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Subject: What do you use for designing boards? rss

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Greg
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I'm wondering what people use to design boards, layoutwise rather than in terms of making things beautiful.

I like doing things electronically rather than on paper, it makes it harder for me to lose things and easier for me to produce new versions with a few things changed that aren't a mess of eraser smudges.

At the moment I'm using an open source powerpoint thingy, I like being able to pick up and drag bits of the board around when I change my mind about where they should be. It's good for editing text on the board too. The only thing that bothers me is matching up the edges of the board across several pieces of paper and it's got me wondering whether someone out there has a better solution to this problem than me.

So what do you use?
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Sweetgotham
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My husband and I very much design earlier prototype with pen (or more likely pencil) and paper (large artist pads) and only later move on to doing things electronically. We do not have a working home printer and so drawing and correcting by hand is MUCH easier and allows are more freedom when it comes to size (as in, larger than 8 x 10 or needing to cut and tape multiple papers together). Design elements have so far been limited to free clip art to given general thematic flavor, sometimes using sticker sheets to apply to paper boards) and, once elements are more formalized, printing in color. He also uses open source programs when he moves into electronic versions.

As for matching the edges, you need to work in a design program meant to deal with sizes beyond standard paper sizes.
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Luke Morris
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My mind. Then pen and paper. Then Photoshop and *whispers* Publisher.
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Craig Somerton
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Pen & Paper - to jot down ideas and flesh them out
Whiteboard - initial design
Inkscape - amazing vector graphics program
PosteRazor - to produce the board from the Inkscape images
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Kai Bettzieche
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Powerpoint (or "Impress", if you use Libre or even Open Office) is very fine for what you want to do .. you just need to be able to calculate properly, in order to get stuff done
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Bryan Laird
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My only board that I have designed to date, I drew by hand. Then I scanned it to the computer and printed so that I would have a board, for beta testing, and for use as a prototype.
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Carl Nyberg
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I start with making the map up in my mind, and running through mechanics in my mind as much as I can. Then I draw a map on paper. Then I draw a proper prototype in MS Paint and print it, then start playtesting. I have not progressed beyond that point.
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Isaac Shalev
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Paper and pencil for very early prototypes, but I move pretty quickly to some kind of printed board. I usually use Inkscape for layout, I like it more than powerpoint because it doesn't make any assumptions about what I want and because its very flexible in terms of things like scale and gridlines and so forth.

I also try to make something very simple, then slap it under glass or plex and use dry erase markers to modify things. It's like pencil and paper, but there are no eraser marks. When a game is still really early and the board changes by the minute, this works really well.
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Greg
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Lots of interesting ideas.

LibreOffice is indeed what I've been using, but its limitations are starting to bother me so I'll look into some other stuff.

I don't think I could bear to do this in MSPaint, I'm too prone to wanting to move that square I drew a bit ago a cm to the left for that, but lots of these other options are good to look into

Also, I noticed as I popped back onto this thread, none of us like each other very much, not a single post has been thumbed! (Edit: That was a bit indiscriminate of me, oh well)
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Isaac Shalev
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anomander64 wrote:
Pen & Paper - to jot down ideas and flesh them out
Whiteboard - initial design
Inkscape - amazing vector graphics program
PosteRazor - to produce the board from the Inkscape images


Posterazor!

Thank you, that's great! I've been exporting 8"x10" rectangles of the overall board into pngs, pasting them into word docs and printing. This is MUCH more elegant! Thank you very much.
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Emma
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I always start with paper and pencil, usually just cheap printer paper or a larger sheet of sketch paper and a non-photo blue pencil, moving on to an HB. I don't have any games developed to the point where I need pretty components yet; I feel like once I start working on even marginally pretty components, as opposed to the bare minimum of functional bits, I'll be lost down the rabbit hole and won't be able to focus on gameplay anymore.
 
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