From Mind to Paper

Inspiration and Brainstorms.

My journey into creating a board game started as an idealistic dream some time ago, but in terms of actually doing something about that dream, it started on the 1st April 2020. We are in lockdown due to COVID-19 and I am currently furloughed from my job as a Maths teacher. So I decided to use this time to better myself and if it ended up being more than just a project then that would be amazing.

So, I set out to become a board game designer. Sounds cool, fun and can’t be that difficult. Well, there was my first hurdle to overcome. Its a very small industry and there are lots of people who want to make board games, so making a name for yourself is pretty tough. But I started doing some research and trying to plan out a process that would help me to achieve my goal of ‘Create My Own Board Game’. I took massive inspiration from the creator of my favourite board game Scythe, Jamey Stegmaier. He created a video called ‘10 Steps to Design a Tabletop Game‘, which, if you are interested in the process, is definitely worth watching. I used this to create a rough plan using Trello as you can see below:

The plan was laid out and I was ready to start ticking things off of my to-do lists. So how has it gone so far?

WEEK 1 – INSPIRATION – Achieved.

It started off well and I found gathering lots of INSPIRATION fun as what I really enjoy about board games, other than physically playing them, is learning about new ones and the mechanics involved in them. So I blitzed my first week, things were going well and everyday I woke up excited to watch my next review video or selecting what game to play next.

I was feeling inspired and knowledgeable in a wider range of board games. I had also created an Instagram account and whilst there wasn’t much traffic there to start off with, I was enjoying that process as well.

WEEK 2 – BRAINSTORMING – Not Quite

There was definitely a storm in my brain, but I wouldn’t say that the ideas were fully flowing. One frustrating element I was finding was that some of the best ideas I would have would come when I was trying to sleep at night. This mean that I would often know I had an idea, but couldn’t quite remember the full details. So I have now tried to compartmentalise my ideas when lying in bed. So when something new has come to me I’ve focused on the basic concept and told myself to remember it the next day. This has really helped and when I wake up I can focus on those concepts and then develop the ideas from there.

So whilst BRAINSTORMING hasn’t gone perfectly, I have put pen to paper and made notes and jotted down ideas. I even managed to play around with Tabletopia (A website dedicated to playing board games online), it may look strange and very basic, but I’m pleased with the first steps:

And that is where I am currently. I’ve been geeking out making ridiculous spreadsheets to track my Instagram account as well as putting every board game I own into categories and I’ve also put the ball rolling to create a logo for The Cardboard Club. So all in all, a good start and I’m looking forward to the next steps.

Please get in touch if you want to know more about the process I’m going through and follow my Instagram to see various different board games being played.

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