Настольные игры для всех

XI Международный конкурс научно-исследовательских и творческих работ учащихся
Старт в науке

Настольные игры для всех

Зубов Н.Д. 1
1МОУ СОШ "Перспектива"
Иванова А.А. 1
1МОУ СОШ "Перспектива"
Автор работы награжден дипломом победителя I степени
Текст работы размещён без изображений и формул.
Полная версия работы доступна во вкладке "Файлы работы" в формате PDF

The problem of this project

I have got a lot of board games at home (Figure 1). I am fond of them since my childhood. I like to play different kinds of games, make changes in them and invent new games.

The object of my work is

to find out what they are like and how board games are arranged, to understand the process of their creation and to create my own games.

The hypothesis of the project says:

Board games are modern and perspective and they will not succumb computer games.

Every person can create his own board game if he wants.

About games.

Firstly, I looked for some information about board games. Here is what I managed to find.

The definition of the word

Board game is the kind of play

The play is one of the main types of human activity which aim is the process, not the result.

Benefits of the games

Using games children learn the world (Figure 2). The game helps to splash out your energy, to reveal your character, to have a rest and spend your free time. The play brings people closer, teaches them to reach an agreement and sometimes it even gets acquainted them. Games depict the characters of their inventors, their feelings and motivations, customs and traditions of their time and the situation in the world. Different games accompany people from their birth. Their social importance is great.

History of board games

History of Board games goes back at least 5500 years. In modern studies it has been suggested that the story of these games was common and even the most modern Board games have common roots. The origin of the oldest known Board games of today can be traced to China and India.

Ancient Board games

Apparently, one of the oldest Board games were different variations of the game of dice. The dice carved from a stone or bone is similar to today's dice and they were already found in the excavations five thousand years ago. Bones continue to exist as a separate gamble, but their main application is as an auxiliary element of a set of Board games (Figure 3).

From the games that were popular in the past but they do not exist any more the oldest one is probably Senet (Ancient Egypt, 4th Millennium BC).People learned about it in the nineteenth century with the help of drawings in the tombs of the pharaohs. The rules of Senet are unknown exactly. It is assumed that it was the game similar to checkers; the rules of the modern play are the reconstruction of Senet.

In the third Millennium BC in the middle East backgammon was created , it is the game of checkers-type, this game is still popular but the rules were slightly modified.

In the second Millennium BC in ancient China there were original Board games, some of them are already forgotten and some of them are popular among modern people. “Go” and “go-moku” are still known and they have not practically been changed. They are like draughts but the chips do not move on the board and they are only exposed and removed from it.

Games Mancala (games with seeds) appeared about three thousand years ago. Their various options are still in played in Africa, in the Middle East and even in South and Central America. To this family belong the following games Kalah, Wari, Toguz Korgool, Congkak. The main principle of all these games is to move the "grains" between the holes located on the board in several rows, with the aim of capturing all the grains of the opponent or depriving him the possibility of stroke.

To the first Millennium BC belong the oldest known Board games of checkers type in Europe – Greek Pattaya and Roman latrunculi.

Indian Games and Games of the Middle East

In India and in the Middle East a lot of board games were created, they became the basis for many imitations and analogues in the world. So, at the end of the first Millennium BC dominoes appeared in India – they were the flat tablets, each of them contained the images of two sides of the dice. The dominoes were made from ivory, insets were made from black wood.

Among the less known games is, for example, Chaupar – an Indian game of the checkers. There is a kind of this game that is popular in Spain now and it is called Pachissi, it was formerly known in Russia under the title "Do not get angry, buddy" (Figure 4).

However, the most famous games of this region are, of course, the games that were the predecessors of the modern classical chess. The genealogy of chess begins with nearly the fifth century, Chaturanga is the first known game of chess. The question which form of chess appeared first remains open. However, in the next century, the documents mention the Asian game Shatranj that is similar to Chaturanga. It apparently did not differ from modern chess.

Games of Southeast Asia

Many board games of South-Eastern Asia were originally borrowed from India. Thus, in the first centuries of our era dominoes were brought from India to China. About 50 different games were created on their basis in China.

In the XII century in China and Korea the first card games appeared. Many of these games were developed from the earlier games that used different objects instead of paper. Playing cards came to Europe in XIII—XIV centuries and instantly became the basis for dozens of species of popular games.

One of the youngest of South Asian Board games is Mahjong (Figure 5). It appeared in China around 1870, in the first decades it was distributed only in limited parts of Central China. But then the popularity of the game raised, and by the 1920s, Mahjong was already considered to be a national Chinese game and it was known in Japan, Korea and other countries in Southeast Asia.

