Ellie Dix

Ellie Dix


Ellie Dix has had a lifelong obsession with board games. As a teacher she began designing games for the classroom. While owner of Pivotal Education, the UK’s largest team of school behaviour specialists, she designed games for teacher training. Then in 2019 she founded The Dark Imp, an independent publisher and invention studio, and has since been designing family board games full time. 

Ellie firmly believes that board games have positively influenced her ability to interact with others, manage failure, work creatively with available resources, experiment with multiple paths to success, solve interesting problems, adapt to changing situations and make decisions quickly. 

As a passionate advocate for the impact that games can have on family life, Ellie wrote the book, The Board Game Family: Reclaim your children from the screen (Crown House Publishing). The book is a blend of Ellie’s knowledge and understanding of board games and her experience with managing and influencing behaviour. It not only explains why playing board games as a family is a such a good thing, but how to make family gaming a positive experience for everyone.

Through The Dark Imp, Ellie published lots of games – specialising in games in unusual formats, including games on coasters, placemats, greetings cards and crackers. Having reduced the self-publishing arm of The Dark Imp, Ellie now spends most of her time designing games for other companies. She designs games which she licenses to publishers, does game development and undertakes commissions from both game companies and brands. 

Ellie has won a number of awards including the Hasbro Women Innovators of Play contest, the BIGGY (Best Independent Gaming Game of the Year), two Independent Toy Awards and Rainbow Award. She was named one of the Mojo 100 – the 100 most influential people in toys and games in 2024, and her blog (https://thedarkimp.com/blog) was named by Cardboard Edison as the board game design blog of the year 2023. 

When she’s not playing games, you will probably find Ellie singing show tunes, ballroom dancing, doing logic puzzles, performing yoga poses badly, doing maths for fun, binge watching The Amazing Race, learning the flags of overseas territories, spending time with family or madly trying to cross things off her ‘50 things to do before I’m 50’ list before time runs out.

Conversations Begin with a Board Game

We help parents to reclaim family time by playing board games together.

With the help of the Dark Imp resources parents achieve a better balance in the home by creating an irresistible offline world, that rivals the online one. 

Children need to see their parents play. Let us show you how. 


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