A downloadable game

making it up as we go along is a game about changing the rules and inventing new ones.

Where most games play out according to rules set out by their designers, in making it up as we go along you - the players - are the designers, designing the game as you play it.

How does it work?

making it up as we go along is a turn-based game consisting of 5 rules, all of which are written by the game's players.

On your turn, you will first replace an existing rule with a new one you have created, and then play through the current set of rules. There should always be 5 rules in play.

Turn structure

  1. Remove an existing rule
  2. Add a new rule
  3. Play through the current active rules

Game end

making it up as we go along has no pre-determined ending. It is up to you as a group to decide how and when you want the game to end. Usually this is done by introducing a rule that specifies how the game will end, but it is equally acceptable for the group to decide to simply end the game when you feel satisfied it has run its course.

The goal of making it up as we go along is to make a game uniquely for the specific players at the table, at this specific moment in time, in this specific place.

For more info, see the zines below.

This is part of my Game Design as Play: Players as Designers research project at Abertay University.


Every time I run a workshop or playtest of making it up as we go along I create a unique zine for that game, with a different selection of suggested rules, etc. These zines are intended to help ease players into the game; they also serve as a document of how my understanding of the game has changed over time. This page collects the different zines I have created to date.

The most recent zine is available as a single pdf download. Older making it up as we go along zines are available in a zip file archive.

There is also a pdf of the core instructions for the game that will fit on a standard-sized business card.

Alternative Formats

making it up as we go along can be played almost anywhere, even in a spreadsheet.

Here is an early making it up as we go along template for google sheets, set up with some convenience functions and suggested rules.

Updated 11 days ago
StatusIn development
AuthorNiall Moody
TagsTabletop, zine
Average sessionA few hours


making it up as we go along zine (pdf) 177 kB
business card instructions (pdf) 20 kB
zine archive 620 kB

Development log


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Every time I have played this has been such a wonderful experience! I never know what to expect :)

Aw, thanks James!