Thursday, January 19, 2012

A failure's guide to making your own board game! At least my name's not Milton!

Before you begin, I should note: you could try doing this for yourself, but I'd suggest making a game for that special someone in your life.   There are three reasons for this.  1. They are special and they deserve it.  2. It can be tedious as Hell and you will probably give up without the added motivation.  3. You can enjoy the game together by betting household chores and sexual favors.  But more on gambling addiction later.  

Gather up some supplies at a Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  Think middle school art project.  You'll need glue, board material, paper, and any decorative elements that you think you might use. 

You'll also need some sharp tools like scissors and/or an exacto knife.  If you look as lost as I did while shopping for these things, the lady behind the counter will probably give you some life tips about not running down the stairs with scissors in hand...etc.  Thanks old lady at Michaels!

I chose to create a travel version of Deal or No Deal that could be played on a plane, train or automobile. Because I used a  $#*!  load of velcro, I believe this game could also be played on a space shuttle in orbit, if you have the means to travel in such a fashion.  

Design will probably be your toughest hurdle. We designed a simple board in Photoshop. I say WE, but it was really my co-worker Justin.  My advice is to find someone more artistic than you and exploit them for their talents.  You could also draw an outline for the board, or have someone artistic do it and compensate them handsomely with homemade tortillas.  Drawing a board comes with the added bonus of you getting to spend hours coloring it in with your favorite Crayolas!  Colored wax...What a world!

We printed the design, stick glued it to the board, laminated it for safe measure, and then Krazy glued strips of velcro onto the board. 

A note about Krazy glue:  It might end up in using the exacto knife to scrape dried glue from your fingertips.  Thanks for stupid advice and not good advice old lady at Michaels!

I wasn't joking about this getting tedious.  Combat the urges to rip your burgeoning game to shreds by pouring yourself a tall glass of sunshine. 

Next we stole some briefcase graphics from online, put question marks on one set, and the numbers from the board on another set.  You will also need some briefcases with the number Zero on them.

I cut out small squares from the leftover board material and stick glued a question mark briefcase on one side, and a number briefcase on the other. You'll need to trim the number briefcase side so that there is open space on both sides of the paper to Krazy glue velcro directly onto the board.  

The extra briefcases with the number Zero will keep an element of mystery to the game as you play.  When all of the briefcase pieces are complete...randomly attach them to the board. Use a dry erase marker to black out the numbers on the board when their corresponding briefcases are chosen.

I don't watch the show, but I believe the contestant chooses 6 briefcases, the banker offers a deal, if the contestant refuses, they choose another 5 briefcases and so on until it's down to two briefcases. Then one final selection is made, and that is what the contestant ends up with.  In the beginning of the game,the banker should offer a deal that is a little above the average of the remaining numbers on the board.  This will encourage your sheepish contestant to give up and then you can both bask in your infinite negotiation skills!

As the game progresses, the banker should offer deals lower than average of the remaining numbers and then lick the pearls of perspiration off the face of the increasingly desperate contestant.  


Enjoy your travels!


  1. I thought this was going to be about REAL boardgames. Not tv rip off Milton Bradley licenses. I am saddened. We need to get back to work on FORE!!! And get a that published..... If your that tedious on this project, you can surely make a prototype of FORE!!! look pretty.

  2. LOL, Brian. I was also surprised by the game of choice. I expected greater things from you, Dave. ( ;

  3. Well I happen to be a fan of the game. Not necessarily the show, but the game. I have played it at Dave and Busters and do believe that had to change the speed at which they shuffled the briefcases due to my awesomeness at being able to follow the winning one. Plus I think it would be fun to take turns being the banker and offering the different amounts to each other. I'd play!

  4. I think the game should be about which banker can give away the lowest average payouts in the long run. The contestant's strategy is typically fairly straight-forward, but I don't know how you'd choose a "best" strategy as the banker. That would be the fun and interesting part.