Skip to Content

Educational Project - Board Game

11 replies [Last post]
smizener
Offline
Joined: 10/05/2009

Hi, found this forum today and it really has helped so far with a project I want to do in my advanced graphic communications class. We want to produce a board game from start to finish. Students will be involved in every aspect of the manufacturing of this product. I came here to do some research and to ask questions. We are on a very limited budget and need economical ways to produce the game. I think the first game will be similar to Monopoly. I have a few resources at my disposal: a digital printer capable of printing up to 11"x17" full color on card stock, scanners, computers, digital cameras, Adobe suite, power paper cutter, 24" wide laminator, wide-format HP printer (only prints on standard paper), sublimation system (printer, bulk ink system, heat press), and a bunch of students! Here are my questions:

1. Are there any copyright issues with producing board games like Monopoly, Clue, etc. with a unique twist (for our school)?

2. Main issues will be producing the game board and game box. Suggested material/procedures for making a game board?

3. Suggested materials/procedures for making the game box?

My initial idea was to have the students do all the artwork, print/cut all the cards and money, produce the rule book, and order cheap game pieces. Then buy blank game boards and game boxes and pay a company for full color vinyl stickers to attach to the board/box. Or look into having a screen printer print our designs on the board/box using a 4 color process. But I'm finding those options to be pretty expensive. We would like to produce between 75 and 100 board games, most of those being sold to pay for materials. Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated!

Dralius
Dralius's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
smizener wrote: 1. Are there

smizener wrote:

1. Are there any copyright issues with producing board games like Monopoly, Clue, etc. with a unique twist (for our school)?

Yes there could be significant problems. Talk to a lawyer if you want to do your own version of an existing game.

smizener wrote:

2. Main issues will be producing the game board and game box. Suggested material/procedures for making a game board?

3. Suggested materials/procedures for making the game box?

Boxes and game boards are made from chipboard. Go to a thrift store a find a game for a dollar and rip it apart so you can see how it’s made. Since you have all that free labor and are not doing many copies you can hand assemble everything. In the How to section there are two ways to make boards listed. I thought at one time there was a how to for making boxes and wrapping them but I can’t find it. One option would be to purchase what are known as telescoping boxes and putting your own wrap on them.

mikedrys
mikedrys's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/13/2008
Advanced Graphic Communications Class

So you aren't really interested in designing the game I take it. As that would remove your question regarding copyright issues. Is the goal more to do the graphic design of something that is already developed and then work through the process of producing it? If that is the case, you could perhaps look at print n play games (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/10218 & http://printandplay.mypodcast.com/ offer some guidance in this realm). If you find free print n play games that you could then redesign (graphically that is) and produce. Just a thought.

smizener
Offline
Joined: 10/05/2009
More info...

Basically, we want to do this but design/print/assemble as much of it ourselves:

http://www.lateforthesky.com/Content/Product-30-1-17.htm?CategoryName=CI...

The class will be turned into a business and function as business would to produce a product. Students would hold positions and be responsible for overseeing their part of the business. The other part is the graphic design of the game. Finally, printing and assembling the entire game. Students would receive their own copy of the game and the rest we would sell to help pay for the materials. I just think it would be a great project for the students and a good learning experience. But maybe I'll think differently when we are done!

SiddGames
SiddGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/02/2008
You only need to worry about

You only need to worry about art and text for copyright - the mechanics themselves are not. As long as you don't use any art from Monopoly and write your own rules from scratch, you should be okay.

In the New-York-Opoly game you linked, notice that NOWHERE on the page does the name Monopoly appear. Get it?

Willi B
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
No offense, but...

I think you should do an original game that they make up.... teaching them to be innovative instead of ripping an idea is a good ethics lesson. Or at least a free print and play game and cut the designer in on the profits where you aren't trudging on loose moral ground... we have enough thieves and greedy CEO's. No need to make more of those.

Nix_
Nix_'s picture
Offline
Joined: 09/23/2009
Design for education

I think board game design will be a great learning experience for many of your students. In order to produce a different type of monopoly your students will only essentialy have to change the look of the game.
I think a more fulfilling (and challenging) experience for your students could come from the production of an original game.

