Boda Games Manufacturing

The multiple sides of dice

The multiple sides of dice. Dice are to this day the obvious choice when you need to generate a random number. Although over the past few years board games have developed a lot and with it a vast variety of other mechanisms to create randomized elements in games, few can beat the ease of use along with the reliability of a dice. As such, the majority of board games will have them being used in some shape or form. And they can be customized in many ways. Whether you change the amount of die faces, the colors or the size, you can make it as unique as well as exactly how you want. And let’s not forget: how much fun is it to roll a dice? The excitement of rolling and hoping for that one lucky 6 you need to win!

For a component this important to many games, we of course also had to include it in our sample box. But as said before, there are many different ways to customize a dice. So instead of settling for only one type of custom dice. We designed 3 different ones! In this article, we will explain the different production methods and what to pay attention to in terms of design for each style.

The “resources dice” – Molded resin 12 sided dice

The Boda Games sample box is actually more than just a box filled with sample game components. It itself is also a game! And in the game that we aptly called “The Manufacturer’s Race,” we have several resources that you need to win the game. The first dice we will discuss is a 12 sided one that has custom die faces, as pictured below.

Material choice

Custom dice can be manufactured according to different manufacturing processes. For this 12 sided custom design, we chose to use a molded resin manufacturing method. With this process, a mold is created first and then that mold gets filled with resin to make the dice. The reason we chose resin and not acrylic for this dice is because resin is slightly harder than acrylic, and therefore you can make more profound and easy to identify details on the dice surface. For the base color, we used a simple black color. The advantage of using black as a base is that it is compatible with any other color for combinations.

Face design

dice die face designs

When you design the die faces of a custom dice, you need to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, the number one rule with die face designs is that lines cannot be too thin. If they are too thin, they are very hard to see and there might be issues with the painting of the lower parts of the die face later on. Another thing that does not work well with these designs is if there are a lot of different elements that are grouped together too closely on the same die face. 

The designs in the below image were all made keeping these things in mind. As you can see, although there are some “thinner” elements here and there, they are part of a rounding or oval shape design and not straight lines. We also made sure that different elements were spaced far away from each other to not interfere. 

When you send your designs for dice over to your Boda Games account manager, please check in what format you send them. Our preferred file format is a vector file, that can be made either in .ai or as a .pdf.

Colors

dice color selection pantone

When you make custom dice, each of the different faces of the dice can be painted in a different color. This also helps tremendously in differentiating between the different dice faces and the various functions each dice face has in the game. 

For our resource dice, we had some icons that were different but belonged to the same type, so we painted those in matching colors. For painting the different colors of the dice faces, we use standard pantone colors. You can get pantone color books at artshops to help you understand how the color would look like in real life! Please include the pantone color number somewhere in the design file when you send it to your account manager. This way we can make sure that each dice face gets painted in the right color. 

The other thing to keep in mind when selecting colors, is that not all colors work together as well as you might hope. Depending on what color you make the base, you might find that some colors might not come out as bright and popping as you hoped, or as distinguishable. If you are unsure about certain color combinations, we can always advise you on it based on our plethora of experience so don’t hesitate to reach out!

The “machinery dice” – Engraved 6 sided dice

machinery dice

The next design from our sample box game “The Manufacturer’s Race” is the “machinery dice.” The machinery one has a design that is inspired by gears and machines. The machinery one is also a resin-molded dice, like discussed before, but made from a different base material. This one is made from a pearl base material, that gives it a very attractive marbled texture. Making it very popular among board games and board gamers alike!

As the main focus point of the machinery design was the beautiful pearl texture, the designs were done in black and white patterns. We use Adobe Illustrator to make the designs. But any software you are familiar with can be used. As long as it can output in a file format that we can read. The main point was to have the design simple and effective, but still visually interesting.

For this dice, we decided on a golden paint rather than use a pantone color. The golden paint contrasts beautifully with the dice base color. And adds to the luxury feeling by combining the pearl finish on the base material with the golden accents and touches on the patterns.

