So you want to design your own game, do you? First thing you're going to need is an idea. It doesn't need to be anything grand, and it most certainly does not need to be the final cut and dry game concept from start to finish. What you're looking for is going to be a seed. Think of making a board/card game like growing a plant. You first need to plant the seed, then nurture it and if you do those things you will watch it grow into something beautiful right before your eyes.
Your seed could be somethings as simple as "game where players play as trash collectors during a post-zombie apocalypse."
Once you have your seed it's time to start growing it. You will do this with a good old fashioned pencil and paper. Growing this idea will involve answering some of the following questions:
- What is the play style i want?
- card game
- Collectible card game? (think even balance with very, very rare cards that are abnormally good in very narrow circumstances)
- Trading card game? (think Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic the Gathering where most cards are low in monetary value and capable of fine-tuning strategies based off themes)
- Living Card Game? (Think static card game with regularly schedule expansions that all contain 100% of the expansion set. Netrunner is a perfect example of that)
- Plain card game? (think games like Uno, Love Letter, Citadels, Colossal Arena, Etc)
- Board Game
- What type of board?
- Static board (think risk or monopoly)
- Dynamic board (think Betrayal at the House on the Hill or Descent)
- Will there be miniatures?
- Plastic detailed miniatures
- press-board tokens
- combination of the two
- will the board game have cards?
- how important are the cards?
- is there room to grow in the cards? (not really a necessary questions but one worth asking if you're interested in releasing expansions later down the road)
- Will there be combat?
- If yes, how do i approach hits and misses?
- Make them automatic?
- approach with dice and modifiers?
- use a card system?
- If no, how will the players interact with each other if at all.
- How will movement be handled if at all?
- Static value for everyone
- skill based movement (don't let yourself get lost in stats and numbers. Remember the KISS adage.)
- Unit Based. (think small world. finite unit resources used to conquer territory, partial regeneration at the beginning of the next turn.
with this, you should be ready to start the next step... Designing revision one of your rule book.