Games of Indians before Columbus

The games of South American Indians are known quite well, especially the games of Incas and Mayans. Among them are numerous games that use a dice such as Alankara, Spike, Vaira, Takenaka and others, as well as strategic games with no element of chance, for example, Incas’ Aptana and Puma, Maya’s Bool. Hunting was the main theme of these games (Figure 6).

There is a statement that in the culture of the North American Indians there were no board games. However, there are some data that describe games of checkers typesuch as "Hunting", "Snakes and stones", a traditional game Kiowa "Jump the Creek". Some Indian games were clearly taken over by the Indians from the Europeans.

European Board games

In Europe until the second half of the first Millennium of our era there were distributed games with dice and a few games of draughts type, we have very little reliable information about these games.

The only relatively known original game of that time can be considered a Scandinavian hnefatafl – checkers type game on a rectangular grid (Figure 7). It was a part of a series of games, the so-called "family of checkers tafl" and it was asymmetrical, different from the Asian counterparts. Hnefatafl was already known in III century AD in Scandinavia, the game was widely distributed, the ability to play it was an honor. The Vikings brought it to Greenland, Iceland, Wales, Britain and the Kievan Rus, it is mentioned in the sagas and tales. Archaeologists found hnefatafl in Kiev, Chernigov, Pskov, and Novgorod. In X—XI centuries, with the advent of chess, hnefatafl was firmly forgotten.

Around the X century in Europe, Egypt and Middle Asia have penetrated shatranj (see above). Over the next century, it has been transformed. Around the XI century checkerboard was black and white. After the XV century there have been made only minor cosmetic changes in the rules.

Simultaneously with shatranj alkerk came to Europe .It is a checkers type game and it is considered to be one of the prototypes of modern checkers. Due to the popularity of shatranj many European and checkers games were also played on a standard chess board of 8x8 cells. To the XII century, the now famous kit for checkers games was formed. in Europe checkers spread slowly, until the sixteenth century they were known only in England, France and possibly in Spain.

In XIII—XIV centuries card games penetrated Europe from Egypt. To this same period belong the first of the preserved decrees of the European rulers and religious leaders, prohibiting board games: dice, cards, chess. Ironically, the checkers fall out of this range, they were never banned. At that time backgammon came to Europe.

The games’ development

In the XVI—XIX century, the most famous of the "old" Board games acquired the form in which they are familiar to us today. To the XV century the evolution of chess rules was completed. In the XIX century international tournaments were held, which required a final standardization of the rules and turned the chess into the sport. The official title of "world chess champion" appeared.

In the sixteenth century modern checkers emerged. The last fundamental change in the mechanism of the game was made in 1535. The popularity of checkers has increased sharply, they began to play checkers in Europe, but different countries have common features of their own rules, which prevented the holding of international competitions. In 1723 the English draughts player of Polish origin who remained in history under the nickname of Pole, proposed to increase the draughts Board to 100 cells (10x10) and slightly changed the rules of the game — there are international draughts. The wide distribution and the absence of differences in the rules of the game have made this version of checkers international. In 1894 the first world championship in draughts was held.

In 1743 Edmond Hoyle finished the rules of backgammon.

Card games became very popular , the total number of them reached several hundred. And playing cards were changed as well. In the XVII century the card was printed in a fine pattern. By the nineteenth century, cards have finally acquired a modern look. Cards were played everywhere, in spite of numerous prohibitions. In Russia cards and card games appeared in the XVII century, imported from Western Europe. In the reign of Mikhail Fedorovich, the card game was officially banned, but the ban was not respected. Subsequently, the cards have become a common entertainment for all segments of society.

In the XVIII—XIX century, cardboard board games were widespread in Europe, they were played by moving the pieces on the field, designed in accordance with the theme of the game. The box was printed by letterpress on cardboard. With a great variety of design and detail rules, most of them were just variations on several themes: bingo where players were required to place chips on the cards with the images; the "jib", where you had earlier opponents to go all the way on the map its chip making moves in accordance with the glasses that fell on the dice; "battle", where two players, each controlling their own set of chips, played battle. In Russia in the XIX century, such games were made on the subject of the famous battles of past wars. They were popular and were considered a means of Patriotic education of youth. The games "the storming of Izmail" and "the retreat of Napoleon from Moscow" are well-known.

There were not many new abstract games at that period of time. Reversi is one of them, it appeared in Great Britain in 1883. It was popular until the end of the nineteenth century, but then it was forgotten.

