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Subject: Snap-in or attachable token base, any ideas how to make/prototype? rss

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Rocco Privetera
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I'm working on a game with tokens - right now, they are 1.25" tokens (about 32 mm). There have been some issues with figuring out who's are who's - the gameboard is a grid (winding streets in the french quarter), and the grid has all the player tokens plus a big assortment of others, all in crazy colors.

Right now, I started with each player's starting tokens (you start with 5) being one color to differentiate parades. It helps, but makes it hard to confuse with other tokens (only so many colors.) The last playtest suggested player starting tokens being different, like striped. But as you acquire tokens you soon have a very chaotic parade!

Another suggestion was that you have bases, in your player's colors, and for your starting tokens and the ones you acquire you snap them in. These will help to differentiate yours. Maybe they are taller than the other tokens?

I'm trying to figure out a way to replicate this for a prototype. I don't just want to stack them, as moving stacks of tokens is too fiddly. I had an idea that I could use a hole punch to knock out the middle of each token, then make a player token with a spindle somehow to hold them on.

I'm looking for suggestions on how to make something that helps differentiate the tokens from each other.

If it helps, here is a screen shot of the last test:



Is there something I can buy I can snap them on? Would I have to change the token design to do so (make them smaller?) Or something tall enough I can put them on where they don't fall off?

I need something quick so I can test it before UnPub8 if possible and before I send a prototype off at the end of the month. Thanks!
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John James
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Corsaire
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Probably the fastest answer would be Sculpey. Make a disk, press a token into it to make the snap-in room. Remove the token then bake. This would let you do some fast iterations and have something colorful. You can also use Sculpey as its own mold if you want to reproduce a design (bake initial model, make a mold from that, bake the mold, then tada.)
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JPotter
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Hi, Rocco. I could produce stepped rings that the tokens would press into, from 2 layers of translucent acrylic. One ring around the edge of the token, and a second ring with a smaller inner diameter, that the token would rest on.

The rings would be 1.5" across and 1/4" thick.

It would be colorful and complement your prototypes look, i think. If youd rather have opaque rings, could do that too.

Depending on quantities and number of colors, it could get costly, tho

Also, the tokens as is are already overlapping; any ring making them bigger will exacerbate that! Unless the overlapping becomes a feature, not a bug...
 
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James Arias
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Litho has done custom bits like this with a ring glued on top of a base, both oversized a bit for the mini to slot into.
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JPotter
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Another option would be to output your tokens on 1.25" labels, then apply them to blank poker chips. Search Amazon for that phrase. You can get 50 of a color for $9 or 100 for $13. There are various brands and striping patterns.

But of course that would make switching a token between colors a pain. ANd if you have a lot of colors, the cost will add up.

You could also buy up 32mm round, lipped bases for miniatures. They usually come in black or grey, so you'd have to paint and seal them to get different colors. And they go for about a dollar each.
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"What do you mean, I can't pay in Meeples?"
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Magnets.

Either so that a second ring can be stacked under the base token, or an identifying marker added to the top. I'd strongly suggest trying to use symbols in addition to colour for separating each player's tokens though, for better accessibility.
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Rocco Privetera
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I might need to come up with a better idea. None of these are bad! but trying to sell this to a publisher, and having to get... possibly 60 at a minimum of these things is going to add a lot to the base price.

Maybe I'll try putting things on top of the tokens, like crystals, to show whose is whose.

Or maybe punch a hole in the middle, and use plastic grommets, and when you take a unit you just push a 'plug' into the hole. The grommets could be colored.
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Corsaire
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If having the hole works, for test purposes you might be able to use old style pawns (70's era.) An advantage of that long term would be the ease of moving and picking up pieces. Checked Amazon and you can get 120 for 8$:
https://www.amazon.com/Honbay-Multi-Color-Tabletop-Markers-C...

Probably need a flatter base, the floppy tokens on the angled base might look goofy (or fun.)

 
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JPotter
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It's frustrating because plastic rings would cost next to nothing per unit .... if you were ordering 10,000 of each color. Too many for a small board game run.

Hey, just use stickers and call it a 'legacy' game
 
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Rocco Privetera
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Corsaire wrote:
If having the hole works, for test purposes you might be able to use old style pawns (70's era.) An advantage of that long term would be the ease of moving and picking up pieces. Checked Amazon and you can get 120 for 8$:
https://www.amazon.com/Honbay-Multi-Color-Tabletop-Markers-C...

