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Are wood boards practical?

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treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018

I’m designing a game which will have four player boards upon which many different tokens need to be constantly placed and removed throughout the course of play. The player boards are square grids, dimensions 11 rows by 11 columns, about 16.5 cm^2 total area (like a condensed checker/chess board, but with more 3 more rows and columns).

For playtesting, the player boards are simply printed sheets upon which the player places 1cm cube tokens. Though this works without major issue, it would be better if the tokens could be placed within indentations that more firmly house the tokens. We have an old Chinese Checkers set with a nice wood board replete with indentations that prevent the marbles from rolling around. We also have a cribbage set where pegs are placed into the holes punched into a wood board. These are two examples that come to mind that use perforated wood to firmly house game tokens.

Is it at all practical to consider designing a game with perforated wood boards, or is it cost prohibitive for an initial run of about 500? About how much more costly per unit is it to have manufactures create wood boards than perforated cardboard? How would the costs of plastic boards compare to wood or cardboard? Are there other alternatives that might firmly house game tokens that would keep manufacturing costs down?

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
treeves3 wrote:I’m designing

treeves3 wrote:
I’m designing a game which will have four player boards upon which many different tokens need to be constantly placed and removed throughout the course of play. The player boards are square grids, dimensions 11 rows by 11 columns, about 16.5 cm^2 total area (like a condensed checker/chess board, but with more 3 more rows and columns).

Do you mean 16.5 cm is the length of a side? Because that's like 270 cm^2 total area.. just saying.

Quote:
Is it at all practical to consider designing a game with perforated wood boards, or is it cost prohibitive for an initial run of about 500? About how much more costly per unit is it to have manufactures create wood boards than perforated cardboard? How would the costs of plastic boards compare to wood or cardboard? Are there other alternatives that might firmly house game tokens that would keep manufacturing costs down?

I think a wood board with indentations sounds perfect for this sort of game. I could also imagine plastic glued onto a cardboard backing.

I searched for "alibaba wooden game board" and got this on the first page:

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Kid-s-Wooden-Sudoku-Board-Game_60...

I would recommend sending that company an email describing what you're looking for and seeing what they say.

When I started this I found it a little odd that I could just email a manufacturer and get a quote for something, poof. But that's the best way to find out.

treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018
Yes, 16.5 cm is the length of

Yes, 16.5 cm is the length of a side, so I should have technically said (16.5cm)^2 = 272.25cm^2 for total area. Sorry for the confusion.

Ok, so now I want a cool wooden Sudoku board! (Just don't think my wife will let me order the 1,000 minimum.) Seriously though, great link, thanks! I'll contact Gameland and hit them with some specs to see what they suggest. I'd like to go with wood if at all practical. There's just something about polished wood that makes certain board games that much more appealing.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
My first piece of advice is

My first piece of advice is to keep your language/description as clear as possible, since you'll be dealing with people who have English as a second language, and you don't want to be misinterpreted. Good luck!

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
blokus board for prototyping

I don't have a good answer for your questions.

A perhaps relevant fact that I can point out is that Blocus, Acquire(at least the version I have), scrabble (some deluxe and travel versions) and Quinto have similar indented grids. They are all made of plastic.

When I read about what you are thinking about creating. It came to mind that a that the board you are describing is pretty similar to the blocus board. Maybe you can use them advanced prototyping.

Blocus:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2453/blokus

treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018
Good examples all. Thanks

Good examples all. Thanks Fri!

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Ah, yes, Blockus was the game

Ah, yes, Blockus was the game I was thinking about with the plastic grid!

RyanRay
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Joined: 03/27/2014
If it was a more standard

If it was a more standard row/column dimension other than 11x11, I'd say go for it, but I honestly see this being very cost-prohibitive and a very niche item that can't be reskinned or retooled for other games easily.

I'd do it on cardboard or foam for now, let a future publisher handle the wooden aspects if the game really takes off.

gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015
indents

Cardboard as a 2 layer thing (top layer has cutouts but a solid backing turns them into indents) is one way to make such a board.

A layer of clear plastic (with cutouts) over a printed base could also work.

treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018
Thanks for all the input.

Thanks for all the input. Wood would be nice, but a practical first run will probably be plastic or cardboard. I'll post prices that I find if and when I get that far.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
For a personal prototype I’d

For a personal prototype I’d just get travel blokus and call it a day :)

I Will Never Gr...
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2015
Plastic = big bucks ..

treeves3 wrote:
Thanks for all the input. Wood would be nice, but a practical first run will probably be plastic or cardboard. I'll post prices that I find if and when I get that far.

Plastic will be incredibly expensive for a relatively small run (1000 or under).
You need a custom mold/die (Typically $2500-$10,000) which will likely only fit one unit at a time.

Cardboard would be the practical solution, followed by (or perhaps even equal to) wood. Definitely contact manufacturers for pricing (assuming you're self publishing .. if you're not doing the publishing/sales, then let the publisher figure it out).

gxnpt
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Joined: 12/22/2015
laser cut

Laser cutting the cutouts for the board and using the cut out pieces as your game tokens might also reduce costs (and guarantee the cutouts are a tiny bit larger than the tokens) for various materials.

Same approach might work with full cutout die punches for cardboard.

MichaelFulfills
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Joined: 03/16/2018
Cost of the board

Hi,

I read your post about producing a wood board vs. plastic and cardboard. Just one other thing to keep in mind regarding cost. If you are planning to distribute the games on an individual basis, depending on the quality of the wood, it could be a bit heavier than the others. Also, cardboard could be split and folded, keeping the size of the package smaller. I know it may not seem like an big issue, but every few ounces makes a huge difference in shipping options and costs, and the size plays a big part as well, since carriers are now charging "dimensional weight". We have had several game designers who would have loved to know this information when they were in the production stage! (I am with Fulfillrite.com, a fulfillment company that does a large amount of board game fulfillment for ecommerce and crowdfunded games.)
This is much less of an issue if you are simply selling to retail outlets.
Just food for thought.

Michael

treeves3
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Joined: 04/18/2018
Thanks all!

Thanks to all for your feedback. Much appreciated!

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