The “action dice” – Silk screened 6 sided dice

Silk screen dice

The third and last one in our sample box is one we call the “action dice.” The action dice combines with other parts of the game for some of the more interesting game mechanics. To accurately convey these game mechanics, we needed more complex patterns on the dice faces.

When you want to show a more detailed image, you can use something called silk printing. A silk printed dice is one where an image is silk-printed, or in other words transferred, directly onto the surface of the die face. This allows for more complex images with fine details. And is perfect for design that struggle with some of the limitations of molded ones. These include things such as thin lines or heavy grouping of details. Or multiple colors within the same image. Another advantage is that the manufacturing cost is lower than that of a molded dice with custom dice faces. 

Although silk screen printing on the die face allows for more complex designs. It is still recommend not to have too many colors per design. The more colors you use, the higher the price will get. Furthermore, it increases the chances that the image will be less sharp. For our design, we stuck to 4 color tones for the color selection.

So many options…

The three dice we put in our sample box that we discussed in this article are merely the starting point. There are so many different options you have when it comes to dice. Boda Games is proud to offer a huge variety of manufacturing options and solutions. Colors, paints, shapes, sizes and more. You name it and we can help you find the optimal way to manufacture it. Do you have any ideas for dice that you’re not sure how to best approach in terms of manufacturing? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We will gladly bounce ideas back and forth and help come up with ideas. 

For further information about dice, also have a look at our artwork guidelines section that is filled with advice and information on this topic. And while you’re there, check out all the other guides we wrote about other board game components as well!

 

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Boda Games Temple – how to design a punchboard building

..When we started work on our previous sample box, we set a goal that the components would not only be indicative of the Boda Games quality, but also had to be great to look at and fun to put together. Thus when we were brainstorming what to do with the punchboard, we decided on a punchboard building. Our punchboard building is made to look like a traditional Chinese temple, including details such as circular windows, slanted roofs and paintings of Chinese door guards.  Prototyping When you are creating a complex punchboard such as our temple, the first thing is to sketch the overall structure. From there on, you can start thinking how the different pieces can fit together to eventually form the shape you have in mind. If you are unsure how to start, have a look at some board games (or one of our sample boxes) that you have on hand and carefully study each individual piece and how it comes together to create an overall structure. We also highly recommend first working on the shape before you get started on the artwork. That way, you can print blank versions and check whether all the pieces fit together and adjust sizing...

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History of 3 Boda Games Meeples – Part III

The final member to be introduced in our history of the 3 Boda Games meeples is Shenlong the dragon meeple. Unlike the other 2 meeples we’ve discussed, Shenlong is not in our newest version of the sample box. But he was in the previous one, so a lot of you have already seen him! Shenlong was a favorite around the office when we first made him, and has some really cool details. The inspiration came from traditional Chinese paintings, where dragons are often depicted. Then we started brainstorming, how can we do something cool and different with the design of this meeple? In the first part of the history of the 3 Boda Games meeples, we introduced you to our artist meeple. There, we also explained the wood cutting process of meeples. A long piece of wood is cut into a shape, and then the meeples are “sliced” off from the wooden stick. This is a common method for manufacturing wooden meeples and it gives great results, particularly for smaller and more traditional shaped meeples. But, actually there is another way to make wooden meeples. This time, each individual piece of wood is cut out from a flat plank of wood, one at...

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History of 3 Boda Games Meeples – Part II

We started our ancient China illustration themes with the large walled city illustration that you have seen at a convention, on our website on the home page or on Instagram. One of the many things that made it so much fun to work on was that we did our very best to hide small details and easter eggs in there wherever possible. We particularly liked the small yet cute meeple dog we hid in there, that we have since named Xiaogou. After getting great feedback from our own staff as well as our customers, we decided to turn Xiaogou into one of the meeples for our latest sample box. A silk screen meeple to be precise.    For this meeple, we decided to make it using a silk-screening process. With silk-screening, you can print multiple colors and shapes on top of the meeple, allowing for a very detailed design. In the case of Xiaogou, we wanted to capture the playful nature of the dog with the tongue hanging out and the happy eyes as well as show off the different colors of fur he has. The first thing you need to do is create the overall shape of the wooden piece that will...

