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Board Game Designer Kit

There are millions of searches on google about how to create a board game. At the same times, as a leading board game manufacturer with 13+ years’ experience, we receive hundreds of inquiries about how to make your own board game everyday. To contribute our professional knowledge and plentiful board game manufacturing experience and to help more board game lovers, we even design a board game designer kit from the view of board game printer. This kit will help bring your custom board game ideas to life! We bring a very comprehensive guide containing everything you need to know about how to create your own board game. We will guide you with details step by step. So let’s come to the key points:

How to make your own board game?

1. Well understand the requirement of designing a board game artwork

2. Understand the playing card size and usage purposes of different papers

3. Learn about the playing card surface treatment with different technology and skill

4. Know about the game board size, type and making

5. Understand the punchboard, tokens and stickers

6. Know about the booklets, notepads and paper sheets

7. Clear about the miniatures development process

8. Understand other components such as dice, coin, meeple and some others accessories.

9. Know how to make use of the standard box and tuck box for packing.

Creating your own board game is very simple as long as you follow these 9 steps.

1. Well understand the requirement of designing a board game artwork

CMYK

All your board game design artwork must be in CMYK color mode.

Formatting

All your creating board game files are better in AI format. It is very convenient for any design verification.

Resolution

All your board game printing image resolution must be 300ppi or higher.

Embedded

All your game board printing texts and fonts must be embedded.

Die Cuts

All Die Cuts of your must be vector illustration and in different layers.

Bleed Area

General bleed area is 3mm from the die cut and the margin area is 3mm within the die cut.

Pure Black

Pure Black (C:0% M:0% Y:0% K100%) is preferred to be used for texts and borders

Color deviation on illustrated cardback

Deviation implies incorrectness. It’s more likely to cause a color deviation when using a large area of plain color than multicolor patterns or illustrations in artwork design.

Color deviation on plain cardback

The problem of color deviation is unavoidable but will be minimized during process control, and plain colors will just highlight it more.

Artwork for cards

Border Area

Fill up the area between the margin and bleed in case a border line is included on the card design.

Margin

2.5mm inside of the die cut, keep all important text and illustrations within this area to avoid any of them being trimmed.

Bleed

2.5mm bleed area is required around the die cut.

Die cut

This is how the print sheet will be trimmed. Die cut lines must be in separate layers and hidden when exporting the file.

File Description

File Names

In your naming scheme, keep it easy to organize which fronts go on which backs, for example: “Card1_Front.pdf” Card1_Back.pdf”.

Card Backs

If many of your customized playing cards share the same back you can put all of these images in a single multi-page PDF and use the last page for your back image.

Multiple Use

If an image is used multiple times you can just send one file and note the quantity needed for that image.

These are the basic requirement of how to create your own board game. We will further discuss the rest steps below.

2. Understand the playing card size and usage purposes of different papers

Playing Cards

The following 3 sizes of cards are commonly used for many card games and board games. There are other sizes available as well, but these are the most cost effective and work with many sleeves available on the market. WinGo Games can also accommodate custom sizes if your customized printing game requires it. Also many designer playing cards are with these sizes.

Standard Sizes we provide

Bridge Size: 58X88 mm

Poker Size: 63X89 mm

Euro Size: 59X91 mm

Other Sizes we provide

44X67 mm

70X120 mm

Custome Sizes

Cards Per Sheet

Custom cards are printed on a sheet. There are many different sizes of sheets available so make sure to speak with your board game printer to find the most cost effective size for the quantity of customized cards you need.

Making your own board game is really simple as long as you follow the above step.

The Importance of Surface Treatment

Using the right surface treatment for your game box can elevate the art presentation to a higher level and leave a strong first impression on people.

Linen Finish

Foil Stamping

Glossy & Matte

Oil Varnish

UV Coating

Embossing

3. Learn about the playing card surface treatment with different technology and skill

Linen Finish

This is a very common finish and can help make your card printed feel nice to touch and improve the visual quality of your board game design.

