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Making large/small professional tiles.

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Redcap's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008

I am slowly making my board game, and while playtesting have made a very cheap but effective prototype. There are certain aspect of the game I know will not change now and need help prototyping.

First, game board tiles: The game is a dungeon crawl game and I have room tiles that will be placed, the size ranges from 5'' x 5'' to 1''x1''. Ultimately I want the tiles to feel like those found in games like descent, herosquest, ect.

Second, stand up doors and units. I am not going the miniture route, so instead I am going to have paper cutout/fold out units. Just wondering the best materials to use to make these pieces.

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008

Redcap wrote:
Ultimately I want the tiles to feel like those found in games like descent, herosquest, ect.

When you say feel, do you mean the paper texture or the weight? The weight is easy, that’s just a matter of getting the correct thickness of chipboard. Usually available in a wide range of thicknesses and sizes in art supply stores.

Paper can be tricky. The linen finish we have become accustomed to in eurogames is a special paper that until recently was only available in Europe. This isn’t to say that the paper is easy to find so I wouldn't focus on that so much.

Redcap's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
I meant the weight so the

I meant the weight so the chipboard works perfectly, alas I didn't know where to go for it so I tried a craft store and Staples. Neither had it, however, I found some cork board that actually may work well for a prototype so I bought some. Let you know how it turns out because I am curious myself.

Joined: 01/26/2009

Actually, I found the PERFECT material to make CHEAP, very professional looking tiles. My friend's dog got a hold of both my Settlers of Catan game AND my Penguin game ("Hey, That's my Fish").
using the method (4 steps) below, you can re-create any of those tiles, if they are destroyed, and also make your own tiles with this method.

Materials needed:
1) 1/16" posterboard - it needs to be this thickness to be viable for repeated play - you can usually find it at a craft or art supply store, and shouldn't run you more than $8 for a 36" x 48" sheet (which is 1,728 square inches - if you had that many 1" tiles in your game, it would certainly be ungainly, so that should be enough for about 8-10 projects at about 150 - 200 1" tiles apiece- that's approx. $1 per project, assuming there are no re-do's)

2) full-sheet labels - these usually come in glossy, packs of 10, and will be 8 1/2" x 11", so they should fit in and work for ALL US printers. they have NO perforations on them, and are (as they say) a FULL SHEET SINGLE STICKER. (this gives you 935 square inches - minus your printer margin - and usually runs about $10, so that's about 4-5 projects at about 150-200 1" tiles apiece, and another $2.50 per project).

3) a pair of scissors

If you can find another place to print (and cut) your tiles for $3.50 per game of 150-200 tiles, I welcome you to do it. Otherwise, read on...

3-step method:

1) In any desktop publishing program, graphic layout program, or even GOOD OLD MICROSOFT WORD, lay out your tiles on an 8.5"x11" page.

2) Print your tiles onto the full-sheet labels

3) Peel and stick the labels onto the 1/16" posterboard

4) cut out the labels using a normal pair of scissors

**NOTE: cutting them out is somewhat labor intensive, but step 4 is the reason you use 1/16" posterboard - it's not too much for any old pair of scissors you might have lying around.

Also, you might not want to cut more than one sheet at a time - though your scissors will probably be able to take it, your fingers might not - give yourself about a half-hour between sheets (maybe more).

Also, I can't tell MY Settlers of Catan replacement tiles from the real ones, because the real ones are VERY close to 1/16" thick.

I have gotten exemplary results using this method, and some of my friends have asked me where I bought the two games I have created using this method, simply because of how professional the tiles look.

Let me know if this works for you.


Howitzer_120mm's picture
Joined: 03/04/2009
Even cheaper

22" × 28" for $0.59 each.
Almost as thick as a Carcassone Tile.

And at Staples, you can get the full page label paper for 100 sheets for $30.

BTW, I do prototyping work if you want a quote. Just ask. :)
(Playtester AT verizon DOT net)

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