Originality is the name of the game, students create own board games



Chess club has begun offering more interscholastic options. Playing a strategy game like chess can help exercise the brain.

Saachi Kuchu, Guest Contributor

Many people have played board games before, but for the students in Strategy Club, creating and playing original board games is what the meetings are all about.

“Strategy Club is a group of people who are interested in board games and come together to create some and test them out,” Strategy Club president, senior Ella Gong said. “They have the opportunity to work on a long-term project and learn to perfect it. It’s a place to hang out with friends and enjoy something you spent time on.” 

There is a monthly game night where members bring their favorite snacks, and they play each other’s games, and if they have time, the member’s favorite board games. 

“We play member-made games as well as explore other games,” Gong said. “It’s the members’ chance to test their game with actual players and see what could be made better.” 

Because of the COVID the monthly game nights have been moved online. Sophomore Isabel Wang misses in-person game night because it was more lively.

“In person game night had lots of snacks and a lot more people, and it would be more lively,” Wang said, “I missed going to Game Night after school and hanging out with everyone.”

Some different types of board game strategies include: card game, role play, strategy, secret identity, puzzle and dexterity. Gong made a game called Navigants, which is a battleship and destroy game, and includes elements of strategy, and secret identity. 

“My game is called ‘Navigants,’ and is a battleship hunt and destroy type of game,” Gong said. “It also requires strategy, problem solving, and teamwork, which I really enjoy! It’s a mixture of all my favorite game elements and I’m excited to play it again!” 

Since the COVID has moved the strategy club meetings online, all the board games made must be online too. Sophomore Lilya Ma thinks creating the game online is the most challenging part of making a game.

“Definitely creating the game in general online is harder, because you can’t like take cardboard and use that as a game board,” said Ma. “You have to like create everything on Google slides, or at least that’s what majority of the club members did, due to the lack of coding knowledge.”

One way to start making a board game would be to pick some different strategies, such as strategy or secret identity,and start off with a base board game, such as battleship, in Gong’s game “navigants”. Since part can be intimidating which is why Gong thinks starting is the most challenging part of making a game. 

“I believe one of the most challenging parts of making a game is getting started,” Gong said. “The amount of creativity you’re given can be intimidating and knowing where to start is difficult. I try to explore different game elements and inform members about them to help jump-kick the process. Once over the first hurdle, a lot of it has to do with modifications!” 

Making sure that one part of the game doesn’t have too much power, or finding loopholes in the game is what balancing a game is. According to the Strategy Club sponsor, Chistine Rittenhouse,that and game mechanics are the most difficult part of game making.

“Game mechanics and balance can be tricky,” Rittenhouse said. “ You have to make sure that no player is able to break the game.”

Wang says the most rewarding part of the game-making process is playing it.

“The most rewarding part of the game-creation process is definitely the joy of playing it,” Wang said. “When people enjoy playing my game, I feel very accomplished. It’s great to make a game that people actually enjoy, and I think that’s the most rewarding part.”

Making board games can teach you some skills. Gong hopes that members will be able to receive a good insight on their game mechanics.

“I hope they are able to receive good insight on their game mechanics,” Gong said. “There will always be something that doesn’t play out as smoothly as they’d hope, so this is their chance to find those issues and tweak things! I also hope they have a great time hanging out with their friends playing a never-seen-before game!”