Build Dice Game Prototype: 7 Steps

Creating a physical prototype is crucial for testing and refining your dice game before full production. This 7-step guide will walk you through the entire process, from planning and designing to testing and improving your prototype.

  1. Plan Your Game

    • Define goals, theme, and target audience
    • Create balanced rules and mechanics
    • Sketch ideas and write a rulebook
  2. Make the Game Board

    • Choose suitable materials like foam core, cardstock, or chipboard
    • Design an engaging layout with different zones and paths
    • Add textures and decorations to match the game's theme
  3. Make the Dice

    • Choose dice types (D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D20) based on mechanics
    • Create custom dice with unique designs and materials
    • Or buy readymade dice from online retailers or local stores
  4. Make Other Game Parts

    • Tokens and pieces from materials like buttons, clay, EVA foam, or magnets
    • Design and print cards with clear graphics and text
    • Organize components in labeled containers for easy access
  5. Test and Improve

    • Conduct playtesting sessions with friends or family
    • Gather honest feedback on gameplay, rules, and difficulty
    • Make necessary changes based on feedback
  6. Polish Your Prototype

    • Enhance visual appeal with better artwork and graphics
    • Use high-quality materials like premium paper or wood components
    • Consider professional printing services for a polished look
  7. Next Steps

    • Conduct more playtesting with diverse groups
    • Pitch to publishers, highlighting unique selling points
    • Self-publish via crowdfunding or print-on-demand services

By following these steps, you'll create a high-quality dice game prototype that's ready for further testing, refinement, and potentially, full production.

Materials and Tools Needed

To build a dice game prototype, you'll need some basic materials and tools. Here's a simple list to get you started:

Main Materials

| Item | Purpose

Step 1: Plan Your Game

Define the Goals

Write down the goals and objectives to guide your design process.

Create the Rules

Sketch Your Ideas

Write the Rulebook

Task Purpose
Define Goals Establish a focused vision for your game
Create Rules Outline the mechanics and player interactions
Sketch Ideas Visualize components and identify potential issues
Write Rulebook Provide clear instructions for playing the game

Step 2: Making the Game Board

Now that you have a solid game plan, it's time to create the game board. Here's how to make a professional-looking board that fits your game's theme.

Board Materials

You have a few options for board materials:

Material Description
Foam Core Board Sturdy and lightweight
Cardstock Affordable and flexible
Chipboard Durable and withstands heavy use

Choose the material that best suits your needs.

Designing the Layout

Start by sketching the different zones and paths on your board. Consider the game's theme and mechanics when designing the layout:

Adding Textures

Enhance the board's look by adding textures:

Assembling the Board

Assemble the board carefully:

1. Cut out the individual components (paths, zones, textures) 2. Use glue to assemble the components, aligning them properly 3. Add final touches like labels or decorations

Step 3: Making the Dice

Dice are a crucial part of any dice game. You have two options: create custom dice or use readily available ones. Let's explore both options.

Choosing Dice Types

There are several types of dice, each with its own unique features:

Choose the dice type based on your game's mechanics and complexity. For simple probability calculations, a D6 might work. For more complex games with multiple variables, a D20 could be better.

Making Custom Dice

Creating custom dice can be a fun and personalized process. Here's how:

  1. Design: Sketch your dice design, considering shape, size, and number of sides.
  2. Material: Choose a material like wood, plastic, or resin.
  3. Mold: Use a mold or 3D printer to create the dice shape.
  4. Details: Add paint, engravings, or stickers for visual interest.

Making custom dice takes time and effort, but the result can be unique and engaging.

Buying Readymade Dice

If you don't have the time or skills for custom dice, you can buy readymade ones from online retailers or local game stores. This option is faster and more convenient, but with limited design options.

Popular online retailers include Amazon, GameKastle, and The Dice Shop. Check local game stores too.

Custom vs. Readymade Dice

Option Pros Cons
Custom Dice Unique design tailored to your game More expensive, time-consuming
Readymade Dice Readily available, cheaper Less customization

Choose between custom and readymade dice based on your game's needs, budget, and design preferences.


