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What is the Board Game Design Lab?

BGDF is partnered with the Board Game Design lab - an effort by BGDF user Gabe Barrett to create and curate regular content for game designers.

The Board Game Design Lab:

  • Curates articles from around the web, guiding users through the process of game design and publishing.
  • Publishes a podcast, with insightful interviews with industry veterans
  • BGDF is happy to have Gabe in our community, and his contributions to the site through BGDL.

    Take me back to the BGDL blogs!

    I Thought It'd Be Easy, Then I Tried It

    How many of us have thought that designing the cards would be nice and quick, since we already knew what layout we wanted?

    No one? Really? Well fine, just me then.

    When I created the first card's layout on paper, I thought, "Oh nice, this part'll go quickly and I can start illustrating the cards!"

    Boy was that a lark!

    It has taken me 8 full days to just type out each card, the abdomen, body part, character, and action cards. Look like there are...87 individual cards. All typed out. Whew that was more than I imagined!

    That's next in my designing of my game, you ask?

    The Game Crafter Now Offers Card Sleeves

    The Game Crafter - Board Game Accessories - Card Sleeves Now Available at The Game Crafter!

    We are pleased to announce that we now offer Card Sleeves in 5 different sizes! This has been a popular request in our community and we always try to give you folks what you want. :) You can add packs of sleeves to your game or you can purchase the packs separately in our Game Accessories Shop at

    Please note that we only sell sleeves in packs of 100 and we do not put cards in sleeves when we manufacture games that include them.

    1st Game, Mechanics and Rules (Even a picture!)

    First Game Iteration

    Well, Hello Again!

    Time for my second blog post.

    In this post, we will be diving into greater details of my game.

    Just get on with it, you say! Fine fine; and away we go!

    Let's see what kind of game mechanics my unnamed game with be using:
    -Deck Building
    -Character Building
    -Conflict, Construction, and Escalation
    -Hand Management
    -Player Elimination
    -Set Collection
    -Take That

    Quite a bit of mechanics going into one little game, isn't there?

    Here are the rules I have written so far:

    1. Shuffle cards really well.
    2. Deal Character card to each player.

    My second prototype, one step forward and two steps back


    In my first prototype, I was testing to see if my Tecmo Super Bowl concept would work as a game. It did but was lacking motivation to pick one card over the other. The cards didn't have any sense of spatial mapping to the board either.

    I attempted to fix these problems by breaking up the cards into zones that showed the players going to in the playbook cards. I also added positions to the plays, so individuals can be targeted.

    More Dirty Deeds

    Dirty Deeds Teaser

    Thanks for the patience everyone.

    We've been really busy, getting everything ready to share. So without further ado here it is.

    Thoughts on my unpublished, futuristic gridiron football game


    Hi everyone! This is my first post on this site and my first public post about my game I have been working on for a bit now. I wanted to make a game journal but I can't for the life of me understand how that works, so I think writing blog posts will be good.

    So quick pitch about my game:

    My First Game, My First Blog Post

    Good Afternoon Fellow Designers!

    I am new to both this glorious forum and game designing in general. I do have plenty of experience playing social games, namely card games. which is what I'm currently working on.

    I can already hear you guys groaning at the thought of another social card game, and I totally understand. However, it has been said by many successful game designers to start with a card game, then moving onto more "meaty" games.

    That being said, let's learn about my game, shall we?

    Name: Haven't pinned that down yet, opinions are welcome!

    Component.Studio Updates

    The Game Crafter - Component.Studio - Board Game Design App

    We’ve made a bunch of small changes to Component.Studio:

    1. Added character count to fields in data set editor.
    2. Exporting to TGC auto-selects similarly named game and components.
    3. You can now update a font in place by clicking on it’s preview image.
    4. Fit to box now scales down fonts 1 pixel at a time rather than 5.
    5. Updates for GDPR compliance.

    Start your free trial today at

    Crystal Heroes: The latest News!

    Before I go ahead and discuss what the latest news is concerning "Crystal Heroes", I just wanted to describe some of the designs constraints used in previous versions (not released) of this specific game design.

    So one of the biggest constraints with the "Crystal Heroes" design was that it featured a small-ish footprint by having a "Micro" Deck. The idea was that the game would use a small deck with only a limited amount of cards and the battles would be relatively quick (maybe 30 to 60 minutes in length).

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    by Dr. Radut