# Mixing 8mm and 10mm cubes, is it recommended?

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larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008

I have a game idea in design that could require a lot of cubes, now cubes on game crafters are approximately from 8 to 10 cents each, so considering I expect to have more than 100 cubes, the price tag grow quite rapidly.

So first I changed some rules to reduce the number of cubes, or maximize their usage by sharing cubes.

Else I was thinking in mixing cubes of various size, where 8mm cubes are worth 1 cube, and 10mm cubes are worth 2 cubes. Now there are various situation in the game where you can add, remove or move 2 cubes, so it's not like you'll have to make change all the time.

If I do that, I could reduce cube cost by 25% to 35%. But I was just wondering if it will be convenient to play, Will it be easy or confusion to count cubes.

I think I have seen some games that mix cube size together, but don't really remember which one.

Still you do think it could be a good idea?

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Why two?

Would it make sense to make the larger cubes worth, say, five? In that case it might be better use bigger big ones (8mm and 12mm?), but it should allow for a lot fewer cubes. You only need 4 small cubes per player of each style.

One reason not to do that would be if add/subtract is almost always in groups of two. But even then depending on how many points you need, ones and tens could make sense.

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Universal Currency, etc.

An alternative that I didn't see you or the previous commenter mention is that of universal currency for all players.

If you have separate colours for each player, then I don't have much of an easy solution for you. However, if there's a way you can use the same colour cubes with each player (like if they had separate player boards/mats, for example), then create three denominations of cubes, each valued differently: 1, 5, and 10. For example, Incan Gold has three different colours of gemstones used by all players: blue for 1, black for 5, translucent yellow/gold for 10. As the game progresses, players can make change as necessary as their score increases.

Another similar alternative is if you have space on player mats for denominations of 1's and 10's. One track goes from 0 to 9, and the other goes up by 10, 20, 30, etc. If required, you can have a third track for 100's. With this option, a maximum of 3 cubes per player, regardless of size, would be required. Of course, if you don't have something similar to player mats then this isn't a viable solution.

Personally I wouldn't be pleased with a game that used larger cubes to simply indicate two of one resource, as the "pile" generated with 5 of one size versus 5 of the other may be noticeable, but a pile of five cubes mixed together is annoying. The only exception to this is if resource totals don't really change very often and the difference between one or two resources doesn't need to be compared very often, and certainly not mixing them together frequently.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
More details on the

More details on the game:

It's for a semi coperative area of majority game, where each player has cubes of it's own color + a pool of cube shared by all players which will contain cubes of both size(8+10mm). And finally Ennemy cubes which could also be of both size.

Player cubes are colored while shared cubes are black and ennemy cubes are white.

So I canot use colors for denominations and using large cubes as 2 cubes make sense because many situations could allow manipulating 2 cubes at once, but not 5. So there is no need to constantly make change.

let-off studios
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Re: cubes

In light to the additional details you've supplied: no, I don't think it will be a good idea. Several different colours of cubes, of different sizes, all gathered haphazardly in the same area... I don't think it's a good idea. For me personally I would lose patience trying to count it all correctly unless there was a more orderly way to do it than by sorting piles.

On TGC or Print n' Play Games, there are also chips of varying sizes. Have you considered these as a (likely more affordable) alternative? The larger-diameter chips would be the larger denomination. Each player could have their own stack and the different denominations would still be visible.

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Do those of 1 really have to

Do those of 1 really have to be cubes? What if they are half cubes?

1 for halves.
2 for cubes.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I need a quick way to count

I need a quick way to count cube, using chips will simply bee too annoying. Currently doing it with bingo chips for prototyping and it's very annoying, I wish I had cubes.

So far only the white and black color would have larger cubes, not the player colors.

Don't really understand the idea of half cube.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
larienna wrote:I need a quick

larienna wrote:
I need a quick way to count cube, using chips will simply bee too annoying. Currently doing it with bingo chips for prototyping and it's very annoying, I wish I had cubes.

So far only the white and black color would have larger cubes, not the player colors.

