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Suggestions on creating a board

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mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969

i made a game a few years ago and am now remaking it in higher quality in photoshop.

the board size is 26 inches by 26 inches.

my question is how should i make a backing for it.

i have my ideas but was wondering if somebody else has better ones.

the board art is the 26 inches squared. should i break that into 4 13 inch squares?

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

I'm not sure exactly what your question is. Are you looking for pointers for the backing material to use, the board material itself, or how to create the artwork?

If you're looking for tips on how to make the board iself (the actual board core and tips for applying a backing) see this thread.

For more information on the actual types of board used as the core of game boards, check out this thread containing a game maker's glossary.

Your question about breaking the board into 13" squares makes me thing that you're asking about the cor of the game board itself (not the face artwork or the backing material). If so, then your best bet would be 2-ply chipboard (also called boxboard). You can make it according to the instructions linked above or as a quadfold as you like.

mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

SiskNY thank you very much for the tips and links

sorry about being unclear...i was a bit tired...

anyway...the board as i said is 26 inches by 26 inches...

i have the art all done in its latest draft through photoshop and some 3d programs...

my question is how shuold i actually set up the board? with one fold? 2 folds? or cut into four 13 inch squares?

if i do a one fold board that would still leave it rather large as 26x13 inches...

i am thinking 13 inch squares is best. if i go that route should i bother attaching them to make them fold? or should i just leave them seperate and slide them together when being used?

with the 13 inch square method should i print the art in one large sheet or cut it up into fours in photoshop and then print it?

if i use 13 inch square style and decide to attach them are their directions lying around that could help me assemble the quads? I saw the directions on the single fold, but none for the four fold technique.

Thanks again

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

Quad-fold boards like that are pretty common. Just imagine, if you will, a + shape on the board, bisecting it both ways, and you're looking down at the back of the board.

On the horizontal line (left to right) the board is cut part-way through, all tthe way across. It's not cut all the way -- there's enough material on the face still there to hold it together and serve as a hinge. The board would fold "back" along this line (so that the faces of the board were pressed together).

On the vertical line (up and down), the lower half of the board (below the horizontal line, like the vertical line in the letter T) is cut all the way through, front to back. The upper half of that same line is cut on the front half of the board, partway through, so that the board will fold up towards you, with the board's backing serving as a hinge.

Now when you fold the whole thing up, the faces will fold onto themselves (along the horizontal line), and the now half-backs will fold onto themselves, creating a quarter-fold board.

Or are you asking for a more "how to cut partway through, how to create the gutter" kind of thing?

-- Matthew

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

Alternatively, a 6-fold board might not be a bad thing for something as large as you mention. That would give you a box that is roughly 9.25 x 13.25. That's a little larger than the size of the Alea game boxes (Puerto Rico, etc.) but still smaller than the box for Rio Grande's Power Grid.

Creating a 6-fold board wouldn't be much more complicated than the creation of a quad fold board. It's basically a quad fold with an extended split (1/3 is unsplit, 2/3 are split) with an extra scoring across the back to facilitate the extra fold. It would be created as follows:

....c..e
a--|--|--b
....d..f

Score partway through the face along "a-b". Then cut completely through the line "a-b" beginning at the intersection with "c-d" and continuing to "b". Then score partway through the back along "c-d" and through the face along "e-f".

To score partway through, you can use 2-3 light strokes of a razor knife along a metal straight edge (practice a few times on scrap pieces of board to get the feel of how far to score to achieve the proper fold). Alternatively, this link to a thread about making set-up boxes contains instructions for making a simple scoring tool.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

Everyone here knows this, so I'm just pointing out the obvious, but SiskNY totally rocks at this kind of thing, and his descriptions are outstanding and thoroughly understandable. Thanks, Steve, for all of your great contributions.

-- Matthew

mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

yes...steve kicks @ss...as do you...thank you both....

so...if the board art is actually 26.5 inches (i forgot to add the boarder art)....how big does each piece of board have to be?

the six fold baord seems a bit confusing for me...

but thinking about the 4 section board i would have to make each section 13 inches? because i had to redice them by .25 for the gutter?

am i close? lol?

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

Woo hoo! Thanks Matthew and mordelack for the kind words! I'm grateful to Darkehorse and this site for giving me so much information and inspiration that I just want to give back whatever I can! (Sounds like some kind of acceptance speech for an award, doesn't it?)

