This project is an example of a Snakes and Ladders board game that I had the privilege in being involved in creating!
Many elements of this game, uses the Snakes & Ladders mechanics and adds additional aspects to the gameplay.
Additional elements included items such as game cards and collectible tokens. Or to be specific, Bones! Which were needed to complete the game and the end of the player journey.
You will find this post helpful if you are looking for ideas and inspiration to create or commission your own Snakes and ladders styled game.
I will cover my creative process and journey in helping to bring my client’s passion project to life – here is an example of a snakes and ladders type game. Which I had the pleasure of helping to create!
Or, as it was actually called in the end.
Creating a Snakes & Ladders type game
It is unfair to say that this is only a Snakes & Ladders game.
For example, when you play Snakes and Ladders, you roll a dice and move around the board trying to dodge the snakes and use the ladders as shortcuts.
With Dino Break, the game combines both challenging questions and token collection to win the game.
When the player lands on the spaces around the board, You ( the player ) must take a card from the deck and read aloud the questions which are themed around dinosaurs (palaeontology).
If the player gets the question correct, they take a token.
You need 6 tokens to win the game and free your friend.
This is an example of what can be done with Snakes & Ladders as a framework and adding to it.
To create the Dino Break game, including the mechanics of the game. It borrowed many of the gameplay elements from snakes and ladders and pushed it to new levels.
Extra parts were added to the game including cards, questions, points, and ‘nasty cards’ that cost the player points.
Examples of the complete prototype game
This is the printed prototype of the game complete with the outer box, game board, cards, rules, and tokens.
The look and the feel for the game were established once the core design had been created.
The narrative for Dino Break
Most of the core mechanics of the game were already supplied to me before I itemised what was needed for this jailbreak/snakes and ladder-type game.
Part of my core roll for this game was the creation of the game narrative. I created a story that would be told through the visuals and character design for the game. – The theme.
It was already established that the players would need to save or free a creature at the end of the game to win.
In order to win the game and free the prisoner, something would need to be collected throughout the game. Tokens, that would represent points.
This allowed for plenty of room for experimentation and the direction of the visual narrative. I took down the path of cartoon prehistoric.
Characters for the game | the players
The other part of my involvement in the making of this game was in creating character concepts. As an extra layer, I suggested that there should be a ‘good team’ and ‘bad’ team.
Protagonist and antagonist.
By default, you would assume that a bloodthirsty Dinosaur would be a villain. A big toothy dinosaur that eats little friendly dinosaurs or cave people!
I wanted to make this breakout game a bit different. Instead of villainous creatures. I made the cavemen the villains and the Dinosaurs the friendly ones – or the hunted!
The Players | The Crazy Saurs
As part of the game, I came up with 4 different playable characters ( and 2 blank playing cards ) in which you can play as any of the 4 different Dinosaurs or … Crazy Saurs
The Friendly Saurs
The Friendly Saur is the character you need to save from the cavemen. Collect the 6 tokens to free the Friendly Saur. As with the other designs, this character was sketched out and drawn in Adobe Illustrator as part of my contracting service.
The Cave Man
The cavemen were the villains of the peace in this game. I wanted to cast them as villainous thugs that wanted nothing more than to make Dino soup!
All characters are copyrighted.
These characters were created as part of my game design and also my character design services that go into greater detail on this website. You can read more there.
Creative process to making a snakes and ladders board game (Dino Break)
As a further example of making snakes and ladders board game, I wanted to share some of the stages and processes of creating the game.
A “very rough” post-it note prototype of the game was sent emailed to me to inspect and decide and the best course of action.
I broke project down into manageable stages. Considering how I would need to achieve x y z on a budget.
Once the core goal was agreed. I set about roughing out the concept for the characters and the look and feel for the game.
Some minor suggestions were offered to the “mission” of the game. How to win.
With the concept, I took it as a snake and ‘laddersesque’ game and considered what we could do differently from a design standpoint. Everybody knows Snakes and Ladders – but what could be done differently.
I offered a range of ideas for the core components. Here is a rough list of core components for the game prototype.
Dino Break rough components and cutting list
- Create the characters and character cards
- Playing cards
- Game board
- Top of game box
- Bottom of game box
- Other bits and pieces
For milestones for the clients and to keep everybody as involved as possible. I showed the project to the clients to keep them in the loop.
I polished the design until it was complete.
Once the visual design was complete along with the flat mockup, I sent the game artwork away to be printed.
Example of Snakes and Ladders board game – Dino Break
This game allowed me to flex my design muscles and jump in with both feet.
The project was an example of how you can create a game prototype and how you can create a retail and pitch ready prototype of your game.
You may also feel inspired by this board game example to create your own project.
Thank you for reading.
"I was very impressed with the work itself and your designs were exactly what me and the child had in mind. You kept to deadlines and were very punctual and took on board any amendments and got these done quickly. You were a great businessman but also a fantastic person to work with. And you should be proud of the service you provided as you made one little boy's dreams come true." - Anonymous. (Dino break)
If you would like to read more on board game design related articles you can do so by following the links below.
Helpful board game creation articles
Additional Articles – Computer games
Freelance Game Design Services
This article is an example of an educational snakes and ladders board game. All content design, cards, characters are copyright to their respective owners. DO NOT STEAL THIS ARTWORK or claim this game as your own.