Sourcing Game Components: Dice
Today is the final article in a series of four articles about where to find prototype worthy game components. Here is the list of articles from this series:
Before we get started I want to make one point clear: This article is not about standard dice or even RPG dice. You can find standard d6s and RPG dice at your favorite local game store. If you want standard dice visit your local store or local thrift store. Or if you want really nice standard dice then check out Chessex. This article is about where to find blank dice, or special dice, or even dice that you can write on!
And my disclaimer: I have not used dice in any of my game designs. While I know where to buy dice, I cannot speak to their quality, feel, or character.
As a reminder I want to give credit to the list that inspired me to write these articles. This list is much more exhaustive than mine since I am just highlighting a few of the major suppliers. But here’s the list so you can check it out yourself:
So today I present a few of the sources that I think are worth checking out…
Indented Blank Dice
When it comes to using blank dice for game design, look no further than Indented Blank Dice! These are six sided dice with indented sides.
Why indented sides? The sides are indented so that when you put a sticker on the side it won’t rub off or cause irregular rolls.
These are 19mm on an edge and the indented portion measures 1/2″ x 1/2″. They will also sell you sheets of labels on which you can print your game design’s custom icons. Here is their pricing for US and International:
|1||25 Dice – Domestic US||$15.00|
|2||25 Dice – International||$35.00|
|3||50 Dice – Domestic US||$25.00|
|4||50 Dice – International||$45.00|
|5||125 Dice – Domestic US||$50.00|
|6||125 Dice – International||$70.00|
|7||250 Dice – Domestic US||$95.00|
|8||250 Dice – International||$115.00|
|9||1000 Dice – Domestic US||$300.00|
|10||1000 Dice – International||$320.00|
Those prices seem a little expensive to me, but if you’ve designed the next Kingsburg, Alien Frontiers, or Macao, then you can probably justify the cost.
Each sheet of labels that they sell will handle 36 dice. Two sheets will cost your $6.
If you are a friend from across the pond, i.e., from Europe, then perhaps your first stop should be BlankDice.co.uk!
In addition to a nice assortment of indented six sided dice they also offer 8 sided indented dice. Here is the page for their six sided dice: BlankDice.co.uk – 6 Sided Dice
But here’s the kicker… If you were to purchase 25 of these at £0.20 each (to compare the pricing against the source above this one) you would find that it would cost roughly US$15.50 to ship to the US. That’s only $0.50 more than the above source. So if BlankDice.co.uk has a color that you desperately need, then maybe you could order from them instead.
Print & Play Productions
They make the list again since they offer so much awesomeness! If you are looking to order a bunch of different components for your game prototype and you need dice as well, then consider ordering from Print & Play since you can get cards, chits, meeples, and dice all from the same source! Here are a few different dice options offered by Print & Play:
- 16mm Stickerable Blank Dice: $0.15 ea.
- 19mm Indented Blank Dice: $0.50 ea.
- Stickerable Polyhedral dice (d8, d10, d12): $0.99 ea.
- 16mm Translucent Dice (Red, Green, or Blue): $0.45 ea.
Side Note: I personally met the guy behind Print & Play productions at GenCon and I can safely say he’s an awesome guy. I would definitely feel confident when purchasing from him. And the fact that you can order basically all of the components you would need for your prototype from one source makes Print & Play pretty awesome!
The EAI Education catalog is a fantastic one-stop-shop for game designers. You can order cards, dices, cubes, and more all from their online catalog at excellent prices!
If you do a search for “Dice” you’ll get 206 results. While they have way too many awesome options of standard dice, fudge dice, fraction dice, etc., here are some blank dice options that I think could be useful to game designers:
- Blank Dice – Set of 12: $1.99
- Blank Dice and Label – Set of 144: $26.95
- Dice Domes Deluxe (with foam dice): $13.95
- Magnetic Foam Write On/Wipe Off 1.5″ dice Set of 12 (Available in Classic or Bright colors): $8.95
- Magnetic Foam Write On/Wipe Off 3″ dice set of 36: $99.95
And if you need standard dice to compliment your game design, then you can believe that EAI carries what you need!
The Game Crafter
The guys at The Game Crafter also offer black indented dice. If you choose “dice” from their parts selection you’ll get a bunch of standard dice as well as blank dice.
They offer 8 different colors at $0.40 each, though if you order more than 9 of any color the price will drop to $0.38 each. These prices are better than some of the other sources listed above for indented blank dice.
But as I mentioned when writing about TGC for the Meeples article, if you are ordering components like these you still have to wait in their production queue. Since I live in the Madison area I think I should volunteer my time to fulfill component-only orders with no customization of cards or boxes or rules. That way, if you order stocked components only, the order would skip the custom production queue and be able to be mailed to you much more quickly. This isn’t a huge complaint and it doesn’t hold me back from ordering from TGC. It’s just something I think they could do a little better.
The interwebs offer a bunch of sources for dice, but Amazon seems to have some good options. Here are a few that might be good for game designers:
- 25 Blank White 16mm Dice: $2.95
- 1 Inch Foam Color Resources Cubes Set of 102: $13.21
- Chessex Set of 6 Blank White Polyhedral Dice: $3.59
- Set of 100 Colored Blank 16mm Dice: $18.95
So perhaps Amazon will be your go-to source for dice.
And there you have it, folks! This is the conclusion of my series on sourcing game components. You should now know where to find all of the components you need. Thanks for reading along during this series. It has prompted me to desire a large order of components from all these different sources. I’d love to simply stock up on tons of stuff so that I can have the world of game components at my finger tips in case inspiration strikes! Good luck game designers!
Posted on September 26, 2013, in Game Design, The Boards and tagged blank dice, chessex, game components, game design, game prototypes, indented blank dice, prototypes, prototyping. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.