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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

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phpbbadmin
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:D

Folks,
An opportunity has arisen where a third party may be willing to sell us standardized components for the purpose of prototyping. We as a community need to come up with what we think will be the most commonly needed components and of what size. During chat we came up with this list:

Painted/colored wooden (or plastic, preferably wooden) cubes 1/4", 3/8" 1/2"
colored meeples
Microperfed 100# cover blank playing cards, uncoated both sides w/ rounded corners "1/8” radius", 2.5 x 3.5” in size with perhaps a smaller size also (business card sized?).
Stackable plastic chips – tiddly wink sized and a larger size.
Game boards – 1 large quad fold, 1 medium bifold and 1 smaller single page board.
Matching game boxes to fit the boards.
Different colored standard plastic or wooden classic Parcheesi type pawns.
Dice: blank six sided, standard 6,8, & 10 sided die
Plastic stands for cardboard miniatures
Drawstring bags
Colored Glass beads
3 x 3 “ cardboard or wooden square tiles
'Standard' Settlers of Catan sized cardboard hexes
Egg timer
Play money / coins

Ok first let me disclaim that it may be unrealistic to obtain some of the above items. Right now my philosophy is to dream big and then weed out those things that are implausible. So with that being said, are there any other components that you might want to add to this list? Keep in mind it has to be generic enough to be useable in a broad range of games.

Thanks,
Darkehorse

Anonymous
Components

What about colored wooden squares like those from Columbia games?

Also, what about pre-cut counter sheets, where counters could be printed on some type of sticker and mounted to the sheet and then cut out later?

Game boxes that are 9x12x3 (bookcase game style)?

Just a few random thoughts.

-SAC

Torrent
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

This all sounds like a wonderful idea. Two thoughts:

1) Huts - Both Carcasonne: Hunters and Gatherers and Clans have little hut-like pieces. You could even use them as settlements or something in a Catan game.

2) If we get them to do this it might be nice to be able to buy a 'kit'. Ie get the standard prototype kit with a BiFold Board and Box a handful of woodenbits, some cards, a few dice.. and so on. I don't know any details of this oppurtunity, but they might be able to get a slightly better price if these kits could be used to gaurentee the use of most/if not all the bits that we are asking for. In addition, I (and maybe even most of the rest of you) have several layers of prototype. The basic non-colored one we have on the kitchen table and then the pretty one that you take to actually play. The extra bits wouldn't go to waste.

Andy

Cyberchrist
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

A brilliant idea!

To have a "starter" kit would probably cut the time i spend on prototyping by half.
I already spend too much time hunting components on the internet, with that kit i could put my focus on design instead of haggling prices and shipping rates for every little pawn, wooden cube or piece of cardboard.

trnardo
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game parts

The idea of making parts of this type is available is an excellent one! While some of these parts on your list can be found relatively easily, other items seem almost impossible to find.

Microperfed playing cards (inkjet-printable) would be a dream come true for me! I'm tired of slicing & dicing cards. And I'd definitely like to get my hands on a few dozen 1/4" cubes (wood or plastic).

If I had to add anything to the list, it would be ships, cars, and planes... either wood or plastic.

As for the game boards, I'd probably want two sizes of four-fold boards: something in the neighborhood of 16"x24", and something close to 22"x34". I'd also want the matching boxes to be white, if possible -- white printer labels blend in better on these than brown boxes.

phpbbadmin
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Re: Components

callsign-thumper wrote:
What about colored wooden squares like those from Columbia games?

Also, what about pre-cut counter sheets, where counters could be printed on some type of sticker and mounted to the sheet and then cut out later?

Game boxes that are 9x12x3 (bookcase game style)?

Just a few random thoughts.

-SAC

Hmmm. I have only seen pictures of Wizard Kings so I can only speculate as to the actual function of the squares you're talking about. It seems to me like they have labels stuck to one side. Couldn't this same affect be achieved by the previously mentioned wooden cubes (I know they're not exactly the same, but I'd like to cut back on redundancy).

