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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

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Nestalawe
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Hey ya'll,

I am working on a few designs that use maps/game boards built up by the players at the start of the game, i.e. a map made up of hex tiles.

I was just wondering the cost effectiveness and practicalities of using something like velcro to help keep all the pieces in place. This would mean laying down some sort of fabric first, then laying the tiles (with velcro on the back of them) on top of it.

Has anyone had much experience with Velcro? Are there different thicknesses, qualities, can you print designs/patterns on it i.e. hexes...?

I'll have a bit of a google around, but what are peoples thoughts on this?

Are there any other effective ways to keep a game set up in this way stable on the table? If players are moving tokens all over the map, then it is always easy for things to get shifted and mis-aligned...

Nestalawe
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

A bit lame to reply to my own posting, but still... ;)

Also thought about using some sort of magnetic sheeting, and so found this site -

http://www.bisbellmagnets.com/materials/sheet.htm#

And the Bisiflex Sheet and the Ferrosheet products look like they could be adapted somehow. Not sure about cost though...

Thoughts?

seo
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

You can buy self adhesive velcro strips or velcro coins, and apply just a piece on the back of the tiles (or a few pieces if the tiles are big), and use a piece of felt as the base.

Velcro coins sell for about $ 0,10 each for small quantities, I bet you can find a better price for large quantities. You will probably ge a better price by buying a velcro strip and cut it yourself (in little squares). This place offers a 5 yard reel of black velcro strip for $17.79.
This other site looks like a good velcro resource too.

I haven't seen sheets of velcro larger than a couple inches, but they might exist. I don't think printing on them would be a good option, though. But I'm just guessing here.

For prototyping, I would go for the velcro strip, but for a sellable game I think coins are better.

The magnetic sheet idea looks great, but the base board might pose a slight problem, and the shipping costs entailed by the extra weight a metal base board might carry. But it's a really interesting idea, and it might work great. I'm now thinking of so many magnetic chess boards, and my worries about the metalic base might be unfounded. What about "Fridge Magnet Games" fo a publishng company name? You can forget about the base altoghether: games are played on the fridge door. ;-)

The magnetic inkjet paper on the Bisbell site sounds great for prototyping, and not expensive at all. And magnetic tiles sound a lot cooler than the velcro idea.

Seo

Nestalawe
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Hey Seo!

I reckon I will try out the velcro, though I will try and get the thinnest possible...

Fridge Magnet games would be a brilliant idea - especially for busy families, you could play a game of chess (or anything) over weeks with your busy partner whom you never see, as each of you would make your move when getting the mili out for breakfast etc ;)

I quite like the idea of having a magnetic surface to really hold the bits down well. Is definately a lot more involved than just cardboard on a table... plus it would make game easier to store away half finished, able to bring back out next session...

Nestalawe
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

...and a quick google gives us -

http://www.games-web.co.uk/cgi-bin/games.pl?Referrer=Google&SearchType=Q...

Too slow, we are just too slow... ;)

seo
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Arghh! To steal someone else's ideas is bad, but to steal them IN ADVANCE, that's the worst! ;-)

Seo

phpbbadmin
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

You might also look into Static Cling (I.E. Window Magnets) type material.

Read this thread:

http://www.bgdf.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1251
-Darke

Kreitler
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Re: Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Nestalawe wrote:
Has anyone had much experience with Velcro? Are there different thicknesses, qualities, can you print designs/patterns on it i.e. hexes...?

My guess is, if velcro or magnets were cost effective, games like Settlers would probably use them. Could be wrong about that, though.

Speaking of Settlers, the solution they used for Seafarers might work for you -- an interlocking outer border which keeps the freely-placed inner tiles snugly in place. It's simple, and best of all, it requires no new materials.

K.

Nestalawe
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Hey Kreitler,

Yeah I thought simlilar, in that if it was cost effective, then it would have been done...

Did think about interlocking 'puzzle' type pieces as well, would definately worthwhile if there was an easy system for cutting the bits out...

Kreitler
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Nestalawe wrote:
Did think about interlocking 'puzzle' type pieces as well, would definately worthwhile if there was an easy system for cutting the bits out...

