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Design of the Game Board

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Anonymous

Here is a peek at a print-size portion of the map. I've been working on territorial separtions and labeling. Let me know what you all think!

This is a long tem project. I want to eventually mount this print on a board (Q1: What kind of wood? The map is approximately 25' x 35') and this use I think a buckram material glued onto the board. this will be a folding board.

The I want to make custom-made game pieces that I would prefer to have mounted on generic "Combat Dials" that I can customize.

Then I want to work out a schematic way to incorporate event cards. This project will be for personal use -- but when completed I will show and demo it at a SciFi/Fantasy Gaming Convention in Florida or Mississippi.

Brykovian
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Design of the Game Board

Wow -- looks very nice! :)

A couple of things though ... I assume you meant 25x35 inches -- the single-quote marks you used usually designate feet. Also, are you sure you want to use wood as backing material? I would recommend matte board or illustration board (although I've only seen 20x30 inch sheets for that).

If you do want to use wood, then an 1/8-inch hardboard might work nicely, since that has a very smooth surface. Otherwise you'd have to go with a fine-finished plywood.

-Bryk

Yogurt
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Design of the Game Board

Impressive! Do you have any Photoshop tips for us? I'm particularly interested in how you did those gorgeous textures.

Yogurt

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Thank you so much for the help Brykovian -- and oh gah my mistake yes I meant inches.

Q: What kind of fabric should I use to cover the back of the board? On most game boards there is a thin yet strong fabric material that functions in an ecstatically and protective way -- something that is water resistant probably. This fabric wraps around a half inch or so the front usually to cover the edge of the paper map on the illustration board. Is this fabric "buckram"?

Q2: Also what about the idea of painting over the printed map a clear layer of satin or matt vanish?

Q3: I also need to look at some options for how to cut the board -- in regard to folding the board.

I appreciate the attention, thanks!
cc

Hey Yogurt -- the texture is difficult to do in PhotoShop. The texture I created using sculpted oil base clay to look like a birds-eye-view of terrian. this I digitally photogrphed and imported into PS.

HRPuffenstuf
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inches vs. feet

your mistake makes me think of the movie "This is Spinal Tap" when the minature Stonehenge prop comes down in their gig and they say something along the lines that the dwarves dancing around it almost crushed it due to their confusion of ' and "...classic

HR Puff

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

lol -- good one.

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Here are several print-size views of the board game map in its current form. The Photoshop doc. is about 300 Mb at 150 dpi -- 150 dpi is still pretty good for print quality. This as a game is such a hybrid; combination RISK!, Civilization, Magic The Gathering and other hodge-podge ideas. The territories will support only so many troops in them / turn. Hexagons on the water are for shipping routes. The locations with the little stars are Mystical Places where "cards" come into play. RISK! pieces for now will represent armies. Before I present it to a group for a test play I want to have it mounted on illstration board or thin hardwood. Been fun designing so far. Please feel free to give constructive criticisms and suggestions and comments!

Images in links are low resolution:

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/001.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/002.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/003.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/004.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/005.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/006.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/007.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~cmccann01/008.jpg

Thanks,
CC

Brykovian
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Design of the Game Board

That's just plain lovely! :D

-Bryk

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Great job on the board art. I love that you used modelling clay for a model and then photographed it for use on the board. I didn't think anyone did it that way anymore. The results are very professional looking.

As for your board, buckram is used primarily in bookbinding, but can be used (if you can find a piece large enough) for board backing. You can also use book binder's cloth (basically the same thing). The finished product will look great, but will anywhere from fairly expensive to VERY expensive depending on where you can find the cloth. Another alternative is to use artists paper for the backing. This will open up more venues for style and texture since there are so many available. Check out your local art supply store and see what they have.

The wrapping you mentioned is called case wrapping in bookbinding terms, where the cover material is wrapped around the edges of the board and onto the back. Allow an extra .75" on all sides for the material to be wrapped to the face of your board. I wrote a small tutorial on making a single fold board that shows how to cut and fold the corners for a tight finish.