As for the counter sheets.. We had discussed that in chat but sort of dismissed it as being impractical to produce. It would have to be a two sheets, one for the perforated cardboard counter/chit sheet, and then one perforated sheet for the labels... I don't know, but this just seems to difficult to put stickers on each and every chit manually. I would think it would be easier to afix the entire label sheet on an entire piece of cardboard backing and then die cut the chits. Perhaps the better request would be some specialized die punches for things like chits, tokens, hexes, tiles, etc.

Matching white boxes I will have to second... They will definitely look better than 'cardboard' colored..

Kits would be nice. I imagine it would be hard to settle on what would come in a 'standard' kit. Perhaps we can discuss that later...

I will keep you all posted. Thanks for the comments.

-Darke

trnardo
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

Quote:
As for the counter sheets.. We had discussed that in chat but sort of dismissed it as being impractical to produce. It would have to be a two sheets, one for the perforated cardboard counter/chit sheet, and then one perforated sheet for the labels... I don't know, but this just seems to difficult to put stickers on each and every chit manually. I would think it would be easier to afix the entire label sheet on an entire piece of cardboard backing and then die cut the chits.

For counter sheets, I print a cover stock sheet with my layout and glue the sheet down on the cardboard backing. If I'm making a demo prototype, I'll get extra fancy -- glue a blank sheet to the back and put press-on laminate sheets over each side. A table paper cutter handles these quite well, though you do have to clean the blade after each cutting session to get the adhesive off.

Anonymous
common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

How about printable sticky on one side label sheets, pre-sized to match the various cards, hexes, squares, game boxes, etc.?

The only other thing I can think of offhand would be blank hexgrid sheets... but I don't know if people would buy them, when they could print them with a little work.

This is a FANTASTIC opportunity btw, I would be a customer even if we could get half of the stuff on that list.

Oh yeah... WTF is a meeple?

hpox
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

Look up Carcassone, the peeps are called "meeples". It was popularized by that game.

Krakit
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

If they are going to make plastic stands, I think they should include heavy stock cardboard "bullet" shapes to put in the stands.

Go a step further and include a blank sheet of ink jet friendly stickers to put on the bullet shapes (two stickers for each silhoette) and you've got a game bit winner there.

Carl

phpbbadmin
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Perfed card sheets

Folks,

It looks like it might be a good chance we will be getting the perforated card stock sheets. The cards are 2.5"Wx3.5"H. There will be 6 to a sheet with rounded corners.

Here is the template: card template .

Let me know what you think. I have no idea of what the cost will be. I do know that the person who may be supplying them is going to have a custom made die produced to create them, so it is not inexpensive. Let us know what you think about it.

Speak now or forever hold your peace! :D
-Darke

Anonymous
common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

I don't mind the cards but I want to know what procedure is used to get the information on the cards... are we responsible for printing on them ourselves? And if so, what sort of suggestions are there for that?

FastLearner
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

There's a major problem with that die. Excluding the fact that the tops of the top set of cards don't seem to be perfed (which I hope is just some kind of display problem or something), they completely span the page with the outside edges at the edges of the paper. This means that there'd be no way to print out to the edges of cards, and most personal computer printers would have to leave a full 1/4" blank.

If 6-up is the goal (because you want print to be able to "bleed" off the edges of the cards and alignment in the printer is comparitively easy) then the pre-perfed cards would need to go the other way on the page. With each card being 3.5 inches then you'd have 2 cards wide (with the page in portrait format but the cards in landscape format) for 7", plus 1/2" between each card, plus 1/2" margin on both outside edges = 8.5". Then going the other way the cards are 2.5", so 2.5" x 3 = 7.5", plus 1/2" between each card = 8.5", leaving 2.5" remaining, so you'd have 1.25" margins at top and bottom.

This would result in a very nice 6-up page with lots of space around each one, with nice easy measurements to lay out in any dtp program -- it would even be easy to create a template for Word (which is very finickey) with such straightforward measurements.

