Ask a Game Design Expert

How do I get started?

Just as there are many types of games, there are many ways to approach the Game Design merit badge. To help you get started, think about what you like to do.

Do you like making things? If so, consider designing a board game for which you would need to make the game board and game pieces.

Do you like playing sports? How about coming up with a new type of sports game? Perhaps you might somehow combine the rules of two different games — such as baseball and capture the flag — into brand new game.

Do you want to delve into programming? Download a free-to-use programming language like Alice, or a purchased one like Game Maker.

Do you like to tell stories? Write a new scenario for an existing role-playing game.

Whatever approach you take, be sure to review the merit badge requirements to make sure that what you want to do satisfies those requirements, and then talk to a merit badge counselor before starting any real work.

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  • David Radue is an Eagle Scout and co-leader of the Game Design merit badge development team. He is also the co-founder of the Salem Boardgames Group in Salem, MA, and has had a lifelong passion for games of all kinds. David is a mechanical engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he has worked on projects ranging from missile defense radars to laser communication systems.

    David Mullich has been a Scouter for eight years and is the father of an Eagle Scout. He designed and programmed his first professional videogames for the Apple II computer while still in college and went on to become a game producer at such companies as Activision, 3DO, Spin Master and The Walt Disney Company. David has spoken about game development at the annual Game Developers Conference, volunteered as a game industry mentor at the USC GamePipe Laboratory, and serves on the Los Angeles Film School’s Game Production Department Advisory Committee.

    Tom Miller is an Eagle Scout and has been a Scouter for many years. He remembers playing games of Yahtzee at family gatherings when he was in Cub Scouts, but his real passion for gaming began in high school, when he joined a club that played games from Avalon Hill such as Afrika Korps and Midway. Now as a father with three teenage sons (all Scouts), Tom continues to enjoy playing games with his family, be it board games like Settlers of Catan or electronic games like World of Warcraft.