Foil stamping

This process adds a metallic gold or silver coating on the printed sheet to give emphasis to custom game board elements you want to draw attention to. Unlike Spot UV, foil stamping can be applied on a glossy surface. File requirements remain the same: Put it in vector and make sure to keep the layers separate.

Spot UV

This process adds a special shiny or glossy area on top of any matt surface you specify. Like Spot UV this can emphasize and call out specific elements. Put the spot UV in vectors and make sure to keep the layers separate.

Embossing

This process can add texture and depth to your game card printing image, usually on the box cover or a tuck box. Make sure to put the embossing area in vectors and make sure to keep the layers separate.

Color Foil Stamping

Color foil stamping is optional. Make sure to check with your board game creator wo see what options are available to you.

Bleed Area

General bleed area is 3mm from the die cut and the margin area is 3mm within the die cut.

Production Deviation

The special treatments can sometimes lead to deviations on you printed materials( between 1mm and 2mm) due to the process that is used to apply them. You can plan for this in your board game creation. For more help make sure to speak to your board game printer. Remember, mask area must be at least 1% larger than the original illustration.

Surface Treatment

Linen Finish; Foil Stamping; Gloss & Matte Lamination; Poker Oil Varnish; Local Ultra Violet; Embossing & Debossing.

After following the above three steps, you can create your own game which are with basic design. If you want to create a board game with more elements and more attractive, then you need to follow the below steps.

4.Know about the game board size, type and making

Game Board

The custom game board is usually the primary component of your game. Most boards use single, double or triple folds to make them smaller, so you can use the most efficient box size possible, which will help keep your costs down.

Size of Game Board

WinGo can help you choose the most cost-effective size game board based on your specifications. There are many common industry sizes to choose from, but you can also request a custom game board size that suits your needs.

Groove on Board

On Some game board designs you’ll see a groove between the folding parts. This is a more cost-effective option where a smaller grey board is used inside the groove, making your game board hold up better over time. Keep in mind this groove is completely optional and totally up to you!

Bleed on Cover

An 18mm bleed area is required on all 4 sides of the cover paper which will wrap the grey board, similar to the inside of the box.

Margin

Keep all important text and illustrations inside the margin area (3mm away from die cut line and folding line) to avoid any of them being trimmed.

Die Cut

This is how the board games print sheet will be trimmed. Die cut lines must be in separate layers and hidden when exporting the file.

Smaller Back

The image on the back of the board must be 3mm smaller than the actual size of the custom game boards. This is required so that it works smoothly with the front sheet on the game board.

Tip: If you don’t need or specify an image for the back of your custom game boards it is usually wrapped in black paper.

5.Understand the punchboard, tokens and stickers

Die Cut

This is how the elements will be trimmed to produce the desired shape of the tokens. Keep in mind the blades making the cuts cannot make hard curves or extreme shapes. More complex designs will increase your cost. Usually a punchboard of rounded tokens with excellent design will make it look better at a less cost.

Cardboard Standee

This is a cost-effective option that can represent a miniature in your board games design. These are usually assembled with a plastic stand as illustrated here.

Minimum Clearance

Please keep at least 6mm as a minimum clearance between each board game token die cut cavity.

Margin

Keep all important text and illustrations within this area (3mm away from the die cut line) to avoid any of them being trimmed.

Bleed

Usually a 3mm bleed area is required around the die cut line for your board game print.

3D Miniatures

If you want to make real 3D plastic miniatures please refer to that section within this guide and contact your board game printer for help.

Tip 1: Try to use the same die cut layout on multiple punchboards to achieve the correct quantity of needed tokes. This is a good, cost effective method.

Tip 2: Include identifying markings on the edges of the game board if you have multiple punchboards. This ensures the correct amount is printed and included in each copy of the game. (see illustration below)

Tip 3: Please talk to your WinGo account manager when you have any issues with shaping tokens, or to obtain your own template within a reasonable price range.

