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How To Make A Quad-fold Board

When designing games it often becomes helpful or necessary to have a quality prototype, which often includes a quad-fold board. There are easy ways to do it, like taping a few pieces of paper together. And there are more difficult ways to make them. I usually only make them when I would rather have it fold to fit in a box. Today I want to share my method for producing a decent quad-fold board for your game design purposes.

Components

Here are the components I use when making a quad-fold board:

  • Matte board (I buy bulk scrap matte board at Hobby Lobby since it is so inexpensive)
  • Photo Paper (I use Kodak Glossy Photo Paper)
  • Glue Stick (Or adhesive of your choice)
  • Tape (I prefer masking tape)
  • Rotary Cutter (I use this one)

The methods in this article are based on the fact that I have a 12 inch rotary cutter that cannot cut through two pieces of matte board at the same time. If I could cut through two matte board pieces at a time then I would probably use a different method.

Methodology

My assumption here is that you already have artwork you’ve created. If you have the artwork ready, then here are the steps I follow to make my quad fold boards…

Print the Artwork

When I work with larger sized images I usually print them from either MS Publisher or MS Powerpoint. Publisher will require you make a larger template, but that is pretty easy to do. When you print this way you will print on several sheets of paper.

Once they are printed I will cut off the white margins for all the interior edges that will join up together. You can see an example of the cut photo paper above in the image with the glue stick.

Glue the First Two Pieces

Depending on whether you want your board to fold with the artwork out (unusual) or inward (common) you will either have to do one or two of these procedures respectively.

As I mentioned earlier, you will do this once if you don’t care that your artwork folds outward. If you prefer your artwork to fold inward, then repeat this process with the other two pieces of your quad-fold board.

Before moving on I always like to check how smoothly the board folds. Here’s my example:

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Completing your Board

With a set of two pieces taped together you are now set to complete your board. This step is pretty simple. With all four pieces laid out, flip them all over together. Make sure they go into the correct places when flipped. You don’t want to flip them where they are but rather flip them and swap them horizontally. Before I start I put a piece of tape in the corners that line up in the middle of the board. This helps me know that I have the pieces together the right way.

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With them in the correct locations, all you need to do is apply two more pieces of tape as seen here:

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Completed Quad-Fold Board!

And there you go! You now know how to make a quad-fold board for your game designs. Just keep in mind that if you would prefer the artwork to fold inward then do the “Glue the First Two Pieces” process twice. Then flip them and use only one piece of tape on one of the seams.

Here’s is my completed board for this article:

And here is the quad-fold board I made for a high quality prototype of Scoville using Joshua Cappel’s artwork:

Another Option

If you are not equipped with printing capabilities or if you would prefer to not do this on your own, then feel free to utilize The Game Crafter as they can create a quality quad-fold board for you. You just upload your artwork in the correct size and pay a little money and they’ll make your board and mail it to you.

They have the following options available:

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So how do you make your quad-fold boards? Do you use a different method? I’d love to hear if there is a better way (I’m sure there is).

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GameHole Con 2015 in Madison

Ladies and gentlemen. It is time for the 3rd Gamehole Con! Taking place this weekend in Madison, WI, Gamehole Con is in it’s third year and has moved to a larger venue. It is located at the Exhibition Hall of the Alliant Energy Center. Here’s some info from their website that I’ve copied and pasted here:

Gamehole Con is the largest tabletop gaming convention in the upper Midwest.

Tabletop gamers from around the country gather each November in Madison, WI for this carnival of gaming. Gamehole Con is all about tabletop gaming and all the fun that goes with it. The convention features role-playing games, board games, fantasy and historical miniature gaming, and collectible card games. Gamehole Con is for the fantasy and adventure tabletop gaming enthusiast. Gamehole Con features the best guests in the industry, an unbelievable Dealer Hall and of course, lots and lots of gaming! If you are a tabletop gaming fan, do not miss Gamehole Con!

What is a Gamehole?

I’ll leave it to the Gamehole Con team to explain. Visit this link or read their explanation:

Now, you may find yourself asking, “What is a Gamehole?” or saying to yourself, “Ew. A Gamehole sounds yucky.” Well ladies and gentlemen; a Gamehole is simply a hole for gaming. It is a nod to the author that single-handedly created the genre of modern fantasy literature and thereby fantasy gaming – J.R.R. Tolkien.

As Tolkien so beautifully wrote at the very start of the transcendent Hobbit: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

A Gamehole is a hole for gaming. Instead of Hobbits, it is filled with gamers, gaming, food, fellowship and fun. More specifically, the Gamehole is a longstanding group of Madison area gamers. We have been getting together for years playing our favorite games. We love virtually all tabletop games.

Why I’m Attending

I will be attending as a Game Master (GM). This year I have the great privilege to be running demos of my game, Scoville. I have seven demo sessions between Friday and Saturday. I’m really looking forward to meeting some great gamers and introducing them to Scoville.

