Hi again fellow board game developers :)
In this post I'm going to talk about how to create a board for your board game prototype.
Many people struggle with creating something that looks "final" - something people will be convinced by.
First off - I don't think you should concentrate on doing this before you're in the mid-to-late prototype phase. Because you'll often find yourself reworking the board to your likings as you develop on your prototype.
I believe I've build at least 2 full boards in vain because I only a few days later had made some significant changes to the layout.
So be aware.. when you go down this path you better be ready for it ;)
I imagine that you already have the layout and graphics in mind - and you'll start working on them one way or another.
There's really not that much to it - either you can do it yourself if you're skilled in Photoshop or the likes, or you can get someone else to do it.
Don't worry about using a few copyrighted materials if you're only going to show the prototype to your friends. If you choose to do any public display then you'll of course need your own original material!
When you want to print it, you can do it in several ways. You can print it yourself by cutting the print into smaller A4 pieces (I'm assuming you have an A4 printer like most of us ;)
Or you can do what I prefer to do... find a local printing department of some sort, they can usually help you out. Choose to print "poster quality". It's a bit more expensive but also a lot more durable - specially if the board is going to see a lot of token/miniature action.
Furthermore the poster print already has a glue/sticker back you can use when attaching the print to a board of some sort.
This will probably not be the kind of print you'll be using in the final print - since it also has a very reflecting surface, making it troublesome to look at in direct light when playing (but it sure does look nice - and ready for sale :)
The board material
There are several different materials you can use for your board, each with different strengths and weaknesses.
I usually go with 2mm for boards bigger than A3, and 1,2-1,5mm for smaller boards.
Look at some of the examples below.
Cutting, gluing... and so on...
When you have the components you need - it's time to put them together. This can be a tricky affair due to the "one chance"-aspect of putting it on. But if you follow the principles of this video you won't be doing it wrong (how to put on a car sticker).
Making the board more durable
If you want your board to be even more durable or stand out even prettier - it's time to introduce the transparent book wrap plastic (in Danish called "angel skin" or something). This will keep your board still going strong when you get to the production of any expansion packs ;)
Corners are usually the vulnerable part of a board. But it doesn't have to be. If you look at the following examples - you'll see how you can wrap around the edges and corners - making them fairly strong.
Edges and the finishing touch
Edges can also be a pain in the neck if not properly wrapped - and letting the print continue on the other side doesn't always look that good... But here's a money trick :)
Well... that will be all for now - I hope this article will help you in your board production.
Happy holidays and gaming to you all :)
Hey board game developer :)
I wanted to share some experiences I've had with board game production. I've been working on my own board game "Burning Suns" for almost a year now, and I thought it would be foolish not to share the knowledge I've gained over the many months.
My team and I are working alongside each other on both prototype and final components, and we're all working very coherently and close together in order to make sure things stay within the project scope and our goals are the same.
I'll try to go through some of the different digital production elements here. Enjoy :)
The index of all things
(I'm assuming that you're already well on the way with the ideas, blossoming in both text documents and drawings ;-)
Your first step is to create the "box" in which all things will be stored and sorted.
You'll want to be very systematic in order to make sure everything is just as you want them to be.
(e.g. in folder "1 - Rules") Early prototype rules ver2.
(e.g. in folder "6 - Player tokens") Elves - Leader token ver3.
Download the following spreadsheets to view some examples.
The project website of a board game production
Your next task is to create a project website for your board game. This will be the reference point for everyone involved in the production (no need to say, that this needs to be password protected ;)
You'll find a web solution like Weebly (that I'm using myself) to be very handy. A lot of "drag and drop" equals no trouble focusing on other things.
On this website you'll include subjects like
Make sure that it's regularly updated - and that you give your team everything they need in order to complete their tasks.
A few last things...
When you start to include people in the production process, make sure that you guys have a sharing method that works.
I like to use "SugarSync", so that we're all working on the same files - and that I don't get into any problems with different versions etc.
Without a syncing tool - you'll find yourself doing too much upload / download / back / forth with your email box.
Let your email box handle the communication with your team - not the file transfers.
Get an early economical perspective
When you settle on some of your production choices, it is time for you to look into the economy side of your board game project.
In other words... you should get an early quote on your production breakdown, and run through your financial possibilities - in the end - if your project doesn't become sustainable, you won't be able to do this as often as you would like to ;)
I hope this will put you off to a good start on your own board game production.
Happy gaming and holidays out there! :)
Heyho my fellow gamers,
Now... I'm going to talk about how to find different useful materials for your board game prototype.
We now it all starts with a prototype - and this is the phase where you want to keep your expenses as low as possible while maintaining a fairly convincing prototype.
So - where should you go and pick up materials for your next board game prototype? I have a few suggestions that I've been somewhat successful with.
The $1, €1 or "Tiger" stores...
You probably already know them.. this is where you find cheap Halloween costumes, the 1 trip umbrella, crazy straws, b-movie DVDs and the list goes on!
These stores are stuffed with things you wouldn't need in 1000 years... But but but... there's also a hidden treasure lying around waiting for you to discover it :)
Many of these stores have generic board game pieces for Domino, Two of a kind, 4 in a row, Stratego and so on.
Flea markets and charity shops
This is probably where you get the most for your hard earned bucks. In flea markets you'll be lucky to find old board games or toys that you might use..
Furthermore there are always a lot of hobby stands and people with same interests - so you'll also be sure to find "alternative" ways of creating or developing your board game prototype.
Why not use cheap pearls for resources, or use the backside of a jigsaw puzzle for board.
There are many alternative ways of refilling your stock of prototype materials ;)
The local ebay variant
Yea I know... ebay might not be the easiest place to find cheap board games or materials - It's all collector's edition or full packages of some sort.
But you might have a "local ebay" of some kind.. a newspaper or a website. You can be lucky to find people here selling out of old storages or the likes...
And in general
Be on the lookout for sales in your local toy store, book store and so on.. It'll really help you create cheap board game prototypes :)
Happy gaming to you all!
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