Quote:
so...if the board art is actually 26.5 inches (i forgot to add the boarder art)....how big does each piece of board have to be?

So the total size of the artwork is 26.5" x 26.5"? Do you want there to be a gap between the edge of the artwork and the edge of the board? If you're intending to wrap the backing material around to the front and paste the artwork over it, then you will want this extra gap. 1/4" on all sides is fairly standard, so for a full-wrapped (also called case-wrapped) board, your board will be 27" x 27" (26.5" + .25" + .25" for each dimension).

Either way you score and cut the board (4- or 6-fold), you can go one of two ways. You can (as Matthew and I made reference to in our comments) begin with a board that is the full size (either 27x27 for full wrapped, or 26.5 x 26.5 for an exposed edge board). You then cover the back and the face as you wish and then score and cut the board as needed.

Alternatively, you can begin with sections of board that are then used to create the board. In this case, your sizes will depend on whether or not your want a gutter. If so (and the gutter is a standard .25" gutter), then your boards would be 13.375 x 13.5 (that's 27"-.25" divided by 2 x 27" diveded by 2). It would be assembled like the instructions for a 2-fold board, but completely cutting through one half of the board along a central axis perpendicular to the gutter.

I haven't seen a single game in the past several years use a gutter in it's manufacture. They're all going the route that I mentioned earlier whereby the backing and the artwork are affixed to the full size board, and then the finished unit is cut and scored as needed. Since the industry is going in this direction, I feel that it's safe for the hobby game design sector to do the same thing (not to mention that the creation process is much simpler).

mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

SiskNY wrote:
Woo hoo! Thanks Matthew and mordelack for the kind words! I'm grateful to Darkehorse and this site for giving me so much information and inspiration that I just want to give back whatever I can! (Sounds like some kind of acceptance speech for an award, doesn't it?)

Quote:
so...if the board art is actually 26.5 inches (i forgot to add the boarder art)....how big does each piece of board have to be?

So the total size of the artwork is 26.5" x 26.5"? Do you want there to be a gap between the edge of the artwork and the edge of the board? If you're intending to wrap the backing material around to the front and paste the artwork over it, then you will want this extra gap. 1/4" on all sides is fairly standard, so for a full-wrapped (also called case-wrapped) board, your board will be 27" x 27" (26.5" + .25" + .25" for each dimension).

Either way you score and cut the board (4- or 6-fold), you can go one of two ways. You can (as Matthew and I made reference to in our comments) begin with a board that is the full size (either 27x27 for full wrapped, or 26.5 x 26.5 for an exposed edge board). You then cover the back and the face as you wish and then score and cut the board as needed.

Alternatively, you can begin with sections of board that are then used to create the board. In this case, your sizes will depend on whether or not your want a gutter. If so (and the gutter is a standard .25" gutter), then your boards would be 13.375 x 13.5 (that's 27"-.25" divided by 2 x 27" diveded by 2). It would be assembled like the instructions for a 2-fold board, but completely cutting through one half of the board along a central axis perpendicular to the gutter.

I haven't seen a single game in the past several years use a gutter in it's manufacture. They're all going the route that I mentioned earlier whereby the backing and the artwork are affixed to the full size board, and then the finished unit is cut and scored as needed. Since the industry is going in this direction, I feel that it's safe for the hobby game design sector to do the same thing (not to mention that the creation process is much simpler).

no worries on the compliments...you definately deserve them, i cant tell you how much help this is. Especially after all the time i put in the make professinal art for the board, and it will be great to have it look at best as possible.

i dont need an edge between the artwork and the board because i added a golden'ish border myself around the edges of the gameplay part of the art as a buffer. the .5 of the 26.5 inches is the border i added.

i will take your sugestion and go for the single board technique without the gutter. the easier the better, i am trying to complete a second book in a 2 month time frame and need to save any time i can.

you know Rochester isnt terribly far..maybe i should just drive over and you could help me! lol....

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

Quote:
...it will be great to have it look at best as possible.

Be sure to post pictures of it when you're done!

Quote:
i dont need an edge between the artwork and the board because i added a golden'ish border myself around the edges of the gameplay part of the art as a buffer.