Regarding the size of your board, you will probably want to make it a sixfold board like Ticket to Ride and other games with larger boards. I would suggest using 2-play chipboard since it is available in larger sheets and is far easier to work with than hardboard or plywood--especially when scoring the board to fold a specific way. Check out the Game Maker's Glossary for more in depth discussion about different types of board material available.

To get the folds you want, you can either cut out the pieces of the board and put them together using book-binder's tape (a strong and flexible tape for joints that take a lot of bending), or you can do it all on a single piece of board and then cut and score the board (like the Ticket to Ride board) to get the results you want. DON'T try this with your finished artwork and backing material until you have experimented with some kind of mock-up first!

Best of luck to you!

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Thank you Brykovian and SiskNY!

The I like the thickness and apparent lightness of what I’ve seen of chipwood from Googling. The problem is that wrapping the board with fabric will be difficult because the map and thus the board will be an oval shape. And I prefer it to be oval – it’s just something different.

So, I’m wondering if there is a “mouse pad” sort of product that I can mount my map on? This way I’m hoping to roll it rather than fold it. This method would also be great because I could slip the map, rules, and game pieces in bags all into a cardboard mailing tube! And when spilled out – the matt is heavy enough to lay down flat!

Q: Any clue to finding such a backing???

CC[/b]

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Your approach sounds like the way Pair-of-Dice Games sells a good number of their games (cloth boards in mailing tubes) and has had some good feedback from it.

Getting a full color image on a rollable board that will lay flat again should be possible if you use some kind of cloth backing. I'm sure that there are places that can print directly onto cloth. If they can't print onto a heavy enough canvas or other cloth, then maybe you could print onto several iron-on transfer sheets and then apply them piecemeal onto the board.

DSfan
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Design of the Game Board

I love the look of the board, it's looks very professional.

A bit of topic but... I wonder why most of you guys on here aren't published designers. Most of the games I have seen are amazing and should be games on the market.

-Justin

P.S- Would you ever be willing to create boards for a small price?

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Quote:
A bit of topic but... I wonder why most of you guys on here aren't published designers. Most of the games I have seen are amazing and should be games on the market.

Debilitating fear of rejection!

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

SiskNY and Justin,

I might contact Pair-of-Dice Games to see what they might suggest – fat chance getting individuals game on the market – This will be for personal use I suspect – or an interesting addition to a time capsule the

But I can wish -- thanks

BTB
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printing on fabric

Greetings,

I print games on fabric and it's easy, well, now that I've mastered the learning curve!

I use 100% cotton cloth, one layer is decorated with my board game, the second layer is the backing. The 2 layers are sewn together with a chanel left for a drawstring, the whole board zips into its own pouch and all the pieces store inside. The black outlines are either screenprinted in bulk or hand drawn and the colors are handpainted with permanent transparent fabric dyes. To transfer the design by hand you can use a heat-transfer pencil on the back of your master, or tape the master and the fabric to the window and trace it through with Sharpie brand permanent pen.

You could send out your 4 color separations to a silkscreener, someone who does artwork bigger than a T-shirt but still works on fabric. Maybe a backyard mom-n-pop artist shop. It would require a screen setup for each color plus the black. That is the most expensive part. I generally pay $30 each screen then $1-$3 per pull at 4 dozen quantity.

You could print on full color iron-on-transfer paper, but the quality was low. It looks plastic and tends to peel, and trying to get the sheets aligned was tricky.

That map looks fabulous!! I was trying to figure out how it looked soooo 3D. It almost looks like clay. Cool technique. Good luck.

