not sure where to start. This book will walk you through all of the major steps of designing and publishing your board game. It covers topics like creating prototypes, playtesting your game, pitching your game to publishers, printing copies of your game and provides tips for Kickstarting your game. It’s a new year and it’s time to take that next step.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided an audio copy of a previous version of Book: How to Create Your First Board Game (6th Edition). The opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
Note: I don’t currently have any board game ideas but if I did this book would take me from point A all the way to Point Z in getting it done, that’s for sure!
Rules & Setup:
I think Aaron nailed how to set up your game. He also dived into the daunting task of how rules can make or break games. A major reason I don’t play games as much as I would like is due to this fact. I feel they can make or break the game.
Theme and Mechanics:
He also dove into themes and mechanics. Discussing each of the known mechanics and why and/or why they won’t work in today’s industry. Which I feel will be especially helpful to those starting out that think there’s only monopoly and such. Sounds like in the updated version currently on Kickstarter there is a chapter that dives into: Themes that seems to work or not work on Kickstarter. Like chess variants traditionally not doing well on Kickstarter but a lot of amateurs seem to think it will.
I felt he covered this well all the way from theme to playtesting with those that feel obligated because you might live in the same house to complete strangers.
Artwork and Components:
This was also well covered and brings up things a newbie might not consider. From things as why one might want to already have the artwork completed but not get too attached if you will be seeking out a publisher. He also dove into handmade components as well as those from the game crafter and such. Even 3D printing was covered in depth.
“How to Create Your First Board Game” Table of Contents
- My First Board Game
- Building on Your Game Idea
- Common Board Game Trends
- Popular Game Mechanisms
- Game Journaling
- Importance of Playing Modern Games
- Translating Your Game into a Spreadsheet
- Your First, Hand-drawn Prototype
- Solo Playtesting
- Rough Prototypes
- Graphic Design Tools
- Design Basics
- Rapid Prototyping Using the Component.Studio online tool
- Printing your Prototypes
- How to 3D print components for your game
- Using Tabletopia and Tabletop Simulator to Upload, Pitch and Test Your Game
- Group Playtesting
- Pitching to Publishers
- Blind Playtesting
- Self-Publishing Basics
- Kickstarter Basics
- Kickstarter Trends *New to 6th Edition*
- Kickstarter Video Basics
- Rules Guide Recommendations
- Shipping Basics
- Mass Manufacturing Options
- Lessons Learned
While I didn’t read the actual words they were read to me by the great Adam Collins. I feel that Aaron went really into depth of every aspect of making a board game all the way from coming up with an idea all the way down to either selling and/or partnering with a publisher or Self Publishing it yourself. As one who has been pretty involved in the board game industry for the last 5+ years or so I’d imagine making a board game is in my future. This will definitely be a heavily used tool to do just that.
I’m not sure how much really went into building an audience before trying to crowdfund your own game, it could’ve been. But, I would’ve thought this to be more of a focus as it tends to be one of the things that gets most neglected by new board game makers on Kickstarter. I loved the fact that Aaron talked about funding goals and how they need to be lower goals to start off but not to low that you’ll not be able to create your game and get it to backers. I would’ve also liked to see Aaron dive deeper into this as well because besides not building a crowd the next biggest mistake I see by new designers/publishers is that more often than not the higher the funding goal of 1st time creators gets over $10,000 the more likely they end up needing to revamp and relaunch. Which usually leads up from their wanting to print 500-1,000 games when usually 1st time creators tend to get 300 or fewer backers. I’d also love to see more about advertising.
As one who has been pretty involved in the board game industry for the last 5+ years or so I’d imagine making a board game is in my future. This will definitely be a heavily used tool to do just that.
Players Who Like: to know what goes into publishing a game and/or wants to make their own game
After reading Lake’s review, if this sounds like a book for you at the time of this posting Book: How to Create Your First Board Game (6th Edition) will be live on KICKSTARTER until Thu, January 13 2022 10:34 PM PST, and has surpassed it’s funding goal of $1,000. Check it out and back it HERE.
Find out more at HERE.
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Lake Leafty – Owner
Lake was a pharmacy tech in just about every facet you can think of including as a veteran of the United States Air Force. He’s also a husband to his wonderful wife with whom he has been blessed to be the father of 5 great children. Due to circumstances beyond his control he got thrown into the world of Tabletop gaming. As an overachiever he couldn’t just sit there quietly playing games. So he started podcasting about games in May of 2017. Ever since then has been slowly trying to grow his evil regime starting with The Giveaway Geek
and now EBG.
Lake Leafty has done Reviews, News & Interviews which can be found HERE.