non-programming-projects

Behind the creation of my Homemade Harry Potter Monopoly

Behind the creation of my Homemade Harry Potter Monopoly

I thought I’d document what I did both to help anyone else who is thinking of making their own Harry Potter Monopoly and also for nostalgic reasons (it was fun to make and it’s still fun to think about).

Design

I designed the cards and money from scratch. The monopoly box design was slightly modified from someone else’s design, and I took someone else’s board and made extensive modifications to it.

The ‘extensive modifications’ are as follows:

  • Changed all of the properties on the board to my own ones, which includes designing the images for every property
  • Changed the ‘Go to Azkaban’ position to use a better dementor picture, which I designed myself
  • All of the properties on the board now use the British wizarding currency (Galleons)
  • Changed the number of Galleons you receive when passing Go to G200 (where G represents Galleons)
  • Some of the colours of the properties (wanted it to be in line with Simpsons Monopoly, which, prior to making this monopoly game, was our family’s go-to Monopoly game)
  • Resized the board to fit my own dimensions

I used Photoshop for all of the graphic design work.

Money & Tokens

I didn’t use coins for the money, but that’s definitely something that I might consider in the future if I’m able to purchase some or make my own.

The following are the notes I made:

Amount/Galleons Witch/Wizard
500 Merlin
100 Dumbledore
50 Flamel
20 Moody
10 Bagshot
5 Gregorovitch
1 Beedle the Bard

It was tough deciding who to choose to feature on each note. The reason behind choosing each wizard or witch:

  • Merlin: one of the greatest wizards of all time. The equivalent of a British Knighthood in the British wizarding world was the Order of Merlin 1st class. I know Dumbledore is popular, but Merlin’s accomplished, too

  • Dumbledore: I don’t know whether Dumbledore or Merlin should take the top spot, so I took the objective viewpoint

  • Flamel: I did consider going down the route of choosing the established witches and wizards from the Chocolate frog cards, but I felt that we didn’t hear much about those witches or wizards except from the occasional reference to Merlin’s beard or the order of class. I think Flamel was worthy of the G50 slot because of his significant contributions to the study of alchemy (how many other people made a philosopher’s stone (that we know about)?)

  • Moody for being a war hero. He reminds me of Winston Churchill a bit, so perhaps that had a part in Moody getting this position. In the wizarding world, it’s unlikely that contemporary figures like Moody would appear on a Galleon, Sickle or Knut (just my hunch). That being said, if they were, you could imagine a scenario where they’re chosen because they could be an inspirational role model for future generations of Aurors

  • Only the most celebrated historian of the 20th century? Writing this, it’s occured to me that not many witches made the list. When designing the game, I chose the witches or wizards on a meritocratic basis. It’s a shame that we didn’t hear much about other notable witches like Bagshot. Harry Potter does seem very wizard-centric, which is a shame

  • Why Gregorovitch and not Ollivander? Well, I don’t know how long Ollivander lived to, but let’s presume he still is alive based on this Pottermore article (quote: “Mr Ollivander is arguably the finest wand maker”, not “was”). Ollivander may (or may not) be a more accomplished wand maker than Gregorovitch, but I think it’s better to award a position on a coin posthumously (see reflections for an update on this)

  • Beedle the Bard is to wizards what Aesop is to Muggles. On the surface, it may seem as if he was included because’s of his class in storytelling. I also like to entertain the thought that perhaps there is a more sinister, less obvious reason (Deathly Hallows follower made the decision?)

I purchased some pewter and some other metal tokens from eBay:

  • The Knight bus
  • The Goblet of Fire
  • Durmstrang’s ship
  • The Mirror of Erised
  • A Golden (actually Pewter) snitch
  • The Hogwarts express
  • An owl

I’ll definitely add some pictures later (if I remember) because they’re pretty cool.

I also purchased the Harry Potter Scene it (1-8 films) just for the tokens. The tokens were rather flimsy and didn’t seem to be well-made (unlike the Pewter tokens), so I didn’t end up including them in my Harry Potter monopoly box.

Properties

Colour/Family Name
Browns Cupboard under the stairs
Browns Hagrid’s hut
Light blue Gaunt’s shack
Light blue Shrieking shack
Light blue The Hog’s head
Pink The Burrow
Pink The leaky cauldron
Pink Number 12, Grimmauld Place
Orange Forbidden forest
Orange Shell cottage
Orange Honeydukes
Red The Three Broomsticks
Red Weasleys’ wizard wheezes
Red Borgin & Burkes
Yellow Ollivanders
Yellow St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries
Yellow Malfoy Manor
Green Chamber of secrets
Green Room of requirement
Green Ministry of Magic
Dark blue Gringotts
Dark blue Hogwarts

Other places on the board

  • Community chest and chance cards become Charms and hallows cards, respectively
  • Stations became common rooms for each Hogwarts house
  • The ‘bank’ becomes ‘Gringotts’ (again, I know)
  • The ‘banker’ becomes ‘Head goblin’ (maybe I took this too far)
  • Prison/jail becomes Azkaban
  • Utilities became publishing outlets
    • Daily Prophet
    • The Quibbler

New rules?

I tried to introduce ‘No muggles rules’; using incorrect terminology (e.g. ‘banker’ instead of ‘head goblin’) would make you liable to pay a fine to Gringotts, but no one I’ve played with is ever willing to abide by this rule :(

Reflections

  • Felix felicis and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans would have been better becuase of their surprise element (you don’t know what to expect)
  • More wizarding rules?
    • Because Monopoly can get boring after so many games
    • Surely witches and wizards wouldn’t play monopoly (if they did) like the muggles?
  • More charms and hallows cards (I think I made 30 of each) to add more variety
  • An online scoreboard? Or at least some online component (not money, I like tangible money)
  • Gregorovitch on a galleon. I’m not sure about this anymore, since British witches and wizards seemed to prefer Ollivander’s wands over Gregorovitch’s
  • It might have been confusing that I called the bank ‘Gringotts’ and there’s a Gringotts property on the board. Perhaps Gringotts shouldn’t have been made a property?
  • Common rooms instead of stations. I don’t like the sound of this anymore. Perhaps there’s a better set of four to replace them

But that’s the great thing about making your own game – be it Monopoly or something else. If you don’t like something, you can change it. You can adapt the game over time. I’d highly recommend this project to any hardcore Potterheads and ardent Monopoly players.

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