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The Board Game Developer: Become A Game Design Ninja

Learn the principles of game design and game development fundamentals by developing board games
Instructor:
Yann Burrett
7,601 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated] More
Learn game design theory and apply it in a practical way to developing engaging board games
Create / prototype your own board games as practice challenges throughout the course
Be able to create a compelling experience for your players
Quickly iterate and improve your game's design
Be able to self-publish and publicly launch your own board game
Come up with new board game design ideas and execute thoroughly on those ideas

Want to learn how to be a better game designer by applying the principles of game design to board games? Learn pure game design with no game engine, framework or anything else. Just pencil and paper!

Do you have a great idea for a board game and need to know how to make it work?  Do you have some ultra smart mechanics but need to figure out the perfect theme?  Are you stuck trying to figure out where designers get their ideas from?

You’re in the right place!  We’re here to help you communicate your game design into an excellent player experience.

Starting from first principles and using fun projects we’ll help you to make board games from scratch. You’ll be having fun with your friends in just a few hours, and who knows – you may just make the next smash hit game.

Looking to create digital games? Check-out our other courses, just follow the green leaf.

Grid Game: The Designer's Toolbox

1
Welcome to the course!

Yann and Rick welcome you to the course and explain what we'll be covering in Section 1 of The Board Game Developer.


Check out the forum link attached to this video!  You can go there to share your solutions to the challenges we'll be posing to you, ask for help or just chat about the ideas we bring up!

2
Victory Conditions

Toolbox topic #1: Victory Conditions.

  • Where to start when designing your games?
  • What are some of the victory conditions that games use?
  • Let's start designing a (simple) game.

(Unique Video Reference: 2_TB_BGD)

3
The Designer's Notebook

We're going to be covering a lot of material in this course, so Rick and Yann have put together The Designer's Notebook.  In it you'll find all the lists and definitions covered throughout the course.  We encourage you to refer back to it often, and if you have any suggestions for things you'd like added to it, let us know in the discussions!

You can access it here: https://goo.gl/6sP1b1 

4
Mechanics

Toolbox topic #2: Mechanics

  • What are mechanics and how are they different from rules?
  • What are some basic mechanics we can play with?
  • What happens if we change a mechanic in our game?
5
Rules

Toolbox topic #3: Rules

  • What are the different kinds of rules
  • How does changing a single rule change our game?
  • Define the basic rules for our Grid Game
6
What's a Game?

If we're going to design some games, it's probably a good idea to have a working idea of what that means.  In this video, Yann explores some of the facets of game design and suggests a working definition for the course.

7
Player Experience Option 1 - Building from the Mechanics

Toolbox Topic #4: Player Experience (Option 1) - Building From the Mechanics

  • Where do we start the design process?
  • Player Experience
  • How do we find the right mechanics for a player experience?
  • How do we find the right theme for the mechanics?
  • Picking the right core mechanics and theme for our grid game.
8
Player Experience Option 2 - Building from the Theme

Toolbox Topic #5: Player Experience (Option 2) - Building From the Theme

  • Where do we start the design process?
  • Player Experience
  • How do we find the right theme for a player experience?
  • How do we find the right mechanics for the theme?
  • Picking the right theme and core mechanics for our grid game.
9
Test Your Understanding 1.1
10
Components

Toolbox Topic #6: Components

  • What are some of the more common components?
  • How can we use them?
  • How do we pick the qualities of our components?
  • Picking the components for our grid game.
11
Player Choice

Toolbox Topic #7: Player Choice

  • What is player choice?
  • How much choice is the right amount?
  • How do we apply choice to our game?
12
Case Study 1: Escape From The Curse Of The Temple

Yann looks at Escape from the Curse of the Temple to see how the ideas we've covered in the course apply to the design.

13
Preparing to Playtest

Game design relies on good playtesting - how do we prepare for our first playtest?

14
Using Feedback

In the first playtest of Yann's grid game, Future Sumo, we found that the intended player experience and the actual player experience didn't match.  In this video, Yann looks at what we can do about that.

15
Solve With Tuning
  1. Matching player experience to play test results
  2. How to solve issues such as being boring with tuning / tweaking rather than adding more features


16
Test Your Understanding 1.2

The Floor is Lava: Deeper into Design Theory

1
Section 2 Introduction

It's time for section 2, where we'll be making a 2-4 player, 10-15 minute game featuring a pick-up and deliver mechanic.  Let's delve deeper into design theory!

Check out the forum link attached to this video!  You can go there to share your solutions to the challenges we'll be posing to you, ask for help or just chat about the ideas we bring up!

2
Player Centric Design

Now that we have a working definition of what a game is, it's time to ask ourselves what it is we want the players to experience as they play.  In this video, Yann explroes the basic questions to ask when starting to design a game, and we being designing our first game.

3
Coming Up With Ideas

We cover 7 methods for coming up with game design ideas.

4
Design Inspiration

In this video Rick discusses his particular process for tapping into a high level of inspiration for coming improving his design.

5
Essential Experience

Unifying all the elements of a game around a single key experience can vastly improve the players' experience.  In this video, Yann explores what the essential experience is and how that relates to our game.

6
Inventory: Basic UI

In this video, we explore the concept of user interface design as we create our prototype inventory system

7
Test your understanding 2.1

Take a moment to check how well you've understood what we've covered in the beginning of this section.

8
Game Space: The Board

With the core ideas of the game decided, it's time to create the play space.  In this video, Yann guides us through designing the prototype of the board.