If you are attending, come find my table and introduce yourself! It would be great to meet a bunch of you.

What does Gamehole Con Offer?

Gamehole Con offers an exhibitor hall with booths of game companies selling their games, fantasy RPG companies selling their wares, and more geeky goodness. The con also has a large gaming area with many GMs running games. Games are available the entire weekend! You can see what’s available on this listing.

The Con also has another embedded con called Crafter Con. This is hosted by The Game Crafter,  print-on-demand service for gamers and game designers. They are a local business who have a great product. If you are a game designer, stop by the Crafter Con stuff and enjoy a good time.

There is also a great lineup of guests and artists being featured at Gamehole Con.

Overall it will be a great weekend of gaming and I recommend you stop by and check it out!

Grand Illusion Update

GrandIllusionLogoV2

Today I wanted to report on the progress of The Grand Illusion. Normally I do that on Thursdays and I was planning on posting a game review today but I’m excited about the game so I figured I’d write about it.

What’s New?

I’ve begun prototyping! I have created a deck of skill cards. These cards represent the 9 types of magic in the game. The types of magic are in two separate tiers: basic and advanced. There are 6 basic types and 3 advanced types. Here is a picture showing the skill cards (thanks to The Game Crafter for blank cards – They have blank poker cards on sale right now for 1 cent each!).

Collect these and use them to perform never-before-seen magic tricks to appease your growing audience!

Collect these and use them to perform never-before-seen magic tricks to appease your growing audience!

Those are hand-drawn icons, people!

What’s Next?

The next step for the prototype is to create a deck of Trick cards. These are cards that represent magic tricks. During the game you’ll need to collect the skill cards shown above and then turn them in to complete the magic tricks.

Once you perform a magic trick you will earn the rewards and audience shown on the card.

So let’s discuss audience… Audience is actually a currency in the game. It is necessary to build an audience during the game or you will not meet the requirements on your Grand Illusion card. So each time you perform a trick, if successful, you will gain audience. In the game you will collect skill cards, spend them to perform tricks, gain audience and increase your skills to be able to perform better tricks.

There will definitely be some engine building in the game. The goal of this design is to be an entry-level game with an easy rule set that is quick to teach and play. The main mechanics are set collection and engine building.

Engine Building

Engine building in games refers to the idea of obtaining some ability or benefit that let’s you do things a little better, then getting another one that builds on the previous ability or benefit.

In The Grand Illusion the engine is represented by the skills each magician will gain. Will you become a master of vanishing acts? Perhaps you’ll be the best at restoration magic? Ultimately you’ll have to get proficient at at least two basic types of magic and one advanced magic.

The question I’m currently struggling with is how exactly to create the engine building element. I have two options I’m considering:

1) Splendor-Like

In the game Splendor players turn in poker chips to grab a card from the table. Once they grab that card it usually acts as a poker chip. So for future card grabs they need one less poker chip. This would work perfectly for The Grand Illusion but I don’t want to copycat an existing game.

2) Tech Tree

A tech tree is something where you must complete “Level 1” stuff before you can work on “Level 2.” So in The Grand Illusion I could have a tech tree (pyramid) of trick cards on the table. When a player would perform a trick they would place a token of their player color on the trick to show they’ve completed it. This would also direct their play as there would be advantages and disadvantages for breadth versus depth.

I think that once I create the Trick deck I’ll try out both of these options. The Splendor-like version may work better, but I’m more drawn to the Tech Tree version since it is more original.

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My goal is to prototype the skills deck this weekend and aim for the first playtest next week! Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the different engine building options.

Sourcing Game Components: Chits

Unpunched chits from Small World.

Today I’m posting the third article in a four part series about where to buy components for your game designs. Last week I posted about Meeples. The previous week I posted about cards. Today is about those obscure little components so nicely referred to as Chits. Here is a list of the four articles in this series:

First, a disclaimer: There is nothing quite like that fresh new board game smell when you pull off the shrink wrap and open a game for the first time. Then you have the awesome moment of getting to punch out the chits and that really makes you feel special. I love that!

Today, however, we are not talking about unpunched chits, but rather blank chits that you can use for prototyping your game design. These include circles, squares, hexes, and more.

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:

http://spotlightongames.com/list/design/component.html

So today I present a few of the sources that I think are worth checking out…

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SpielMaterial.de

If you are of the European contingent, then I would suggest starting with SpielMaterial.de. They have a very nice assortment of chits that you can purchase. Here is the link:

On their page you can purchase triangles, hexagons, squares, rectangles, diamonds, circles, and more. They seem like an excellent option for purchasing chits.

