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Subject: Propose solutions for alternative die-cut for player mats rss

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Ben Ackland
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So Isaac will obviously be working through some ideas of his own, but I thought I'd put up some of my own ideas. I'm a pre-order-er, not a backer, otherwise I'd post straight to the Kickstarter.

So the problem with the initial plan for the die cut holes is that they were too small. Without knowing more, this can be interpereted in a few ways:
1. The holes themselves are too small for the machine to cut. I.e a single hole that size could never be cut, either because you can't place the blades that close together, or you can't punch out the resulting tiny piece.
2. The spaces between the holes are too small to allow the cuts to work. I.e two holes of any size could not be placed that close together, either because the blades can't be that close together or the piece between the two holes is too thin to have structural integrity.
3. Combination of the two.

Ok, so in the absence of knowing which is the actual problem, what are some solutions?

1. Turn the holes 45 degrees, corner to corner
◇◇◇◇◇
Pros: No structural cardboard between holes to worry about. Holes contain the markers.
Cons: Holes might still be too small to cut.

2. Spread holes over two rows. Have bottom cut of top row and top cut of bottom row at the same level. Single long cut if necessary.
☐ ☐ ☐
☐ ☐

Pros: structural cardboard between holes on a single row is significantly larger. Holes contain the markers. Holes can be large enough to be cut.
Cons: Takes more space on the already printed mats. Might not fit within the graphics.

Has anyone got any other ideas for cuts?

Alternative solutions might be some of those proposed for fixing the current problem - magnetic strips and stickers, additional plastic bits of one sort of another, etc.
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Lonny x
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Keep the track. Add a plastic arrow that's reinforced by snapping together another plastic piece from the back. Similar to how the LotR LCG doom trackers are assembled.
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Spiros Fousteris
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That is a solid solution,but Isaac said that the wood trackers have already been made,so i am guessing he will try to find a solution while keeping the use of the wooden trackers.

Maybe lay down flat the wooden pieces and cut out holes under the corresponding level.

But vertical bumps will be an issue still.

Or with a cut like this


|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|

With a single long cut if necessary.

The base of the wooden pieces must be trimmed though.

But you can adjust the length of the vertical cuts and keep some structural integrity between the cuts.

No need to have each cut/hole be the exact same length as the square for each level.
It will still point at the same level even if the vertical cut is smaller.
 
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Marty McFly
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I've also heard some complaints about the character boards that the text is a little too small. This leads me to two possible tracker solutions, since any solution to the tracker issue seems like it would involve redesign of the boards.

My first proposal would be to remove the two tracks from the character boards entirely and replace those tracks with a separate tracker component (also allowing the text on the character boards to be bigger). AFAIK, the tracks are the same on every character, so 4 separate boards could be included in the game (one for each player) to track Health and XP. These boards wouldn't be constrained by the size of the character tuck boxes, so they could be a little longer if needed to fit separate holes. They could also could have enough space to allow for more rows of holes, so the Health and XP could be on multiple rows and still allow for tracking without adding too much to the game's footprint.

My second proposal (and I think I like this one a little more) would be to remove the player aid text that is duplicated on each character sheet and provide 4 player aid cards in the game for this information. This would free up a lot of space on the character boards for individual holes instead of a long continuous track.

Evolution uses standard cubes and punchout boards for tracking. (See this picture.) This works very well and we've never had an issue with cubes getting bumped out of their holes. This leads me to a final thought (and I know this won't be a popular solution with some). Maybe the new trackers simply aren't a good idea and should be replaced with standard cubes regardless of the eventual solution. The new trackers seem top heavy and potentially prone to being knocked over even if they are in a single hole. IMO, I'd rather have a game that doesn't have a frustrating mechanism than have a special wooden bit that doesn't add very much to the experience anyway. (Yes, I know that stretch goal was met and some backers will feel that we should get something to replace that goal. But, I'm not one of those backers; I'm in the camp of "I'm already getting a lot more game than I was when I clicked the Pledge button, and a few wooden bits aren't going to change the gaming experience for me.")
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Jared
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I like Evolution'S boards but you have to remember some characters health can really get up there. You would possibly need 15-16 holes with enough space in between to maintain integrity.

I know the Gloomhaven team is exploring several solutions using different punches, so perhaps something like a gearshift pattern would alleviate bumping to another level. As for being knocked over, players could try using magnetic strips or magnets with a thin plastic disc (plastic disc glued to magnet, magnet glued to wooden health bit).
 
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Giulio
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Rubber inserts that fit into the cut and in fact reduce its size, keeping the tokens in place by attrition?
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Marty McFly
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R3DSH1FT wrote:
I like Evolution'S boards but you have to remember some characters health can really get up there. You would possibly need 15-16 holes with enough space in between to maintain integrity.

Understood. But there's so much extraneous info already on the character boards (repeating the player aid on each board when 4 single cards accomplish the same thing) that I think there's room for quite a lot of individual holes.