9
Basic Mechanics: Movement

It's time to add movement to our game!  Yann walks us through the more common movement mechanics and explores what makes a choice "interesting".

10
Cost and Risk: Actions

We're getting close to having a playable game.  In this video, Yann walks us through what other actions are needed in our game and explores the ideas of cost and risk.

11
Tradeoff and Choice: Designing Items

Our game is almost ready - in this video, we fill in the gaps and design all of the items that players can find.  as we do so, Yann builds on the idea of choice while discussing trade-off.

12
Iterative Design: The Why and How of Playtesting

Our game is made!  But... it's not ready.  In this video, Yann explores the nuances of playtesting.

13
Test your understanding 2.2
14
Playtesting The Floor Is Lava

We close out the section with a look at how the first playtest for The Floor is Lava went.

Deck Builder: Adding the Awesome

1
Welcome to Section 3!

It's time for Section 3!  Here we'll be exploring advanced concepts and techniques while we make a deck building game.

Check out the forum link attached to this video!  You can go there to share your solutions to the challenges we'll be posing to you, ask for help or just chat about the ideas we bring up!

The game Yann will build in this section is called Scrap Genius, and you can find a link attached to this lecture to play it on Tabletop Simulator.

2
What's a Deck Builder?

If we're going to make a deck builder, we should probably talk about what they are!

3
Case Study 2: Paperback

Yann shows us Paperback by Tim Fowers, a thoughtful, light and lovely little deck builder.

4
Feature Creep

There are a lot of things we can do when we feel like we don't have enough ideas for a game... but what do we do if we have too many?

5
Probability Fundamentals

This is a good refresher and overview for those of you not entirely familiar with probability calculations.

6
Probability In Your Game

Let's talk about practical considerations for adding probability into your game.

7
Creating a Game's Economy: Making the Cards

The scariest bit of making a deck builder is actually making the cards.  In this video, Yann talks us through how to design the economy of a game and apply it to a deck builder.

8
Secrets: Obscuring Information from Players

We want our players to know and understand all the information there is in a game... except when we don't.  In this video, Yann looks at how making some information secret can make a game amazing.

9
Lies: Bluffing and Betrayal

A lying mechanic can make or break a game.  On this video, Yann explores the tips and traps of using bluffing and betrayal mechanics.

10
Populating your Deck
11
Silence: Making Cooperative Games Awesome

Cooperative and team games rely on good communication.  in this video, Yann explores how to make these games even better by removing that communication.

12
Preparing to Playtest our Deck builder
13
Playtesting Scrap Genius

Scrap Genius is ready for the first phase of playtesting, so Yann and Rick get together (under the watchful eyes of Ben) to see how the game feels.  Will Scrap Genius come together?  Or will Yann have to... scrap it?

14
Advanced Choice: Dilemma

We're talked about tradeoffs and interesting choices.  But what about when every decision is a bad one?  In this video, Yann walks us through dilemma.

15
Asymmetry

We've been talking about games where everyone plays with exactly the same resources and abilities.  In this video, we look at what happens when that's not the case.

16
Publishing Your Game

You can have a truly amazing game designed... but how do you publish it?  In this video, Yann examines the pros and cons of finding a publisher and self-publishing, as well as looks at how to go about doing both.

17
Legacy Games

The future of board gaming or a terrible gimmick?  In this video, Yann takes explores Legacy games and talks about what's required to make one.

18
Writing Rules

A game can only be as good as its rules manual.  In this video, Yann discusses ways to make your manual as awesome as it can be.

Let's make a CCG/LCG

1
Making a CCG

We get started on our Collectible Card Game/Living Card Game, and Yann explains what makes a card game a CCG or LCG and what the difference between CCGs and LCGs is.

2
The UI of a CCG

CCG are all about the cards, so in this video Yann walks us through the factors of the user interface that relate to CCGs.

3
Populating your Deck: Brainstorming

CCG and LCG are going to require a lot of cards being thought up very quickly.  In this video, Yann explains why you might consider Brainstorming as a creative technique and demonstrates how to do it properly.

4
Expanding Your CCG

While CCG share a lot of DNA with deck builders, there's one major difference; the way the game expands.  In this video, Yann looks at the do's and dont's of booster packs and expansions for CCG and LCG.

Let's make a hidden movement game!

1
What is a hidden movement game?

We start work on our hidden movement game, and Yann explores what makes a game a hidden movement game.

2
Details of our Hidden Movement Game

We progress on our design for our hidden movement game and Yann looks at some of the requirements to make a game like this shine.

3
Making our Map

In this video, Yann looks at what kinds of things we need to think about for a hidden movement game's board.

4
The Rules of our Hidden Movement Game

The pieces of our game are almost in place - now it's time to come up with the rules!

5
Playtesting our Hidden Movement Game

Our game is ready to go - it's time to playtest!

Bonus Content

1
Bonus - Group Coaching Session #1 Recording

This is a bonus video of the first Group Coaching Session conducted by Rick and Yann. The video is quite long but is useful as a way to see what questions other people are asking and how their game ideas are coming along.

2
Bonus - Group Coaching Session #2 Recording

This is a bonus video of the second Group Coaching Session conducted by Rick and Yann. The video is quite long but is useful as a way to see what questions other people are asking and how their game ideas are coming along.

3
Bonus - Group Coaching Session #3 Recording

This is a bonus video of the third Group Coaching Session conducted by Rick and Yann. The video is quite long but is useful as a way to see what questions other people are asking and how their game ideas are coming along.

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