In the eighteenth century dominoes was brought to Italy from the East. Thanks to communication with the East, Go, Rendziu, Go-moku came to Europe and the USA.

"Mahjong" was imported from China to the USA and then to Europe by Joseph P. Babcock in the 1920-s of the XX century and became popular. For a short time Mahjong gained an immense popularity in the United States, which peaked in 1923. There were Mahjong clubs everywhere around the country. At the same time Mahjong became known in Western Europe, where previously it was practically unknown. In 1935, the "National Mahjong League" was created in the United States.

Of the Board games that appeared in the first half of the twentieth century, one can note the game created by the American Charles Darrow in 1934, the game of Monopoly, which became the first widespread Board game in the genre of economic strategy. The players guided by the points on the dices make moves alternately. The winner is the one who will achieve the bankruptcy of all the other players. The game was rejected by the publishing company and began its journey with five thousand sets manually created by the author and his friend, and in 1936 it became the best-selling Board game in the United States. “Monopoly” is popular today, the number of people playing it in the world is estimated at 500 million people (Figure 8).

Another new game of the pre-war period introduced in 1938 was Scrabble. Players make words from the letters they receive. They get points for every word, the winner is the participant with the maximum points. The game is still popular in the US and Western Europe, it holds regular Championships.

In the postwar years the popularization of the South Asian games of go and go-moku continued, they became popular in Western countries. In 1935 the American go Association (AGA) was founded. In 1982 the international go Federation was founded, and in 1988 the international Federation of Renju appeared.

During the twentieth century there were many attempts to modify chess. In particular, there are several variants of chess on a hexagonal Board consisting of a regular hexagonal fields. In 1972 three-person chess on a hexagonal Board with fields-quadrangles was patented.

In addition to the versions of old games, in the last decades several new classes of Board games appeared. Dungeons and Dragons is one of them, a board role-playing game, it was published in 1974.

In 1995, “Settlers” of Klaus Teuber opened a series of numerous games in the German style.

In 1993 there appeared “Magic: The Gathering” by Richard Garfield. It became the first representative of the family of collectible card games, combining Board game and collectible cards. A common feature of games of this type is that the game is played using a deck of cards that are purchased separately and each has unique gameplay capabilities; the player can not buy all the cards, he starts with a basic set and gradually buys new cards, gathering his own deck and using them in games with opponents.

Themes of Board games have increased considerably. There are games with the original well elaborated setting. “Talisman: the Magical Quest Game” is one of the first such games, it was released in 1983. It is a board game in a fantasy setting, which passed through several editions. Variety of board games performed on the subjects of popular literary works, and especially films.

In general, the last quarter of the 20th century was marked by a real boom in board games, which has not yet ended: dozens of new items appear annually, in large cities there are specialized stores for board games, game cafes, and clubs. Despite the emergence and wide popularity of electronic and computer games, board games retain and even strengthen their positions.

Classification of board games

It is very difficult to classify board games as well as computer games. Board games are extremely various because they have thousands year history. The games of different people very greatly.

Games can be divided according to the following sign:

Age and sex of participants.

The number of participants.

The style of the play, design of the components.

The course of the game, its main components, skills that are necessary for the game.

The time of the game.

As for me, I use the fourth type of classification because games for children and for adults differ in censorship, simplicity difficulty and in design of the game. Games for boys and girls differ only in themes. To change number of participants and the time of the game you should only make some changes in the rules. One can change the design of the game by substitution of the main characters, for example, you can substitute birds for helicopters. Or you can give the game to another publisher. The 4 type of classification of the games is characterized by different skills that are necessary for the game: the speed (lotto) of thought, concentration and logic (“Sea battle”), creativity (LEGO) and so on. Some kind of games differ in the number of players. Games of chance and games for one player stand separately.

I classify the games the following way:

games for one person (crossword, puzzles);

strategic games for two players (chess);

strategic games for two and more players (“Monopoly”);

games of chance:

games with dice;

other games of chance (lottery);

educational games (“Scrabble”);

games for imagination and speed of thought (“Crocodile”);

short card games;

role games (“Cluedo”), can be without a set;

games for building with rules (“Jenga”);

games without rules (LEGO);

hybrids of different types of games.

My survey

When I grasped this information I wanted to look for some statistic facts about games to learn which of them people like. But there were not enough information so I conducted a survey in three classes (3rd, 6th and 8th) of my school. It was contained from two parts. In the first part a participant should choose which types of games he like (not more than two variants). For the second task a person need to write the names of his favourite games (Figure 9). After analyzing the results I have got these information.