6.Know about the booklets, notepads and paper sheets

Die Cut

This is how the print sheet will be trimmed. Die cut lines must be in separate layers and hidden when exporting the file.

File Description

Separate each page in sequence into a multi-page pdf and WinGo will apply the layout of the board game booklets for printing.

Binding

Saddle Stitch tends to be the common binding option for booklets. There are adhesive options you can use as a more premium alternative and it is necessary if your booklet has many pages. If you have questions and need help figuring out the most cost effective number of pages contact your board game manufacturer.

Bleed

Usually a 3mm bleed area is required around the cutline.

Minimum Clearance

Please keep at least 6mm as a minimum clearance between each board game token die cut cavity.

Margin

Keep all important text and illustrations within this area (3mm away from the die cut line) to avoid any of them being trimmed. Increase the margin to 6mm when the page count is over 32pp.

Page Setting

Due to the requirements of the production process, page quantities of booklets must be in multiples of 4 i.e 4pp, 8pp,12pp,16pp and so on.

Tip: If you don’t need or specify an image for the back of your custom game boards it is usually wrapped in black paper.

7.Clear about the miniatures development process

Step 1. Provide us with the character concept art and any additional art illustrations for sculpting references.

Our 3D modeler will sculpt a digital 3D model file. (if you already have a render file in STL format, skip to step 4)

Step 2: Fine tune and finalize the 3D digital model.

We will send you pictures of the model in various points of view for your approval. Revisions will be made based on your feedback to ensure it fits your requirements and to make sure the board game model is cost effective. After the final approval we are ready to make the master copy of your board game miniature model.

Step 3: 3D print the digital file with a 3D printer.

We will then create the very first 3D prototype of your model. A freshly printed miniaure will have many rough edges and excess plastic. Our team will meticulously file the rough edges and polish the model and sharpen the details on the model. Your very first detailed physical game board miniature model is born! (If you already have a physical model with sufficient lever of detail you can skip to step 4)

PVC v.s. Polyresin

We go through 2 different options [Miniatures made by PVC injection] [Miniatures made by Polyresin] from this step to produce board game miniatures according to your requirements (level of detail, quantity and pricing)

PVC injection

PVC miniatures are great if your custom board game has a lot of miniatures. They are more durable than resin and easier to handle. However, they tend to have a higher mold cost and a longer lead time for production.

Step 4 Setup Silicon mold.

Board games today are increasingly using 3D plastic miniatures. As a board game designer, plastic miniatures may be daunting if you are not familiar with the process. However, WinGo will help you through with your board game miniature in hand by hand steps.

Step:5 Mass Production Release

The Liquid Polyresin will be adjusted with your specified pantone color and cast into silicone molds when production starts. After the vacuuming process of removing the bubbles from the material, the model will be formed within an hour and ready for demolding.

Step 6: Final Polishing

Different from the injection process, the polyresin model has unavoidable and noticeable part lines. These need to be manually trimmed and polished which can lead to an increase in labor costs, which will affect your unit cost.

Polyresin

Resin miniatures can achieve a much higher level of detail. They have a lower mold cost and faster production times. However, the material is flimsy and much weaker than PVC, which means they also need extra care during packaging, such as a vacuum inserts for transportation. The price per unit is also higher than PVC, which makes it great for games than just need a few high quality miniatures.

Step 4: Make duplicates of the master model.

During casting your model needs to be physically broken down and destroyed (It sounds scary!) to fit in the mold. Duplicates will be made our you’re your master model to improve construction and identify undercutting spots for better mold release.

Step 5: Set up the injection mold.

Mold casting requires a series of complicated chemical, electrical and physical processes. It is proceeded by intricate and complex machinery and takes approximate 35 days to complete. After revision and modifications, a pre-production sample will be produced from the mold to confirm quality of the model before mass production.

Step 6: Release mass production and proceed with the injection process.

