Board games have been a part of our lives for 5,000 years. Researchers have found traces of board games in the oldest civilizations. So, in this article, we will find out what are the history board game project ideas, what is the history of board games, and answers to other interesting questions like which is the oldest board game in history and how to make a successful board game. Let’s begin.
1. What is the History of Board Games? Which Games can Help you Develop your History Board Game Project Ideas?
The history of board games dates back to 5000 years when even writing was not invented. People loved playing different types of games, especially with dice, as a part of their favorite pastime. Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and other regions near the Nile, and Tigris rivers are the places where the oldest board games were discovered. Now let’s see the history of board games in different eras and studying these games can help develop your history board game project ideas.
A. 3100 BC, Egypt: Senet
Board games were a favorite pastime of kings and pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Especially, the Senet board game was very popular amongst the elite class. Many historians and researchers discovered this game in the First Dynasty and predynastic burials. You will find several illustrations of Senet games on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. The ancient Egyptians strongly believed in the afterlife and fate.
During the formation of the New Kingdom in Egypt in 1550–1077 BC, the Senet game was used as a talisman for the dead person’s journey to the afterlife. The Egyptians believed that those who won in this game had special blessings from the gods like Ra, Thoth, and Osiris.
B. 3000 BC, Egypt: Mehen
As soon as the popularity of board games reached its peak amongst the elite class, the working class also followed suit. During this era, games were not just a pastime; they intertwined with religious beliefs. Mehen is one such game that was highly influenced by religion.
While researchers failed to discover the set of rules for playing Mehen, according to a Sun cult, it is said that the game represents a giant serpent that coils itself around the Sun God Re. The game and the god started to merge at some point, possibly even before the Old Kingdom. The game expanded beyond just a mere pleasure.
Moreover, in Egyptian history and beliefs, the game became synonymous with the snake god that coils around the sun. According to Tim Kendall, an expert on ancient Egypt, it is impossible to determine from the data at hand whether this deity was drawn from an existing tale or the game itself.
C. 2650 BC, Egypt: Royal Game of Ur
The proof of the world’s oldest and longest-played board game was found during this era in Egypt. The name of this ancient game is known as The Royal Game of Ur. This game vanished some 2000 years ago, and another one called backgammon took its place. But Irving Finkel, a game enthusiast, discovered the rules of Ur on an ancient stone tablet. The Royal Game of Ur is older than recorded world history.
Another such game was discovered in Iraq with a similar name called Royal Tombs of Ur. People played this game in two sets with 4-sided tetrahedral dice. Researchers also found a set of this game buried in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
D. 2000 BC, Roman Empire: Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum
Another popular game that came during the 2000 B.C. era was Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum in the Roman Empire. This is one of the oldest games discovered by researchers, and today a set of this game is carefully kept in the Ephesus Museum. You can go through the how-to-play guide of this game and improve your history board game project ideas. (See What are Some Examples of Artifacts?)
2. What is the Oldest Board Game in History?
In southeast Turkey’s Başur Höyük burial mound, a collection of 49 tiny painted and engraved stones dating back 5,000 years was discovered. These are among the earliest items of gaming ever discovered. Similar pieces have been unearthed in Syria and Iraq, which seems to indicate that board games first originated in the Fertile Crescent. The Crescent includes the regions of the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East. These are the same locations that produced calendars, alcohol, papyrus, breath mints, and other inventions that were necessary for organizing the gaming night!
Some of the oldest board games include The Royal Game of UR (2600 BC), Senet (3100 BC), and Mehen (3000 BC), and these can develop your history board game project ideas.
3. How do You come up with a Board Game Concept?
To come up with history board game project ideas, some of the points must be considered. So, read on and learn how you can develop a successful board game concept:
- For developing a board game, you must have a thorough knowledge of the recent games that have stormed the market. Play all types of games to get an understanding of what kinds of games are trending in the market, why people are liking them, and what people are not liking. You need to thoroughly do your research before you start developing a board game.
- Secondly, find out the gaps in this field. See what is not available on the market. Knowing this, market research is of utmost importance.
- Think differently, and try to come up with ideas that you have never considered before. For example, move away from reality and design a board game where players can become and do something that they won’t do in real life, like all players being thieves in a game who will have to steal a diamond from a museum.
- Next, jot down the ideas you have for your board game. Talk to your friends, family, and colleagues and observe their ideas. Write it down in your notepad. Every idea, no matter how crazy, should be noted down. Read it several times. For example, your 6-year-old child wants an ice cream world. So, you can develop a board game around it for children ages 6 to 8. You can elaborate on the idea for your game; say, there is an ice cream world where, for finding 6 ice cream sticks, the player will get immunity and gold coins. Children would love such games where they could get gifts.