The interest of board games increases with growing, the interest of computer games falls and the interest of sport games remains the same.

For board games: in the 8th class people like games of chance less than pupils of other classes. The popularity of strategic games is growing. The biggest part of the participants has chosen role games in Question 1.

When the participants have written the names of their favourite games there were more computer games than games of other types. But in Question 1 the most popular types of games belongs to the board games! I think it is because a lot of computer games’ names are in advertising so they are well-known to the people. Also this group of games can be the largest because of a huge number of them appears every year.

The process of creating board games

I tried to make board games several times and understood that you should follow a specific sequence of actions. My favorite algorithm is the following:

First, you should determine the theme and the object of the game. You can imagine an object after the theme or in reverse order.

You need to imagine a general view of the game. It includes: what kind of the games it is; the design of the game; its main component. That paragraph will help you to understand the essence of your future game. This stage is often linked with the theme, you can even make up the theme after the general view.

You should form the base of rules, write it and make a sketch of the main components.

Imagine, what, when and how the players will use to achieve the goal of the game. Form a general plan of the each player’s move. If it is needed add some elements to the set. Choose the conditions of the end of the game. Write, how to choose the winner.

Compose the description of the main characters of the game. The main characters are: the presenter, players, virtual bots and so on. Describe who they are, what they do, when and how. Form and write the preface of the game.

Compose the set of the game; describe it. Write about the game’s elements: how to use them, what they are need for. These description are necessary because during the game you will know what to do clearer.

Make the rules according the plan:

recommendations for the game, preface of the game;

object of game;

description of main characters;

description of the game set;

the preparation for the game;

the description of the game process;

the end of the game;

notes and explanations;


Make a rough copy of the game.

Try to play this version and to find drawbacks. For example, the game can be too long or the rules are too difficult.

Remove drawbacks by adding or substracting the components, changing the process of the game. Replay it.

Made the fair copy of the game. Edit the rules to make them simple and clear.

Design the game: create its symbol put the set into a pleasant and convenient box.

The game is ready.

The example of creating the game:

Choose the theme. For example, tigers. There are different variations of this theme. They identify the object and the general view of the game. For example, protection of tigers, hunting tigers, survival of tigers in the wild. We choose the theme “survival of tigers”. Then each of us will be a tiger. The aim of the game is to survive longer than other players or to get rid of the opponents. We can join these aims.

Submit the game approximately. There will be a game board with jungle. In the jungle a tiger can move as he wants. He will use cards to move across the river, to defend himself from the hunter, from the meteorite or the herd of deer. Dangers appear regularly, for example, every move the players take one of the cards with DANGERS.

We draw a rough copy of the game board with a river, a Hunter’s home and so on. Then we write cards and approximate rules.

The tiger needs to get the cards. So, he can get then from the killed prey. He rolls the dice and if the dice shows the right number, the player gets some cards. We should also think about conditions of moving, fighting with the hunter and other tigers, conditions of the end of the game and choosing the winner. May be, the development of the tigers.

We describe the tigers and the hunters separately.

We describe the parts of the game board, DANGERS and player’s card, how they can be used.

Form and edit the rules.

Try to play our game. If the game is played well, the 10th paragraph isn’t needed.

Make and design the game.

At the moment I have made some games such as:

Armada”, where the 2 armies fight among themselves (Figure 10);

Medieval Maze”, which looks like “Mafia”, but have a game board
(Figure 11);

Wild hunting or Beasts”. This game looks like our example with tigers and there are a lot of different wild animals to play (Figure 12);

Trash Wars”, which is about ecology. You should keep your region cleaner than region of other players (Figure 13);

Rainbow flood”, where you need to collect five or seven cards of different colour; they are special cards too (Figure 14).

The Mummy”. You are going to find a way to a center of the Scorpion’s maze and to find The Great Desert Treasure using two dices and your own set of special cards (Figure 15).

Pocommad“. This game helps children to learn the multiplication table and develop their skills in communication. That is my last game, I made it using my new algorithm; I have already tested it in some classes of my school (Figure 16).

My game “Pocommad”

This game is supposed to teach children to multiply and to divide and to teach them to cooperate and to develop their English skills.

The inhabitants of one country could count up to 3. But once an Evil Magician came to this country. He could count brilliantly and he created such a magic which could be won only by people who could count as well as he did.

The Evil Magician seized the power in the country and the life in the country became dull and joyless.

But the elderly told that there was a legend which said that once children would come to this country and they would count better than the Evil Magician.

They would destroy his magic and expel him out of their country.


The Rules of the game

The aim of the players is to win the Evil Magician and get more points than the players of other teams.

