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Creating a Board

PartyPlanner64 edited this page Aug 20, 2018 · 16 revisions

Creating your own board requires little more than PartyPlanner64 and an image editor.

Due to differences between the 3 Mario Party titles, you will need to specify the game version you are targeting, and take note of the game specific indications (Mario Party 1 only, Mario Party 2 only, Mario Party 3 only) throughout the info below.

Adding a new board

When PartyPlanner64 is first opened, you will have a new MP1 board open for editing. Boards you have made appear in the board list on the left as cards.

Use the New Board option in the toolbar to create a new board that targets a specific game. You can specify a pre-made theme for the board here as well.

Creating the assets

Your new board will appear very blank at first.

  • You can set the main background by clicking Change background in the Board Properties window.
  • All other assets and details are changed from Edit board details in the Board Properties window.

Main background

Used during the main gameplay, and for the Overview map.

The board itself should be a single 960 x 720 image (Mario Party 1 only) or 1152 x 864 image (Mario Party 2 only, Mario Party 3 only).

  • Try to model the style used by some of the original boards, and include a slight 3D effect. Incorporating direction arrows is also recommended.
  • Do not include game spaces in the image, because PartyPlanner64 is used to add these on top.

Large scene background

(Mario Party 1 only, Mario Party 2 only, Mario Party 3 only)

Used at the start and end of the game with all the players, where they hear briefly about the board, roll the dice to determine player order, and receive 10 coins. Also used as a backdrop to the Mini-Game results screen.

This background should be a 320 x 240 (game resolution) image. The image should be a 3D scene with roughly half of the lower part of the image dedicated to standing room for the players.

Conversation background

(Mario Party 1 only)

Used when talking to various characters (Bowser, Koopa Troopa, Boo, Toad, etc.)

This background should be a 320 x 240 (game resolution) image. The image should be a 3D scene with roughly half of the lower part of the image dedicated to standing room for the characters.

  • It could be the same as the large scene background, but variety is nice.

Splashscreen background

(Mario Party 1 only)

Used after choosing the game settings and the logo flashes on screen.

This background should be a 320 x 240 (game resolution) image. It is typically a large, impressive scene related to the board, but it could be anything really.

Board logo

(Mario Party 1 only, Mario Party 2 only, Mario Party 3 only)

Appears during the splashscreen / intro screen for the board.

This image should be 250 x 100 (Mario Party 1 only), 260 x 120 (Mario Party 2 only), or 226 x 120 (Mario Party 3 only).

It should contain the title of the board in Mario Party 1 and 2. In Mario Party 3, the separate "board logo text" asset should contain the text.

Board logo text

(Mario Party 3 only)

Text portion of the Mario Party 3 board logos

This image should be 226 x 36. It should be the text portion of your logo for Mario Party 3 logos. The game first shows the board logo, then adds the text on top of it.

Board select image

(Mario Party 1 only, Mario Party 2 only, Mario Party 3 only)

Appears when choosing the board to play

This image is a small representation of the board theme, and varies depending on the game targeted.

Mario Party 1 board select

This image should be 128 x 64 and should be made with the consideration that it will be automatically rounded/masked at the corners. This mask can be used to help select that area in an image editor. You also should switch the image to indexed color mode with at most 256 colors (usually a setting in an image editor).

The image will be automatically masked for you and will be checked against the color restrictions mentioned above. It will be reduced to 8-bit color by a naive algorithm if the color count is too high, so for the best quality, use an image editor to reduce the palette.

Mario Party 2 board select

This image should be 64 x 48 and should be made with the consideration that it will be automatically rounded/masked at the corners. It displays on the top of a cloud, so it should fade into white at the edges ideally.

The edges will be automatically masked for you, but there are no color restrictions to worry about. This mask may help.

Mario Party 3 board select

This image should be 64 x 64. The masking is not really that important for this title, although you should ideally use this mask and replace the green area with your graphics; all the original graphics have that two pixel border.

Board select icon

(Mario Party 2 only)

In Mario Party 2, this 32 x 32 brown icon will go alongside the others when choosing a board to play. It should have a transparent background, and the shade of brown that matches well is #905030.

Other details

Board name

The board name should be a single line describing the board. It shows up in various places, particularly when selecting a board.

In Mario Party 2, the convention is to name each board Something Land.

Board description

Each of the original boards shows a description below the board name when choosing a board.

In Mario Party 1, the original descriptions all start with "Use your Star Power to ..." but you can write whatever you want in these two lines. Right now, there are no protections against really long strings, and ideally line breaks should be added rather than allowing it to wrap.

Background music

This music is played while on the board itself and through conversations. Currently, you can only choose from the existing soundtrack of the game.