Don't really understand the idea of half cube.

As I read it, a half-cube would be 4mm tall, 8mm wide and 8mm deep.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
I think I understand X3M's idea

larienna wrote:
...Don't really understand the idea of half cube.

Half a cube = 1 point
Full cube = 2 points

Something like that in VALUE (I think that's what he means...)

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Yes, that is what I meant.

Yes, that is what I meant. Sorry for not describing it correctly immediately.

4 mm high, 8 mm width and length. Would be halve a cube. And worth 1 point.

A full cube has 8 mm³. And is worth 2 points.

Stacking 2 halves would be easy.

Although, I wonder about the manufacturing at that scale.

Daggaz
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Joined: 12/19/2016
Production costs for a

If you want wood (most cubes are wood), production costs for a "half-cube" would almost certainly exceed that for a standard cube. At the very best, the cost would be equal.

It's not the amount of material at this scale, it is the setup and time spent machining the pieces to size. A standard cube has only a single unique dimension, so you need one static setup to mass produce them. A half-cube has two unique dimensions. You need two saw settings, and you need to differentiate when you do the cutting, so that means either a human who works slower, or a more complicated machine system.

No matter what, manufacturers will also be far more likely to have a pre-existing setup to make cubes, versus half-cubes. So supply and demand on the production end will get you there, as well.

Regarding the OP, I think the obvious thing to do is to just try it first. Pick up a bunch of cubes (sounds like you will need them no matter what for your prototype work, and you can reuse them anyhow for future game designs), and see for yourself how easily you can visually and textually differentiate them. Then ask some play-testers the same question.

For the record, plastic cubes should be the cheapest bulk solution. But yeah...ewww. Plastic.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I managed to find some 8mm

I managed to find some 8mm and 10mm cubes of the same color to realize that I only have 2 games in my collection that use cubes(age of mythology and battlegroup).

Anyway, I agree that it could be slightly problematic, it's not viewable that much in a glance that I thought. But I cam up with a similar solution that could consist in combining plastic and wood cubes.

8mm ice plastic cubes + 10mm wooden cubes

First, plastic cubes are less expansive, second there will now be 2 different criteria: Size and texture. Which seems to make the differentiation easier.

The only issue so far, is that according to the picture on GC, black ice cubes seems pretty opaque. But it's possible the picture is just bad. As for white pieces, I have to combine them with clear cubes, which is not so bad.

Else I could substitute white by yellow and Black by purple, and make the player color red-green-blue. But I think the color would just be too confusing. And there is no other neutral color than black and white on GC.

let-off studios
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Wood + Plastic, Really?

Are you absolutely certain that cubes are the way to go for this game? Is there no other possible way to indicate resources?

The way you describe it here, the game sounds like a train wreck in the making. Wood and plastic for each player? Two colours for each player? For the same resource? I'm not certain why, but it seems like you're dead-set on using cubes for some reason. Is this combination of wood and plastic for the same resource really the best for the game?

I'm not your publisher but I imagine a question they will likely have is: why is this a more effective idea than some other alternative for resource tracking?

In NO WAY do I mean this line of questioning as disrespect. I'm providing you honest feedback, and attempting to point out some inconsistencies that may be noticeable only by someone on the outside. Please don't take this challenge as a personal attack.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
What do these cubes represent?

Cubes may be fine for a prototype, but the production game could end up using little pawns of one type or another, so I wouldn't get too hung up on the exact physical components. Since you're contemplating different sizes, apparently stacking is not important anyway.

A big pile of little plastic cubes should give the right sense of visual scale, at least until a production pawn is designed.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Try from China!

X3M wrote:
...Although, I wonder about the manufacturing at that scale.

Hmm... I wonder if the HALF cubes would be "too small". I am using the 8mm Ice Cubes for "Tradewars - Homeworld" and I have to admit, they are pretty small.

Having HALF a cube might not be possible ... In practicality it wouldn't be as good as it is in theory.

