Murphysboro Woodworker starts his own board game business


Brandon Byars frowned at the shipping cost from England for a board game he wanted. So he made his own.

The lifelong woodworker from Murphysboro has developed his own version of the game called Babinga, as reported by the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan.

The game features players who use elastic cords to shoot wooden pucks through small holes at their opponent’s side. It won the night at a Christmas party he attended, and Byars’ Board Room Game Co. was born.

Byars’ repertoire now includes seven handcrafted wooden board games and a range of pocket dice games. His creations have become not just entertainment, but aesthetics.

“These are wooden board games that you’d want to have outside in your living room and just wait for someone to play,” says Byars, who works in computer science for Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. “Not only are they fun, they are also really nice to look at.”

The games, available online and through local retailers, are often variations on ancient competitions – some were played during the Roman Empire. Byars wants to expand – he is aiming for distribution in all states.

“It would be really cool to be on vacation somewhere and see a family play one of my games,” he said.


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