Are you planning on pasting the backing onto the board and then wrapping it around to the front of the board (before pasting on the face artwork) to cover the sides? If so, then you won't want the artwork to extend to the edges of the board on all sides. Since the backing material will leave a rolled edge and some bulging at the corners, the finished piece would look better with the backing showing around the board artwork. In this case, you might be better off eliminating the artwork border and trimming the artwork to 26 x 26. Then leave the backing that is wrapped to the face exposed as your border.

Alternatively, you could make an exposed edge board. For this, you would want to use black core 2-ply illustration board (available at Dick Blick and other art supply stores). Paste the face artwork on (with full bleed) and then paste the backing material on (again, with full bleed), then trim the entire board to the finished size of 26.5 x 26.5. The black core would leave a finished edge even though there is no wrap around it. From there you would score and cut to make the folds.

A note about exposed edge boards: even though the back is already black, you would still want to apply a backing material (even if it's black). Without doing so, your finished board would be exposed to unequal forces (the artwork laminated to the face without an equal and opposing laminate applied to the back) and your board will warp. Just ask the makers of Duel of Ages about it!

Quote:
you know Rochester isnt terribly far..maybe i should just drive over and you could help me! lol....

I'd be glad to get together if you're in the area!

If you're close enough to get to Albany, you should definitely consider attending the summer '05 Albany playtest session (details here). Jeff, Mike, Tom and all are great hosts and the sessions are very helpful! It's like a live GDW with great feedback.

mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

good idea, i will post pics when i get it completed, which i hope is soon....i have a conference in 2 weeks i hope to use uit at....the prototype board is far to ugly...

I am planning on putting backing on the board as you suggested and not having any exposed edges.

my problem currently is that i cant find backing paper. the one place i did find that had all the other stuff i need said the backing paper is also called stock/flocking. which i am not sure if they are right. and i have never seen backing paper so i dont even know what it is by sight if they showed me.

i was seriously considering stopping by your neighboorhood...but then i looked into it and its farther than i thought from nyc...about 5-6 hours...that would have been great to have an expert tutorial...

the get together in albany sounds like fun. i am not currently looking for alot of feedback on this particular game...as i have had it for a few years and its been played a couple hundred times...but it would be great to meet people and see what everybody has come up with.

another question...if i am doing the quad board...with full backing (if i ever find the stuff) should i print the art as one large piece or four seperate ones? i think its one large...because it it will help hold the scored edges together, but its safe to ask.

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

Quote:
my problem currently is that i cant find backing paper.

Yeah, I remember the stock/flocking comment coming up somewhere before. As mentioned in the other post, cover stock is typically a more stiff paper (60# weight) somewhere between regular paper (20-24#) and card stock (110#). This is definitely not what you want. I'm not familliar with the term flocking in reference to cover stock.

Did you ask specifically for cover material and get referred to cover stock? The two are very different. Cover stock is a paper used for covers of books. Cover material is an acrylic or latex impregnated paper, fabric, or synthetic material used to cover boards that are then used to cover books. The cover material is typically thinner than cover stock and has a completely different finish and feel.

You can use cover material from any othe sources mentioned on this site (there are a few sites that will sell to you in small quantities). Alternatively, you can use art paper as a game board backing. When doing so, you can reinforce the hinge areas with bookbinder's tape to keep the hinge from cracking or splitting. keeping with Matthew's example above, apply the tape as follows:

.......d
.......|
a----b----c
.......|
.......e

Apply the tape to the face of the board between "a" and "c" (passing over "b") and to the back of the board between "d" and "b". Then paste the backing and wrap around the edges (careful with those corners, thinner backing amterial will make tighter corners), and finally paste the face artwork in place. Then score as Matthew mentioned (partway through the back from "a" to "c", partway through the face from "d" to "b" and all the way through from "b" to "e").

Quote:
i was seriously considering stopping by your neighboorhood...but then i looked into it and its farther than i thought from nyc...about 5-6 hours

Yeah, most people think we're closer to NYC than we are. Bummer, I'd like to get out that way more often. Oh well... Maybe I'll see you at one of the future Albany playtest sessions.

Quote:
...should i print the art as one large piece or four seperate ones?

Using bookbinder's tape will allow you to print and apply the artwork either way without losing any flexibility or strength. One large piece would be ideal and look more professional, but unless you have access to a very large format printer, this may not be feasible. You can do it in 2 or 4 sections if you want.