I bought for \$40 from @Del Laird a huge amount of ice cubes (50 each x 8 colors = 400 cubes = \$0.10 each). But the cubes are NICER than TGC. Slightly rounded corners and edges, Pantone colors that are lighter than TGC...

If you don't like the "Black" solid ones from TGC, you can get Smoke ones (transparent black)... You can have them made in China from Alibaba.com

Search for: 8mm game board cubes

You'll even find a MOQ of 500 units at \$0.01 each. You can get a real good deal for only \$5.00 + Shipping. I would go "customized" so MOQ of 1,000 units and maybe \$0.02 each... But you can use Pantone colors to choose from. So it would cost you about \$20.00! But you'd have 1,000 cubes.

Anyways maybe that's too much... But it's more reasonable than TGC.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I am currently using TCG as a

I am currently using TCG as a guide line for production, because I'll probably try prototyping there for fun. Second, I want design a game according to physical components restriction which is an approach I really like. But I am too early yet to plan real production cost.

Now for using cubes, here are more details of how it works.

You have 9 regions, where 1 is dracula's castle, a special region. In each other region you have human cubes plus possibly 2 city disk and maybe 3 for russia (not sure)

3 players have cubes of their own color and another pool of shared black cubes. Player will move and attack with by adding up their cubes + the shared cubes to unlock dice to roll. This is one of the aspect of the game where taking casualties on shared cubes will hinder all players, so if a player is too greedy, all players will lose those shared cubes and be affected. Creating rivalry between players, which is exactly what I want. This is a rare case where reducing production cost gave me an idea that made the theme even better.

Combat rolls, will kill between 0 to 3 enemy cubes after each roll. You may spend actions to move a pair of cubes between areas, unless crossing mountain or sea which in this case only moves 1 cube.

Some cubes are also placed on the player sheet for special abilities to trigger, but there should be at most 3 to 5 cubes there. Players also have other pieces of their color:

1 disk for their lair
1 "something to determine" for their great beast

All these pieces count as a cube of the player's color besides the additional benefits.

It's possible that cities and lair are worth 2 cubes, or that they are worth 1 cube but when they are destroyed, they spawn 2 cubes. Still requires playtesting.

In average, humans should have between 3-8 cubes per territory. Let say 8x8 = 64 cubes maximum. As for players, they cannot occupy all areas, but 2 players could share the same area, So let say: 2-5 shared cubes + 2 player with 2-4 cubes. That makes a max of 5x8 = 40 cubes, 2x8x4 = 64 cubes.

So a very rough approximation is 168 cubes. So a max of 21 cubes per territory (players and enemies). Now if I decide to use a mix of cube size, If I do it for all colors, I could cut by half or by a third.

If I cut by half, it 84 small cubes + 42 large cubes
if I cut by a third, its 56 small cubes + 56 large cubes

I think cutting by half would be more safe unless I want to prevent players from spreading in multiple areas.

Daggaz
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Joined: 12/19/2016
I can't help but think that

I can't help but think that in the case where you need this phenomenal number of pieces on the board, if stackable chits or plastic mini-pokerchips would be a better solution. Certainly much, much cheaper.

Eclipse has a bunch of cubes. But even then, its limited to 33 per player. And that feels like a lot when you are setting up.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
The problem with chips is

The problem with chips is that they are hard to count in a glance.

Daggaz
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True... but enough cubes

True... but enough cubes together are going to be a similar problem. I would think 3 colors of chips for 1, 5 and 10 would be ok.

Otherwise, are you so certain you need to have such a high number range in the first place? Perhaps the game would be simplified if you could reduce the total values involved.

ruy343
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Joined: 07/03/2013
Back to basics

Hold on a minute: why are we complicating things with cubes? Are the cubes necessary because they can stack or fit into notches or something?

Take a look at the classic board game Risk - in my parents' old set, we had three-prong piece that was a "1" and a 5 prong piece that was a "5" or 10, depending on how many armies were around. If the players arranged the 1s and 5s to make counting easy, it was a really good, fast system.

