How To Create A Board Game Based On A Novel


Creating a board game based on a novel can be an extremely creative and rewarding undertaking. It offers both amateur and experienced game designers the unique opportunity to bring to life a beloved story in an exciting new way. For readers of the novel, this concept provides them with the ability to connect with events, characters, and themes from its pages in a fun and interactive environment. With this approach you can take full advantage of iconic scenes and memorable moments, giving your players the chance to become fully immersed in the world of the story for an immersive and thrilling experience.

Brainstorm Ideas for Board Game Components

Story Cycle – The story cycle should be generated from the novel and include events, decisions, and/or outcomes related to the plot in some way. Potential set up could be having predetermined loops for players to follow and try to pass, or having it based upon a back-and-forth cycle between player turns.

Character Cards – As each character from the novel can have different representational aspects, these cards will include depictions that fit with the book such as their traits, abilities, looks etc. They will be necessary when introducing them into a game scenario related to that character.

Playboard – This is the main surface on which your game will take place and should be shaped to closely follow certain pathways or scenes found within your novel. Boxes should be clearly marked not only for position but also for helping players understand what pattern works best for them.

Game Pieces – Decide which game pieces will be used as tokens markers of your player’s progression throughout activities within the board game. Possible choices would include dice, playing cards, meeples etc., depending on how you envision your game playing out.

Point System & Token System – Points are earned through completing different tasks and scenarios presented in each turn of play across the board (as well as bonuses gained through advancing levels). Players can use said points however they deem fit; this could be money, or pieces of a totem pole / puzzle etc… Tokens will also come into effect here too taken in conjunction with certain points given; certain characters or items may need tokens to gain access or complete activities on the board in order to progress further.

Decide on a Point System

When it comes to creating a board game based on a novel, it is essential to decide on an appropriate point system. Depending upon the type of game and its focus, either cumulative or zero-sum point systems should be considered.

A cumulative point system allows players to accumulate points as they progress through the game. Scoring occurs after a certain number of turns or when all parts of the game have been completed. This type of scoring system is suitable for games that require skill and deduction, such as exploring an area in search of treasure, defeating opponents in battle, or solving puzzles.

A zero-sum point system gives equal amounts of points to each player at the start of the game and then requires them to compete for additional points which come from resources within the game itself (such as territory and items). At the end of each round, one player scores positive points while another scores negative points depending on their responses. This makes it well suited for games that include elements of risk taking, strategy and competition since these elements will determine who will gain control over resources at any given time.

Finalize and Refine the Rules

Creating a board game based on a novel can be an exciting and rewarding challenge. Before starting the project, it is essential to take the time to brainstorm which aspects of the book that you want to feature in the game. It can help to have a plan put together with specific rules and ideas for how the board game should look and play when finished.

Horizon Zero Dawn The Board Game

Once you have finalized your ideas, it is important to refine the rules of your board game. In crafting these rules, specify how many players are allowed and figure out how long each turn will take for each player. Additionally, consider if any special items like cards or dice will need to be included in order for players to make choices or keep score. Make sure that scoring conditions are also made clear as this will influence how strategically players approach the game.

When transitioning between turns, figure out a way for players to advance around the board and what corresponding actions should happen as they go. For example, if a player passes over certain squares then they may pick up rewards including points or items. Furthermore, detail the point values allocated towards each square so players can compare their progress throughout the game and know who has won at certain milestones.. Creating detailed descriptions of all of these elements will ensure that both experienced and novice gamers have an enjoyable time while playing your board game based on a novel!

Design Bespoke Pieces

Creating a board game based on a novel requires careful thought and planning. Before you get started, it is important to familiarize yourself with the novel as this will be your source of guidance and inspiration as you craft the components of your bespoke game. It’s time to start designing!

Tokens – Think of tokens that could coincide with each character in the story – for example, if it’s historical fiction, you may choose to create figures that represent each character. For non-fiction stories or fantasy tales, consider an enchanting illustration such as an animal or object. Be sure to select tokens that are relevant to the plot and pace of play.

