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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: New Game Board Option rss

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Chester Hendrix
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I have completely revamped one of my designs, and found a unique supplier for the player-boards I needed. Boards have always been a problem. Will I get chipboard? What kind of face will it have [I prefer linen]? Will the bottom be smooth or rough [this is important because smooth slides around]?

An alternative I just discovered has delivered in Spades! We just opened the tube today, and both of us had the same reaction when we unrolled the board...

WOW!


The quality far exceeded our expectations. The colors popped and the detail was just freakin' amazing! Nothing short, kids - FREAKIN' AMAZING!


How did I find these guys? I happen to play MAGIC in addition to designing board games. The two gelled in my mind, and I went hunting for someone that could print large [MTG size] playmats [essentially, very large mousepads]. What I found was the kids at INKED PLAYMATS. Here's a link:

http://www.inkedplaymats.com/

I reasoned that if they were able to translate MTG-quality paintings onto 14" x 24" mousepads, they should be able to recreate my player boards. This was a critical test for me, because my boards had extremely detailed line artwork as well as a lot of text that I needed to be easily readable [some of it in 9 point type].

I won't lie kids - I was nervous about the text. But check this close-up out!


What did I get for my $20? I sent in a PSD 14" x 24" image where I put four 6.5" x 11" player boards squeezed onto the full image. What I got back is what you see in the pictures.


I've included 2 images that were printed out on my printer for comparison.


Look closely at the icons on the printed mats and compare with the printed sheets - the detail retained is phenomenal.

You'll also note all the different colors of text are there as well as the very clear readability of even the smallest text. Bottom line? I got FOUR different player boards for $5 apiece. Not bad. They don't slide around, they look great and I think this was a decent price for a 1-of. Note that if you buy in bulk, the price goes down per unit, making this a viable product for me to use in limited printing.

My second concern was cutting the full mat into quarters. I talked the owner into sending me a piece of a misprint to experiment on. I tried XACTO knife [least effective], regular scissors [not real helpful], and kitchen shears [fair]. But the best? My old WISS #82 twelve inch shears [there's a picture of these also]. They suggested I check into ELECTRIC SHEARS [I did - there's lots of kinds out there], but my Scissors Of DEATH! [as I call them] worked great.


Implications for you guys? These would work GREAT for full size game boards! If you want a prototype board that will wow - this is your ticket home. Making a game with 4 inch hex tiles [like TWILIGHT IMPERIUM], or 2 inch square tiles [like CARCASSONNE]? You've got 14x24 inches to work with - then just cut them out. And... you won't need a sheet of plexiglass to keep them from floating around on the table.

I can't recommend these guys enough. It's nice to find a place you can go for 1-of quality products made here in the States for a completely reasonable price. At a time when we're all looking for places to go to make our prototypes look sharp, INKEDPLAYMATS is a welcome revelation. Comments and questions cheerfully answered.
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Derek H
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I am probably missing something; but on this link they quote $25, not $20, for a playmat of the size you mention (11 x 24) - http://www.inkedplaymats.com/products/custom-playmat
 
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Chester Hendrix
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gamesbook wrote:
I am probably missing something; but on this link they quote $25, not $20, for a playmat of the size you mention (11 x 24) - http://www.inkedplaymats.com/products/custom-playmat
Did I say $20? OUCH! I did! Sorry - good catch, Derek! Hit the wrong key...

It's $25 for the custom mat, plus $5 to ship for a total of $30.

But wait...!!!

I didn't mention that if you get 25 copies of your custom board, you only pay $300 - that comes out to $12 per board! For my purposes [since I'm actually getting 4 player boards per full sized mat], that brings my cost per player mat down to $3 each.

And THAT, my friends, is TOTALLY doable!
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Kevin Nunn
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Very interesting--Thank you for sharing!
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Meaker VI
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This kind of thing belongs in the DIY forum. I've cross-linked it in my All the DIY Links You Never Knew You Needed post.
 
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