- Note down even the worst ideas that come to your mind or from any other external source. That’s why playing all sorts of board games is important, even the bad ones. When you play a bad board game, you exactly know what doesn’t work and immediately get ideas about how you want your game to be.
- There are also some board game design generators according to your needs. For instance, BGDL + community and Board Gamizer. With Board Gamizer, you can generate countless ideas for your board game. It provides you with suggestions according to what you want.
In conclusion, to design a board game, you need to play all types of board games, understand what works and what doesn’t, observe the history board game project ideas that you get from your family, friends, or colleagues, note them down, and think about them. If no idea looks appealing to you, then you can take the help of a board game analyzer that can provide suggestions according to your needs.
4. What are Modern Boardgames?
Most modern games offer a variety of paths to success and are made to keep all players engaged through to the very end. Some games allow players to cooperate with one another to defeat the game itself. The modern gaming industry has undergone significant change in recent decades and has taken inspiration from the history board game project ideas. Now, board games go beyond classics like monopoly, checkers, and ludo.
Some of the popular modern boardgames are as follows:
- CATAN (Trade build settle)
- Ticket to ride
- 7 wonders
5. What should a Board Game Include?
A board game should include a mix of challenges and luck. It gives a fair chance for everyone to win at least once. While designing a game, one must determine the age group of the players. If the game is designed for teenagers and adults, then the board game must include ways to make strategies that are not too difficult or easy either; a proper theme, for example, adventure, economics, war, travel, etc.; and the game must provide options and decisions.
And in terms of physical attributes, the game must look attractive and have fun-looking pieces to play. The board game should attract players of targeted age groups. You can get some more information from the history board game project ideas as well. Other important things that a board game could include are a board, markers, tokens, and cards. Check out Why some people don’t like video games?
6. How do You Create a Board Game?
Once you have planned the theme of your board game, the following things that you will need to create a board game are listed below:
- You will need a board (with a poster), cardboard, or cardstock.
- Next, a game requires tiny toys or tokens.
- The third thing you will need is blank note cards.
- The next things are the dice, markers, crayons, stickers, paper, pencils, and rulers.
So, once you have gathered all the necessary details about the history board game project ideas and the items to create a board game at home, follow the following procedure to design the game:
- On a piece of paper, draw an outline of your board game. This comprises the name of your game, its guidelines, player count, and any plot you want to incorporate into the game.
- Sketch up the design of your board game on a piece of paper. This will serve as your reference. Be imaginative!
- Design your own board game. Placing the posterboard, cardboard, or cardstock on a smooth, uncarpeted floor or other flat, firm surface is a good idea. Create your game using the ruler, pencil, and the sketch you made in step two. If you require assistance with this step, ask a parent or an older sibling. Use markers, crayons, and stickers to add color to your board. To avoid a mess when using paint, cover your workspace with newspaper.
- Make the pull cards by cutting the blank note cards in half. Construction paper can also be used to create the cards. Cut out each rectangle after folding the paper into four. The number of pull cards you make is up to you. Next, write clear directions in the cards’ blanks. For instance, a game can ask the player to travel a short distance forward or backward or swap places with another player.
- Assemble the dice and game tokens. You can buy new pieces, repurpose items from your home, or use the tokens from an old board game. Toy automobiles, pawns, little toy people, and math counters are a few examples of tokens.
- It’s finally time to have fun! The necessary number of family and friends should be gathered. Then take a roll of the dice!
7. How do You make a Successful Board Game?
To make a successful board game, you need to play a lot of modern games and take some ideas from the history board game project ideas of the ancient games. Playing every type of game will give you an idea of what is required of an avid gamer. Observe people and the surrounding environment to get ideas and write them down. Also make a list of points that you don’t want on your board and try to do their opposite.
There are different types of themes available for board games that include war, fantasy, nature, thriller, and much more. Decide on your age group and the theme of your game. Arrange a posterboard or turn a piece of cardboard into a game board by using attractive pictures, arrow signs, and text that suggests the next step. Other than that, use tokens or text cards to complete the game. Must read Which is the Best Archwing Weapon?
8. What is the Most Sold Board Game?
The following are the most sold board games:
9. How much Money can You make Inventing a Board Game?
Designers of board games often earn between $56,000 and $113,000 annually. With less than a year of experience, a board game designer can expect to make $42,000 to $87,000. A board game designer might anticipate making between $51,000 and $133,000 with 7 to 14 years of experience. (Also read What is Warframe tempo Royale?)