Ask a Game Design Expert

Can I use games I already have and modify them?

Yes, you can build your own version of a board game like Clue or Monopoly, program a game similar to Breakout or Angry Birds, or create a campaign for an existing role-playing game.  However, be sure to change the game elements (such as the artwork and the game theme or story) so that it becomes your own game and not just a copy of an existing game.  It is also important for you to change the game rules and then bring together some friends to play the game with the changed rules so that you gain an understanding of game mechanics and what makes a game fun to play.

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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.