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Subject: Wooden HexHex Board... a new marketing angle rss

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Cody Kunka
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I know we’ve been talking about giving some light theme to Blooms for the potential production version. I’m still holding out hope for something unique...

However, I just thought of a new angle: Center a KickStarter (or other distribution method) not around a game (e.g., Blooms) or even a compilation of games (e.g., Blooms + Bug). Instead, focus the Kickstarter on a high-quality, wooden, checkerboard-patterned, hexhex board. It could even have 2 layers so that one side could be hexhex6 while the other could be hexhex4 (with larger hexagons in the latter). This idea would be like the modern-abstract equivalent of selling dice or miniatures for a role-playing game.

For more curb appeal, you could offer uniquely colored Go stones and wooden pucks as add-ons. Similarly, you could offer a brief companion book with the rulesets of the best, web-published, hexhex abstracts as an add-on. I bet there are alot, especially when considering games that could be easily modified to work on hexhex. Of course, you could pick several representative games for advertisement.

Just think: you can go buy a high-quality, wooden, square-square board to play a variety of games, like Chess, Checkers, Go, Lines of Action... but where do you get a wooden hexhex board? I think the marketing could be super interesting. You could simulatneously pitch this idea to the player... and the amateur/professional designer.
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Russ Williams
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
I know we’ve been talking about giving some light theme to Blooms for the potential production version. I’m still holding out hope for something unique...

However, I just thought of a new angle: Center a KickStarter (or other distribution method) not around a game (e.g., Blooms) or even a compilation of games (e.g., Blooms + Bug). Instead, focus the Kickstarter on a high-quality, wooden, checkerboard-patterned, hexhex board.

In principle this sounds fine, although I would definitely want only one color hex, not "checkerboard-patterned", since AFAIK that would need 3 colors and I believe that would be a messy visual hindrance, not a help, for most hexhex games.

G B R G
B R G B R
R G B R G B
G B R G B R G
R G B R G B
B R G B R
G B R G
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Craig Duncan
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I've been thinking seriously of this myself -- though, so far merely for my own personal use rather than commercial production (I'm not ambitious enough to try for commercial production on my own).

I have looked into laser printing on a piece of wood but so far I've made only a laminated prototype, which I call a "Chromastones Kit."



What led me to this Chromastone Kit idea was my realization that with colored stones on border cells, one can construct various of the games I've designed. To wit:

Side Stitch

One can also play Poly-Y on a Side Stitch board.

Chromatix


And there are three more game designs with colored edges that I'm currently working on, but have not yet submitted to BGG.

One can also play The Game of Y on an unconventional board (which is rather more compact than the standard triangular board):



And of course, with just the board itself (i.e. no colored stones in edge cells) one can play many, many other hexhex games (including Blooms).

However, I confess that I'm not wholly satisfied with the kit in its current form. There's limited choice in colored stones available to purchase, so I've had to make due with duller colors for red, green, and purple than I'd ideally like. And annoyingly, the orange stones I have are a bit bigger than the other colored stones. A commercially produced Chromastones version could customize the colors and size, I suppose, so these problems could be fixed.

For my personal use, though, I may ultimately switch to wooden discs, such as:



That way one could play stacking games too. Sadly, though, in that case I'd have to give up the "Chromastones" name, which I rather like. (I'd have to give that name up since wood discs are not stones in any way!) But maybe it's worth it to be able to stack the game pieces. (Maybe. I like the shiny stones; I think I was a magpie in a former life!)

The board in the pictures above is doubled-sided with a hexhex8 on one side and a hexhex6 on the other, and the dots in the edge cells make it easy to play on a hexhex7 and hexhex5 too.

I've also got a second laminated board with an 8x8 grid and 10x10 grid on opposite sides, which allows for lots of square grid games. (It allows for 9x9 and 11x11 games too, if one plays on the intersections.) Since the stones are semi-convex -- i.e. flat on one side -- I can play checkers games and just flip a stone over, so that the flat side is up, to indicate a king.

If someone wants to pursue production of this idea, I'd be game to join them...
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Cody Kunka
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@Russ: I see what you're saying about checkerboard needing 3 colors. Maybe to avoid too much visual clutter, the colors or PATTERNS could be only faintly different. I'm thinking of some kitchen cutting boards I've seen. Then again, using one color better serves games that play at intersections rather than the spaces. What do you think of having a different color just at the intersections as in Tak (see below image)?

@Craig: I too like the pucks. They even allow STACKING games. I think pucks made of the material of Go stones or dominos would be great. This thought process may highlight the advantage of centering the KS on the board and having pieces as add-ons. You get to be creative.

Another idea: offer a very limited number of wood options as in the Tak campaign. You could also offer a bottom to the set, like:

 
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Russ Williams
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
@Russ: I see what you're saying about checkerboard needing 3 colors. Maybe to avoid too much visual clutter, the colors or PATTERNS could be only faintly different. I'm thinking of some kitchen cutting boards I've seen. Then again, using one color better serves games that play at intersections rather than the spaces. What do you think of having a different color just at the intersections as in Tak (see below image)?

Still seems like unnecessary distracting visual clutter to me.

The only reason the Tak board has those diamonds on the intersections is so you can use one square grid board as an NxN square grid for more than one value of N. But that kludge doesn't work on a hexgrid (since intersections on a hex grid have only 3 neighbors, not 6).
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Chad Madding
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Seeing your pictures above, I think I will make an M&M set!
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Cody Kunka
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russ wrote:
Kunkasaurus wrote:
@Russ: I see what you're saying about checkerboard needing 3 colors. Maybe to avoid too much visual clutter, the colors or PATTERNS could be only faintly different. I'm thinking of some kitchen cutting boards I've seen. Then again, using one color better serves games that play at intersections rather than the spaces. What do you think of having a different color just at the intersections as in Tak (see below image)?

Still seems like unnecessary distracting visual clutter to me.

The only reason the Tak board has those diamonds on the intersections is so you can use one square grid board as an NxN square grid for more than one value of N. But that kludge doesn't work on a hexgrid (since intersections on a hex grid have only 3 neighbors, not 6).

Hmmm... I just feel having two colors would give the classic look. How about this idea:

Use a secondary color for really large boundaries among the hexagons. Then the primary color would look like floating islands. You could even round the corners of these islands by changing the shape of the boundary for added style. Not sure how hard the woodworking would be though...
 
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Russ Williams
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I guess it partly comes down to subjective aesthetic preference and one's personal notion of what a "classic look" is.

E.g. to me Shogi and Go clearly have a "classic look", and they do not mix two colors of wood on its board, but use thin black lines to separate board cells, on a board which is physically a single piece of wood.



But if you come from more of a Chess background, then I can see why mixing different colored woods would connote "classic" for you.



A meta-remark is that games played on a hexhex are almost all very modern (the oldest one I know is from the 19th century, and most are from the last few decades), so it's arguably anachronistic to want their board to look very old and traditional.
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