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If you are interested in tabletop game development, you might want to get accustomed to the development process by learning how to develop virtual tabletop games.
Knowing how to develop an online board game gives you a competitive edge as digital games are in high demand in today’s era. From ideation to framework development to designing unique designs, board game development is not an easy task and requires thorough technical knowledge.
This blog will provide information about the best tabletop games online and also shed light on how you can create tabletop games.
What are Tabletop Games?
Digital tabletop games were a part of every personal computer before the era of online games. But what exactly is a tabletop game? An online tabletop game is a board game that is created for a digital platform and can be played online with your friends and family. Basically, any board game that is available on the digital platform and can be played on a screen is a virtual tabletop game.
Tabletop games come in different categories, while most board games can be developed with simple programming, some require a complex design process to create all the necessary elements like game characters, high-definition environment, etc. You can also opt for tabletop casino games as these games are highly sought after by the audience.
Nevertheless, the tabletop game industry is booming and tabletop game creation is in huge demand in the market. Let’s take a look at the market statistics of tabletop game development.
Tabletop Game Industry Market Statistics
With rising smartphone penetration, the demand for online tabletop games among users is increasing. According to Statista, the total revenue in the online tabletop segment was $2.9 billion in 2022.
- It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.31% during the forecast period (2022-2027) resulting in a projected market volume of $4.8 billion by the year 2027.
- Revenue from in-app purchases was over $1.7 billion in 2022.
- Paid revenue stood at $50.4 million.
- Advertising revenue in the Tabletop game segment was $1.08 billion in 2022.
- The total downloads in the segment were 4.85 billion
- The United States of America generated the most revenue standing at $1,754 million in 2022
Tabletop Game Development: How to Create an Online Tabletop Game?
It can take up to a month to complete the tabletop game development process. If you are a budding developer, we suggest going with a simple board game like Snakes & Ladders or Checkers. Let’s take a look at the step-by-step process of developing a tabletop game that will provide a general idea of where to start and what to do.
Step-1 Game Design
The fundamental principle of tabletop game design is to create interesting choices for players. The board game designing process includes working on gameplay, the game’s mechanics, and the user experience. Even if your game features simple game mechanics, it will be beneficial to the overall user experience of your tabletop game.
Step-2 Create Board Game Graphics
The next step is to create the graphics of your tabletop game pieces and board. If you are working on a simple board game design, a tile spread should be more than enough. However, working on a complex game will require extra time and resources.
Similarly, when creating the game pieces, ensure to make them decorative and eye-catchy. You can use your creativity to its fullest to create engaging game designs. Once you are done with graphic creation, you can import it into your game engine.
Step-3 Create the Level Designs
After creating the graphics of your board game, the next step is to design the levels of the board game. Since most board games have checkered tiles, you will need to make squares in the game engine. The board or tabletop is an integral part of your board game so make sure all the tiles are symmetrical and organized correctly. Creating the board will require a lot of copy-paste, we recommend using the “Prefab tool” to minimize your workload.
If you are working on a complex board game design which doesn’t require tiles, you will have to create a level environment according to your tabletop game ideas.
Step-4 Create Movable Pieces
Once you have completed the board game development, it is time to work on the movable pieces. Depending on the type of your tabletop game ideas, you can either make basic or complex pieces. You can even add animations to your board game pieces to ensure an engaging user experience.
Make sure that your pieces match the theme and ambiance of your board game. Just like how basic pieces don’t go along with a complex board, complex board pieces won’t go along with a simpler board.
Step-5 Programming and Development
The next step is to start the coding of the tabletop game and breathe life into the various game mechanics and elements. This step requires extensive technical knowledge and expertise in the top game development languages.
In order to streamline this process, choose a programming language for game development for your project. For example- Unity developers work with C# and Unreal developers work with C++. Ultimately, it comes down to your preference.
You can also integrate advanced technologies like AI and ML to allow players to play against bots. After you are done with the tabletop game development phase, make sure to conduct rigorous testing and quality analysis to ensure that all the bugs and glitches have been ironed out.
Step-6 Deployment and Support
After you are done with testing and refining your tabletop game app, it is time to deploy your product into marketplaces. However, your task is not over yet. As a game operator, you will also have to provide post-deployment support like customer service and regular game updates to include the latest features in your game app.
Also, use efficient marketing strategies to promote your tabletop game in the market to drive traffic toward your product.
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What are the Most Popular Tabletop Games?