R3DSH1FT wrote:
As for being knocked over, players could try using magnetic strips or magnets with a thin plastic disc (plastic disc glued to magnet, magnet glued to wooden health bit).

Magnets might work fine, but any solution needs to be available in the game. It's not a viable solution IMO if customers need to implement it themselves with an additional purchase and effort.
 
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Gabrielle
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What i understood from the last update is that the player mats are already printed, so Isaac wouldn't consider going for a entire redesign/reprint of those (i guess it would cost a lot). But since only a few of these mats have already been cut, he can work around another solution with the mats already printed but uncut yet...

Sorry i'm not offering an alternative solution. I like the idea of ruberring the inside of the lines, although i don't know if that's doable..?
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Mike Waleke
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What about a single zig zag cut? Similar in effect to the two rows idea?
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Lonny x
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g1ul10 wrote:
Rubber inserts that fit into the cut and in fact reduce its size, keeping the tokens in place by attrition?


I like this idea a lot. My only concern would be how well it would work with heavy use or after a long period of time.
 
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If cutting doesn't bring a working solution, I would suggest not to cut anything. Since wood trackers have been produced, make them 1st printing bonus content not used in the game and go for alternative solution and include 8 glass beads. This is a proven solution in a game where many skills need to be tracked.
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Jon Day
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batanen wrote:
If cutting doesn't bring a working solution, I would suggest not to cut anything. Since wood trackers have been produced, make them 1st printing bonus content not used in the game and go for alternative solution and include 8 glass beads. This is a proven solution in a game where many skills need to be tracked.


This is what I immediately thought of when I was the video in the update. It's not a big issue at all.
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Ben Ackland
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batanen wrote:
If cutting doesn't bring a working solution, I would suggest not to cut anything. Since wood trackers have been produced, make them 1st printing bonus content not used in the game and go for alternative solution and include 8 glass beads. This is a proven solution in a game where many skills need to be tracked.


I suspect this is where we might end up, because it will probably be cheapest and quickest to implement.
Glass beads can't fall over, but they can still be knocked or bumped easily. It only solves 1 of the two current problems, but that's probably ok.

Anything involving reprinting the mats or cutting the tokens is almost certainly unfeasible due to time and cost.
 
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Guillaume Courtemanche
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batanen wrote:
If cutting doesn't bring a working solution, I would suggest not to cut anything. Since wood trackers have been produced, make them 1st printing bonus content not used in the game and go for alternative solution and include 8 glass beads. This is a proven solution in a game where many skills need to be tracked.


Personnaly, I feel like I would just use dice to keep track of these stats by now. I know the stats are printed on the mats at this point but I really dont care really. I'd even buy deluxe or 2nd print playmats if it ever comes to this. Just an area identified XP and HP with holes big enough for two D10s would be awesome actually.
 
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RavenMad
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Given most of the mats are printed but not cut, it might be as simple as just cutting a thinner slot in the remaining mats so that the tokens friction fit as originally intended.
 
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Guillaume Courtemanche
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Adrian_vN wrote:
Given most of the mats are printed but not cut, it might be as simple as just cutting a thinner slot in the remaining mats so that the tokens friction fit as originally intended.


I'm pretty sure Isaac mentionned it's a manufacturing issue/technical restriction preventing them from being able to do small enough holes (as originally intended) or sluts (as currently done).
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Marty McFly
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datajack wrote:
Adrian_vN wrote:
Given most of the mats are printed but not cut, it might be as simple as just cutting a thinner slot in the remaining mats so that the tokens friction fit as originally intended.


I'm pretty sure Isaac mentionned it's a manufacturing issue/technical restriction preventing them from being able to do small enough holes (as originally intended) or sluts (as currently done).

He, watch it, pal. That's my Cragheart you're talking about!
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Guillaume Courtemanche
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martidem wrote:
datajack wrote:
Adrian_vN wrote:
Given most of the mats are printed but not cut, it might be as simple as just cutting a thinner slot in the remaining mats so that the tokens friction fit as originally intended.


I'm pretty sure Isaac mentionned it's a manufacturing issue/technical restriction preventing them from being able to do small enough holes (as originally intended) or sluts (as currently done).

He, watch it, pal. That's my Cragheart you're talking about!


Wow, quite a typo. My bad..hahaha

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RavenMad
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datajack wrote:

I'm pretty sure Isaac mentionned it's a manufacturing issue/technical restriction preventing them from being able to do small enough holes (as originally intended) or sluts (as currently done).


I knew there was a problem with the holes which is why Isaac went to a slot but I thought maybe it was just designed too big. Would be interesting to hear what solutions Isaac is considering and/or discussing with Panda...
 
