Friday, March 7, 2014

Game Components and Design

The Game Crafters ( have been coming out with a few new products, and even thought I wish they would increase the quality of their items, by providing plastic or die-cast parts or even chip board or thicker mats, I do love the one-stop shop, and easy to upload and arrange products.

Their interface makes uploading and arranging images onto mats and cards a breeze, and I've never had a mix up with the design, so far as what I told them I wanted and the items that I actually received.

I know I could do my design on blank cards with no art and rough it out more before I go to print, but they honestly make things so easy that I typically go directly from text to a mock-up of what I want to print, then during play testing I mark up my printed versions with notes that I later transcribe to the final draft.

Despite their large selection of components, I really wish that other component creators would table them to get their items into the Game Crafters store, but this goes a little back to my quality beef.  The components offered are definitely above the basic requirements, but not something that is going to impress gamers that that played with Fantasy Flight ( or other high end game developer's components.

I'm building up a pretty decent collection of proto-type games that if I had more time these would be awesome game design idea generating items, but as it is, I typically go back to Photoshop and re-do entire decks over a coloring issue, rather than using what I have to iron out the game-play mechanics.

As an example of this, I've recently re-did all the graphics for the Dun-Jion game, using The Game Crafters new 5" hex mat, the tiles are now what I'd wanted at the start, and I switched from Shards to the 1.25" tokens with stickers on them for most the other game components, including Room Tokens, Door Tokens, and Monster Pogs.

I typically struggle with what to keep in and what to pull out as far as components that might be required, and what might be better placed in an expansion or simply removed.  This is another reason why my stock pile of components continually grows, as I tend to over create thinking that play-testing will weed them out, and since I've never gone to mass market with any of my designs it doesn't matter if a game costs $15 or $50, when it's a one time purchase of something that I've created, and many of the components could have other uses in future ideas as well.

Below is a list of other component manufactures that have components of high value than Game Crafters, but you'll not only pay more for the components, you'll likely have to shop around as well:

Hopefully you find these handy.

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