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Is 22"x22" an OK game board size?

5 replies [Last post]
HoopCatCharlie's picture
Joined: 09/10/2011

I'm new to Forum, first time poster.

We've just started the graphic design phase for for our first attempt at self-publication of a family board game.

The board needs to fit 18 cards arranged in 3 rows of 6 (portrait orientation).

With card dimensions of either 2.25x3.25 or 2.5x3.5, it could physically fit on a 20"x20"x gameboard, although the initial recommendation is to upsize to 22"x22" so that the look is not too crowded around the edges.

I know 20"x20" is a common board size just from measuring games in our family's library. Is 22"x22" (with quad-fold to 11x11) going to be an unusual printing request? Or does board size not really matter (other than the obvious bigger board = greater cost)?


Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
Heya Hoopcat! Well welcome to

Heya Hoopcat!

Well welcome to bgdf first of all, pleasure to see you here,

Whatever happens and whatever board size you choose, you can rest assured that your nickname kicks ASS "Hoop Cat Charlie" is awesome - I love it.

Now, your question: Well does it matter to the printers? Both of these are true:

1) Not really.
2) Depends on printer.

Not really: Printers are not a directing force, they bend to the clients will. "Can I print a 22 inch board?" Yes-the-hell-you-can, it will cost $XXX.

Depends on printer: Printers will always either print on stock (card) that they either have already in or will go and find you some. More often than not they will have it in (especially for smaller jobs) and work around you. But for the printers, they will print on a few standard sizes, unless specifically requested. Lets give an example that a standard size of stock they would have would be 30 inches square. Can you print each of your different size boards on it and trim away the excess? Of course. Now if there stock was say 21 inches square - then you could print the smaller one and trim the rest, but would need to go up to the next size of stock for your larger board which could be, say 40 inches big - same process, print and trim the rest away but it may well be slightly cheaper to get the smaller stock in.

So you will have to speak to the printer if they would be using the same stock for both - if they are, there should be no problem as far as the printing goes. Remember also they could be doing clever things like tessalating them and printing 4 at a time on a REALLY huge stock. You will need to double check with them.

So really, the choice is yours :) get a 22 inch proxy board made up, and see if it is too big or for you.

And remember the printers can do any size of anything so it would (assuminigly) be just as easy to alter the size of your playing cards. That is of course assuming that the printers havent got some wonderful "super quick standard playing-card sized print-o-matic 2000".

Hope I have helped Hoop cat charlie!

(great name)

The Game Crafter
The Game Crafter's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009
It's all about publishing and packaging.

Board size really only has two major considerations.

1) How are you publishing it? If you're going to make it print and play, then you need to make it work on people's home printers (8.5x11 inches). If you're going to publish it through a print on demand system like The Game Crafter, then 18x18 is what we do. If you're going on a full print run of 5,000 - 10,000 units then you can pretty much do whatever you want, but you may be able to get one size cheaper than the other by asking your printer what dies and processes they already have in place.

2) If you're going through the full print run route because you plan to put this game in brick and mortar retail shops then you have to make sure that your board will fold down into the box size that you want on the shelf. You'd do well to take a measuring tape to your local game shop and simply measure the box sizes you like as they sit on the shelf. Because if that box size is on the shelf already, and has good presence, you know that the retailer will accept that box size.

Cogentesque's picture
Joined: 08/17/2011
"Good presence" <- I like

"Good presence" <- I like that turn of phrase Crafter.

Crafters advice superseeds all of our advice regarding details and logistics of printing by the way: He is a pro publisher.

Joined: 12/01/2010
I hope this helps

I hope this helps -

When getting Orbit printed, we did run into a board size limitation. A large number of manufacturers could not make a board larger than 27 x 39 in one press sheet (our original board wanted to be 30 x 36 so we had to make adjustments) - which would have created some hassles - including marrying the chipboard material, possible misalignment of overlapping cover paper, and some other potential problems.

Each printer will have different limitations in that regard, but I think at 27 x 39, our game has about the largest single board available without getting tricky with the manufacturing process (as in $$$$$). 22x22 I believe shouldn't be a problem.

Another thing to think about though - is that will give you around a 12" x 12" box, which a lot of people would have trouble fitting into a standard shelf of a bookcase. This is not something to be really worried about if its required, but is something to consider.

HoopCatCharlie's picture
Joined: 09/10/2011
Thank You!

Thank you both for the advice and the insights, there was a lot of good information in those responses.
This may boil down to a question of do we compromise slightly on the game experience to save a modest number of dollars on the publication cost - and my thought on that is a firm "no" unless it becomes a significant impact on the cost per unit.
(Glad you approve of the name - now to only publish a game that gets the same reception - hope I didn't use it all up on the screenname :)

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