Texture makes board games more impressive. Thus a wonderful board game should never neglect the texture of the game board, player board and the game indicator. Besides, it can also best reflect the board game maker‘s manufacturing expertise level. From the perspective of a board game manufacturer, WinGo will interpret this topic from the three aspects of materials, surface treatment and craftsmanship.
Firstly, let’s talk about the game board, also known as the chart, map, or chessboard. game boards hold the entire game scene and are usually made of 2.0mm cardboard. The thickness of the game board can be increased so that it can be laid flat on the desktop and allows other accessories such as chess pieces and meeples to move smoothly on it. With game board, the playing experience is excellent. Game boards are often treated with matte lamination, not only to improve the texture but more importantly to reduce the reflection of light
so that the player can see the image on the game board no matter from which angle they look at it. In the process, as the game board is the main game component, they will constantly rub against the desktop on which it is popped up and other accessories. Game boards need to be folded and unfolded repeatedly. Therefore, WinGo Games will recommend using a box-like edging to improve the protection of the game board. Lines will be added on the bottom of the board to reduce its surface with desktop to enhance game boards’ durability further.
Of course, this method has its drawbacks. A heavy game board will increase logistics costs. Moreover, matte lamination, lines and box-like edging will also incur expensive production costs. Borad Game Designers should carry out sufficient communication with board game factories to determine the most reasonable production plan of game boards. For example, some maps and treasure maps that are only used for viewing or as a reference in the game can be made with thinner materials and smooth processing methods, thereby saving cost.
Player board is like players’ transcript and record sheet. It is used to place cards and game resources and display the current game status. If game boards are a common area in the game, then the player board can be regarded as every player’s private domain. The production method of player boards varies. The materials used are more flexible. According to the size of player boards, cardboard material between 0.5-2.0mm is to be chosen. The smaller the area, the fewer game components will be placed on it, and the thinner material can be used and vice versa. The thicker the material used, the higher the cost and the better the texture. Board Game Designers should balance the pros and cons and make trade-offs.
The surface treatment of the player board is more flexible than that of the game board as glossy or matte, coated, or oiled materials are all suitable. WinGo recommends that designers use the matte oiling method as a starting point and adjust their material choice according to actual needs after the sample stage. In the production process, the printed paper will be added with a fold line after the surface treatment. Grey boards of different thickness will be inserted between the folded paper like a sandwich along the glue line. Only then will the expected shape finally cut out. WinGo will also dehumidify the semi-finished product before cutting to reduce the paper stretches and contraction caused by humidity as we mentioned in the previous article.
To make the accessories more stable on the player board, more and more designers will use double-layer. Although the production cost is quite high, the good experience it brings to the player is unmatched by the flat pad. Designers with a sufficient budget can give priority to this production scheme, and even if the budget is limited, it is still worthy of a try to attract more fans.
Finally, let’s talk about cardboard indicator — the bargaining chips as players would often call it. It is usually used as marks of game resources or token. It is an indispensable accessory to realize game functions. Its production is very similar to the sandwich structure of player pads, but the cutting requirements are more stringent. 1.2-2.0mm thick of cardboard are used to enhance how it feels on the hands, and the surface treatment is similar to that of game boards, attaching lines to board to increase the texture, reduce friction and improve durability. In the design process, the designers tried every means to make the indicator exquisite while trying to avoid making the shape of the indicator too complicated.
Factories cannot produce cardboard indicators of, especially sharp or narrow shapes. Therefore, be sure to confirm the feasibility of the cutting shape with the board game manufacturing factory before production. That’s all about the game board, player board and indicators. I hope this article can inspire you not to pursue superior texture blindly. It is most important to choose the most appropriate and economical production method based on the characteristics and playing rules of the game and try to improve players’ experience within the limited budget.