Quality inspections are done during injection cycles and assembly/gluing process. This is where the army of your miniatures are completed.

Step 7: Packaging the miniatures

Whatever Miniatures made by PVC INJECTION or Miniatures made by Polyresin you prefer, a final inspection will be done to ensure the production is finished in the highest possible quality. Then your miniatures will be packed the way you specified. Your miniatures are now ready for many epic game nights. 

Enjoy and have fun!

8.Understand other components such as dice, coin, meeple and some others accessories.

Dice

Artwork design is the major element to make great dice, followed by material and color. In regard to selecting materials: it’s our experience that transparent plastic is better than wood, and regular pip dice are the most cost effective. In terms of colors, most players love the mixed color or marble dice the most, followed by the solid color dice. An important detail is that a dice with rounded corners will be used to reduce the phenomenon of bounce and spin.

Others

WinGo provides a variety of options for game accessories, such as Dice Tower, Zip Lock Bag, Sand Timer or Pouch etc. The range of outsourcing capabilities cover wood, metal, plastic or cloth material. Here are some examples of accessories that are made at reasonable prices with very good quality. Please contact WinGo for more details and we will analyze the game properly and suggest the best solution.

Coin

Coins are used in many games. Metal coins with thickness and weight present the best quality, but plastic and wooden coins are also widely used to save cost. Increasing the weight of plastic or wooden coins, our upgrading to metal coins within your budget, is a key factor to improve the overall quality level of the game.

Meeple

Meeple is a kind of varied game piece used for most games. Meeple made by wooden material presents a better quality-level than a plastic one. The better meeple you can make, the more players you will attract. But it’s not going to work on very complicated designs with extreme curves or shapes because of the limitations of the cutting process. It will also raise the cost, so most meeples are made in a simple design in balance with our budget. Meeple is used for many games to get better performance, however due to the limitation of process and cost, we recommend a simple pattern or illustration to be printed on one side with no more than 2 colors. If you want to make it look more delicate, applying stickers on meeples is a very good option.

Other Components

Dice; Chips; Meeple; Markers; Card Sleeves; etc.

Choose the Right Box for Packaging

The right box can protect your game component better and help you reduce production cost.

Lid & Bottom

Tuck Box

Drawer Box

Folding Box

Tube Box

Other Box

9.Know how to make use of the standard box and tuck box for packing.

Standard Box

Commonly called a Telescope Box or a Two-Piece Box. Our team will provide a box template, as illustrated below, so you can copy your artwork onto the corresponding panels.

Drawer Box

Drawer shaped box.

Tube Box

Good for fitting playmats or tube shaped things.

Tuck Box

The tuck box is a very economical option for smaller games, such as card games. You can also use it in your game to hold individual decks or even to hold small expansions for your game.

Folding Box

Cheap box folded from one piece of cardboard.

Other Box

Other boxes that come in different shapes and sizes or made from different materials.

Box Types

Standard (Lid & Bottom); Tuck Box; Drawer Box; Folding Box; Tube Box; Other Box; 

Standard Box

Commonly called a Telescope Box or a Two-Piece Box. Our team will provide a box template, as illustrated below, so you can copy your artwork onto the corresponding panels.

Tuck Box

The tuck box is a very economical option for smaller games, such as card games. You can also use it in your game to hold individual decks or even to hold small expansions for your game.

Cardboard and Tin boxes

Regarding artwork design and cost saving. A rectangular box is commonly used for game packaging rather than a square box. Usually a cardboard box with great artwork design is good enough to present the high-quality level of your game. However, if you have a flexible budget you can use a tin box with embossing to give your game a high-end feel with distinctive visual and touch qualities.

Inserts, Labeling and other information

Plastic Vaccum Insert

A plastic insert will provide perfect protection to all components inside of the box, especially for 3D miniatures, and keep everything neat and tidy. Usually a regular plastic insert will satisfy the needs of most designers, while plastic coated with velvet will lift your games to an even higher quality level and make it more attractive.