The original boards were ranked 1 - 3 stars to indicate level of difficulty. PartyPlanner64 exposes a 1 - 5 ranking that can be set based on how tough you think your board is.

Editing the board


When all the assets have been added to the board in PartyPlanner64, you should place the spaces.

Mario Party 3 has a limit of 128 spaces before instability may occur. Mario Party 1 and 2 essentially have no limit.

The available space types are found in the Toolbox window starting with the simple blue space. The space types available are based on the game version you are targeting.

Just as a refresher, Mario Party 1 has the following space types:

  • Blue: Gives +3 coins normally.
  • Red: Takes -3 coins normally.
  • Happening: You will need to hook an event to this space, otherwise it does nothing.
  • Star: Possible location Toad will appear to give a star.
  • Mini-Game: Causes a single player Mini-Game to begin.
  • Chance: Enters chance time (only if the Chance Time event is attached).
  • Mushroom: Allows the player to role again, or poisons them next turn.
  • Bowser: Sends the player to Bowser, who always has tricks up his sleeve.

The Invisible space is likely the only type that you may be unaware of, because it does not appear visually. It has a variety of purposes:

  • Directs the player along a path between two distant spaces.
  • Used at a branching point between two paths.
  • Used to place characters like Bowser, Toad, Koopa Troopa, and Boo.
  • In general, used as a space that doesn't count against steps remaining.

Mario Party 2 and 3 add the following space types:

  • Item: Allows you to get an item through a mini-game.
  • Battle: A battle mini-game is played.
  • Bank: Pay into Koopa's bank or receive all deposits.

Mario Party 3 adds one more space type:

  • Game Guy: This is a sort of gambling mini-game.

See these pages for more details on space types:

Placing star spaces

When you place star spaces onto the board, that does not mean that a star could appear on those spaces. In fact, it will not, unless you check the Hosts star checkbox in the Space Properties toolbox. Having an actual star space means that space will always appear like a star space, but it would be "fake."

Star Placement Example

In the example above, the middle blue space has Hosts Star checked, and has the star badge. It will be one of the spaces in the star placement rotation, and will appear as a blue space when it is not hosting a star. The actual star space to the left of it is "fake" and will act mostly like an invisible space.

The reason it is implemented this way is so that you can have star spaces that are always present, perhaps for decoration or some other gimmick on the board.

Each game manipulates the spaces at runtime in slightly different ways.

  • In Mario Party 1, it is fine to place an actual star space that is also hosting a star. The game engine makes sure that all non-active star hosting spaces are turned into blue spaces.
  • In the sequels, if you use actual star spaces as host spaces, they will be left as "fake" star spaces until they are actually used. So in these titles, you probably want to use the normal space type when making your board, and just mark it as Hosts star.

Board flow

With spaces in place, you now need to connect them. The top actions in the Toolbox can assist with this.

  • Move: Lets you click and drag existing spaces on the board.
  • Line: Create a line by clicking down on one space and releasing on another.
  • Sticky Line: Similar to the line tool, but you can create a series of connections faster by dragging through multiple spaces at once.
  • Delete: Erases a space from the board, and any of its connections.

Branching is currently limited to 2 directions, or the board cannot be used to overwrite another. In the future, this restriction could be lifted.

When you create a split in the board path, the convention is to perform the split starting from an invisible space. If you do split directly from a normal space, the game engine will handle it fine, but if the player runs out of remaining spaces there, they get to pick the direction that turn but only follow it in the next turn.

Branching Example

Skeleton Key Gates

Support has been added for Skeleton Key gates in Mario Party 3. These gates restrict access to a path unless the player has a Skeleton Key item. Use the Skeleton Key gate tool at the bottom of the Toolbox to mark an existing invisible space as the location of a gate.

Skeleton Key gate example

The space and board flow around a gate has several restrictions, which the example above illustrates.

  • The gate space and immediate surrounding spaces must be invisible spaces.
  • There should be no other paths intersecting the gate space and immediate surrounding spaces.
  • The two spaces seen in the image that are non-invisible can be of any type, but there should not be more than one space on either side of the gate and its immediate surrounding spaces as pictured. In other words, two or more spaces cannot connect to one of the gate's immediate surrounding invisible spaces.

There are restrictions on the number of gates you can add. The limit right now is the same as the number of gates on the board you are overwriting, typically 2.


Certain spaces should be marked to indicate that they trigger events. In the original boards, there are a lot of various custom events, mostly triggered on Happening Spaces. PartyPlanner64 supports creating boards with a small subset of these events that form the core gameplay features, and recently has added support for custom events.