Step 4: Making Other Game Parts

Tokens and Pieces

Tokens and pieces are key parts of any dice game. You can make them from simple materials like:

Material Description
Buttons/Bottle Caps Simple, effective tokens
Clay Customize with paint or engravings
EVA Foam Lightweight, durable tokens
Magnets For magnetic game versions

Choose materials that fit your game's theme and mechanics. Get creative and try different options.


If your game needs cards, you'll need to design and print them. Use software like Canva or Adobe Illustrator to create the designs.

Card Design Tips:

Print the cards on cardstock or paper. Consider professional printing services for a polished look.

Organizing Components

As you make game parts, keep them organized:

Staying organized saves time and reduces stress during gameplay. It lets you focus on enjoying the game.

Step 5: Testing and Improving Your Game

Initial Playtests

Gather a group of friends or family to try out your game. This first round of playtesting will help you spot any major issues, like unclear rules or unbalanced gameplay. Watch how players interact with the game and listen to their feedback.

Getting Feedback

Honest feedback is key to improving your game. Encourage playtesters to share their thoughts openly. Ask questions like:

Take detailed notes during playtesting sessions and review them later to identify patterns and areas for improvement.

Making Changes

Based on the feedback, make adjustments to your game. This may involve tweaking rules, rebalancing gameplay, or redesigning components. Don't be afraid to make significant changes if needed - it will improve the overall quality of your game.

Here's a table comparing the pros and cons of making changes:

Pros Cons
Improves gameplay May require reworking components
Addresses player feedback Could delay the final product
Enhances overall experience May need additional playtesting

Step 6: Polishing Your Prototype

Enhancing Visual Appeal

Your game's visuals play a big role in the player's experience. Consider upgrading the artwork, graphics, or illustrations to make your game more visually appealing. You can also experiment with different colors, fonts, and layouts to create an attractive and cohesive design.

Using Better Materials

Switching to higher-quality materials can make your prototype more durable and professional-looking. Here are some options:

Material Description
High-quality paper or cardstock For game boards, cards, and tokens
Wood or plastic components Adds a premium feel

Professional Printing Services

To create a polished, published-quality prototype, consider using a print-on-demand service like The Game Crafter or Print & Play by AdMagic. These services offer custom board game printing, card printing, and component manufacturing, allowing you to create a prototype that looks and feels like a finished product.

Step 7: What's Next?

With a polished prototype, it's time to decide the next steps for your game. Here are some options to consider:

More Testing

Conducting more playtesting sessions is crucial to gather broader feedback and identify areas for improvement. Consider:

Pitching to Publishers

If you want to work with a publisher, prepare a pitch highlighting:

Research potential publishers and their submission guidelines to ensure you target the right companies.


Self-publishing allows you to maintain creative control and publish independently. Options include:

Option Description
Crowdfunding Raise funds on platforms like Kickstarter
Print-on-Demand Services like The Game Crafter or Print & Play by AdMagic

Research self-publishing options to choose the best fit for your game and budget.


Well done! You've finished the 7 steps to build a dice game prototype. By following this guide, you turned your idea into a playable game. But remember, prototyping is a process. Keep testing, refining, and improving your game.

Each step played a key role in shaping your game's quality and player experience:

  1. Planning: Defined your game's goals, rules, and vision.
  2. Game Board: Created a themed board to fit your mechanics.
  3. Dice: Chose or made custom dice to suit your gameplay.
  4. Components: Crafted tokens, cards, and other game pieces.
  5. Testing: Gathered feedback to identify issues and improvements.
  6. Polishing: Enhanced visuals and used better materials.
  7. Next Steps: Decided to pitch, self-publish, or keep refining.

Now it's time to choose your next move. Whether pitching to publishers, self-publishing, or further refining, stay focused on your goals. Most importantly, enjoy the creative journey!

Best wishes with your dice game! 🎲