Now that you are familiar with the tabletop game development process, let’s take a look at the most popular tabletop games. These games come in various categories like strategy games, tabletop casino games, etc. We have handpicked the best games and compiled a tabletop games list.
Likely, you must be familiar with Monopoly. It is a board game that puts players against each other to battle in a capitalist environment. Just like the classic version, players move around the board, buy properties, and try to bankrupt their competitors. The popular board game is now available on the Google Play Store as an Android tabletop game with extra features that greatly enhance the user experience.
2. AI Factory Limited Games
AI Factory Limited is a developer on Google Play Store that specializes in card and tabletop games. They offer a lot of board games including chess, Sudoku, Checkers, Backgammon, etc. The games feature basic designs and offer a seamless gameplay experience. It comes in two versions- free and paid. However, the free version is more than enough for casual players.
3. Words With Friends 2
Words with Friends 2 is a rip-off of the popular word-making game Scrabble. This game allows players to play against their friends where they take turns and make words on the board. The player with the most points wins. Players can find various game versions like multiplayer, single-player, play against the computer, etc.
4. Elder Signs: Omens
Elder Signs is one of the most popular tabletop strategy games. It’s a mystery game where players have to find clues, items, and other stuff on the game board. The game has multiple difficulty modes, extra content available on purchase, and more.
5. Exploding Kittens
Exploding Kittens is an Android tabletop game with pretty simple rules. Every player gets a card then they take turns drawing cards. Whoever gets the Exploding Kitten must diffuse the kitten or lose the game. There are various cards that offer extra challenges to your opponents. Overall, it is a pretty simple fun tabletop game.
6. The Game of Life 2
The Game of Life 2 is the sequel to the popular tabletop game. Players progress through the game and lead their lives while building a career and family. It is a fun and thrilling board game. The only drawback is the cost of the game and the plenty of microtransactions.
7. Really Bad Chess
Contrary to its name, Really Bad Chess is not a bad game at all. It is a chess variation with a different set of rules. All the pieces still move as they move in the classic version. The only difference is the pieces players start with. Players can start with eight knights and four queens. The game provides an unprecedented gameplay experience and also provides different game modes in the paid version.
8. Ticket to Ride
It is one of the most popular virtual tabletop games on the market. Players control the railroad and the goal is to complete the most challenges. The player with the most points wins the game. Ticket to Ride offers seven maps, various game modes, and a DLC which unlocks additional playable content. Moreover, there are physical copies of the game available too.
9. Mini Metro
Mini Metro is quite similar to Ticket to Ride. The objective is to design a map for a subway transit system. Mini Metro features 18 cities, various upgrades, and three game modes. The premise of the game is similar to Ticket to Ride but Mini Metro contains simpler graphics and game mechanics. It is available for $4.99 with no in-app purchases.
Antihero allows the player to take control of a Victorian thief guild, where you must sustain the guild by stealing and upgrading. It is a relatively new tabletop strategy game which is available for $4.99. The game and character design are quite impressive and the gameplay requires the player to use strategies to come out on top.
These are some of the most popular Android tabletop games in the market. If you are thinking about developing a tabletop game, you can use these games to get a general idea about the gameplay and graphic style of your tabletop game development project.
Read Also: How to Start an Online Fish Table Business
Develop Your Own Tabletop Game
If you are interested in developing a tabletop game, we recommend starting your journey with a simple virtual tabletop game. The design and development of a board game require in-depth technical and programming knowledge. Not to mention, you will need a full development team to undertake a project. Nevertheless, developing a board game can be extremely beneficial for your business, as these game apps are very sought after by the players and reap hefty monetary benefits.
BR Softech is a leading board game development company that provides cutting-edge tabletop game development solutions. Want to create a tabletop game?
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q. Are tabletop games profitable?
Ans. While offline versions of tabletop games don’t have a huge profit margin, online variations can utilize various monetization strategies to increase their profits. Investing in an online tabletop game can be profitable for your business.
Q. What is the cost of tabletop game development?
Ans. The tabletop game development cost is not fixed and is influenced by many factors. On average, it costs around $10,000 to $20,000 to develop a simple board game.
Q. What are the fundamentals of tabletop game design?
Ans. Board or tabletop games are designed upon three core elements: Themes, Mechanics, and Components.
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BR Softech Pvt. Ltd. is a prestigious IT company that specializes in providing cost-effective and tailored tech-enabled solutions for different industries and genres. Established in August 2012, we have over 10+ years of experience in mobile game development. Take your business to the next level with our feature-packed metaverse, casino, mobile game, sports betting and fantasy sports software development services.