Probably need a flatter base, the floppy tokens on the angled base might look goofy (or fun.)



I was actually planning on trying this, sort of. I got a set of plastic tokens of the same size (1.25"). I then punch holes in the middle of each token (that space is empty, it's ok.) Finally I glue grommets to the plastic tokens. In a way I'm making those pawns, but properly shaped sort of.
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Some kind of perimeter wall strip glued around the pieces, the same height as they are, but glued half up the height so that the chips nest?

This is a simpler variation on the add a grommet approach: you could build the poker-chip stacking effect by punching diametrically opposite holes in each and gluing the punched-out dot pieces on top, so that the you have a square pattern of alternating holes and dots: each piece is rotated 90 degrees and pops onto the one beneath it (the holes will have to be oversized or very precisely located to match the dots). I've done this with foam craft sheets and a binder hole punch.

Like this (but square):

H....D

D....H


Gorno
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Rocco Privetera
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johngorno wrote:
Some kind of perimeter wall strip glued around the pieces, the same height as they are, but glued half up the height so that the chips nest?

This is a simpler variation on the add a grommet approach: you could build the poker-chip stacking effect by punching diametrically opposite holes in each and gluing the punched-out dot pieces on top, so that the you have a square pattern of alternating holes and dots: each piece is rotated 90 degrees and pops onto the one beneath it (the holes will have to be oversized or very precisely located to match the dots). I've done this with foam craft sheets and a binder hole punch.

Like this (but square):

H....D

D....H


Gorno


Crap, this is brilliant! I wish I hadn't already grommets. Up until now I've been using chipboard for the tokens, but I guess if I use foamcore for the base tokens and punch a few extra I can try this too.
 
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Ken Bush
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The game Dogfight uses what you are describing in your original post. Each player has 2 bases with a vertical stem on which markers with holes are dropped onto. In Dogfight the top of the stem is also a smaller (than round stem) dimensioned square which an airplane with square hole fits onto. The markers dropped onto the stem indicate experience level and can be stacked.
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Rocco Privetera
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Only problem with foam core: the sides need to show color and be visible. I can affix a label to the top of the foam core chip, but from the sides it's white. I guess I could experiment with colored markers to color it in.
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Rocconteur wrote:
Up until now I've been using chipboard for the tokens, but I guess if I use foamcore for the base tokens and punch a few extra I can try this too.
(Note that every token can serve as a base.) There are craft punches that will go through chipboard... as I said, the positioning would have to be perfect, or the sizes different to provide some leeway. A far-easier, punch-free variation on this would be to cut away squares from opposite corners, and glue them (or smaller ones) in the remaining two corners (I can't see what the counters look like in that image: I'm assuming they're square or another regular polygon). You could make a jig to help you locate your punches or cuts on exiting tokens.

I wonder how your click-stacking mechanic could be (inexpensively) incorporated into a production version? Hand-modified tokens and poker chip interlocks are expensive, but I guess the aforementioned base-with-spindle approach would be what they'd go for: better to present a cool prototype and let the manufacturer make the concessions to economy... Maybe the tokens could be die-cut with square sockets nipped out of opposite corners and projecting tabs which get crimped in die-cutting, preparing it for folding and gluing onto the top face as the plugs. There's probably a simpler solution, like each token being a glued-together stack of three thinner cardstocks: 1) bigger, blank, squares to be the middle layer; 2) equally-sized squares to form the base socket glued underneath, with a smaller printed area inside them, which 3) is die-cut at the same time as they are to create the printed, top portion of the token to be glued on the middle layer: the top is a plug, the bottom is a socket; the assembly sits flat on the table; a shared size make the bottom two easy to assemble, and an extra socket piece makes an easy jig to place the top plug in the center, where it belongs.

Gorno
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Here are some crude mock-ups of those ideas:
Corner interlocks:
(corners oversized to show the concept)


Bottom interlocks:

(pretend that all the shapes in this image are squares and the top counter fits the bottom "socket" snugly)
I guess this second one could easily be added to your existing counters, if they're reasonably regular in size: you just need glue them onto spacer squares and then onto base "socket" pieces.