Does that make sense or should I lay something out?

As a personal preference I'd like the corner radius to be slightly smaller (tighter), but this looks nice, too.

FastLearner
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

And hey, if these become a reality then in addition to creating templates for InDesign and Word (which I'd be happy to do) and probably even a little HTML template for those who have no dtp program, I'd even be willing to write a little VB app that lets you specify basic graphics and text in a couple of simple layouts, either shareware or for cheap sale. I'd even have it be database driven on the back end so you could write the text up and specify graphics (including things like suits) and it would lay out all of the pages and print them out.

That's how excited I'd be. :)

setarcos
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

I agree with Matthew, we do need margins all around to make it work. Let us know as soon as possible what the price will be; it’ll make a lot of difference of course.

And thanks for going to all the trouble of finding a source for these.

Leland

phpbbadmin
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Oops

Folks,

That was my fault. I think my conversion from postscript to pdf was flawed.. Try this version:

Card Template.pdf

Sorry for the mixup!
-Darke

FastLearner
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

Ah, much better. I'd still recommend 1/2" between cards, to allow plenty of room for bleeds (print that goes over the edge of the cut and gets trimmed off so the end result is a card with ink to the ege) and to make the measurements nice and even and easy to work with. However the larger die might be more expensive, and if so then I think this works great!

-- Matthew

setarcos
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

If this is shown in landscape orientation then it’s perfect!

-Leland

trnardo
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

Quote:
It looks like it might be a good chance we will be getting the perforated card stock sheets. The cards are 2.5"Wx3.5"H. There will be 6 to a sheet with rounded corners.

I recently came across a site, www.plaincards.com, that offers sheets of 120# coated backed cards, 8 poker-sized cards (2.5"x3.5") per sheet. The biggest negatives are that the glossy side is pre-printed, the stock is reportedly 120# (some printers have problems with this thickness), and the price is about $9 plus shipping for the 120 card (15 sheet) minimum order. Mistakes aren't cheap when using this stuff!
Quote:
Let me know what you think. I have no idea of what the cost will be. I do know that the person who may be supplying them is going to have a custom made die produced to create them, so it is not inexpensive. Let us know what you think about it.

I think that a move from 6 to 8 cards per sheet needs to be looked at more closely, if the process is expected to be expensive. Otherwise, the cost per sheet has to be lower.

Big plusses on the custom card end would be the ability to print on both sides, and a more printer-friendly thickness of card stock.

tjgames
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

The cards from plaincards are slightly smaller then the poker size of 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 . I don't remember the actual size but I have a deck somewhere around here. Anyways, they are a little expensive, but are worth it if you want to make up a couple of nice looking prototypes. They also come with boxes.

FastLearner
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

We've chatted a fair bit about Plaincards here in the past. The issues I have with them are the pre-printed backs (which are also quite ugly, imo) and the perforations, which are very course and don't make for a clean edge all the way around.

These cards would, I theory, be microperfed. That's the kind of perforation that's extremely fine, such that once it's punched out there's virtually no sign of the fact that they were ever perforated.

As to 8-up, if that was in demand I would request that we switch to bridge-sized cards (2.25" x 3.5") instead of poker-sized (2.5" x 3.5") because I know that having room for a bleed is incredibly important to me. That means that no card edge should touch any other card edge. If you use 2.5" cards then you've got the problem of 2.5" x 4 = 10", and with a mininum .25" margin at top and bottom you'd only got .5" to divide by 3 and put between the cards: too tight if you have cards that bleed.

If they were bridge-sized then you'd have 2.25" x 4 = 9", in which case you could put a solid .25" between each card and still have nice 5/8" margin at top and bottom.

