Is all board game design DIY game design? The answer is, of course, yes and no. Yes; most board game design is done by a single designer or group of designers, working mostly alone (apart from playtests). But no; real DIY game design is a set of beliefs about publishing, recreation, and the true nature of this hobby. The key difference is that what this blog refers to as “DIY game design,” stands as an end in and of itself. We make, play, and think about games because it is fun, engaging, and exciting! DIY game design means putting process before publication, using games as a way to enrich the self and the ways in which we think about and view the world.
Okay, okay, that first paragraph is almost a rant. But, it’s true!
Honestly, when I ask myself the question: “Why DIY?” I can’t help but think of the original print run of Dungeons and Dragons. A small box with three booklets inside and a print-run of less than 5000. The original set reads more like a punk zine than the mass-market hardcover manuals that ship today. Sure there were typos, and loopholes, and house rules. . . but the game worked, and it was fun! Lets treat this like a parable: all adventures must start somewhere, I guess.