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Jan Meyberg
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First I thought of cutting single holes, but all the way through to the lower edge of the player board (or to the right edge for the XP-tracker, respectively). Thus the cut-out pieces could be easily removed (starting at the edge) and it would be no issue as to make so tiny cuts: Cuts could exceed the player board's edge.
Thus the board's edge would resemble a castle's battlement, with place for the tracker inside the cut-outs.

After hearing of the problem of bumps which could remove the tracker out of the slots this might be an issue with my proposed cut pattern too.
What if the slots would get a little bit smaller the nearer they get to the edge?

__\ T /_____ \ T /_____\ T /____

With "T" being the Tracker placed into the holes?
This should generate enough friction to prevent the tracker from falling out while still gaining all the pro's from cutting the holes right through to the edge.

But - as I'm no game manufactorer all by myself, I'm not totally sure this would work, either...

Good Luck, Isaac, for solving this problem! (And the issue with character tuckboxes, as well!)
 
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Ben Ackland
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meyberg wrote:
First I thought of cutting single holes, but all the way through to the lower edge of the player board (or to the right edge for the XP-tracker, respectively). Thus the cut-out pieces could be easily removed (starting at the edge) and it would be no issue as to make so tiny cuts: Cuts could exceed the player board's edge.
Thus the board's edge would resemble a castle's battlement, with place for the tracker inside the cut-outs.

After hearing of the problem of bumps which could remove the tracker out of the slots this might be an issue with my proposed cut pattern too.
What if the slots would get a little bit smaller the nearer they get to the edge?

__\ T /_____ \ T /_____\ T /____

With "T" being the Tracker placed into the holes?
This should generate enough friction to prevent the tracker from falling out while still gaining all the pro's from cutting the holes right through to the edge.

But - as I'm no game manufactorer all by myself, I'm not totally sure this would work, either...

Good Luck, Isaac, for solving this problem! (And the issue with character tuckboxes, as well!)


This could potentially work really well - based on the tiles for Inis, it seems possible to do some pretty intricate edge cuts, though I don't know how fine the details can be.
Maybe shape the cuts so they accomodate the pieces lying down - both pieces have points which could be used to mark their true position. This would result in a more-or-less zig-zag cut along the side of the mat.
 
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Johannes Benedikt
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I've come up with a few ideas, however I really don't know what the excact problems are with the manufacturing process.

Most of my ideas involve the tracker being turned by 45° as it allows unprecise cuts that don't interfere much with functionality.

As my biggest problem with the current method is the fact that the tracker stands still when you bump the hero-sheet, hence going up or down the scale without you noticing, I mostly focused on a solution that prohibits this.

If this can't be solved, I would much prefer to just place the marker on the hero sheet without a cutout.

Explanation of the image:

1) current cutout

2) Jigsaw cutout

3) The red square is the tracker token. Notice how he would be still held in place, even if he is much smaller than the cutout square.

4) The bigger the jiggsaw, the less the size of the tracker matters for being functional

5) A different kind of jiggsaw, if proportions are still too different (red square again is the token).

6) A way to make the connecting strings bigger, if that's the problem. Even if the holes touch, even if the cutout is unprecise, the marker would be kept in it's space even when moving the hero-chart.

7) By rotating the holes 45°, the connecting strings can be sturdier.

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Ben Ackland
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DA_Maz wrote:
I've come up with a few ideas, however I really don't know what the excact problems are with the manufacturing process.

Most of my ideas involve the tracker being turned by 45° as it allows unprecise cuts that don't interfere much with functionality.

As my biggest problem with the current method is the fact that the tracker stands still when you bump the hero-sheet, hence going up or down the scale without you noticing, I mostly focused on a solution that prohibits this.

If this can't be solved, I would much prefer to just place the marker on the hero sheet without a cutout.

Explanation of the image:

1) current cutout

2) Jigsaw cutout

3) The red square is the tracker token. Notice how he would be still held in place, even if he is much smaller than the cutout square.

4) The bigger the jiggsaw, the less the size of the tracker matters for being functional

5) A different kind of jiggsaw, if proportions are still too much different (red square again is the token).

6) A way to make the connecting strings bigger, if that's the problem. Even if the wholes touch, even if the cutout is unprecise the marker would be kept in it's space even when moving the hero-chart.

7) By rotating the wholes 45°, the connecting strings can be sturdier.


Bravo. Good work on your illustration. I hope Isaac sees this - something in here should be able to solve the problem.
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David Hladky
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I think the most important problem of character sheet is the hole itself. If the marker have laid on the paper directly, it would not be that big problem to gently move the sheet around. The way it is now it lays on floor/table and so the marker remains stationary relative to the floor/table, not to the sheet, which is imporant.

The transparent plastic with jigsaw holes (shaped to accommodate the laying marker) would make it even less sensitive.
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Lonny x
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Rotating the hole seems like a sturdy solution. I wonder how easy it is the identify the level when the token is rotated 45 degrees.

 
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