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board size questions

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kt123
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Is there a standard sized game board? I've been looking around and 20x20 inches seems to be the most widely available. The problem i have is that my local printer can only print 18x18.
Is it normal to buy the board and box yourself if you're using a 'normal print company' (ie. not a board games specialist) if it is then it would be a big problem if i could only source 20 inch boards. Are there any solutions to this, ie a 2 inch border?
Another problem i have is that the boards (from protoparts) are pre scored to fold into quads, my printer says the board should be scored after the image has been printed on it, is this right?

Anonymous
board size questions

From the sounds of it, you're looking to publish a game, correct? How big of a run are you looking to do?

When making a board, your printer is correct, the artwork is applied to the material and it is then scored (eliminating problems of misaligned artwork and the need for hand scoring). I can't imagine a printer that would ask you to provide a board to which they would apply the artwork. They need to be able to create and finish the board themselves.

The box may be another matter altogether. Since the artwork is wrapped onto a box blank, they may be able to use boxes which you supply to them, but I can't imagine that this route would be cheaper than using a printer that would assemble and finish the box for you.

Blank boards and boxes are ideal for prototyping or small, hand assembled runs of games. Your printer may be able to assist you in a variety of ways with this (glueing artwork to boards, wrapping artwork around boxes, etc.), but you may have to do some hand finishing (scoring the artwork on the boards, assembly of finished games).

It all depends on the scope of what you're trying to accomplish. If the maximum size artwork that your printer can produce is 18 x 18, then they might be better off assembling and finishing the board to the specs to which they are capable. That may mean using them to create a box that fits their smaller boards as well. It will depend on the capabilities of your printer. If they can't print larger than 18 x 18, then they probably don't have much capability of producing finished game components.

kt123
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Joined: 12/31/1969
board size questions

Hi SiskNY, thanks for the reply, some useful information you've provided there.Let me tell you a little more about what i'm trying to achieve.
I am looking to produce a board game to sell through my website and ebay, initially i'd only like to print a small run, 50-100 games if possible, although if this was successful as i think it might be, i might want to produce in the thousands in future (i already have some retail interest)
The other components of the game are cardboard playing pieces (save money on plastic moulds) money, cards (equivelent to deeds cards in monopoly) and a set of instructons. This shouldn't be a problem for most normal printers should it?
Also, why is it that blank boards are sold pre scored if you can't effectively print on them?

Anonymous
board size questions

With a print run that small, you will find yourself doing quite a lot of hand work on your project, but it shouldn't be too bad at that number (if you were doing a few thousand however...). Your biggest problem will be getting the artwork on the boards (if you use available boards). It would be ideal if the printer can do that for you, even if you have to score the artwork so that the board folds correctly. If not, you will have to get a few cans of spray adhesive and apply the artwork yourself.

I suppose this brings you back to the issue of board size. If the largest artwork your printer can produce is 18 x 18, then you will have to accept a less-than-ideal solution. You can either try to find a source for smaller sized boards, have your printer create the boards for you (if they can do that), leave a wide margin around your board, or find a printer that can do 20 x 20 artwork.

As for why the boards come pre-cut, the boards are meant more for prototyping and other small run jobs. The artwork is applied and then scored to match the board. Since cutting the board to fold properly is difficult to do by hand, the boards come pre finished so that we don't have to worry about that. Most of us just want a board to which we can apply artwork and do some minor hand finishing.

As for the other components, most printers should be able to handle that for you. You may get varying results regarding the counters. Some printers may have more problems die cutting them to come out easily, but that's not a big issue for small run games such as this. If you don't care if the cards have an opaque core (playing card stock), then any printer should be able to get you want you want.

Best of luck!

kt123
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Joined: 12/31/1969
board size questions

Hi SiskNY, i'm in two minds about what to do.
Could i get this printer to make a small run of 18x18 games and boxes, then if the game becoame popular find another printer who prints 20x20? (my prefered size)
could you give me some more information about hand making games? How do you spray on images? And how do you print out images that will be big enough for a board that size? (bear in mind i'm not that practically minded)
Thanks.

Anonymous
board size questions

Sounds like you're sold on this printer instead of shopping around for one that meets your needs. Is that because the printer is willing to do such small quantities? Your game would be quite costly at a printer that specializes in games (considering the low print run). Your best option is probably to work within your printer's limitations, then get another printer if your game sells well enough to justify a much larger print run. Most game printers (that is, printers that soecialize in printing and assembling games) will require a minimum run of 500-1000. Depending on components, you will probably need to do a run of 1000-3000 to get the costs managable.

Spray adhesive is one of the best inventions ever. It's basically glue in a spray can that allows you to evenly coat one side of a piece of paper so that it turns into a giant sticker. It can be tricking adhering a large board face to a blank board, but it can be done with some practice. Spray adhesive can also be used on smaller items like glueing artwork to cardboard to make counters, or artwork to a blank box to make packaging.

For prototypes, people generally work in sections, printing out their artwork in as large a section as they can (typically 8.5" x 11", sometimes 11" x 17" or even larger if they have a printer capable of handling paper that large). The sections are then applied to the board so that they all line up nicely. The results can be nice, though I don't know how well it would work on a production level.

kt123
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Joined: 12/31/1969
board size questions

Thanks SiskNY, yes the main reason i want to use this printer is the low initial print run, plus they seem helpful for a newbie like me who knows nothing of the technical side of printing.
Using a specialist games printer dosen't even seem like an option for me as i'm based in the UK and i don't know of any, i posted a message on here looking for a list of UK printers but no one could really help me.
One thing i'm worrying about, if i get the game printed at 18x18, would i have to tell my graphic designer to design the game at that size? Or can it be scaled up or down with no loss of quality?
Also do you think the printer would have to specially make a box to fit my games? If he did is that a big initial exspense? It would be a waste if i spent a lot of money on a specially made box that cost a lot of money for a few hundred games, then resized the game later. (I'll ask the printer these questions myself, but i'd like to have some idea before i do)
Thanks for your help.

Anonymous
board size questions

If you alreaady have artwork created for a 20 x 20 board, then it is a very easy process to scale it to 18 x 18 with no loss of quality. The printer can even do that for you after they get the image. Think of it like a pint of beer. To go to a smaller glass, you just pour some out (into an approved receptacle, of course). To go to a bigger glass, you would have to add water to fill the rest of the glass. Going smaller never hurst quality. Going larger can hurt quality depending on too many factors to get into here. If you already have the art at 20 x 20, then you're all set for now and the future. If your don't already ahve the art, have it designed at 20 x 20 and then reduced so you ahve both versions.

As for the box size, you can put an 18 x 18 quad fold board into a standard 10.25 x 10.25 box. The board will flop around a little, but it's not going to cause any real problems. You could even use a simple insert to take up the extra space. So long as the standard box is big enough to hold your board, go for it! Whatever you can do to keep costs down.

kt123
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Joined: 12/31/1969
board size questions

Hi all, i've just had a quote from my printer and it's much higher than i expected, so now i'm thinking i might hand produce the games, could you give me some advice on how i should proceed? I'm thinking of buying blank boards boxes and cards from protoparts, but i'm unsure of how i'd print and attatch the images to the board, would i stick it on with the adhesive spray SiskNY mentioned? Is that all you have to do or do you coat it with a protective finish? Also is it normal to print out the board on a home printer or get it down in a print shop?
How noticeable is the difference to a professionally printed game?
Another thing i was wondering, how do you print on cards? (the equivelent of title deeds in monopoly?)
I know it's a long list of questions but i'd appreciate any help i can get.

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