If you do, I would suggest scoring the board first and then using the score to line up the edges of the artwork tiles. It will be easier to trim excess to the score line if you have to. If you do it this way, I would suggest putting wax paper into the score line and use it to mask the area opposite where you will apply the artwork. That way if there is excess, it won't stick to and ruin artwork that has already been pasted and trimmed.

mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

okay...combining all your tips..with matthews...plus the info from the links you posted i think i have organized it into a set of direction in porper order.

feel free to correct me where i am wrong. at the bottom i listed the materials that i dont think i need that wre originally listed.

Materials Needed:
1 sheet chipboard as big or bigger than the finished board size
1 roll backing paper at least 1.5" longer and wider than the finished board size
Spray mount (which you already have)
Ability to press board firmly and smoothly (which I assume you already have)

1: Get a sheet of single or 2-ply chip board (also called pressboard or box-board). It is produced in a single thickness and then laminated together to form varying thickness based on the number of plies used. Single ply is typically used for making boxes. 2-ply is an ideal thickness for good sturdy game boards or tiles. 3 or more ply is available but is very thick and would prove a challenge to cut evenly.

2: Once you have chipboard cut out a piece that is 27" x 27” which will be the game board.

3: Once you have a board that is the full size 27x27 you then cover the back with backing paper. Using your spray mount, evenly coat the backing and apply so that the board is in the middle. Carefully and evenly fold the overhang around to the face of the board.

4: Once done, press flat and smooth using whatever method you use currently when applying the facing. I use two 2'x2' pieces of 3/4" plywood (hardwood facing so it is smooth) and wax paper to line them (in case any glue bleeds out). I then pile on a few hundred pounds of regular free weights and leave it overnight.

5: Cut and score the board. Quad-fold boards like that are pretty common. Just imagine, if you will, a + shape on the board, bisecting it both ways, and you're looking down at the back of the board. On the horizontal line (left to right) the board is cut part-way through, all the way across. It's not cut all the way -- there's enough material on the face still there to hold it together and serve as a hinge. The board would fold "back" along this line (so that the faces of the board were pressed together).

6: On the vertical line (up and down), the lower half of the board (below the horizontal line, like the vertical line in the letter T) is cut all the way through, front to back. The upper half of that same line is cut on the front half of the board, partway through, so that the board will fold up towards you, with the board's backing serving as a hinge.

7: Now when you fold the whole thing up, the faces will fold onto themselves (along the horizontal line), and the now half-backs will fold onto themselves, creating a quarter-fold board.

8: Put the Art on the face as you wish. Using the score to line up the edges of the artwork tiles. It will be easier to trim excess to the score line if you have to. If you do it this way, I would suggest putting wax paper into the score line and use it to mask the area opposite where you will apply the artwork. That way if there is excess, it won't stick to and ruin artwork that has already been pasted and trimmed.

The materials I don’t need are:

1 roll hinge tape (also called bookbinders tape), ***since I am using one complete board that will be scored this isn’t needed.
1 dowel, .25" square (optional) *** no gutters, so don’t need this
1 roll painters tape, minimum 2" wide *** one board, so no need to hold it together

if i got all that right...two last questions...

1: if there any special paper we print on to make it more durable? or a cover sheet we cover it with to protect it? just think the plain ink on paper might smudge.

2: if i follw these directions, the art is placed on after the edges of the backing are folding onver the top. Wouldnt it make sense to place the art on first thien fold the backing over it?

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

Wow! Good job making sense of everything. So far it looks like you've got it!

Your 2 questions are very good ones.

Quote:
1: if there any special paper we print on to make it more durable? or a cover sheet we cover it with to protect it? just think the plain ink on paper might smudge.

Ah, the never ending quest for a smudge- and spill-proof game board! I have had good luck with Epson photo quality ink jet paper. It's not photo paper (which is heavier and coated with either a glossy or matte finish), but has a bright white finish that, after setting for a few days, is very smudge and spill resistant. No, not proof, but it's nice.

Ideally, there would be a way to laminate the artwork so that a layer of plastic separates your art from the rest of the disasters that might befall your game. I have found that that 1.5 mil matte finish hot laminate works very well and leaves a great finish (I have used it on many sets of cards to great effect). The problem is that it is very hard to apply over large areas. The machinery that is intended to do so is very expensive and I'm having trouble finding someone with the machines to do it for me.

Alternatively, you can use cold laminates (like the Xyron laminator that is so well loved by those on this site). They are available in wide format for larger pieces of artwork, but they are very expensive.

