In anticipation for the new Kaladesh release of Magic the Gathering I created a three layer D20 level counter die holder to keep track of how much Energy you gain and lose over the course of a game. I’ve been looking for a simple small project to test out multi layer designs and I found I was a rather happy with what I came up with to the point where I decided I might was well offer some DIY paint and assemble kits for any fellow MTG players that might want to have their own Energy Counter painted how they wanted.
I might also add some painted finished counters like the ones shown in the images to the Etsy store but since it takes a rather long for me to hand paint, glue up and seal during a time when I’m also trying to get my full line of inserts up on Etsy for the 2016 year, so it might be a very limited release if at all since I’m also working on finalizing a new board game insert for Scythe which I’m finishing for reveal this week.
Introducing a new storage solution for your Hive game. This box holds all current standard sized tiles for Hive (Hive tiles not included). This is available as a self assembly kit that would require some basic assembly, glue, and finishing if you really want to get a beautiful look from it. A felt interior can be added (included) so your game pieces slide in smooth and quiet. The angled tile guide walls assure the tiles seat upright when placed in each row. The Hive logo consists of 10 hand painted sections of black and a golden-yellow color matched to the official Hive logo. This is one of my favorite designs I’ve done so far and I think any Hive enthusiast will enjoy the look and feel of this in their game collection.
First, Thank you to all the gamers that added in their two cents to helped me improve this insert to a level I’m really proud of. If anyone thought the Star Wars Imperial Assault insert was complex then you should take a look at a game that’s basically all miniatures of different sizes and try to get them to all fit together in a clean and efficient manner. On top of that it’s a rather large insert to fit its rather large Cthulhu Wars core game box home.
I’m so happy to have this insert in use. Cthulhu Wars was my worst enemy in my battle against the little plastic baggies that would require me to pour miniatures onto a table and organize in prep for and game. I tried using plastic bins for tokens but they added a lot of bulk to the box and caused the lid of the already too large box to float up which looks odd and takes up home space that other games where trying to live. Continue reading Laser-Cut: Cthuhlu Wars→
I’ve heard great things about the strategy worker placement game Dominant Species and I knew even before I got it from images from Board Game Geek (best board game site ever) that it would be in great need for an insert.
Here’s how it stood shortly after one of my little joys in life of unboxing a new board game:
I could already foresee a little wood bit tumbling out of its pile during game play and falling victim to either the vacuum or a curious dogs digestive track.
Sideways storage safe and passes a medium shake test.
Individual player faction bits trays.
Room for everything to fit even after that MAMMOTH sized board is placed in the box.
Bits box trays designed so my fingers could actually remove bits without feeling like I’m playing a drunkin game of Operation.
It didn’t take much time to find I absolutely loved Imperial Settlers and can’t wait for all the future expansions it has to offer. Of course it also didn’t take long to quickly tire from the little plastic baggies all the bits came with. One of the little baggies even started to tear up a corner of a few of my cards that caught on the zipper ridge of the baggy when I was sliding them out in prep to setup a game. Sorry baggies, game over man, it was time for an insert.
I thought I’d give my endless Magic the Gathering habit a break and see what Dice Masters had to offer. I like the simple nature of it. Not having 1,000+ cards released each year can really make deck building a quick and enjoyable process. The biggest problem I ran into quickly is storage. I tried using little plastic storage bins bit those were a real pain to try to pick my dice out of. I wanted something that would fit on my game shelf in a clean manner that would hold a multiple sets in one container. My cousin got the official dice masters Avengers Vs. X-men storage box which looks great but that means I need one for each set which means I need to have 2,3,4+ boxes spread over my tables as I go through them trying to build my deck of epic-ness. “Well that solution to game organization are we going to try tonight Brain?” “The same game organization solution I try every time, TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!, wait, no… a box, I’m going to make a box”. This would be no simple box. It needs trays to hold dice which need to hold dice in a manner I can easily remove and organize. The box needs to be small enough to fit on my game shelf. I typically use one of my larger game boxes that fit cleanly on my game shelf as a upper size limit, Pathfinder: Adventure Card Game. It will also need to fit enough cards to hold 4 full sets of cards, a dice mat, instructions, handmade dice bag, and a doughnut. I say that because I could really go for a doughnut right now. Continue reading Laser-Cut: DiceMasters Dice & Card Storage Box→
Designing an insert requires 3 design challenges to be overcome; fit, form, and functionality.
Ideally the game should fit within the box after an insert has been made for it as Zip-Lock bags duct taped to the sides of the box lid may not have best appeal to it. When starting my design process I layout all the components in stacks next to my trusty ruler and calipers and start measuring everything. Typically I start to sketch out some concept layouts just to get an idea of the possible ways I can orient components, do I want playing cards to lay on their side to save height or set them vertically? Next its time to move to doing some rough sketches in my modeling program so I can see what interferences may pop up and to better account for all the different dimensions of game components as well as the space that is used by the inserts themselves. Here’s an Isometric view of a basic test layout I’ll run through to see how the different component boxes will layout and to see where I can steal a few millimeters here and there to make better fits elsewhere. This process can be a lengthy and frustrating one if you have lofty goals. I had those. My main goal for this insert was to fit the core game of Star Wars Imperial Assault and all the currently released and announced miniature and base game expansions for 2015. As of May 13t, 2015 there was a possible 55 small miniatures (miniatures with bases with a 1 inch Continue reading Laser-Cut: Star Wars Imperial Assault Insert→
I like hex tiles. They’re like squares but with so much more gaming potential. One would think that with such a elegant simple strategy game there would be an equally elegant and simple storage solution that came with said game. Not so much. While I do think the little portable plastic zip bag that the game box could be a neat thing to bring on trips or whatnot I’m just bothered by the fact that the box which contains such well fitting components contains 60% air. Its like a Yahtzee game box. A game that contains 5 Continue reading Laser-Cut: Hive Box Improvement→
One of the first boxes I thought I’d try was to make a Cards Against Humanity box that would fit all the cards of the core game and all the current and a few future expansions. I recently got access to a laser-cutter and combines with SolidWorks I started to experiment with a design that would meet my requirements of storage needs and have dimensions that wouldmesh well with existing board games so I could reduce clutter while still fitting in cleanly with my current collection.
Laser Cutting: The Learning Curve
Laser cutting can be tricky at first. You really need to play with the machine for a while trying to future out what small variations in settings can do. A bit too slow and you’ll end up making edges that are closer to a charcoal pencil then a clean Continue reading Laser-cut: Cards Against Humanity Box→
This post discusses the construction of the front bodice scalemail plate, and work on contractions. Please note, that the current scalemail plate is being held together with giant rings as it has been more convenient for testing, modeling, and fitting.
I knew from the start of my project that I did not want a clunky, unfit bodice as I feared it would look sloppy and unfinished, in addition, I also wanted the bodice to be more like “skin” and less like armor. A tighter fit, I reasoned, would not only look more attractive, but by staying closer to my body, and even resting on my hips, it would possibly help with weight distribution to the top. During my initial research as to when to implement tailoring, I came across several forums (listed below in resources) which discussed the process of tailoring through contraction, but there was no definitive conclusion on the best time to implement contractions. Some comments pointed out that if you know where the contractions would be, it is easier to put contractions in as you went, while others recognized that it wasn’t much harder to include contractions after the piece had already been created. There seems to be a difference, however, in large scalemail and small scalemail, and there seems to be more repercussions for post construction contractions with the small scale.