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Subject: How to make prototype tiles? rss

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Does anybody have a good way to make some custom tsuro or labyrinth type tiles? Index cards are too thin to get a good feel for the production game. Michaels craft store doesn't have thin wood squares (only rectangles and my tools suck for cutting good).
 
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Donald Walsh
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Comic backing boards.

To be more specific. I would use full size sticker sheets and apply them to magazine backing boards. But full size backing boards are harder to find,
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Stephen Williams
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Michael's should have chipboard in the paper crafts section, which is basically the stuff used for most board game tokens and tiles. Print out images on sticker paper, as suggested, and cut to shape.

IIRC, the Tsuro tiles are harder though. Actually made of particle board or something. I don't think you'll be able to match that hardness without getting into wood working tools, TBH.
 
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Darrell Hanning
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My preference is for Archival Methods Mat Board, which is available through Amazon. It comes in several different sizes. I use it for making counters and tiles for game prototypes. I create my counters with my drawing software, print on full-sheet adhesive labels, affix them to the mat board, and cut them out using an X-Acto knife and metal ruler.
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Nat Levan
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I made the tiles and boards for my prototypes of New Bedford that always get me complements. I do 8.5x11 chipboard from Amazon, print the file out onto decent paper (thin paper looks dull on the cardboard backing) and use spray glue to stick the paper to the chipboard.
From there, I cut it out either manually or with a guillotine cutter.
Then you can get as fancy as you want with the paper, like using glossy or linen, and image quality limited only by your printer.
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W Scott Grant
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Most of my prototype tiles are made from 2"-wide very thin strips of wood bought at the hobby store. You mention you don't have good tools for cutting. All you need is a metal straight edge (a square works nicely) and an X-Acto (or similar) knife with a few spare blades. Oh, and a cutting board is a good idea unless you don't mind destroying your table! All-in-all, your tools will set you back no more than $20.00 (US), and your material cost is easy to calculate based upon the quantity of tiles you're making.

I print the tiles on standard copy/printer paper (with a color printer), use scissors to cut them out and rubber cement (also very inexpensive) to glue them on. When it comes time to re-print your tiles, it's easy to peel off the old paper and glue on new - just make sure you glue back to the same side. Doing this rarely results in damaging the wood base so that it can't be re-used.

Using cardboard or other paper-based products don't give the re-usability, but otherwise, there's nothing wrong with those materials.
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I use chipboard as well, and only wanted to add that if you print your images out on linen paper to glue on as stated above, you get a much more "professional" feel to the pieces once they are done. If you want, a coat of acrylic spray will make the pieces look and feel (in my opinion) perfect.
 
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Luke Laurie
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I did a video recently on prototyping that includes how I make tiles:
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Guess I should have mentioned that I don't have the patience to cut my own tiles or want to buy more tools. I don't mind glue but need to obtain square tiles somehow.
 
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Galen Brownsmith
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toober wrote:
Guess I should have mentioned that I don't have the patience to cut my own tiles or want to buy more tools. I don't mind glue but need to obtain square tiles somehow.

What's your price point, desired materials, and target size?

Print and Play productions sells 1" and 1 1/4" (1/8" thick) square wood tiles for 10c and 12c per piece, respectively. (http://www.printplaygames.com/product/1%C2%94-wood-tile) as well as 5/8" square (4mm thick) for 8c each (http://www.printplaygames.com/product/wood-blocks-58), and painted wood tiles 21mm square in a variety of colors for 22c each. They also have 3.5" square cards for 2$ for a pack of 36, and a variety of other options.

Woodworks Ltd has a variety of wood square cutouts starting around 8c each (with bulk discounts): http://www.craftparts.com/blocks-squares-wooden-square-cutou...

Boards and Bits (http://www.boardsandbits.com/) has chipboard squares in a variety of sizes, from 1/2" to 2" starting under 2c each.

The Game Crafter has square cards (3.5") for around 10c each, 2" tiles at around 20c each, and 3/4" pieces at around 5c each. (https://www.thegamecrafter.com/)




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W Scott Grant
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toober wrote:
Guess I should have mentioned that I don't have the patience to cut my own tiles or want to buy more tools. I don't mind glue but need to obtain square tiles somehow.

Sorry to say, my friend, designing prototyping games isn't an endeavor for the lazy. You want to see your game played, you gotta do the work and make the investment. I understand that you might be short on funds or busy with "real life," but if this is important to you, sweep away the excuses and get to work!

If you want pre-made cut tiles, try scavenging the game shelf at all your local Goodwill stores. You might get lucky and find a copy of Carcassone for dirt cheap.
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Brian Herr
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DarrellKH wrote:
...I create my counters with my drawing software, print on full-sheet adhesive labels, affix them to the mat board, and cut them out using an X-Acto knife and metal ruler.

Very similar here, but I prefer a slide-out utility knife. The blades are really cheap and I find it easier on my hands when I am making a bunch of counters - which is pretty much always. I cut the rows by knife, then crosscut the individual counters on a heavy duty guillotine cutter.

To finish them, I apply a matte or satin UV-curable coating with a Meyer rod. Of course, having that equipment available to me at work does make that part a lot easier. And I should add that I do this before cutting them.

If I say so myself, unless I screw up the cuts, they look store-bought.
 
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Forrest & Ryan Driskel
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Lots of posts on this subject in the DIY Forum

http://boardgamegeek.com/forum/36/boardgamegeek/do-it-yourse...

Really that's where this thread should be anyway.
 
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Charles Ward
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And another tid bit:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/148370/modular-map-map-...

Hope this helps.
 
