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Subject: Colored cubes simple (and cheap) solution rss

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Gilad Yarnitzky
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For my prototypes I need colored cubes. plain wooden cubes are easier to obtain, but colored cubes are more problematic.
The only online shop I found where I can buy them was http://www.spielmaterial.de/english/
where at small quantatis each cube costs 0.07Euro (up to 50 units, and 0.06 each for 100 units) , and at large quataties can be reduced to 0.04, but you'll need to buy 1000 units. so for prototypes the actual costs will be 0.06-0.07 per unit (not including shipping).
It turns out there is a simpler solution and it is Fimo
I bought a pack at a cost of 1.1Euro on sale (not on sale can be up to 1.8Euro).
From each pack I can make 60 9mm cubes which makes the cost per unit 0.02-0.03 per cube, no shipping costs needed. AND I can make them into any shape I need. Currently I also need some black disks so I can make ~80 disks at the size I need from a single pack
Simple, cheap and fast solution.
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Ken F
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Speaking of cheap and solution (pun intended), I've often thought that soaking plain wood cubes in food color might be good enough for prototypes. Has anyone ever tried this? There's also Easter Egg color dyes (unless they're the same as food color), and Rit fabric dye, which would probably work the best.
 
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My copy of Medieval Merchant had two sets of green houses. I used Rit fabric dye to dye them a dark green and it work very well.
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Frank Strauss
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.....or you can make something other than cubes, just for the better look of the game:


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Frank Strauss
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I once bought some air drying modelling clay wich was even cheaper and I´ve made 400+ playing pieces for my prototype ( but they have to be painted afterwards ) for the price of 3 Euro:


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Gilad Yarnitzky
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f-p-p-m wrote:
.....or you can make something other than cubes, just for the better look of the game:

it is a good idea once the game is in a more advanced stage. At early stages when you are not sure about things or the game is a bit abstract, cubes are just fine
BTW
you have amazing stuff, wish I could do the same
 
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Alan Kaiser
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This stuff is very cool, easy to find and use. I'm surprised more people don't use it. I have a section on polymer clay in my GeekList on making player aides and game components:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/11286

There are also a couple of links that have been posted since I created that GeekList on using these types of products in games.
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Derek H
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ycyclop wrote:
From each pack I can make 60 9mm cubes which makes the cost per unit 0.02-0.03 per cube, no shipping costs needed. AND I can make them into any shape I need. Currently I also need some black disks so I can make ~80 disks at the size I need from a single pack. Simple, cheap and fast solution.

Cheap, I can understand. Can you explain the "simple and fast"? How exactly do you go about making perfectly regularl cubes from this material?
 
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Gilad Yarnitzky
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I don't
I simply use the knife to cut them at about the correct size. as markers for prototypes it is good enough and people can easily see whos marker is where. yesterday I cut cubes that are a bit smaller ~7x6x8 mm (each block into questers, then each quesrter to 4 and those strips into 6) that gave me ~100 counter per pack.
4 colors = 400 counter + another color 50 counters and 30 disks all at ~40 minutes or work
 
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Derek H
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ycyclop wrote:
For my prototypes I need colored cubes. plain wooden cubes are easier to obtain, but colored cubes are more problematic.
The only online shop I found where I can buy them was http://www.spielmaterial.de/english/
where at small quantatis each cube costs 0.07Euro (up to 50 units, and 0.06 each for 100 units) , and at large quataties can be reduced to 0.04, but you'll need to buy 1000 units. so for prototypes the actual costs will be 0.06-0.07 per unit (not including shipping).

I agree this is expensive. The fastest (10 minutes drive), cheapest (made locally, so no import & shipping charges from Europe) and easiest (hand over some money) solution I have found is the local bead shop, which sells large packets of 1x1x1 cm coloured cubes (with holes through the middle!) for the equivalent of about 4 Euros for 200 - ie 0.02 each.
 
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Gilad Yarnitzky
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I was looking for some square bids here at this size, and so far haven't found in a store near me. this was actually my prefered solution to start with
 
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Will M. Baker
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Gilad, so long as you don't mind plastic over wood, you might try "math manipulatives" from an educational supply store (such as EAI.com), where you can get 1000 1cm cubes (100 each of 10 colors) for about $20 US. There might be something similar in your neck of the woods.
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Alan Kaiser
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darquil wrote:
Gilad, so long as you don't mind plastic over wood, you might try "math manipulatives" from an educational supply store (such as EAI.com), where you can get 1000 1cm cubes (100 each of 10 colors) for about $20 US. There might be something similar in your neck of the woods.


These types of cubes are certainly readily available, cheap and come in LOTS of colors but 1 cm cubes are too large for a lot of games. They might work well for prototypes though where the cubes would be a temporary solution.
 
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Jared Hayter

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Why do game markers need to be cubes? It seems like any number of shapes would work just as well, although I could see that rounder shapes might be more likely to roll around.
 
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(ʇllıʍ)
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Yes, cubes rarely roll away. And they are the traditional/iconic Euro game piece.
 
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Alan Kaiser
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jaredhayter wrote:
Why do game markers need to be cubes?


You've obviously never played Elfenland!

I'd guess cylinders and cubes would be the cheapest to make and cylinders have a distinct and often maddening drawback.
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Surprisingly, given their higher viscosity, Sculpy (and presumably Fimo) bake clays, once hand rolled and softened, can be pressed in a Play Doh-type extruder to express differently shaped "noodles," which can then be sectioned with a razor blade into bit segments, like cubes, etc. This produces nice flat edges for your cubes and opens up easily making more exotic shapes like discs, cylinders, stars, asterixes, hexagons, etc.. A generic Play Doh kit with a variety of extruder shapes can be found for 5-10$, versus the 20$+ for an art clay screw-extruder, which produces thinner noodles less suitable for game bits. In principle, one could even make a custom extruder face out of a piece of wood or cast plastic to make replica meeple noodles, say.

Gorno
 
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Mars
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To color plain wooden cubes, how about just using magic markers?

Not originally my idea, but I thought it was brilliant.
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