Hmm...good point. Not so easy for people without some sort of jigsaw or router. I'll keep thinking about it -- you posted a great problem. :)

K.

Nestalawe
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Yeah, a bit of a tricky one... I kinda like the aesthetic of laying the pieces out on a felt cloth, partly because for one of my games I am wanting to use irregularly shaped 'tiles' which will generall fit together but will also have gaps in between them - so being able to see the cloth underneath works nicely, but only as long as the tiles don't shift around too much!

On another streak, the idea of having a game made with a magnetic 'paper' map that could be rolled up, game pieces and all, and stored away in a tube, is really very cool...

Anonymous
Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Yep thats what I was going to say, no need to have a metal base, they have a flexible magnet material that can be rolled up like a thick mat, no clue on its availability and ways in which it comes of course.

The only downside to magnet games is a slight aversion people may have (myself included) to magnets being around computers, various storage media, and credit cards... potentially dangerous... may totally be a non issue in others minds tho...

Someone mentioned window sticker things, like the holiday ones that peel on and off... an interesting approach would be to look into a material that used to be used in my all time favorite line of creative games/toys when I was a young punk... COLORFORMS!

markmist
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Catan mat

Check out this mat that was made especially for Settlers. Maybe you can get your hands on the same type of material. Personally I would not mess with velcro (too awkward), or magnetic sheeting/magnets (probably too expensive and would be a pain to deal with) How would someone make a game box for a large magnetic sheet? (you can't fold it!!)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2530&item=5974770...

Nestalawe
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Ah yeah that would be perfect, its that sorta rubbery stuff yeah? Anyone know what it is called? I doubt you could print onto it though ;)

phpbbadmin
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Re: Catan mat

markmist wrote:
Check out this mat that was made especially for Settlers. Maybe you can get your hands on the same type of material. Personally I would not mess with velcro (too awkward), or magnetic sheeting/magnets (probably too expensive and would be a pain to deal with) How would someone make a game box for a large magnetic sheet? (you can't fold it!!)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=2530&item=5974770602&rd=1&ssPageName=WD1V

LOL. From the picture that looks like the material you normally would use to put in drawers so silverware and other similar items don't slide around. It's sort of a foam rubber concoction. I've got to hand it to the creator of the mat, they sure are resourceful. However I have no doubt you could make the same thing at home with $5 worth of material and some scissors. But hey it may be just what you need for your game. Not exactly production quality, but it certainly would work for a prototype.

-Darke

larienna
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Many Things

1 - There is 2 kind of velcro strip, the sticky ones and the ones you can sew on fabric. Look in a fabric store. Beside the size of the strip, I don't think there are different types of velcro so different kind of velcro should be able to stick together.

2 - If you are really desperate, you can always sew magnetic material in your fabric.

3 - If you are using an hex map, since the border are never strait, I think the pieces will fit nicely like a puzzle without moving especially if you are using foamcore board. So I don't see the problem of making a modular hex map with foamcore board. If they do move, you will be able to easily place them without mistake something much more difficult with square maps.

Anonymous
Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

if u wanna go this route, as in something with a surface that makes things less likely to move about, rather than a surface that actually secures them... one cheap alternative is to look into and experiment with various mousepads.

They also make the most kick arse dice rolling pads as well.

And, if you can make your game fit on the largest standard ones... there are about 9 GaZillion resources for printing graphics right on the pad. Instant foamy full color printed game board in short runs and affordable!

NOW Who's your daddy!?

(what? oh sorry...)

Nestalawe
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Hmm, mousepads, I should look into that... Wonder if you can get different thicknesses... And the bigger the better - though I imagine they would be hard to chop up/resize. Worth checking out though ;)

I appreciate your, ah, enthusiasm there Brahmulus

seo
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Using Velcro to help keeping variable boards steady

Many of the mousepads around here are made of EVA or foam rubber (I think that's what they call it in english, in spanish it's called "goma EVA") With a plastic or laminated plastic glued over.

You can easily find several thicknesses (and colors) of foam rubber in craft stores. They come in 50x60cm sheets here (about 20x23,5 inches), which seems to be an adequate size for a map base.

You could also use the foam rubber to produce your map tiles as if they were mousepads.

Seo

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