How to Design a Tabletop Game

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17 Comments on “How to Design a Tabletop Game

    1. Here is the best thing on game design I have ever read:
      gamedesignconcepts.wordpress.com

      It’s a course that is now free to pursue, and it brings up and organizes the information and background on what you should know and consider as a game designer better than anything i’ve read before or since

    2. Hello Jamey and everyone. I am still in the midst of reading this entire treasure trove of information, but one thing I am actively searching for are manufacturers for different components of the game I’m working on, particularly miniatures. Although I am still a ways away from launching my project, budgeting early on is very important to keep a realistic amount of components in the game and know where they might be coming from. The one that I’ve been most having trouble with are the detailed miniatures. The two main options are injection molding and plastic casting for large quantities. Injection molding has higher start up cost, but the price per unit tends to be lower than plastic casting. I am already working with a couple sculptors to create the models, but finding a cost effective manufacturer seems to be a challenge. Most of the American companies I’ve talked with have directed me for large orders to China. I don’t mind ordering from China, but a little more specific direction would be greatly appreciated.

      So on this note, since I noticed Scythe (very fun btw) had detailed miniatures along the same lines as what I’m making. Would you be willing to share who you had manufacture them, or possibly other companies you considered?

      My question to other creators out there is the same: who have you found?

  1. Great recommendations Jamie! I have found Board game design lab one of the most comprehensive and accessible resources online. Of the ten or so books I’ve read on game design, Kobold game design is one of the best overviews. The essay style captures what many other books covers in theory.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Tim! I’ll need to check out that book. I also have Board Games That Tell Stories in my queue–have you read it?

      Also, I agree that Board Game Design Lab is awesome. I’ve had the pleasure of being on Gabe’s podcast a few times.

      1. Thank you for the recommendation, I’ll definitely check it out. It looks like they have a blog with the same content, but is difficult to find a good starting location. Maybe the book is more focused / actionable.

        Currently the next book in my queue is “Characteristics of Games” MIT Press, which I have heard good things about.

        It does seem that a lot of game design resources are scattered around forums, blogs and a few podcast with a limited lifetime.

        Do you think there is any interest in a “getting started” blog about game design from the perspective of someone new to the industry?

  2. Hi Jamey,

    Is there a manufacturer you could recommend that can supply printed boards in A1 size (23.4 x 33.1 in) approx?

    Shane

      1. What about them have you liked? I checked their website just a little bit ago and it seems they are pretty well equipped. Most of the places I’ve talked to can’t do all of the components I’m looking for. So that is definitely nice. How have they turned out for you costwise and with customer service and timeframes?

        1. I’ve liked their prices, their quality, their speed, and most importantly, their communication and trustworthiness. And they can make anything. They don’t manufacture everything in house, but they’ve spent a ton of time vetting other factories to make great wooden pieces, miniatures, etc, and they’re always trying to find better factories and back-up factories so the customer doesn’t lose out when something goes wrong somewhere along the supply chain.

          It may sound like I work for them, but I don’t! :) I’m just an extremely happy customer.

  3. For a second there, the thought entered my mind that they must be paying you to say all that. Haha. Good to know. I hadn’t heard about them yet and they may end up being a good fit.

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