Gorno
 
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Rocco Privetera
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In my case the tokens are circles (but I guess they could be squares). Probably the easiest, assuming they line up, would be to be punch one hole in the middle of each of the chipboard tokens (which are pretty thin). Then make the "base" tokens out of foamcore, and color the sides. I'll see if I can do that.
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The publisher's going to make the snap-on disks, anyway, and there's no guarantee the ones you buy will fit. I'd just use sticky tack. You can go to Michael's and get a one-inch punch, then punch out thin colored foam of the colors, and stick 'em underneath the pawns with sticky tack or double-sided tape. Or maybe they'll have wooden disks that will fit. Or you can just sticky tack a colored cube or gemstone onto the miniature. Good luck with the prototype!
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Ken Bush
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Just throwing out ideas:
Metal parts with colored magnets.

Colored Velcro dots.

Push pins into cork.

None seem too practical but . . .
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Ken Bush
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Colored spring clips, often used for hair.

Holes in standees with various stud earrings.

Got to quit thinking about it.
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Forgive my not reading your original post more attentively (or thinking to open the bigger photos, doy!) -- I had convinced myself that you wanted multiple tokens to stack upwards like floors of a building (hey, that's a cute game idea). What about colored cardstock rings the first and last tokens pop into? I see the tokens are currently the same size as the streets: for now, would an oversized ring work (in lieu of a bigger map or smaller tokens)?

BTW, the game looks cute. Are the parade masters always the start of the parade? Why do some parades have more than one? Can the end-most token be of any type? And isn't a voodoo priest a "Bokun?"

Gorno
 
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Rocco Privetera
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So yes about publishers - I'm sure there's a better way to do it then I ca with a prototype. My goal here is come up with something that's playable enough to show the design.

Some of your ideas are great above! My problem is I need something that works on the fly. The reason being that when your parade "picks up a joiner" (i..e acquires a unit) I want to attach the token that any player can use into a base to show it belongs to player X. Right now you figure out which token is in which parade by looking at arrows on the token to see which token is is "following", which can get pretty difficult to make out in a sea of brightly colored tokens!

johngorno wrote:
Forgive my not reading your original post more attentively (or thinking to open the bigger photos, doy!) -- I had convinced myself that you wanted multiple tokens to stack upwards like floors of a building (hey, that's a cute game idea). What about colored cardstock rings the first and last tokens pop into? I see the tokens are currently the same size as the streets: for now, would an oversized ring work (in lieu of a bigger map or smaller tokens)?

BTW, the game looks cute. Are the parade masters always the start of the parade? Why do some parades have more than one? Can the end-most token be of any type? And isn't a voodoo priest a "Bokun?"

Gorno


Thanks! I don't know about the rings, but I'll probably try that next. A teensy bit of overlap might be ok (a slightly out of place parade is thematic, to me!)

Right now the PM's start and end each parade to show where the ends are. Each parade has two in the player's color. You also start with three other units in your color. That's easy enough, but when you start adding other colored tokens it gets harder. I've since change the tokens for the player's starting units into striped ones to help make them stand out.

I've seen it spelled both ways! I did a fair amount of research, and I want to be culturally sensitive. I spent some time in New Orleans and fell in love with the city and the Second Line tradition. I imagine if someone picks it up it might need some more research. But of course, it's a game, it's not going to be 100% perfect. I have to divide the French Quarter area I'm using for the map into 5 'neighborhoods' I'm sure have no bearing in real life, for example.

The game is currently a Cardboard Edison finalist, so I'm super excited to see where it goes. It's actually a deckbuilder!
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Jenny Wadkins
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I read this whole thread but wasn't quite clear if you want a vertical stack or if a horizontal parade line is acceptable. So I'll just show you what I came up with recently as a way to identify various identical tokens as belonging to a specific player.




Forgive my stupid sharpie icons drawn on these tokens. Anyway, the outer base belongs to the player color. All of the tokens inside can be acquired by any player. You can see for example here that both Black and Yellow own a "purple potion" token, but it's very easy to discern which belongs to which. Likewise red and blue also both own a blue hammer token.

Added bonus, this type of system would only need a special base, and could use a "standardized" token in the center. My examples use standard 15mm wood tokens.

No clue if this helps you at all as the conversation moving to vertical space threw me off, but you never know
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Rocco Privetera
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I love the idea with the rings best of all. I just have to find rings large enough! I can shrink the tokens a smidge without too much issue, so a 1.25" ring would be what I was gunning for since the current tokens are that size.
 
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