When you select a space, the Space Properties toolbox will have a Events section where you can select one or more events that will occur on a space.

Boo Event Example

The above space shows a typical example of a Boo event. The invisible space has the e badge to indicate it has one or more events. The "Visit Boo" event is configured to fire when the space is walked over, as indicated by the small blue legs walking.

If you clicked the blue legs icon, it will switch to a standing posture, which indicates that the Boo event would only fire when landing on the space at the end of your turn. When you pick an event, a usual default (walking vs. standing) for that type of event will be chosen for you.

Some spaces have implied events that are always performed. These include:

  • Bowser spaces: Always cause Bowser to appear.
  • Mini-Game spaces: Always trigger a Mini-Game when landed on.
  • Mushroom spaces: Always cause the poison/double roll event.
  • Chance Time spaces: Always trigger chance time, except in Mario Party 1 (see below).
  • Item spaces: Always trigger some sort of item game/giveaway.
  • Duel spaces: Always trigger a duel.
  • Game Guy spaces: Always trigger Game Guy's event.

It is not usual to have more than one event on a space. The only exception is if you have different events for walking over a space vs. landing on it.

Mario Party 1 events

The following events are available for use in Mario Party 1:

  • Visit Boo: Causes the thief Boo to appear.
  • Visit Bowser: This is typically the event used on an invisible space next to the Bowser character on the map.
  • Pass Start: The event/scene triggered when passing Koopa Troopa. This is usually placed on a space that you can only reach once you have made your way around the entire map.
  • Chance Time: Triggers a Chance Time. PartyPlanner64 places this on normal Chance Time spaces by default, but you can also use it on any other space, and as a "walk over" event as well, if you choose.

Mario Party 2 and 3 events

  • Visit Boo: Causes the thief Boo to appear.
  • Visit Bank: Koopa will appear and ask for coins if you pass by, or will give you the bank's savings if you land on the space. Placed on a bank space typically.
  • Visit Item Shop: Purchase items from a shop.

Special characters/objects

Certain characters and objects can appear on the map along with the players, mostly as decoration in association with a certain event. These are found below the spaces in the Toolbox.

  • With one of these selected, you can click anywhere on the map and the character will be placed with a new invisible space.
  • If you instead click an existing space, the character will be added to that space.

When adding these, place them adjacent to the path. Never place them on the path, otherwise the players will run into them!

Character Placement Example

There are strict counts of how many characters can be added to a board. This can vary depending on the board you overwrite.

Mario Party 1 characters

Toad: Include up to one Toad per star space, and preferably keep the Toad nearby to the space. Only the active star space's Toad will appear, and nearest Toad to the space will be considered associated with a particular star space.

Bowser: Include at most one Bowser, typically near a space with a Bowser event.

Boo: Include 1 - 2 Boos, typically near Boo events. Boo is always visible in Mario Party 1.

Koopa Troopa: Include at most one Koopa Troopa, typically near the start space and associated with a Pass Start event.

Mario Party 2 characters/objects

Bowser and Koopa Troopa are not present in Mario Party 2 or 3. Several new characters/objects are available though:

Bank: Place adjacent to a bank space with the bank event. In Mario Party 2, the only purpose of this object is to point the character towards the bank which is drawn as part of the background.

Bank Coin Stack: Each Bank can have a coin stack that rests adjacent to it. Koopa will pile coins here as the savings grows.

Item Shop: Place adjacent to a space with an item shop event. The purpose of this object is the same as the Bank.

Mario Party 3 characters/objects

Same availability as Mario Party 2, but the banks and item shops will actually appear as 3D objects when visited on the map.

Millennium Star: The Millennium star is the equivalent of Toad in Mario Party 3.

Overwriting a ROM board

Boards that meet certain criteria can replace the existing boards in the game.

First, load a compatible Mario Party ROM by clicking Load ROM from the toolbar.

Currently, only the USA ROMs are supported. Previously edited ROMs from PartyPlanner64 are also compatible.

Then, select the board you want to write from the board list, and click the Overwrite dropdown that appeared in the toolbar. The available ROM boards to overwrite will be listed.

If your board is simple enough to be inserted into the ROM, you will be able to select one of the existing board to overwrite. If there are some issues with the board, they will be indicated as follows:

  • A red icon beside the issue means you cannot overwrite the board until you address the problem.
  • A yellow icon means something is not really right with your board, but the issue will not prevent you from overwriting the board.

Currently, you can only overwrite specific original boards.

Even if you receive no warnings, there could be problems when running the game. File an Issue if you think there is a board validation rule that should be added, or something should be working when it is not.

You can’t perform that action at this time.