Bryanna

PS:
I can make custom handpainted fabric game boards/banners/shop signs etc. Very Rough Estimate of $10 per 8 1/2" x 11" section, more if shading/artistic touches like a map, less in quantity. Email me with your specifications for a detailed quote! Bryanna@BryannasTreasureBox.com

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Hi Bryanna,

Actually it was modeled in clay and then colored in photoshop. I have access to a Epson 9600 archival quality large format printer that does print canvas -- and sheets of stainless stell for that matter. Once I have the print on cloth I will get a seamstress to sew up a fancy backing and border for me. Heck, maybe it could double as a poncho, hmmm j/k

I'm just going to make one copy and shre it with friends then over some time I will tweak the design and rules and then see from there.

Problem: Canvas for the epson printer is expensive -- I wish there were an alternative :\

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

One final change I’m going to make on this thing is I’m going to change the font size of the territories from 14 pts to 16 pts.

If I’m going to print on canvas then a borderline-to-small-font-size needs to be a tad larger for view-ability sakes.

Then – I’ll have to mow a few dozen lawns to cough up the money to buy a 24” x 40” roll of Epson printable canvas.

Unless someone wants to pitch in for a free print or two!! I'm serious if you are :D

CC

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

I spent a little time this weekend changing 3 things; the font styles, adding “mystical places”, and adding subtle image of castles in territory to denote seat of the Crown for each country. I think it’s been a major improvement.

Here is a low resolution image of a portion of the board:

seo
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Design of the Game Board

Hi Crabclaw,

Your map looks amazing! :-)
Yet, with such a beautifully crafted land texture, the water looks a bit too flat, IMHO. I think it desreves a tad more elaborate treatment, as do the bridges, wich are too harsh to match the great land work.

Maybe something like this might work better:

Just my two cents.

Seo

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

I have tried a couple of time to add a water texture to the ocean, but the file size, presently at 247 MB ... well my computer is having trouble rendering effects on that scale. I like what you did! Thanks for the the visual! I will give it a try again this week. You know the saddest part of all is I don't have any way of removing media either. No CD or DVD writer. My thumb drive only holds 128 MB. But I think in the end I can duplicate the file, flatten the layers (about 150 layers), it should then drop in size -- plus I can reduce the dimensions too.

CC

seo
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Design of the Game Board

My advice regarding the file size and the many layers:

1) Keep a copy of the layered file. You don't know when will you decide to make some change that requires the layered version. Too many times I've discarded the original layered image, only to finde too late that there was some error that would have been easy to fix had I kept the original file, but now requires a time consuming carefull patching work. :-(

2) Get a CD burner. It's not expensive, and you'll need to backup files for some reason or another. USB drives are fine, but you'll want a CD backup for permanent backups. It's a good invetment.

3) Even with the most powerfull computer, you'll save a lot of time by working on a simplified (layers merged) verison. Just don't go too far in the merging process. I would merge al the basic texture/coloring of the land areas, but keep the labels and borders in separate layers, just in case. And always keep the original file! :-) (I'm a bit paranoid about this)

If you need any help with the water effect, just ask. I can send step by step instructions (but looking at the work you've done, I don't think you would need them). Anyway, I'll be glad to bring my grain of sand to your great map.

Seo

Yogurt
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Design of the Game Board

I wouldn't mind hearing how you did the water effect. It's remarkable and suits the board perfectly.

Yogurt

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

Yea Seo -- go ahead and post the sequience for producingt hat effect. If I were doing that from scratch I would try it from a pattern, or some distortion filter...

seo
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Design of the Game Board

I'll try to be as step-by-step as possible.

- Add a new layer above the rest of the image, fill it with white.
- Add some noise (Filter, Noise, Add Noise). Something around 50% should work fine.
-Select a slim vertical section (around 3% of the whole image width, full height).
-Resize the selected area to fill the whole width (some 4000-5000% stretching). You now have something like this:

-Change layer mode (in Layers palette) to Overlay. Now the texture mixes with the background:

-Adjust layer opacity to acheive a subtler effect (50% here):

-Adjust texture color with Hue/Saturation (Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturarion). Mark the Colorize checkbox and play with the values until you like the results.

