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Subject: How to make a good looking game for cheap? rss

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Adam Stapley
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Hello all!

I'm nearing completion of play testing on a game that will be available for PnP, however I want to make myself a very good copy, as I really enjoy the game. Here's what I'll need:

Cards (easy)
Tokens (less easy, suggestions? Want good thick ones)
A mounted board (easy)
Miniatures (do you think I could hand sculpt these of clay?)

Any suggestions for mostly tokens and minis would be greatly appreciated! I'd need about 50 or so Miniatures, each one different, so I realize it'll take a while for any solution probably,...
 
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Derry Salewski
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Wood for tokens, with printed stickers if needed. Miniatures from an already existing line or game?
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Joe Kundlak
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Hm, maybe I would not bother with miniatures at all at this stage (unless you have a source from somewhere else).
Just make some square tokens with names and some pictures, that should do for playtesting well.
 
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Lawrence Spode
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AtStapley wrote:

Tokens (less easy, suggestions? Want good thick ones)


This is a good tutorial. I use label paper on chipboard, laminate with contact paper, then punch.
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Glenn Martin
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Have you tried lowering your standards?
 
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Search Amazon for "Safari Toob" they have lots of play figures for kids and several of them are thematically appropriate. You might also search for 'fantasy plastic figures.' That one will get you a Soldiers vs Zombies set of really cheap stuff among other things. Even though you won't get 50 unique things, you could paint sets of them in different colors rather easily.
 
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Lawrence Spode
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What is the genre?

If you are looking for cheap zombies then Wargames Factory is probably your best bet. You can find them cheaper still through miniature market or the war store.
 
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Adam Stapley
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I've decided to chicken out, and go for the Tile method. Instead of miniatures, I'll have tiles, one for each unit, that matches the art on the card. It will still look nice, as I'll likely be doing the artwork in full page Prismacolor Portraits and then scanning and shrinking them, preserving the detail.
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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AtStapley wrote:

Miniatures (do you think I could hand sculpt these of clay?)


You can make some good looking minis from laminated paper and supports (I use bottle caps)

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Jake Staines
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courtjus wrote:

You can make some good looking minis from laminated paper and supports (I use bottle caps)


I go a step further, mount my standups on card and use these:

http://www.spielematerial.de/en/plastic-bases.html

(There are undoubtedly other places to get them, of course.)
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Michael Taylor
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https://www.thegamecrafter.com/
 
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Adam Stapley
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I've used TGC before, it's great! However, I wouldn't exactly call it cheap. I'm nearing the end of my degree and have only 16 credits this semester-- 5 less than I'm used to. I'll need something to fill the time, and saving money printing my own pieces will be a good way to do it. Though I do find TGC to be magical
 
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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courtjus wrote:

You can make some good looking minis from laminated paper and supports (I use bottle caps)


Bottle caps are a great idea! I have to look at the caps from milk cartons. We throw so many of those away since they technically can't be recycled in our city due to not having a number printed on them.
 
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Michael Taylor
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AtStapley wrote:
I've used TGC before, it's great! However, I wouldn't exactly call it cheap.


Well, that's the thing. Have you EVER seen a 'good looking' game that was cheap?

I really haven't myself...
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Adam Stapley
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cauldronofevil wrote:
AtStapley wrote:
I've used TGC before, it's great! However, I wouldn't exactly call it cheap.


Well, that's the thing. Have you EVER seen a 'good looking' game that was cheap?

I really haven't myself...


The DIY work that a lot of people around here do, such as rethemes and stuff, are much cheaper than TGC and they look amazing! I realize it's a lot of work, but I've got lots of time and not lots of money. Haha
 
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P.D. Magnus
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AtStapley wrote:

The DIY work that a lot of people around here do, such as rethemes and stuff, are much cheaper than TGC and they look amazing! I realize it's a lot of work, but I've got lots of time and not lots of money. Haha


Often not. Stellar-looking DIY work is often expensive.

So it depends on what you mean by 'good' when you say that you want it to look good.
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Michael Taylor
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AtStapley wrote:
The DIY work that a lot of people around here do, such as rethemes and stuff, are much cheaper than TGC and they look amazing! I realize it's a lot of work, but I've got lots of time and not lots of money. Haha


I guess that's true...unless you consider that time IS money!
 
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Adam Stapley
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cauldronofevil wrote:
AtStapley wrote:
The DIY work that a lot of people around here do, such as rethemes and stuff, are much cheaper than TGC and they look amazing! I realize it's a lot of work, but I've got lots of time and not lots of money. Haha


I guess that's true...unless you consider that time IS money!


