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Book: How to Create Your First Board Game (5th Edition) by Gearlock Games
Learn how to take your idea for a board game and turn it into a reality. Learn about prototyping, playtesting, printing and publishing.

Project overview

I am a game designer and publisher with five years of experience creating and publishing board games. When I tell people that I design board games, they immediately ask questions about the design process. This is because they have an idea for the game, but they are not sure where to start.  After helping several people though this process, I decided to publish a book that covers the basic steps.

You will find that there are not a lot of books out there that just simply walk you through the steps on how to create a board game.  This book aims to remedy that issue.  In this book, you will find detailed information how to flush out your game idea, create a prototype, playtest the prototype, create a digital prototype and finally how to get the game printed and out into the world.

The book also covers some basics on finding a publisher, self-publishing and how to use Kickstarter to fund your game.

*New to the 5th Edition*
The 5th Edition provides an overview of how to use a 3D printer to create custom game components for your prototypes. It covers topics like what to look for in a 3D printer or how to find a public use 3D printer a maker lab near you.  The chapter also explores how to find free 3D design for your printer using sites like Thingiverse. The chapter ends by exploring ways to customize and optimize your 3D prints.
Book Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • 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 *new content* 
  • 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 Video Basics
  • Rules Guide Recommendations
  • Shipping Basics
  • Mass Manufacturing Options
  • Lessons Learned
About the Author:
  • Avid board gamer with a personal collection of over 400+ games.
  • Independent board game designer and publisher.  Owner of Gearlock Games.
  • Created over 20+ board game and card game prototypes.
  • Successfully Kickstarted several small board game projects: Barn Raiser, En Passant and The Elements: Duel
  • Masters in Adult Education (M.Ed.) from the University of Central Oklahoma
  • Published several books that have sold over 20,000 copies (including books on other topics)