Games predate civilization. Some of our oldest games still survive to this day, like mangala (or stones), dice, checkers, tic-tac-toe and chess. What gives them their lasting power? What can we gain from them as designers of complex computer games? Simplicity and elegance.Tim Ryan published on Gamasutra
Many think that boards need to be symmetrical in order to be balanced and "fair." Still many others would argue that this depends highly on the game mechanics and goals for the game. Take Risk's asymmetrical board design for example:
After reading Chapter 4, and perusing some of the ways in which digital game concepts can be converted to tabletop games: sketch an initial draft of your board design. Even if your design is minimalistic, still post an image of your design. Before submitting, view the level of polish that previous years of students have achieved by the end of the design process.
*You should have an understanding of the overall mechanic(s) and goals of your game before designing your board.