How to Invent Games


Welcome to the invent games recourse.

First l will tell you how l came up with the “Thread the Maze Puzzle” idea and then site some examples of how l developed some past ideas that almost succeeded.

Firstly l had an idea for a coloured cardboard stacking sculpture, when the “3D Stacking Sculptures” were everywhere. You stacked gray cardboard pieces on top of each other to create “Darth Vader’s face”, etc. l went to a Puzzle shop with my idea and they directed me to Blue Opal a local Toy Company located in Fairfield, Victoria, Australia.

After showing this idea to them, we developed and played around with the concept, but it didn’t work out. But during this time David showed me several large Puzzle-books.

These books probably aren’t available in Australia and you would have to order them through most large bookshops for a copy.

Book details

“Puzzles Old and New” Jerry Stocum-Jack Botermans. Cost: $80 (The book that l found the Thread the Maze idea from).

“The best New Video & Board game design” Brunner C 261k. Cost $70 (Probably don’t need to buy this book unless you are more into the design part of game development)!



Invent Games-including Thread the Maze idea rough

But back to my story, l had a good look through them and they were mainly full of old puzzles and games hundreds of years old.

And one puzzle stood out from the rest. It was a thin steel sheet in an oval shape with holes all over it. And a metal ring with a piece cut out like the letter C. The object was to feed the ring from the top to the bottom of the puzzle.

So l thought why a similar thing couldn’t be done using jigsaw type cardboard with images on both sides and holes all over it, where you need to feed string through the holes from the top to the bottom without the string crossing itself or going over certain parts of the graphic image.

I did some simple drawings and presented them to David, he thought that it had potential and after a year of development, l started receiving the Royalty payments.

Obviously depending on where you live you could go to another Toy Company, but since Blue Opal offers a fair contract, are great people to deal with and you can invent game, etc ideas and e-mail your concepts to them, l will stay with them indefinitely and l cannot recommend them highly enough.

The reason it takes a year to develop an idea is because it takes months to develop an idea, send or show these ideas to overseas Toy Companies then rehash or change certain aspects of the product they don’t like, until they are happy with it and are prepared to place an order.

This may seem like a long time and a lot of effort, but it is very exciting to see your idea go from a rough sketch on a sheet of paper to a real physical product and even more exciting to get a cheque in the mail.

The second idea that almost took off was a board game called Insanity, where you either pick up two cards with an animal on them or one Character card and one Action card, then by using a simple version of charades or using sound or pictures only relay what you are, or who you are and what you are doing to everyone else.

An example could be two animal cards, with a Mouse on one and T-Rex on another then relay a mutant Mouse+T-Rex animal to everyone else until someone gets it.

Or the Character, Action card example could be Darth Vader going to a party and relay that in a certain charades style until someone gets it.

We thought that this was a great concept, but no matter how many times we developed and reinvented this concept no one was interested!

Not all great ideas work when you invent games, but some do and the ones that do make it all worthwhile.


Go to Toy and Game inventor introduction or how to create New Ideas.