There are other cold laminates that come in rolls that you can apply by hand, but they are also pretty expensive (and fairly thick).

Failing the use of plastics to laminate your board, you could use a spray on varnish to protect your artwork, though I'm not sure about long term durability with pawns and such tramping around.

Quote:
2: if i follw these directions, the art is placed on after the edges of the backing are folding onver the top. Wouldnt it make sense to place the art on first thien fold the backing over it?

No, you would want the artwork to overlap the backing so that it has a finished look. Just like the endpapers of a book with a folded edge cover (hardbound).

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

For protecting the surface, I recommend Krylon Clear Acrylic (sometimes sold as Krylon Crystal Clear). It's basically acrylic in a spray, like spray paint without the color or opacity.

Even one coat will nicely protect the board. Two or three (with plenty of drying in between) will make it utterly smudge-proof, in my experience. Note, though, that you should test spray a sample printed sheet first, to get a sense of how much to put on.

A single coat will not make the board shiny, particularly. After three it certainly will be somewhat glossy maybe even quite, depending on how much your paper absorbs.

-- Matthew

mordelack
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

alright, next question. as always i appreciate the help.

i have the chipboard and its cut to size. Now i need to know if i apply the backing paper to it first and then score?

or do i score the board first, then apply the backing, then make whatever cut is neccesary to the backing paper?

bascially do i score through the backing paper? and if not does it have enough give to allow the board to fold?

maarten
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Joined: 04/12/2011
Suggestions on creating a board

SiskNY wrote:
To score partway through, you can use 2-3 light strokes of a razor knife along a metal straight edge (practice a few times on scrap pieces of board to get the feel of how far to score to achieve the proper fold).

If people have a hard time understanding the production of game boards like this, read SiskNY's tips along with a industrial game board from a modern game. Look closely at edges, folds and the like, then it will become much easier to understand what one needs to do. However, what is so easily written down in one sentence in the above quote is quite hard to do in practice. If you cut too deep, the backing is ruined. If you cut too little, the mat board 'breaks' upon folding, resulting in a messy and wrinkled edge. I'm sure that with practice (LOTS of practice, even) you'll get it right.

My question: does anyone have an idea how this precision is achieved in the printing industry? We are talking precision of the thickness of a sheet of paper: that's in the order of tens of microns. Are they using dies consisting of thin metal strips with a very precisely calculated height? Or a knife which doesn't protrude more than the required depth of the cut? Or perhaps some other means?

Draconious
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Suggestions on creating a board

A few game ideas ive messed aroudn with had a board size issue... one of my ideas was to leave the board in multiple sections.. so that in your case 4 sections/quadrants... one could be flipped over to change the game play.. or rotated.. or shuffled and mixed around... just an idea ;). I like customizablity!

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

Draconious wrote:
...one of my ideas was to leave the board in multiple sections.. so that in your case 4 sections/quadrants... one could be flipped over to change the game play.. or rotated.. or shuffled and mixed around...

Ricochet Robot does this to nice effect. According to the rules, having four 2-sided game board sections results in 96 (I think) possible combinations.

Anonymous
Suggestions on creating a board

Maarten wrote:
My question: does anyone have an idea how this precision is achieved in the printing industry? We are talking precision of the thickness of a sheet of paper: that's in the order of tens of microns. Are they using dies consisting of thin metal strips with a very precisely calculated height? Or a knife which doesn't protrude more than the required depth of the cut? Or perhaps some other means?

I'm sure they use a die-cutting machine to make the cuts. Machines these days are so accurate that they can cut to within the thickness of a piece of paper. If you look carefully, you can see slight traces of uncut board material (about the thickness of a piece of paper) at spots across the scoring. This indicates that they're die cutting through the board and stopping at the backing material. There would be no traces of uncut board if the board were precut and assembled onto the backing material.

Note that not all companies are cutting entirely through the board to expose the backing material. The only manufacturers in my (modest) collection that do are Days of Wonder (Ticket to Ride) and Rio Grande (Power Grid).

What I suggest doing (cutting nearly through the board, but leaving some in tact and not exposing the backing material) is what Fantasy Flight Games does with their boards (Lord of the Rings, Through the Desert). The board material will tear at the back of the score where it isn't cut through, but that won't affect the way that the board goes back together when laid flat (so long as you don't leave too much material intact).

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