Cards – Consider devising two types of cards: action cards and special cards. Action cards can include surprise elements like sudden weather changes or twists in plot while special cards provide bonuses or exciting tasks for players such as “seek help from a sage” or “trade resources among other players”.

Playing boards – When creating a playing board, first determine how many chapters (or turns) are necessary then design one large map where participants can traverse through the land encountering different perils as they go. On rare occasions, there might need to be multiple maps depending on story arcs appearing throughout the novel.

Finally have some fun brainstorming ideas for dice systems, goal markers – references that would pleases fans of the book- and any other creative paraphernalia associated with your board game based on a novel!

Write the Story to Accompany the Game

When writing the story to accompany the board game based on a novel, it is important to focus on the main themes of the original work. Consider why you and others found the novel so captivating; was it because of its interesting characters, intricate plot, or thrilling setting? Identify and highlight these elements when creating your storyline. Additionally, try to find ways to keep readers on their toes by adding unexpected events or surprises throughout the narrative. If possible, organize your board game story around reveals or ‘mysteries’ that will draw people in and drive them forward with curiosity. Stick as close to the original text as you can and get creative about integrating key ideas into a fun and thrilling game for readers to enjoy!

Test and Create A Prototype

Creating a board game based on a novel begins with deciding what aspects of the story to use in the game. Once you have made these decisions, it is important to test your ideas by creating prototypes of your game. This can be done using basic materials such as cardboard and markers. Create a board, cards, and player pieces that adhere to the design of your game. Furthermore, decide what actions should be taken by each player (such as rolling dice or drawing cards) and how they will interact with each other throughout the game.

Tiny Tina Board Game

Once you have created the prototype of your board game, it is time to manufacture it. Consider using durable materials such as wood or plastic for any physical components instead of card stock or paper. Additionally, make sure that all details are printed onto every component correctly (including illustrations and text). If quality printing services are needed, sources may include commercial printing shops or online companies who provide custom products. Lastly, ensure that all parts of your board game fit securely together before sending them off for production.

Fine-Tune the Game and Finalize the Rules

Testing the game is a crucial part of ensuring it is fun and balanced. Refining the game’s rules and mechanics to create a smooth, enjoyable playing experience will require feedback from multiple playtesting sessions. Some important aspects to consider when testing include playability, the success rate for each team or player, the length of time it takes to finish the game and how enjoyable it is. Playtest groups should have players from different age ranges so that any issues can be identified. After playtesting, suggestions for minor or major changes should be discussed and implemented if deemed necessary. Some suggestions may involve increasing or decreasing the size of certain zones on the board, adjusting required achieves for victory, tweaking character stats or changing player/nature interactions in certain situations. Depending on where improvements are needed, these changes can improve gameplay while promoting fairness between teams or players.

Prepare for Marketing

Online marketing:

• Create promotional material such as trailers, screenshots, and teasers to post online.
• Use social media to reach out to potential players including influencers.
• Reach out to local game stores, retailers and distributors and offer a discount for an early bulk order.
• Run giveaway campaigns or launch a Kickstarter campaign to build interest in your product.

Offline marketing:
• Design attractive board game boxes that clearly showcase the theme of the game.
• Make sure you are present at expos, fairs, conventions and other major events where you can display your product directly to potential buyers.
• Leverage relationships with video and tabletop gaming magazines to distribute samples of the game or run ads promoting it.
• Utilize existing fan groups of the novel through email outreach or targeted posts on forums related to the genre.


Creating a board game based on a novel can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The first step is to choose a novel that has enough narrative elements as well as characters to inspire ideas for the game. Rewriting the story into game components, such as cards and play pieces, is also important. Once these components have been created, players will need to know how to move around the board, which must be designed separately from the game rules. Finally, before beginning to play, it’s important to test the board game out with feedback from other players. Using this same basic process, you can apply the same logic while creating any kind of board game. To make an engaging story-based game requires creativity and experimentation – but once you have figured out how all these elements work together, you might just have something players never even knew they wanted!

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