This means (for my needs) that you'd have to use the slightly smaller cards to have 8-up.

tjgames
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

Yeah, I forgot about the coarse preforations. It's been awhile since I played with the deck. It sounds like these will be much better. I personally think sticking with the poker size is better. I know that size fits in the card sleeves the best, which is big in my area. As for cost I thought the idea behind these were for making really nice looking prototypes or very very very small production runs. I don't think that the cost difference for printing out a deck of (for example)Alpha Playing Cards (a little game plug here 8) ) which is 74 cards is going to be that much in a 6 card per sheet verse 8 cards per sheet format. I think that would be 3 extra sheets per deck. I'd be willing to pay $10 for a really nice looking prototype. Of course I wouldn't print one out until I was sure that all of the bugs I could find was worked out of the game. :lol:

trnardo
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

tjgames wrote:
I don't think that the cost difference for printing out a deck of (for example)Alpha Playing Cards (a little game plug here 8) ) which is 74 cards is going to be that much in a 6 card per sheet verse 8 cards per sheet format. I think that would be 3 extra sheets per deck.

In a 74 card deck, you're talking 13 sheets vs. 10. That's around a 25% increase in cost.

I would most likely want these for making demo copies as well as a good prototype. In the game environment I've been "working" in lately, the company uses a pre-order system to decide which games to publish. That setting is more suited to having multiple demo sets for people to show off at geographically diverse game conventions. So for my own interests, I'd favor packing more cards onto a sheet and reducing the cost per card.

FastLearner wrote:
As to 8-up, if that was in demand I would request that we switch to bridge-sized cards (2.25" x 3.5") instead of poker-sized (2.5" x 3.5") because I know that having room for a bleed is incredibly important to me.

Bridge sized cards could work, though they don't fit as nicely in card sleeves.

I tend to avoid full bleed design because that style of cards is more expensive for a company to produce; however, I know that there are cases where it is preferable to print in full bleed mode (e.g., cards that run together to form a map). I could go either way here. Truth to tell, bridge sized cards would probably keep me more honest about keeping card text as compact as possible. :-)

hpox
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Re: Oops

Darkehorse wrote:
Folks,
Card Template.pdf

I'd buy some if Matthew's modifications are in.

phpbbadmin
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Question:

Folks a question from our 'gracious benefactor':

Quote:

Question:

Most ink jet printers can handle a max. thickness of .008 inches. The paper that I would provide the card sheets on would be this thickness. This is a solid white stock, not actual card stock. Real card stock is about .0105 thich and has a black layer in the center. It is not made in the thinner stock.

Do you see a problem with this? If everyone is OK with it, I'll work up the costs and get started.

What do you guys think? I'd specifically like input from you folks who have first hand knowledge creating your own cards.

-Darke

jwarrend
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

Can this number instead be expressed as a "weight"? If I'm not mistaken, standard paper is "20 lb", standard card stock is "67 lb" and playing-card stock would be "110 lb". What "lb"-weight would these cards be?

hpox
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

I've used 67 and 100 lbs stock, named (EDIT:Cover) Stock and Card Stock respectively. There's a small difference but I've noticed some transparence when exposed to light by both type of stock so it's just the weight/feel.

In my printer's software, there's an option for printing on Card Stock and it works almost flawlessly. Once, the printer took too many stock from the tray and it got stuck. :cry: Beside that one incident it print very nicely and there has been no other problems with 110lbs.

FastLearner
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

Note that there's a real difference between what might be called "card stock," which is to say the stock that playing cards are made from (which has at least 3 layers, the middle one being opaque black and the outer ones often being a nice linen finish) and "cardstock," the somewhat stiff paper that's generally referred to as "cover stock" in the printing trade.

Before talking too much about weight (referred to as basis weight), note that there are several different scales depending on the size of the uncut sheet. What they're measuring is the actual weight in pounds of a stack of 500 sheets of the paper uncut.

