How do I make my own board game or card game?
Follow these steps to make a game:
Before You Begin
Create a new user account on our website and sign in, or login to your existing account. You must also have a graphic design program installed.
We cannot print anything that contains copyrighted or trademarked:
- Images, Characters, or Logos
- Names or Quoted Text
Note: This is true even if the game is only intended for personal use. For more information, please see our intellectual property policy.
View Our Product Catalog
The first step is to browse our product catalog and decide which items will work for your game.
In the product catalog, click on the items you want in your game. Download the template for each product and save it to your computer or device. You can find detailed information about using our templates here.
Create Your Artwork
Open template files in your graphic design program and create a new layer to add your artwork. Verify that important parts of the image are in the blue-dotted safe zone and that the background color/pattern exceeds the red cut line and fills the entire gray bleed zone.
New users should read and listen to the following resources:
Designer Tips | FAQ for Beginners | Podcast for Beginners
Warning: Step 3 is where people often make mistakes!
New users often make mistakes when designing artwork because they don't read all of our help documentation. Avoid wasting time and money by making sure you read our documentation and design your game correctly in our system. We do not offer reprints for issues caused by user error. If you have questions, please contact us. We're glad to help!
Saving & Exporting Images
Make sure all the images you are uploading do not show the template layer when exporting your images. You will export your images individually as either a .png file or .jpg. (We strongly recommend using .png files)
Note: Files must be exported in RGB color file format.
Make A New Game Project
Click Make Games from the main menu and then My Games. Then click the Create A Custom Game button. First, click on the Edit Details button under the Management section and scroll down to the "Name" field in the Basics section. Hit enter to save. Return to your new game project by clicking on the game name at the top of the screen.
Click the Edit button for the component you want to add. Then click Edit for the type of component. Upload the images for this component using the green box.
Note: Files must be less than 100MB. Upload 25 files or less at one time.
Set Component Quantities
Once you've uploaded your images, you'll be able to change the quantity of each component. We will only send you the quantity that you list for each component and not a full sheet.
Note: If a component only has a quantity of 1, that means we will ship you 1 copy of that image/component (chit, card, etc...) and not a full sheet of that image/component. Any unused blank components from a sheet will not be sent.
Proofing Your Images
All images that are uploaded to The Game Crafter must be proofed. Unproofed images will have an orange box with an "i" above them. To proof an image, click on the gray button with an eye symbol and ensure that your image follows the template overlay.
By clicking on the green approve button, you are acknowledging that you are satisfied with the image and it is ready for printing. After you click approve you will be taken to the next unproofed image for that component type.
Ordering the First Copy of Your Game
Click on the Add to Cart button under the Management section. Then it will be added to your cart. Click on the Cart button on the top menu.
Note: To do this from the home page, click Make Games from the main menu and then My Games. Click the Edit button for the game and then click the Add to Cart button.
Note: There is a 3-day waiting period between your first order and your second. After you receive your first copy, please be sure to review all of the components in your game for any changes or corrections that need to be made before ordering additional copies of your game.
As you can see, there are a lot of steps involved in making a custom game. If you have questions, please use the following methods to get help:
- TGC Community Chat (login to thegamecrafter.com first)
- Use the green Support button on right side of our site
- Send us a message on Facebook or Twitter.
- Email Customer Support
Note: To keep our overhead costs and product prices low, we do not provide phone support. Instead we provide excellent online support!
Optional: Self Publish Your Game In Our Shop
After ordering a copy of your game, you'll have to wait 10 days before you are allowed to publish your game. This policy ensures that designers have time to receive the physical game and review it before they hit publish. Once the game is published, your game will be available for purchase!
New users looking to publish their game should read the following:
Publishing Help | 70/30 Profit Split | How Royalties Work | Marketing