The aim of the Evil Magician is not to allow the players to destroy his charms by dragging the play out.

The description of the set

Big Cards – they contain the initial numbers. They should be put on the board or other vertical surface and they should be changed after each move of the teams. (Figure 17)

Little cards. They contain dividers and factors of the numbers of the Big Cards. They are divided among the players at the beginning of the game according to the chart.

The Magic Note – it contains 10 incantations with numbers, which correspond to the sum of the points on the 2 dice which are thrown by the Evil Magician his move.

The cast of players.

The presenter is chosen from those people who know the game or it can be a presenter.

When the game is played in the classroom the teacher or the Magician can be a presenter. This person explains the rules, distributes small cards among the players and changes the big cards on the board.

The players are divided into equal teams after the presenter and the Magician have been chosen (Table 1). Their first task is to give a name to their team and to decide which team begins the game.

The Magician is one of the people who wants to play this role. One person can be the Presenter and the Magician at the same time. When all the teams have moved, he throws a dice and choses the Charm from the Magic Note.

The Magician’s assistant helps to divide children into teams, listens to the teams’ answers, hands out the cards and changes them. The play can be held without an assistant or there can be two assistants if there are a lot of people in the game (Table 1).

The beginning of the play.

The Magician, his/her assistant(s) and the presenter are chosen.

The rest of the people are divided into teams. They decide on their team’s name, decide which begins the game.

Small Cards are handed out.

Small Cards are distributed among the players.

Big Cards are put on the boards.

The main course of the game.

Each team’s movement consists of the following steps:

The players check the cards on the board and their cards.

Then the players choose from their cards divider or a factor corresponding with the number on the board and make an equality with the given cards.

They have 30 seconds to complete these two points.

One of the players has to give an equality in twenty seconds. If one of the players has already answered, he can’t answer again before all people of his team have done it.

If the equality is correct, the team gets 1 point; if it is incorrect, the team doesn’t get a point. If the number of the correct answer is more then 350, the team gets 2 points.

Big and Small cards that had been used are thrown off. The Big card is changed into another one.

The next team moves.

When all the teams have moved once, the Magician moves.

The end of the game

If all of the teams have more points than the DEFEAT number in Table 1, the Magician is defeated. The winner is chosen according to the number of points. If the number of teams moves is unequal, the points are counted when all the teams move a move.

If the time is over and the players haven’t got enough points, the winner is the Magician. If the time is over, one of the teams has got enough points, then this team is the winner.


If the team gives the answer after the time limit, they don’t get any points and the next team moves.

If the team is very noisy during its answer or their opponents move, they lose 1 points.

If the Magician or the presenter near that some of the players argue or talk about something that is not connected with the game, the team loses 1 point and misses its move.

Sophistications of the game

You can change the time of the play according to the Table.

You can forbid division.

You can remove digits.

The Table 1

The number of participants

The number of teams

The number of the Magician’s assistants

The number of Small Cards (per particicipant)

The DEFEAT number

The maximum time of the game

The maximum time of the game (the hard variant)

Name of the Magician






16 points

12 minutes

10 minutes

Khyr Khyrych






15 points

15 minutes

10 minutes






15 points

15 minutes

10 minutes






21 points

20 minutes

15 minutes

San Sanych






22 points

20 minutes

15 minutes






28 points

25 minutes

18 minutes






30 points

25 minutes

20 minutes







35 points

30 minutes

20 minutes






36 points

30 minutes

20 minutes






42 points

40 minutes

28 minutes

If there are two or more available variants you can use one that you like.


During the research part of this work I managed to learn the history of board games and to classify them;

I formed an algorithm of creating board games;

I created a game using this algorithm and tested it;

And I think I proved my theory that board games are perspective and popular and everyone can create his own board game.

List of the pictures

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 13

Figure 14

Figure 15

Figure 16

Figure 17

List of the used resourses

Играй и развивайся: Польза настольных игр, о которой вы не знали – Режим доступа: https://blog.mann-ivanov-ferber.ru/2018/09/05/igraj-i-razvivajsya-polza-nastolnyx-igr-o-kotoroj-vy-ne-znali/

Настольная игра — Википедия – Режим доступа: https://wikipedia.tel/%D0%9D%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%B8%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%B0

Классификация настольных игр — Ролевая энциклопедия. – Режим доступа: http://wiki.rpgverse.ru/wiki/%D0%9A%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%81%D0%B8%D1%84%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D1%8F_%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D1%8B%D1%85_%D0%B8%D0%B3%D1%80

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