Every trivia lover in the world has at one point promised themselves to surprise their friends with their very own trivia board game. Unfortunately, most people never get to it. Making one seems hard and time-consuming; it’s much easier to just buy a game made by someone else or organize a night of virtual trivia. You can make your own trivia game online and for free, and you can’t go wrong with a good old Trivial Pursuit!
The truth is, they’re not wrong. Creating your own trivia board game is a challenge. Whether you’re looking for a way to entertain your friends or challenge yourself, you’re in for a test. On the plus side, your own trivia board game can be completely free. You probably already have everything you need at home, and if you have a printer, then that’s a lovely bonus.
Creating your own trivia board game for free doesn’t sound real, but it is. We will tell you exactly how to take care of every single element of a board game. It might not turn out as great as Trivial Pursuit, but it will be fun nonetheless. Are you ready for a game night?
Determine the Theme
Start by determining the theme of your game. There is an infinite number of themes you can choose from! If you’re struggling, visit this page for some inspiration. You can be as specific or vague as you want. General knowledge is a fine theme, as well as Harry Potter. Setting the theme will help you take care of other aspects of the game, like design and categories.
While you’re here, you should start thinking about the categories, too. You don’t need to follow the classic Trivial Pursuit setup and pick six categories. Choose as many or as few as you want. You can have one category titled “General Knowledge” or 20 categories that are not connected in any way. For inspiration, find categories here.
Develop a Set of Rules / Make a Scoring Board
Have you ever fought with your friends over the rules of a board game? Have you accused your opponent of cheating when they weren’t following the rules that you played by? Such instances may occur due to unclear rules. In order to avoid that with your game, you need to define clear rules and figure out how to keep score.
Start by identifying the goal of the game and how to get there. In Trivial Pursuit, for example, the goal is to collect six wedges by answering questions from each category correctly. Without rules, a trivia game is just shooting questions back and forth. Don’t get me wrong, that can be fun too, but you don’t need a game board for that.
Besides, if there are no rules, players will try to cheat. Avoid any conflict by having clear rules. You can get inspired by successful trivia board games like Trivial Pursuit and Wit’s End. After developing some basic rules, you can build on them by adding points to questions from different difficulty levels, creating wild cards, allowing players to steal questions from opponents, and making players skip their turn or move backward on the board. The possibilities are endless!
Procure Your Questions
Once your theme is ready and you have a better understanding of what you want from the game, you can start with the questions. There are many different ways to get questions. You can write your own! This way is definitely the most challenging and time-consuming, but it is an option. It’s suitable for games with fewer questions and inside jokes.
Of course, most people shy away from a challenge like that. If you don’t want to, there is no need to spend days writing your own questions. You can find excellent free (and clear to use) questions online. If you already have your categories ready, then you can start by visiting our page, clicking on the category of your choosing, and looking at the questions. On Trivia Bliss, you will find every category from Entertainment to Religion. You can get as specific or general as you want! Check other websites too and see if they have a printable quiz you could download and use.
Finally, another way to procure questions is to check in your trivia board games. If you have any games that you rarely play, you can borrow the question cards for your own game. Trivial Pursuit is an excellent choice! You can even study some Trivial Pursuit-related books!
Create Your Board
This is the hard part, but also the fun part! If you want your board game to look and feel professional, you need a game board and play pieces. The easiest and cheapest way to make a game board is to design it and draw it yourself, or print it on a piece of paper. It won’t look as good as a game printed on thick cardboard, but it will be significantly cheaper.
Sketch and Print
Start by sketching your board on a piece of paper. You can follow formats from popular board games like Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit. If you have your own idea, even better! Once you have a prototype of your board, get on the computer and recreate it. You don’t need to use professional tools like Photoshop. Create your board in PowerPoint or Keynote. You can even use your phone or tablet for this step.
Alternatively, you can create your own template in Canva using its handy tools. Once it’s ready, print your board and move on to the next step. If you’d like, you can stick it on a piece of cardboard and/or laminate it to make the game board look more professional.
Download from the Internet and Print
If you’re not much of a creative mind when it comes to game boards, that’s fine! You can find a template online and recreate it for your game. Check Pinterest and Canva to get inspired. Alternatively, you can copy a board game that already exists and switch things up a bit to suit your gameplay.
Draw One Yourself
This one is controversial, but it’s definitely the cheapest! If you don’t have access to a printer, you can draw your own game board! Be careful, use a ruler, and stay within the lines. Or don’t! It’s your game after all, so you can do anything you please. You can try drawing/painting on cardboard to make your board game thicker and more durable. This way it will resemble an actual game board.
If you can afford to invest a few bucks into your game, order a board from Board Games Maker online. You can get a board for as little as $12. The website offers playing pieces too!
Make Your Cards
Cards make your board game into a trivia board game. They are a vessel for your questions and challenges. You procured your questions in the second step, and now it’s time to transfer them onto your cards. You can follow the same system as with the game board. Either create cards on the computer and print them out or draw your own.
If you’re choosing to use questions from other board games, you can keep the cards too. If you don’t want cards, you don’t really need them. Print the questions out on a piece of paper or keep them in digital form on your phone, tablet, or computer. Cards make keeping score easier, but if you have a solution that doesn’t require cards, then do your thing!
Acquire Your Game Pieces
For the most unique yet professional looking game pieces, contact a company like Board Games Maker. It will cost you, but only a few cents per piece. If you’re already ordering a game board online, you might as well splurge and get the game pieces too. If you’re willing to invest a small sum, look through thrift stores in your area. Sometimes they have used board games or game pieces for a fraction of the original price.
The cheapest, or free, solution is to play with what you already have at home. If you’ve ever played a board game before, you definitely have a die or two lying around. There’s no need to customize those, unless you really want to.
As for the pawns, they have to be small enough to easily fit on the board, and different so you can differentiate between players. You can use buttons or any other small objects you have at home. Paint them different colors to make them extra special.
Extras for Your Board Game
Ideally, you should have a special place for storing your board game and all the pieces that come with it. You can recycle an old box and use it as storage. Decorate the box to match the theme of the game and write your game’s name on the lid. You can also buy a small box specifically for the game. You will find plenty at any office supply store.
Having a box makes the game easy to transport. This way you’re not limited to playing with your family at home. You can take it to a bar to meet friends, and have a trivia party from virtually anywhere!
Now that you know all the steps to make your very own trivia game, what are you waiting for? Once you have all your materials and your ideas planned out, you can reference this guide and let the creative juices flow! Who knows, maybe you can make the next Trivial Pursuit! Or, at very least, a suitable version of at-home Jeopardy! And if you’re interested in games similar to Trivial Pursuit to play before you make your own game, check out this list.