Cardboard Inserts

Cardboard inserts cost less but doesn’t look as high quality as plastic.

UPC/EAN Code (Bar Code)

This is a unique identification code good for a single product used all over the world. You can contact a barcode company to buy and generate your barcode number.

Country of Origin

Used to inform where the game was manufactured. For example: games manufactured by WinGo Gaems display “Made in China”.

Import Information.

If you are importing your game, you need to indicate the detailed information of your company on the box, such as company name, address and telephone number.

Age Graphic Symbol.

This is a requirement for all games. The diameter of the symbol must be no less than 10mm. This shows that the game is not a product intended for children 3 years or younger.

Small Part Warning

The example graphic below must be present on games that are not designed for infants due to small parts and the choking hazard they present.

CE Certificate

The CE Mark must be present on the box for any games sold in the EU. This declares that the product is in compliance with the EU directive. You can send your game out to a certified EN71-1/2/3 testing site for certification. WinGo provides service for you to obtain certifications as well.

QR Code

QR codes have become more and more popular in recent years as they can easily be scanned by mobile phones. You can generate the QR code for any resource webpage, such as an explainer video, your social media, homepage or even a purchase link. It’s a smart option that helps customers obtain enough information with just one click.

Plastic vaccum insert with velvet coating

A plastic insert will provide perfect protection to all components inside of the box, especially for 3D miniatures, and keep everything neat and tidy. Usually a regular plastic insert will satisfy the needs of most designers, while plastic coated with velvet will lift your games to an even higher quality level and make it more attractive. You can also use an embossing process on the plastic insert to emphasize elements such as patters or texts.

UPC/EAN Code (Bar Code)

This is a unique identification code good for a single product used all over the world. You can contact a barcode company to buy and generate your barcode number.

Age Graphic Symbol.

This is a requirement for all games. The diameter of the symbol must be no less than 10mm.

Choking Hazard Warning

The example graphic below must be present on games that are not designed for infants due to small parts and the choking hazard they present. This shows that the game is not a product intended for children 3 years or younger.

Country of Origin

Used to inform where the game was manufactured. For example: games manufactured by WinGo Gaems display “Made in China”.

CE Certificate

The CE Mark must be present on the box for any games sold in the EU. This declares that the product is in compliance with the EU directive. You can send your game out to a certified EN71-1/2/3 testing site for certification. WinGo provides service for you to obtain certifications as well.

Import Information.

If you are importing your game, you need to indicate the detailed information of your company on the box, such as company name, address and telephone number.

QR Code

QR codes have become more and more popular in recent years as they can easily be scanned by mobile phones. You can generate the QR code for any resource webpage, such as an explainer video, your social media, homepage or even a purchase link. It’s a smart option that helps customers obtain enough information with just one click.

Game Board

The game board is usually the primary component of your game. Most boards use single, double or triple folds to make them smaller, so you can use the most efficient box size possible, which will help keep your costs down.

Game Board Types

1/2 Fold

Game board folds in half

1/4 Fold

Game board folds in quarters

Groove

On some game boards you'll see a groove between the folding parts. This is a more cost-effective option where a smaller grey board is used inside the groove, making your game board hold up better over time. Keep in mind this groove is completely optional and totally up to you!

1/3 Fold

Game board folds in thirds

1/6 Fold

Game board folds in sixths

Game Board Size

WinGo can help you choose the most cost-effective size game board based on your specifications. There are many common industry sizes to choose from, but you can also request a custom size that suits your needs.

1/2 Fold Game Board

1/6 Fold Game Board

1/3 Fold Game Board

Board With Groove

1/4 Fold Game Board

Board Without Groove

Congratulations!

Now that you have clearly know how to make your own board game after following the above steps. If you still confuse about some step about creating your own board game, you may check more times from above steps. If you want to publish your board game or card game, do not hesitate to contact WinGo via info@wingogames.com. Working with the leading board game manufacturer is the best way to ensure the success of your games.