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Print & Play Productions

672c6-print2band2bplay2bproductionsI have purchase hexagon chits from Print & Play in the past and have been very pleased. I like to buy the blank tiles with white on both sides. You can order them with your own artwork as well, so keep that in mind. Here is their page for “Counters”:

One of the nice things about Print & Play productions is that if you order the hex tiles, you’ll also receive the little rhombuses that were in between the tiles. And those could potentially be useful in a future game design! Available to you are triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, and hexes.

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The Game Crafter

While my go-to source for chits is Print & Play it is necessary to add The Game Crafter into the list as well. If you are ordering cards and meeples from The Game Crafter, then you might as well order some chits too! Here is a link to one of the chits they offer. Below the main area they link to similar items:

They don’t have nearly the variety of SpielMaterial or Print & Play Productions. And you have to deal with the lead-time issue. But it sure is convenient if you can order all of your components from the same source.

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Superior POD

While blank counters are not available, Superior POD (Print On Demand) does offer printed square and hex tiles, but only of limited sizes. Here is the link:

They only offer 2″ hexes, 1″ squares, and 5/8″ squares. So it’s pretty limited, but it appears that they might be mailed to you unpunched, which is sweet.

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So there you go. I know this is a short list, but I think that’s because there just are not very many sources for board game tiles like these. If you know of other sources that have quality components available, please let me know and I’ll add them to this list.

Thanks for checking this out. I hope it helps you as you build your game prototypes!

Sourcing Game Components: Meeples

A Mash of Meeples!

Last week I posted the first in this series of four articles about sourcing components for your board game designs. That article was about sources for cards. Today I’m covering my go-to sources for meeples to use in games. Here’s the list of what I’m covering in this whole “Sourcing” series:

  • Sourcing Cards – 9/5/13
  • Sourcing Meeples – Today!
  • Sourcing Chits – 9/19/13
  • Sourcing Dice – 9/26/13

So that’s the list I’m working with. Those are probably the four main components you are likely to use in a prototype. When I refer to “Meeples” I am referring to the components that are used to mark your spot or location on the board or player mats. Meeples can mean different things to different people.

As I wrote last week 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:

http://spotlightongames.com/list/design/component.html

I have picked a few of those sources to add to the ones I also use. And like last week I’ll start with The Game Crafter since they are my go-to source for these things.

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The Game Crafter

First things first: If you order pawns or anything that doesn’t have to be printed, you still need to wait your turn in the production queue. I recently placed an order for 30 pawns that cost a total of about $5 and I started out as #550 in the queue. The estimated ship date was October first. I know that they have the pawns just sitting over there. I bet I could drive over and simply ask if I could buy the 30 pawns and get them the same day.

The avatar pawn

Here is their page for pawns: The Game Crafter – Pawns

I like to use the Avatar pawns. They cost 14 cents each and are not ugly. These have worked well for me in the past and I’m looking forward to getting my set of new pawns so that I have enough for a few more prototype copies of Scoville. They are just simple and easy. No need to get complicated for a prototype! But if you want to mix things up, this next source might be the right one for you…

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Meeple Source

My favorite is the pirate with the peg leg!

I’ve never bought from Meeple Source, but after giving their site a long, drooling look I think they might serve me well in the future. They offer the following categories of meeples from which to choose:

Wow. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also check out their Plush Meeples!

This site has a TON of meeples to offer and I’m afraid I should have listed them lower in this article because I feel there really isn’t any sense for you to continue reading. But please continue anyway!

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SpielMaterial.de

Is that Gandalf the Red??

If you happen to be an awesome reader from Europe, I’m glad you’re here. If you are interested in meeples or pawns, then you might be interested in ordering from SpielMaterial.de. They are a European vendor of board game component awesomeness.

Here are some links:

SpielMaterial – Pawns

SpielMaterial – Persons

They have so much to offer that it’s worth just browsing on their website. You might get inspired for a game design simply by looking at all the things they can sell you.

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Boards & Bits

I have ordered from Boards & Bits in the past and was pleased with the service I received. Boards & Bits must have a HUGE warehouse to accommodate all the products that they carry. Their options go well beyond pawns and meeples. Their website isn’t the greatest since it is a little difficult to navigate, but they just offer so many things that I can easily look past that.

Boards & Bits – “Bits” page

You will mostly find typical meeples and pawns at Boards & Bits. They don’t offer the painted meeples the way that Meeple Source and SpielMaterial do. But if you want a cheap source for prototype worthy pawns, then perhaps Boards & Bits is for you!

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What a lovely little meeple family!

If you are only interested in little wooden people, then maybe you should check out Craft Parts. They offer a small assortment of wooden people figures that might work great in your prototype.

CraftParts.com – Little Wooden People

These components range in size from 1 1/8th inch to 3 9/16th inches. So these are quite a bit larger than your standard meeples. But maybe that’s what your looking for because you typically play games with giants. These will help those giants grab onto the pawns much easier!

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So there are a few of the numerous online sources for meeples and pawns. If there are any major vendors that I have overlooked, please let me know and I will update this list. Thanks for reading!

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