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Recipe For Making An Inexpensive Made-to-Order Game Board

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Anonymous

I've been perusing the discussion board here trying to figure out the best way possible for putting together an affordable, made-to-order, board game I plan to sell on eBay. Lots of great ideas here. However, I'd like to share with you some of the shortcuts I've personally learned through trial and error.

Not knowing how well my game will do (I'm really just a hobbyist), I needed to develop something I could put together on a made-to-order basis without having to second mortgage my house.

My game is sci-fi themed and involves a 14" x 14" layout. The size of the board was essentially determined by a $4 single-fold checkers game I found at Walgreens. These checkers sets are readily available and make a great board for your graphics. Beats paying $18 for a blank board!

My next hurdle was trying to find an affordable way to print out my graphics. I checked with several local printers but finally got Kinko's to print up my 14"x14" gameboard for only $7 a sheet. (The graphics are a matte print but can be sprayed over with a glossy clear coat later)

After waiting a day for the inkjet print to completely dry on the graphic, I attached it to the game board using glue spray. Kinkos sells a very good 3M product that goes on very light but is strong. When attaching the graphic place another sheet over the board (to avoid smearing) and press down firmly to attach. TIP: Spray the board surface, not the back of the graphic. It will be much easier to attach. Also, the paper that they use at Kinkos for the large prints is heavy enough that it covers the original graphics on the existing game board you're covering.

You can finish off the gameboard with a glossy inkjet sealer spray. You can usually find this product at art supply stores or camera shops.

So, for all of the above, I completely assembled my game board for under $12. I'm very happy with the results.

Peter

Fos
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Recipe For Making An Inexpensive Made-to-Order Game Board

Hmm... that same process might be used to create a nice prototype of a game that needs hard tiles. Unless I can find cheap, custom made chipboard somewhere and a way to inexpensively print on it. . .

But still, that might be the most cost efficient way to create durable, nice looking tiles in extremely small batches. Just throw in an exacto or utility knife into your list of requires components.

Was your print job at Kinkos a full color job?

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Recipe For Making An Inexpensive Made-to-Order Game Board

I make my tiles by printing on full sheet Avery labels sticking them to card board and then cutting them with a trimmer that i picked up at office max for $30. Everyone tells me that they look real good, more than good enough for a prototype.This is quick and easy method and i have been able to produce a set of 140 tiles in 15 min.

Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Recipe For Making An Inexpensive Made-to-Order Game Board

Fos wrote:
Hmm... that same process might be used to create a nice prototype of a game that needs hard tiles. Unless I can find cheap, custom made chipboard somewhere and a way to inexpensively print on it. . .

I've been using "Illustrators Board" available at $3 for a 20-inch by 30-inch sheet at my local Office Max store. It has a nice, clean white side (intended to be drawn/written on) and a not-quite-as-white back that has a light blue product logo on it. I've been printing my boards onto full-sheet label paper, sticking it to the back of the board (that way, the underside of my game board is clean looking) and trimming it to size with a metal ruler and rotary cutter.

I also put a sheet of an adhesive-backed transparency on top of it all before I trim it. It gives a bit more protection, and uniform look, than the Krylon -- but it adds a bit to the cost.

In the end, my 7.5" x 9.5" Castle Danger Boards (pic1, pic2) probably cost me about $3 to $4 each to produce.

-Bryk

Anonymous
Recipe For Making An Inexpensive Made-to-Order Game Board

Was your print job at Kinkos a full color job?

Yes.

Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Recipe For Making An Inexpensive Made-to-Order Game Board

Dralius wrote:
I make my tiles by printing on full sheet Avery labels sticking them to card board and then cutting them with a trimmer that i picked up at office max for $30. Everyone tells me that they look real good, more than good enough for a prototype.This is quick and easy method and i have been able to produce a set of 140 tiles in 15 min.

LOL, David ... we must've been replying at the same time ... sounds like we've found a similar approach. :)

-Bryk

Anonymous
Recipe For Making An Inexpensive Made-to-Order Game Board

One approach that I have been experimenting with is to print my boards in halves on tabloid sized paper (11 x 17). I spray mount each half to book binder's board (also called Davey board), trim the folding edge and butt them together. I then hinge the BACK (a more German look where the board folds against its backing leaving no gutter between the halves) using book binding tape. Then cover the entire back with colored art paper (available in huge rolls) and trim the outer edges. The end result is a board that is about 16" square.

Book binder's board comes in sheets that are typically 13" x 19" so you can make a much larger board if you can get the sheets printed larger (I sometimes use a printer that will output A2 sized paper that is 16 x 23 inches).

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