The Board Game Design Course

Where great games begin

Game Design

A game design challenge for you

This week, I want to present you with a game design challenge.

I’m going to give you four options for different types of games you could make. I then want you to choose one that you haven’t created before and go make that game!

This will be a great way to connect with friends, family, and other gamers and game designers. During times like these, games can provide a fantastic escape.

But, here’s the real challenge… whatever game type you choose, players must be able to play this virtually with each other!

This could mean that players can play your game together over a video communication platform like Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or any similar app.

Here are your options:

  • A party game
  • A roll and write game
  • A word game
  • A trivia game

Choose one that looks interesting and will be a new game design challenge for you.

For each of these options, players should be able to participate with minimal or no components of their own (other than perhaps pen and paper, a few dice, or other common things they’ll likely have available).

Now, I’ll go into a bit more detail on what you’ll need to do and some ideas to get you started based on your game choice.

Party game

Party games are a great way to interact with others, especially large groups of friends or family, and have some laughs along the way.

Your game could incorporate many different possible options, including judging, voting, making facial expressions, debating, betting, or one of many other mechanics.

Keep it fun and social. Get players to do things that are fun or funny, but that you know people will be willing to do.

Roll and write game

Roll and write games typically involve players rolling dice and marking boxes or areas on sheets of paper. They could be common dice that one player rolls and all players get to choose from, or players may have their own dice.

If players have dice available to them already, fantastic. But if not, there are some good online options available.

Here is a great site for rolling virtual dice:

It allows you to choose the number of dice, the number of sides on the dice, and how many times you want to roll them.

It doesn’t even necessarily have to use dice. Welcome to Your Perfect Home actually uses cards that are flipped over and players choose from the options available for a similar effect.

In terms of player boards, you could create a sheet that players can easily print themselves, or if they have no printer available, they could open the player sheet in any image editing software and mark off boxes or areas as they play. The template you create could be used infinite times in this manner.

Try to come up with something new that you haven’t seen done before.

Word game

If you’re thinking about creating a virtual word game, consider one in which players can easily create words themselves. This may be done through the use of pen and paper or using letters in a word processing program like Word or Google Docs.

Here is a random letter generator that will allow you to pick any number of letters from your choice of language:

You might be able to use this in some way that will allow players to take letters to form words.

However, keep in mind that using a program like this will be completely random. You won’t be using a distribution of letters that is more common in English like that which is used in Scrabble.

One solution to this would be to input a list of letters and repeating them as frequently as you would like in a randomizer such as this:

You can even put words or phrases here that can be randomly selected depending on your game.

An alternative may be to create a deck of letters or words drawn by one player.

Think outside the box and see what you can come up with!

Trivia game

There are tons of trivia games out there. Some people love them, but many people are tired of Trivial Pursuit and games of that nature.

Fortunately, there are other trivia games with a twist, such as Wits and Wagers, and Half Truth. These games add the element of betting, which can make the game fun, even for those who don’t have a lot of trivial knowledge.

So, if you thinking of making a trivia game, avoid the standard one question, one answer approach. Try to do something new and novel.

Next steps

Please comment below and let me know which game design challenge you chose. I’d love to see some pictures or a video of what you’ve come up with once you give this a try!


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