Alternately, cubes and cylinders? Different shapes really can help.

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
Risky bits

ruy343 wrote:
Hold on a minute: why are we complicating things with cubes? Are the cubes necessary because they can stack or fit into notches or something?

Take a look at the classic board game Risk - in my parents' old set, we had three-prong piece that was a "1" and a 5 prong piece that was a "5" or 10, depending on how many armies were around. If the players arranged the 1s and 5s to make counting easy, it was a really good, fast system.

Alternately, cubes and cylinders? Different shapes really can help.

Risk has changed its pawns considerably over time. I recall at one point they were plastic Roman numerals with I, III, V and maybe X.

As mentioned above, a "5" may not be very useful for speed since many moves involve 1 or 2 units, but a "5" or "10" could control the number of markers needed on the board. I just don't see the pro's of a "2" outweighing the con's.

ElKobold
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Joined: 04/10/2015
Why use game crafter?10

Why use game crafter to get cubes?
10 cents per cube is enormous price.

For 10 cents you can get a custom dice.

(this is literally the first result i've googled. I`m pretty sure you can find better offers)
https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/6-40mm-custom-colorful-wooden-cub...

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote: If the players

Quote:
If the players arranged the 1s and 5s to make counting easy, it was a really good, fast system.

Well in risk, you do not need to know the exact number of units after each roll, but I do.

In risk, if you have more than 3 units, you roll 3 dice. Pretty easy.

In my game, the number of dice could unlock for example at 2, 4 or 7 cubes. After each roll, I need to count cubes to know if I have at least 7 cubes to roll 3 dices for 4 cubes to roll 2 dice, etc.

The problem with denominations of 5+ is that there is no situation where you could lose 5 units, or move 5 units. So the fives will always need to be broken into a smaller composition of cubes. On the other hand, if I use 2, it is more likely to be moved, added ro removed by itself without needing to break it for some change.

Quote:
Why use game crafter to get cubes?
10 cents per cube is enormous price.

I want to try designing a game using gamecrafters, like I said, if the game get seriously published, I might not necessarily use game crafters. But at least if somebody want it as POD, it will be available.

questccg
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I agree!

larienna wrote:
I want to try designing a game using gamecrafters, like I said, if the game get seriously published, I might not necessarily use game crafters. But at least if somebody want it as POD, it will be available.

That is SMART. I did the same with my WIP "Tradewars - Homeworld" ... first made a version with a bunch of artwork for The Game Crafter (TGC). Although I was not very successful with this version (because of the format and price) - it was still "out there" for people to buy.

Now while we are overhauling with my Publisher the game for a Four (4) Player Game Box and they will be making the game overseas... We all feel that this "remake" (because we have literally redone ALL the cards, I've hire a new Creative Writer - who is writing new stories for ALL Four (4) Factions) with all of the "extras" that may come included with the "core" - add tremendous value I could not offer with the TGC version.

But still ... it means that the TGC version (although you can no longer purchase it...) will still be available IF the game goes "out-of-print". But my guess we probably have 3 more years of expandability and then with the XTG3 licensing - we can interest more designers to come "on-board" and add their contributions to the "core"... etc.

So good for you to getting your game made on TGC. It's a very good start for any game. And to be real honest, JT has even said that A LOT of prototypes start as TGC games ... and go on to be published by someone else where they come out with a more "professional" version of the game.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Like I said before, I am

Like I said before, I am trying to approach game design by it's look or it's list of components I want to have in the game. In order to have some sort of guide line of what can be present in a game, I need a component catalog.

GC is perfect for that, because it has a catalog of pieces, and force me to design according to that catalog. So if I am ready to release the game, or send review copy, I could just build the game on GC, and send it.

GameKnight
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Joined: 12/18/2008
Plastic Cubes are Great for Prototyping

I bought 1,000 plastic cubes in 10 colors for \$16.99 on Amazon. They have been fantastic. 1.7 cents per cube. 2 day shipping. Can't beat it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F8VB4G/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpag...