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Subject: Prototyping Supplies in Auckland (And New Zealand) rss

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Michael Trevelyan
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Hey all, I had a brief look through the forum and couldn't see another thread that this would be replicating so I thought I'd put this up.

I'm creating this forum in order to create a list of places that sell board-gaming and in particular prototyping supplies.

For examples, I am currently working on a game that will require a number of customized and thus have been shopping around for blank wooden cubes that I can use for play-testing. However I have not been able to find any, does anyone here know of any suppliers that the community should know about?

Please feel free to use this thread to list your own gaming/prototyping wants and or suppliers.

P.S. I specified Auckland because that's where I live, however suggesting suppliers outside of Auckland is fine.

Thanks, Michael
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David and Natalie
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Hi Mike. Great idea.

I would recommend talking to the likes of Shem Phillips...
Shem Phillips
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...as he has gone through the self-publishing process. I know that Shem had to source some product from Germany for Linwood, but I think he also had some locals doing printing and the like.

I would also recommend approaching Carter Holt Harvey Specialty Board division in Hamilton: http://www.chhpackaging.co.nz/Our%20Business/speciality_boar...

I am currently in the process of organising a facility overview there to see what they can offer for the local gaming scene.

I hope that's of some help.
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Andrew Rae
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I'd be overjoyed to be corrected, but I haven't found anyone that sells wooden pieces, either disks, blocks or even coloured dice in NZ. Dice can be brought in small quantities but not usually in exactly the way you want them and they are rediculously expensive. We ended up using spielmaterial for our 10 set run and getting it shipped in. I also used Chesix (US) for our custom wellycon dice and they were super reasonable price and do runs as low as ten.


Likewise I can't find anyone that even prints proper game boards. Boxes are more likely and there are a number of places that will do what you want, but not for small runs. Cards are diabolic and you need to go overseas for custom cards. Shem did a nice deck for something like $80 NZ for a prototype, and they're great but very pricey. I think he got two decks done. Jacob, the industry guy got his done in Australia but it was a bad experience and the quality is on the low end of professional.

So for prototyping purposes I would just use an overseas supplier and get everything at once, or go the ultra cheap road and steal from second hand or existing games. We have used a bunch of axis and allies counters from a decriped set that we use for example. We've done all our card art on colour prints and laminated them and they hold up pretty well. See below. We've done ten sets for about $100 I estimate.



In short we can't find anyone in NZ online for small runs if at all, theres just no volume. Some of the professionals might be able to share where they get their bigger runs done, though I suspect that is Australia.

Keen to be wrong though.
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John Shortall
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Hi, I've basically used the local Spotlight Store Craft Department and modified whatever I could accordingly. Likewise some of the the local $2 and discount stores have great glass lustre gems in different colours that I use as resources and playing pieces.

Printable Board and business card can be acquired cheaply at Warehouse Stationery for game testing and prototypes. A laminator is a great finisher.

I use Posterazor to create boards as large as I want them to be [url][/url]www.posterazor.com

There are also links on BGG to a cheap Hong Kong printing firm for cards through member 'idmonfish' if I recall.

[Edit] Detailed instructions on using Artscow to make games can be found here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/395699

arrrh
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David and Natalie
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citylife wrote:
I'd be overjoyed to be corrected, but I haven't found anyone that sells wooden pieces, either disks, blocks or even coloured dice in NZ. Dice can be brought in small quantities but not usually in exactly the way you want them and they are rediculously expensive. We ended up using spielmaterial for our 10 set run and getting it shipped in. I also used Chesix (US) for our custom wellycon dice and they were super reasonable price and do runs as low as ten.


Likewise I can't find anyone that even prints proper game boards. Boxes are more likely and there are a number of places that will do what you want, but not for small runs. Cards are diabolic and you need to go overseas for custom cards. Shem did a nice deck for something like $80 NZ for a prototype, and they're great but very pricey. I think he got two decks done. Jacob, the industry guy got his done in Australia but it was a bad experience and the quality is on the low end of professional.

So for prototyping purposes I would just use an overseas supplier and get everything at once, or go the ultra cheap road and steal from second hand or existing games. We have used a bunch of axis and allies counters from a decriped set that we use for example. We've done all our card art on colour prints and laminated them and they hold up pretty well. See below. We've done ten sets for about $100 I estimate.



In short we can't find anyone in NZ online for small runs if at all, theres just no volume. Some of the professionals might be able to share where they get their bigger runs done, though I suspect that is Australia.

Keen to be wrong though.


Thanks for your insight, Andrew.

I think you've touched on the main issue - that being the issue of volume. While CHH Specialty Board state that they make game boards, I dread to think what the size of their minimum run might be.

I suspect it will number somewhere in the hundreds, if not thousands. Hopefully the quality level might be good enough to suffice a proper run, but it's probably a risk. Still, one would imagine they could provide a sample, even if it's handmade.
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Clem Fandango
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citylife wrote:
I'd be overjoyed to be corrected, but I haven't found anyone that sells wooden pieces, either disks, blocks or even coloured dice in NZ.


I remember when i was making games as a lad many years ago (don't ask) Whitcoulls stocked stacks and stacks of differnt sorts of dice, counters, playing pieces and even had small square blocks of 4 or 5 colours (for use in architect models I think). They also had a much greater range of card and also a selection of odd-shaped hard cardboard chits in different colours I assume for use in crafts or as tokens for something.

And you could get an ice-cream go to the pictures and buy a bottle of milk for tuppence and have change for a horse and buggy ride.....
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David and Natalie
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jshortall wrote:
Hi, I've basically used the local Spotlight Store Craft Department and modified whatever I could accordingly. Likewise some of the the local $2 and discount stores have great glass lustre gems in different colours that I use as resources and playing pieces.

Printable Board and business card can be acquired cheaply at Warehouse Stationery for game testing and prototypes. A laminator is a great finisher.

I use Posterazor to create boards as large as I want them to be [url][/url]www.posterazor.com

There are also links on BGG to a cheap Hong Kong printing firm for cards through member 'idmonfish' if I recall.

[Edit] Detailed instructions on using Artscow to make games can be found here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/395699

arrrh


Yeah, there are plenty of online sources. Good ol' idmonfish - another Kiwi doing us proud!
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David and Natalie
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SamNzed wrote:
citylife wrote:
I'd be overjoyed to be corrected, but I haven't found anyone that sells wooden pieces, either disks, blocks or even coloured dice in NZ.


I remember when i was making games as a lad many years ago (don't ask) Whitcoulls stocked stacks and stacks of differnt sorts of dice, counters, playing pieces and even had small square blocks of 4 or 5 colours (for use in architect models I think). They also had a much greater range of card and also a selection of odd-shaped hard cardboard chits in different colours I assume for use in crafts or as tokens for something.

And you could get an ice-cream go to the pictures and buy a bottle of milk for tuppence and have change for a horse and buggy ride.....


Haha, you're awesome! thumbsup

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David and Natalie
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citylife wrote:
See below. We've done ten sets for about $100 I estimate.



Does this mean they're almost ready for playtesting?
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Michael Trevelyan
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Wow! thanks for the response everybody, unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much good news. I only really need to get some blank dice/wooden cubes in two different colours which I can modify for my prototyping (Which is still a while off as life is getting busy again). I've already tried cutting sections from square dowel with reasonable success, thus I might continue to use this method for any playtesting prototypes and save up to make a Chessex order when it's ready to be sent to publishers.

I just had a thought that if anyone is after some pretty neat animal shaped pawns Mainly toys has a number of small wooden animal cut-outs. There are farm and wild animals in a number of colours @ 50c each.

Thanks again, probably see some of you at Mt Albert tonight? I'm the young guy with the frizzy red-brown hair.whistle

Mike
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Andrew Rae
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If you are cutting dowel yourself then time is not a problem so try the do-it-yourself forum for some great ideas and suggestions on what works and what doesn't.

good luck
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John Shortall
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Try buying a bargain bin game with lots of cubes in it for less than $10.00. Worth a try for protos. I also bought similar sized plastic cubes from Every Educaid - a school supplier here in Christchurch. They sold them for maths classes.
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Michael Trevelyan
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Thanks for the great suggestions!
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Shem Phillips
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Time to add my two cents. I've done a lot of prototyping, especially over the last year. In place of coloured cubes I've used: Monopoly houses, TTR trains, poker chips, and other random game parts. TTR trains are definitely my favourite replacement for play testing. I used them when trialling a prototype where I needed five resources (fish, linen, timber, gold, land). Had to use black for timber, but I had all the other colours!

If you're just making prototypes to test with friends I would recommend spending as little as possible. In the past I've spend a fair bit of money on prototyping (mainly in printing), only to change the layout or rules after a couple plays....resulting in another trip to the printers the next day.

Once you want to spend some dosh on the real deal, I would recommend Harald at Spiel Material (http://www.spielmaterial.de/english/). He has almost everything you'll ever need.

On the topic of cards...I just bought a die cutter! So I can produce digitally printed cards (just on a thick card) for around $20 per 104 cards. They are the same size as a credit card. Rounded corners and all.
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Michael Trevelyan
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Thanks for the advice, I just had a look at the site, it's pretty awesome. (Wish I had 50+ Euros to burn on 1000 wooden cubes!)

I will definitely keep it in mind when I am ready to make some more professional prototypes.

(P.S. really keen to try out Linwood soon)

Mike
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Andrew Rae
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shem84 wrote:

On the topic of cards...I just bought a die cutter! So I can produce digitally printed cards (just on a thick card) for around $20 per 104 cards. They are the same size as a credit card. Rounded corners and all.


Sounds like you're our local card supplier then. Unfortunately the cat is out of the bag so we now know what your markup is

Good investment.
Andrew
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Shem Phillips
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I'm waiting to get back a couple of invoices this week, to get a better idea on the price of cards. If anyone needed a deck made up, I'd be happy to help at no cost anyway.
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David and Natalie
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shem84 wrote:
I'm waiting to get back a couple of invoices this week, to get a better idea on the price of cards. If anyone needed a deck made up, I'd be happy to help at no cost anyway.


Incredibly kind of you Shem, but don't. At the very least, do it at cost. You've made a great investment - nothing wrong with you getting a bit of extra pocket money for letting others use it!
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Shem Phillips
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Oh yea...I guess I worded that wrong. I meant 'at cost'. Not for free. Haha.
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Shem Phillips
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Ok...so I got my latest sets of cards back from the printer. They look pretty good. The duplexing wasn't the greatest (out by about 2mm on some cards), but overall, not too shabby.

I can now tell you that I can make a set of prototype cards (per 50-ish cards) for around $12 plus shipping. I have pre-made templates for In-Design, which make the design side of things easier.

The cards are printed on straight cards stock - so they do wear quite easily and won't last forever. Still...it's a cheap option if anyone wants some cards made up.

You can preview the cards here - http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2425118&l=464ffa3684&i...
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Michael Trevelyan
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Those cards look really cool Shem. Thanks for posting!
 
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David and Natalie
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seriouslyboard wrote:
I would also recommend approaching Carter Holt Harvey Specialty Board division in Hamilton: http://www.chhpackaging.co.nz/Our%20Business/speciality_boar...

I am currently in the process of organising a facility overview there to see what they can offer for the local gaming scene.


I just thought I'd update this comment. I checked out the CHH Specialty Board operation three weeks ago, and they no longer make game boards. Even if they did, their printing process is very basic and industrial - think printing plates for those of you who know their printing. They'd only be able to do a maximum of three colours. They just aren't suitable for what game designers would be looking for.

However, they pointed me in the direction of someone else, and I'm just exchanging emails with them now. These folk definitely do game boards, and they also have no minimum runs - that is, they're happy to do hand laminated one off prototypes.

I'll find out some more info on them and try to visit them in the next month or so to see if they can be of help, but the initial signs are positive. Even better for you, Mike - they're based in Auckland!

I won't bother dropping names until it's clear that they could be of help, because I did that with CHH and it turned out to be a false dawn!
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Michael Trevelyan
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Wow, that sounds promising. Good on you for doing all that research!

Mikelaugh
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David and Natalie
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MikeTrev wrote:
Wow, that sounds promising. Good on you for doing all that research!

Mikelaugh


No problem. Truth be told, when I consider that it could potentially benefit the Kiwi gaming scene, very little effort is required! thumbsup

Minor update: these potential Auckland folk also do counters, boxes, and dice, although I'm not sure what the materials or quality is like. They can also do cards, but generally outsource them.

They're usually closed on weekends, so I'm going to spend a weekday - hopefully in May - to pop in and take a look around.
 
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Pierre Rebstock
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Sounds very interesting, can't wait to hear about what they can and can't do. So tired to playtest with my shoddy arts&crafts prototype
 
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