-Create the wave effect with the Filter, Distort, Wave filter. Keep generetors value low. Adjust Wavelenght and Amplitude to acheive the desired effect (correct values will increase as the image resolution increases). Set Type to Sine, and Undefined areas to Wrap around. Once you think values are ok, you can produce slightly different results with the Randomize button. Once you like the preview image, click OK.

-Add a layer mask to the texture layer, and paint in black the land areas, so that the layer is only visible over the water:

As you paint the mask, the icon in the layers palette will change:

And that's it. You get the water texture ready:

Let me know if I can be of any more help :-)

Seo

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

OMG that is so cool. Yea I can see it.

Noise -> Select Small Area -> Transform (Stretch) -> Blending Mode -> Wave

And the rest makes perfect sense. It shall be done! Thank you so much Seo -- too cool!

sedjtroll
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Design of the Game Board

Wow. I wish I hadn't fallen off the 'learn how to use computer programs' bandwagon, because no I feel so ineffectual.

What I need is someone to give me lessons like this one (great description, seo) for using The Gimp, since I don't have photoshop.

If anyone is familiar with this free, open-source photoshop knockoff, and wants to do a series of posts about how to use it, it would be VERY welcome!

- Seth

jwarrend
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Design of the Game Board

Great artwork! And please, keep the detailed descriptions coming, this is very useful stuff for the non-graphic art-inclined among us.

crabclaw wrote:

I'm just going to make one copy and shre it with friends then over some time I will tweak the design and rules and then see from there.

I must say, this is the most unique design approach I've ever heard of -- design a game component that is so expensive it can't ever be changed, and then design around that.

On the other hand, it may work. Indeed, one of my games has been through 10 rules iterations but the map hasn't yet changed. One advantage of that particular design, however, is that the territories are essentially "featureless" -- thus, the only property built into the map are the adjacencies between territories.

Since you're putting numbers and features on your map, there's a very good chance you're going to run into trouble down the road. What if playtesting reveals that "Aungoria" should really be worth "3" instead of "4"? Or that Olmshorn isn't the best place for a castle space? These things will be impossible to change, and while it will be theoretically possible to design the game around the numbers on the board, this may be more trouble than it's worth.

My advice, to take or to leave: you've got a beautiful game board. But now you need a beautiful game to go with it. Print it out at Kinko's for $50, mount it on some poster board, and playtest the thing to death. When you're sure the game is done, THEN invest in the nice canvas production.

Good luck,

Jeff

sedjtroll
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Design of the Game Board

jwarrend wrote:
Print it out at Kinko's for $50, mount it on some poster board, and playtest the thing to death. When you're sure the game is done, THEN invest in the nice canvas production.

I kinda hope he meant $5.00...

- Seth

Anonymous
Design of the Game Board

No 50$ is right -- large scale color printing is expensive. Luckily I have free access to an archival quality dye large format (44" wide) printer. All I have to do is buy a roll of canvas for like 150 bucks -- BUT from this roll I can make 5-7 prints.

The group I have to play test with are like, "If it doesn't totally blow me away with first impressions forget it -- it dont wanna play it".

So -- I need to go for broke and just do it.

sedjtroll
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Design of the Game Board

Holy cow. Well, if you have the $150, and especially if you have a use for the canvas otherwise,then go for it!

- Seth

Scurra should commission you to make a nice All For One board if you do decide to get the canvas ;)

jpfed
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Design of the Game Board

If you don't want to manually paint the layer mask to get rid of the wavy texture over the land, you can use a somewhat automated (but processor-intensive) technique instead.

Make the wavy texture as before, but do not add the layer mask.

Hide the wavy texture layer, and any layers that are currently adding texture to the water. The closer the water can appear as a single flat color, the better. Then use the eyedropper tool on a representative water pixel with the "5x5 average" option selected. Select-Color Range... and fiddle with the fuzziness to automatically create a selection that includes your water and not your land.

Then, make your wavy texture visible again. With that layer as the current layer, Layer-Add Layer Mask-Reveal Selection. That will save you some painting on the mask itself, at the expense of some time during the Select-Color Range... portion of things.

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