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Bakelite tiles

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OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I have developed a game that uses tiles similar to mah-jongg tiles, but with custom etching on the surfaces of course.

Bakelite seems to be the material that classic mah-jongg tiles are made of, but I can't seem to find any gaming manufacturers who will produce them for me en masse. It's similar to plastic but gives a satisfying porcelain-y "click" when pieces knock together, it's durable and the edges bevel or round off nicely. My game's tiles are around 1.5"x2.5", but I'm flexible on the size if manufacturing costs can be reduced...

Right now I'm using tiles cut from 1/4-inch opaque plexi (stickers for the logos instead of etching) and they work fine, but I want tha real deal for actual distribution, which I intend at first to handle myself.

Anyone know where I can get mass amounts of custom tiles produced of this or a similar material? Searched through the forums but "tiles" means so many things here that it's a mess of unrelated hits. Thanks,

~Josh

Anonymous
Bakelite tiles

Ouch, that's a tough one... You might actually just want to drop a line to a publisher that has a game using the type of tiles you're interested in and asking them about it. For example, Jay Tummelson with Rio Grande is a great guy, and usually responds to emails personally.

Who knows, he may be able to answer a question about the production of the tiles in, say, Ta Yu or the RK reprint of Pikomino -- both of which have the sorts of tiles I think you're looking for, or at least help you get in contact with someone who could answer your questions.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Bakelite tiles

I'm sure game companies have to have it done out-of-house (like most plastic). A Google search for bakelite manufacturing turns up a lot of seemingly appropriate hits.

-- Matthew

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Bakelite tiles

Of course I tried the google thing first and have discovered many generic bakelite manufacturers, mostly in India or China... I was hoping that someone on here might have some gaming-specific link to tile manufacturers... I have contacted many of the usual suspects, Grand Prix, Koplow, etc, and they all work in plastic, which I'm trying to avoid using...

~Josh

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Bakelite tiles

Check it out... got the bright idea of googling for modern games that use bakelite tiles, (found a promising candidate called Tantrix) then contacting the manufacturer of the game for the bakelite contact:

Quote:
Thank you for your email. I am afraid that under the terms of our licence from the Tantrix inventor, we are not allowed to divulge this information. Sorry about that, but I wish you well in sourcing what you need.

Very impressive. Still looking.... I may end up actually dealing with India or China here... makes my head spin...

~Josh

DK
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Bakelite tiles

Hi Josh,

Have you found any contact in China or India for producing bakelite tiles? I am planning to selfpublish a game and was thinking about bakelite as well.

OutsideLime
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Bakelite tiles

You know, I never did.

The game I was building a prototype for at the time has undergone some changes and now I'm looking for ways to make the tiles from wood. One of the changes is that I'm considering having a small run manufactured and distributed locally... it'd be much less costly in wood than in bakelite...

Good luck though.. if you discover anything yourself, please let me know...

Thanks,

~Josh

soulbeach
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Bakelite tiles

Have any of you guys tried Shrink it? (or Shrinkles, in craft stores) The plastic you can draw on (some can also be printed on) cut and then cooked: it shrinks to approximatelly 1/4 of it's original size. Great for prototypes but not very usefull for mass production: unless you only need a few and you focus your production from your own place.

They have clear, black, and white sheets, some other colors are also available.

soulbeach

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