  • In the case of "offset" paper (or "text" or "coated book") the sheet size is 25" x 38", and 500 sheets at that size normally weighs between 50 and 70 pounds (though there's heavy coated book up to about 120#).
  • In the case of "bond" paper the sheet size is 17" x 22", and 500 sheets at that size normally weighs between 16 and 24 pounds (which are the weights you commonly see when you buy "laser" paper or "copier" paper).
  • In the case of "cover" paper the uncut sheet size is 20" x 26", and 500 sheets at that size normally weighs between 60 and 100 pounds.
As such you can't just say you want something printed on 80# paper, for example, because you're not really saying anything. If you say "80# text" then you're talking about a nice, hefty sheet of flexible paper, like a nice letterhead, but if you say "80# cover" then you're talking about a heavy, stiff piece of paper, something you'd think of as "cardstock" that might be used on the cover of a paperback book. To further complicate matters coating on the paper (from varnishes to clay coatings) change the weight of the paper without changing its thickness much, so it's tough to even try to compare apples to semi-apples.

Now, looking at a site that compares caliper thickness to weight I see that if the paper you mention Darke is uncoated cover stock then we're looking at about 60# cover, which to me is too flexible to make good cards... I'd rather have about 70# uncoated cover. If it's coated cover then we're talking about 80# cover which would be a nice weight and would be just fine: while I'd rather have it a bit heavier, at say 100#, you'd have to use your printer's "straight through" path to print on it so it might be too thick for some.

To conclude the thickness sounds a bit light but might be fine.

-- Matthew

[/]
Anonymous
Re: common standardized prototyping parts for possible purch

I like the idea of the perfed cards. I would prefer a way to get 8 cards per sheet rather than 6. Either way they will be a great time saver for playtesting and demo sets.

In Darkehorse's first post he said:

Darkehorse wrote:

During chat we came up with this list:

Painted/colored wooden (or plastic, preferably wooden) cubes 1/4", 3/8" 1/2"
colored meeples
Microperfed 100# cover blank playing cards, uncoated both sides w/ rounded corners "1/8” radius", 2.5 x 3.5” in size with perhaps a smaller size also (business card sized?).
Stackable plastic chips – tiddly wink sized and a larger size.
Game boards – 1 large quad fold, 1 medium bifold and 1 smaller single page board.
Matching game boxes to fit the boards.
Different colored standard plastic or wooden classic Parcheesi type pawns.
Dice: blank six sided, standard 6,8, & 10 sided die
Plastic stands for cardboard miniatures
Drawstring bags
Colored Glass beads
3 x 3 “ cardboard or wooden square tiles
'Standard' Settlers of Catan sized cardboard hexes
Egg timer
Play money / coins

Where are we at on some of these other items? I like the ideas of some some of these other items available in a starter kit. I'm not so much interested in production grade material but anything to help in the game design and playtest arenas would be nice. Anything to help me save time on the production side so I can focus on the mechanics and design side.

Geoff

phpbbadmin
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The reply from anonymous benefactor =)

Here is his reply:

Quote:

I am planning to use an 80# cover stock. 67# is the same thickness, but
the fibres are not as dense. The 80# will give a " stiffer " feel to it.

Actual playing card stock will be too thick for almost all ink jet
printers. It is not available in a thickness the printers can handle. Plating
card stocks thickness is about .0105 while the 80# cover is about .008 ( all inches ). For those working in metrics, this is about the equivelant od
a 260gsm.

Note that this paper will be un-coated on both sides, which will work
great for ink jet. I have used a coated 2 side stock in my prototyping in ink jet but it does require a krylon type spray after printing to prevent the
ink from smearing. I think the C2S gives a much better print quality. There is a nominal difference in price.

I just want everyone to know that if they choose the uncoated stock,
the print quality wont be as good and that if the group selects the coated
stock, they WILL have to seal it or the print WILL smear and smudge.

Thoughts?
-Darke

FastLearner
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common standardized prototyping parts for possible purchase

80# cover is good news, just what I'd spec. Personally I'd prefer coated to uncoated, but that's because I use a color laser printer and they'd look and shuffle better that way. Inkjet on coated definitely and unfortunately does have some smearing problems and you do indeed have to spray them afterwords, so uncoated is the way to go (I'm sad to say).

So, all in all it sounds good to me.

-- Matthew

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