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Chris Winterburn
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I use 2mm thick MDF tiles then print out the faces on self adhesive photo paper and stick them on. MDF tiles are super cheap on ebay as wargamers use them for basing.
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Ian Allen
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I found some cheap plastic placemats of the stiff put somewhat flexible variety and cut them up and glued various faces on with cheap white paste. The faces I either did by hand with crayon (speed and cheap) or printed, either way on A4 paper.

Now I have a big bag of various land-hexes that are generic for any number of hex based game prototypes. Probably spent 10 or 15 bucks in all.
 
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Dave Platt
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1.5mm - 2mm greyboard or mounting board, available in most craft shops. Print your tiles on self adhesive labels. Most printers will take A4 labels. I cut them with a heavy duty guillotine or a shape craft knife will do it but if you have a lot to cut it's a bit tough on the hands.
I also laminate them with cold laminate film. It's a bit expensive to set this up however, so you could probably get away with using clear tape.
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Caleb Segura
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You can also consider

http://www.eaieducation.com/Product/531024/Color_Tiles_Plast...

I bought these for 2 dollars more than they are currently listed and they have been fantastic for my tile games.
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Brendan Riley
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Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread! I love the archive of knowledge this website maintains. A sprinkling of gold for everybody!
 
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Few months ago for another game, I used a paper shape cutter (3 inch hole punch in a hex shape) from the craft store and paint color samples from the home improvement store paint section. They're thin but the color choices are endless.
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Ryan Byrd
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If the backs are not that important, you can always buy 1 self adhesive vinyl tile (12 inch) from the hardware store. They are easy to cut and do not require label paper. Check the clearance aisle. You may get lucky and find one that is a solid color.
 
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Michael Love
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Something like this may work for you. The article is in reference to creating bases for wargames, though you can use it to create other items.

https://badgoblingames.com/2018/06/25/199/
 
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Edmund Proctor
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There is a number of manufactures which makes 3mm MDF miniatures bases which could be used as gaming tiles.
 
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Ray Dillinger
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Go to your local Costco or whatever big-box store.

Head back to the paper-goods area, and look at the pallets of goods, which these big-box places put on the floor just as they were taken off the truck. Between layers of packages of rolls of paper towels or between layers of packages of rolls of toilet paper, you will find 3x4 foot chipboard sheets. They're kind of thin, like spiral notebook covers, but that's okay; you can fix that.

Roll up three or four of them into a cylinder six inches wide or so, tie a string around them, and do the rest of your shopping. The checkout clerk may look inside the cylinder to make sure there's nothing they need to scan in there, but otherwise they'll just nod as it goes by. The stores don't mind a bit if you take things like this; as far as they're concerned this is trash that they're otherwise paying some dumpster service to come take away.

When you get home, if you decide they're not thick enough, just cut two (or three!) sections the size you need and glue them together. Spread white glue on one of them, making sure to get it all the way to the edge and not leave any uncoated areas, then put the other down on top of it. Leave it overnight tightly pressed between flat things. I've used metal plates held together by C-clamps, and I've used the floor and a chunk of plywood held down by a stack of books.

If you're making tokens, overnight ought to be fine. But if you're making a gameboard or something that really needs to stay flat in big sheets, (like, a three-by-four foot one-piece gameboard, or a six-by-four foot folding gameboard) you'll want to keep it pressed flat, at least most of the time, for a few days. As long as you can still smell any glue, there's a risk that it will curl up as the glue finishes drying.

Anyway, once you have your chipboard, cut a chunk out of it the size you actually want to use. With the edges gone, this will be indistinguishable from chipboard that was manufactured at that thickness to start with.

Print out the token surfaces (both sides) on paper. Spray polyurethane lacquer on the printed side of the paper. If your tokens don't have designs on the backs, use a blank sheet of paper and spray lacquer on that. You want to surface both sides of the token to prevent them from curling or wearing or swelling, etc.

(EDIT: It depends on what kind of paper you use, but for some it will work to do the lacquer *after* you have your tokens cut out. And if it works, that's better. But for most paper, if it will wrinkle or distort as glue dries, lacquering first prevents that. )

When the lacquer's dry, turn the sheets over onto some nonstick surface like parchment or plastic wrap. Spread white glue on both sides of your chipboard, put it down on the back, and turn it over onto the front. Work any lumps and bubbles out with your fingertips, on both sides, then put the whole thing back into, or under, whatever you were using to press it flat.

When it comes out, you've got your token board, and what's left is cutting them out. There are a bunch of things that work. Straightedge and knife is easiest to set up, and will work standard for cutting square tokens. Or, with a little work and being okay with losing some of your not-so-precious chipboard, works for hexagonal tokens or whatever too. If you're making round tokens, you need a thing called an "arch punch", which is IIRC about $25 from Amazon, and a shop hammer.

Optional: After you've got your tokens cut out, you may want to spray lacquer them again; it seals the edges as well as setting the finish.
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toober wrote:
Does anybody have a good way to make some custom tsuro or labyrinth type tiles? Index cards are too thin to get a good feel for the production game. Michaels craft store doesn't have thin wood squares (only rectangles and my tools suck for cutting good).

Hey Toober! i see you've already quite of replies but i'll give you my personal experience.

We started with some normal paper print + Vinilic glue + cardboard (classic). The result is that you don't have a real dense cardboard and the vinilic glue when dries bend the tile.

Best solution so far and very close to final "feeling" is to use A4 adesive paper (get the one you can laserprint on it) and get some layer separator used to pack pallets of food in the supermarket. Those separating layers are ment to be thick due to their function of weight dispersion in the layers of aliments packs for example and do not get lower layers crushed.

This gives a very professional tile feeling in terms of weight.

take a look here to see the thickness and density i'm talking about (no "holes" to fill the cardboard. Consider the tiles are 45mm square.



Regards

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