Nix_
Nix_'s picture
Offline
Joined: 09/23/2009
I think board game design

I think board game design will be a great learning experience for many of your students. In order to produce a different type of monopoly your students will only essentialy have to change the look of the game.
I think a more fulfilling (and challenging) experience for your students could come from the production of an original game.

smizener
Offline
Joined: 10/05/2009
agree

I certainly agree with these posts about designing an original game. I will keep this in mind for future projects and think that this would be worthwhile and much more challenging. But since the class revolves around graphic design, I didn't want to spend too much time on the game itself, rules, etc.; rather concentrate on working as a team, solving design problems, choosing appropriate materials, develop creative packaging, work with clients and within deadlines, create appropriate board game graphics, and fully develop and produce a working game. We will be lucky to have all this done for Christmas, which is when we want sell the games. I think this is great idea for young entrepreneurs and already, even in the planning stages, the students are finding out the amount of work and research that goes into product design/development. It's not about the money that is made...its about the process and what can be learned by succeeding and failing.

gameprinter
gameprinter's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2008
Christmas!

You are going to be hard pressed to get this done by Christmas! Hopefully, you are doing everything in-house (read: student labor. By Hand). That should knock a couple weeks off of your production time. If not, it's going to be hard to get it all done before mid-December. We're already turning people down for pre-Christmas printing and its still mid-October.

The graphic design is going to be pretty straightforward, but the rest of the manufacturing process is another thing entirely if you haven't done it before. Drop me an email/PM if you have any questions. I haven't printed any Opoly games in awhile, but I've done my share. Good luck!

CloudBuster
Offline
Joined: 04/14/2009
I really like this idea!

I think this is a GREAT idea! I just read a pretty good book called "The Game Inventor's Handbook" by Steve Peek. (2nd Edition). This book was published in 1993, so it's a bit dated, but I believe the concepts are still valid. Some things like self-publishing are MUCH easier and cheaper to do now. Mr. Peek's suggestions on how to market the game, write a business plan, etc. are still valid. Contrary to what I thought, this book does NOT tell you how to create a game. It illustrates how much work is involved in getting it published and selling it. Perhaps you can pick up a cheap copy and grab the chapters that are useful to you?

Another suggestion is to go to http://www.barebooks.com/gameboards.htm

They've got kits that contain lots of game pieces and blank cards, play money, tokens, etc. My daughter made a game for her 4th Grade class she called "Survive the Titanic" and we used one of these kits. It worked great. We used PrintMaster (a banner and greeting card making program) to make the board. We were able to print it out on regular 8½ x 11 sheets of paper and simply used a spray adhesive to attach the sheets to the included game board.

Business cards designed to go through your inkjet or laser printer work well for prototyping. You can also use name badge inserts, which are closer to playing card size. A pack of Avery 5390's should work well for you. Size of the cards are 2.25" x 3½". I got 400 of these on eBay for a pretty good price...(one pack contains 400...I didn't buy 400 packages!) Also...be sure you get just the inserts! The packages with the name badge holders can be expensive.

What else....OH! Have you heard of a program called rasterbator (yes...that's the real name). Go here:

http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/

This cool program will let you take any image you want and make it as big as you want. You can do it online, or you can download it for free and run it from your PC. I did the latter because I had better control over the dot size. This program will take your image and break it into as many 8½ x 11" sheets of paper you want. My daughter wanted to run for a student council election. I grabbed a picture of Uncle Sam and stuck her face on it. Then I put a slogon on the pic and told Rasterbator I wanted a picture that was 3 sheets wide and 3 sheets long. I printed out the image and after I trimmed it down I put it on some poster board and viola! A simple poster, but MUCH bigger than I could've made myself without going to a print shop.

OH. I forgot...you've got access to a wide format printer...well...the site is interesting anyway. Lots of people have posted what they've rasterbated. Pretty cool.

Good luck with your class!

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
CloudBuster wrote:I think

CloudBuster wrote:
I think this is a GREAT idea! I just read a pretty good book called "The Game Inventor's Handbook" by Steve Peek. (2nd Edition). This book was published in 1993, so it's a bit dated, but I believe the concepts are still valid. Some things like self-publishing are MUCH easier and cheaper to do now. Mr. Peek's suggestions on how to market the game, write a business plan, etc. are still valid. Contrary to what I thought, this book does NOT tell you how to create a game. It illustrates how much work is involved in getting it published and selling it. Perhaps you can pick up a cheap copy and grab the chapters that are useful to you?

I 100% agree, this is my favorite business-end book for game design, even despite it's age... the "how relevant computers are" bits are laughable, for example, but the book as a whole has more value per page than any other for the production and marketing side of the business.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut