Community Designed Board Game – BEES!

You might’ve noticed that over on the Australian Tabletop Gaming Network Facebook page, we’ve started a running design series where we’re polling the fans to make all the decisions regarding a community designed boardgame.

BEES! the clear winner

Our first poll (above) was used to help decide what the theme of the game was. The idea was that it would be something of a starting point to get the ideas rolling about the game. This article series is going to be the thoughts behind the scenes of designing that game.


Recently several board games have been designed using Bees as a theme, and I believe this is because the conversation around the extinction of bees and their role in our ecosystem has been prevalent since mid 2019.

Having something like Bees (which are fascinating and unique) being talked about regularly all of a sudden, is sure to inspire some creative minds to create some interesting things. Here’s just some of the one’s I’ve seen, and where I’ll be looking to for inspiration in our community designed game.

Queen Bee [2020]

Queen Bee is a tactical miniatures game which features the prominent hexagonal honeycomb structure in the board set up. It relies on the hive hierarchy of Queens, workers, and warriors, and it pits rival hives against each other in tactical combat. If the community votes for game mechanics that are more tactical this will definitely be a good reference.

Radioactive Bees [2020]

Radioactive Bees is similar to Queen Bee in that is has two separate hives fighting each other for location and strength across a honeycomb inspired board. Uniquely rather than competing for space horizontally, you are also piling on top of each other for tactical advantage vertically.

Bees: The Secret Kingdom [2019]

Bees: The Secret Kingdom is the lightest of the bunch so far, and probably the closest to where we want to be focused. Players are generating different types of incomes (pollen) to purchase scoring cards (honey) in an attempt to simulate a function hive. Different to the ones above, this one doesn’t revolve around a queen, and has no player versus player interaction.

Post Research Phase

After looking at some of the other games that share this theme, I’ve discovered they all have a few things in common inspired by Bees and how they function in the real world (Rather than Bee movie), and are quite heavy components wise. I specialise in making games that are component light, so this will be an interesting contrast.

Interested in getting involved in the community designed boardgame? Get ready to vote on next week’s part of the design poll. To ensure you don’t miss any of the polls, make sure you like the Australian Tabletop Gaming Network Facebook page, and set your settings to ‘See First’

With that, we’ll be back next week, once we discover more about what the community wants to see in this game about Bees!

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