Not when you're student teaching (slave labor) and your school doesn't allow a job on top of student teaching Then time is... Just time. No making money for me! Haha
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Jake Staines
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AtStapley wrote:
Then time is... Just time. No making money for me! Haha


One could argue that you could still spend your free time training yourself up with some skill that you could use to make money in the future, but I'd tend to agree - if you're happy to put the time in to make nice DIY stuff, you shouldn't feel like you have to cost it!

However, I'd also agree with P.D.Magnus' point; making your own high-quality game parts can be expensive in materials and tools as well as just in time! For example, I own a Xyron Creative Station tool - a controlled roller machine which I generally use to laminate one side of a printed sheet while applying adhesive to the other. Leaving aside the cost of the tool, the cartridges for it are expensive. I could do something similar with rolls of freeform plastic laminate, and then use spray glue or PVA to stick the laminated parts down to the substrate, but... the Xyron does a consistently good job of it, and I wouldn't. Then once I've finished there, I have to stamp out the circular tokens with expensive arch punches over an expensive self-healing cutting mat (I could do it with a knife but it wouldn't be so perfectly circular) and then add in handfuls of wooden cubes (also fairly pricy!) to complete the game.
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Bichatse wrote:
wooden cubes (also fairly pricy!)


Yes ! I don't understand why they are so expensive... too bad for me :-(
 
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Jake Staines
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courtjus wrote:
Bichatse wrote:
wooden cubes (also fairly pricy!)


Yes ! I don't understand why they are so expensive... too bad for me :-(


Try making your own - once you find out how much effort it takes to self-produce each cube to a decent standard, the prices charged start seeming a lot more reasonable! ;-)
 
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Davey Jones
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wooden cubes are way cheaper then sticker dice any place i have looked.
http://www.spelspul.nl/index.php/counters-tokens-houten-blok...
8 and 7 cents a piece = 100 cubes for 8 euros.
i don't see where u can get 100 dice of any kind for 8 euros.

anyhoo my suggestions:

for tokens perhaps you can paint some poker chips, or mini poker chips.
for miniatures, if it is a fantasy theme there are lots of options, the cheapest commercial option being the pathfinder bestiary box or NPC codex box. they have cardboard stand up figures, monsters and NPC's respectively.

another suggestion: go to your local thrift store and buy some old crappy games for a couple of dollars and salvage the parts from them.

very old versions of risk might have wooden cubes and
either way you will have 3 different types of pieces in 6 colors.
barricade has those nice wooden cylinders, and pawns are never hard to find there.

if you plan to design other games i strongly recommend starting a
random parts library this way. i have a drawer full of stuff that cost me less then $10 combined.

or you could pimp out some of the games you own with better parts,
and keep the replaced ones for design purposes.

if you have agricola you could upgrade your resource tokens to veggimeeples etc. and put the replaced tokens in your parts library.
if you have lords of waterdeep you can replace the cubes with the awesome DnDeeples made by a member.

another option is to simple make some yourself.
get some thick cardboard, perhaps use tokens from a thrift store bought game, and print some graphics out and glue them on.

printable sticker sheets can make a lot of things easier.

 
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Jake Staines
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DaveyJones6911 wrote:

very old versions of risk might have wooden cubes and
either way you will have 3 different types of pieces in 6 colors.


I see this advice around quite a bit, but the problem with it is that - at least in the EU - the versions of Risk which have wooden cubes are very old. Old enough to practically be collector's items! They don't come up for sale very often, and the one time I've seen one on an auction site, it actually went for a not-inconsequential sum of money! You'd have to be lucky to find them in second-hand/charity shops, the version with the plastic extrusions is far, far more common. And those just aren't the same!

(One big advantage that cubes have IMO is that they're very easy to quickly count, no matter how they're arranged. The plastic thingies are more difficult. Not to say that it takes a long time, but still a longer time.)






The best source of cheap cubes I've come across lately has actually been brand new copies of Fagin's Gang sold off through The Works - a publisher's remainder outlet here in the UK:

http://www.theworks.co.uk/p/jigsaws/fagin-s-gang-board-game/...

I don't know what the shipping is like to other countries, but right now they have a 20% discount in place as well (code: FLASHSALE) which means that not counting shipping, Fagin's Gang gives you 180 cubes in 6 colours at 2.2p per cube (nearly half the price of SpielMaterial's cheapest bulk discount), plus a handful of pawns and discs, and a nice folding board and box that you can repurpose to suit your nice PnP game.

Hmm. I have three spare copies still that I bought for bits previously, and I'm kind of tempted to get some more before they're out of stock...
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