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Need help making a prototype.

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Anonymous

First off may I add I'm new to this website and these boards matter of fact this is my first post.

I came up with a boardgame idea this week and have been working in my head. I'm one of those people that I need to be working on the game in my head while working on the game in material obects. So I need help in prototyping really really cheap so i can be seeing the game come into play. I know it will be changed a great deal by the end so I need something that it doesn't matter because the stuff was so cheap. I'm going to be using 6 sided dice, Custom Cards, a flat board (paper like), and tokens. What is the best way to do this stuff cheap?

BTW if this sounds crazy I'm new to making a board game.

Anonymous
Need help making a prototype.

For tokens I suggest buying print or write round sticky labels from Avery and attaching them to tidally winks or bottle caps. For cards printable business cards unless you need the extra space. The board just mount some printed paper to a game board you don’t like (buy a game at good will) or mount it on to some mat board. if you cant find D6s then your beyond my help. One thing is the business card will not last that long if they are printed with inkjet and shuffled smudges will happen quite a bit. Welcome to the board and hope you invent many games.

Verseboy
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Need help making a prototype.

For making cards larger than business size, I use white cards stock (110 pound Index). We just bought a 12" Professional Rotary Trimmer (RT-200) made by Carl. We got it at Staples. Carl's website is www.carl-products.com.

Prior to buying the rotary trimmer, my wife who is a quilter, trimmed the cards with her rotary cutter and quilt rulers. A quilting rotary cutter is like a pizza cutter. Trimming hundreds of cards was a particularly onerous task for her, but she's a good soldier. You have to hold the ruler firmly in place, and you can only cut 1 card at a time. Now with the new rotary trimmer, she can cut 4 cards at a time, and it is not nearly so difficult to hold everything in place.

I don't know. The business of the rotary trimmer may be standard for most of you, but it was a revelation for us! Before that, we simply approached the task with what we knew, which was quilting products.

Of course, any time now there will be perfed card sheets available on this forum! Can't wait.

And if any of you are looking for great quilt books for your significant others, contact me privately!

Steve

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Need help making a prototype.

Verseboy wrote:
For making cards larger than business size, I use white cards stock (110 pound Index). We just bought a 12" Professional Rotary Trimmer (RT-200) made by Carl. We got it at Staples. Carl's website is www.carl-products.com.

I'll second your thoughts about the rotary trimmer! I have a Fiskars rotary trimmer from Michael's. Ever since I got it, my guillotine slicer has been collecting dust. A rotary trimmer is much more accurate, and much easier on the arms. However, I still go one sheet at a time; I haven't yet worked up the nerve to make bigger cuts.

Anonymous
How much would this be...

I want to make a custom game board. It will be made of paper and lambanted. I want it 20' length and 29' width and I want it in different sizes of Hexagons, so what is the best program to creat this board and the best way to get it printed.

Anonymous
Well

When we make gameboard mock-ups in-house, we design the board to scale in Illustrator and then print the sections out on a laser (common household inkjet will work too) printer. Then assemble it and mount it to foam core.

In Illustrator, you can select the area of the board to print with the 'page tiling' feature. Page tiling is a dotted box that shows you what section of the artwork will print. You simply put this around the area you want to print and then print it. Then move your dotted page tiling box to a new area, making sure to overlap into the area you have already printed, print and then repeat and rinse.

After you have printed all the sections of the board, you then assemble the pieces together to make the complete board. I tack them with tape, and then trim the overlap areas and then tape it firmly together on the back.

Once it is assembled, I then take some spray mount and spray the back of the printed board, and then mount it to foam core.

Voila! You've got a gameboard.

Of course, you need to learn how to use Illustrator to do this.

I couldn't think of anyway to do this easily with any MS applications. You need the tools to do the job!

Deviant
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Need help making a prototype.

If you're just looking to make a prototype, don't neglect the low-tech methods. Pencil and paper may be all you need for some games. For your custom cards, cut 5-3" index cards in half with scissors or a rotary cutter (you can cut through multiple cards at one time. Write on the front and back with pencil (I prefer pencil because I can make corrections to the cards even as I'm playing). Keep the board simple. If you leave white space you can even write notes in the margins of the board. Tokens can be anything. Cardboard is cheap, but checkers, glass beads, etc. are zero-labor and likewise inexpensive.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Well

blkdog7 wrote:
In Illustrator, you can select the area of the board to print with the 'page tiling' feature. Page tiling is a dotted box that shows you what section of the artwork will print. You simply put this around the area you want to print and then print it. Then move your dotted page tiling box to a new area, making sure to overlap into the area you have already printed, print and then repeat and rinse.

Of note is that the same kind of tiling can be done in FreeHand, InDesign, and Photoshop.

And on the subject of InDesign again, it's not a matter of whether your printshop can handle InDesign: the program is designed to create PDFs. If your printshop (and this includes game printers) can't handle PDFs then it's time for them to step into the present.

-- Matthew

Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010
Re: Well

blkdog7 wrote:
Then move your dotted page tiling box to a new area, making sure to overlap into the area you have already printed, print and then repeat and rinse.

I do the same thing in Corel Draw, but it does the tiling automatically, it prints however many pages it needs perfectly lined up with no overlap. Then I just have to cut the white borders off on my rotary trimmer and glue the sheets to poster board.

Your method sounds harder in terms of selecting the areas to print and getting the overlaps to line up correctly.

Jason

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Need help making a prototype.

Some apps offer "automatic" and "manual" tiling. The first is as you describe, Jason, though some apps let you specify an overlap if you'd like one (say 1/4" or something).

Manual tiling is handy when the automatic amount is undesireable. I prefer manual most of the time so that I can, for example, get three 6" tiles from an 18" board rather than the two 8" tiles and a 2" tile that automatic tiling would generate. I also like manual tiling for just printing one portion of a board, either to just replace a portion of a board I've already pasted down or just to see how something will look when printed out.

-- Matthew

Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010
Need help making a prototype.

From blkdog's description, I pictured something along the lines of a thumbnail image (or full screen size) of he entire board, and then a to scale outline of the printable area of the page. Then he'd have to manually drag the outline to the part of the image he wants printed.

What you've described as "manual", Matthew, sounds pretty automatic compared to what I was envisioning, and it also sounds a lot more useful. I have ended up with the 2" strip at the end of 8" tiles, so I know how that can be a problem.

Actually, I also have trouble getting the pages to line up in 2 dimensions, so a 1/4" overlap might help make a little error less noticable too. It would certainly make less precise cutting acceptable.

Jason

Anonymous
Need help making a prototype.

As for the cards, I tried what has been suggested many times on this board and used plastic card sleeves (the kind meant for CCG cards). I print the card faces on plain paper and cut them out with a rotary trimmer. I actually cut 5 sheets (since I'm only using paper) at a time which saves a LOT of time considering there are 200 cards in my prototype. Even with that number they shuffle perfectly and handle well. Making notes or changing cards is very easy and they hold up to repeated wear. They also come in a huge variety of colors so you can have different decks signified by different colored card protectors.

Anonymous
Need help making a prototype.

As for the game board, my first prototype boards are almost always a bunch of paper slips with the names/descriptions of the playing spaces scribbled on them. That allows you to tweak the layout as many times as you need (just move the pieces around) without having to redo your board every time. To keep the slips of paper in place, I use a 20" x 20" piece of thin Plexiglas.

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