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Kickstarter Do’s and Don’ts #2

Last month we kicked off the Kickstarter Do's and don'ts series with the KICKSTARTER DO’S AND DON’TS #1. This time we are picking up where we left off and sharing some more of our experiences. As we are a board game manufacturing company, we tend to see things from the other side of the table. As board game enthusiasts ourselves we have of course also experienced a Kickstarter as a backer. Some of our staff has even ran a Kickstarter themselves for one of their private projects. But overall, the vast majority of our experience comes from the manufacturing side. So without further ado, Boda Games will show you some of the do's and don'ts that we've observed over the years. DO: Discuss your components with your account manager! Last time we discussed getting an itemized quotation. With an itemized quotation, you can tweak your project and make configurations with different components. Maybe you find that the price of the game is a bit higher than you were aiming for, or you find out that all those special finishes on different paper components do add up quite a bit. And you had a certain manufacturing cost in mind. A price that lets you...

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History of 3 Boda Games Meeples – Part I

Meeples: as part of our artwork guidelines, this time we will explain the process behind making wooden meeples. Without a doubt the most iconic piece for board games, meeples are a staple of the board game industry. So how to best explain making wooden meeples? This time we are changing it up a bit. Instead of just describing every step in a boring way, we will show it! For our latest version of the sample box, we also had a number of meeples made just for us. So we will take 3 of the meeples that we created for our sample box, and explain the entire process we went through when designing these meeples. The things to pay attention to design wise, the different ways we can produce meeples and how it changes the way they look when finished: we’ll tell you everything. The Painter meeple - a laser engraved meeple. The first meeple we will introduce is our Painter meeple. Keeping with our ancient China theme, we planned for this meeple to look like a traditional Chinese Painter. We took the classic meeple shape that everyone knows and loves, and started to modify it to make it look more traditional Chinese...

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Interview with Mothership designer Peter Sanderson

Interview with Mothership designer Peter Sanderson

Peter Sanderson, the designer of the hit game Mothership that combines miniatures, strategy and dice games into one, took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with us. Well into the final stretch of the campaign for the 2nd edition of Mothership 2nd Edition Kickstarter, Peter shared with us some of his experiences, learning moments and other things to pay attention to when running a Kickstarter.  - This is the 3rd Kickstarter campaign you’re running for Mothership, first of all congratulations! What would be the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the course of these campaigns?   Peter: Thank you! I've learnt so many lessons over the course of these 3 campaigns (plus one failed!). But to narrow it down, these come to mind: 1. Have a good, well playtested game 2. Present the Kickstarter well 3. Love your backers   That last one is really important. Kickstarter is a community, not a store. The backers on kickstarter are giving you their hard earned money because they believe in your game. You need to show them love and appreciation back.  - A lot of publishers that run Kickstarter campaigns name the backers as one of the most fulfilling albeit it challenging parts of the process. Any fun...

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Kickstarter Do’s and Don’ts #1

So you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for your next board game! Those are some exciting times. You’ve probably been scouring the internet. Trying to get any and all advice you can get on how to run a successful campaign. The good news is, Kickstarter is huge. HUGE. So there is plenty of advice to go around. A lot of veterans are sharing their experiences online. The downside? Most of it is from the same perspective.    At Boda Games, we’ve been through our fair share of Kickstarters. We remember when our very first customer told us “I’m trying this thing called Kickstarter.” However, we are not game designers. Nor are we publishers. We are a board game manufacturing company. We make board games. And together with all of you, and with a little bit of help from Kickstarter, that is what we are here to do. So allow us to tap into some of our experiences and share a few do’s and don’ts with all of you. Here are some do’s and don’ts for Kickstarters that we have gathered over the past few year. But from a manufacturing point of view.  DO: When you run a Kickstarter, you will set up stretch goals. Heck,...

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Boda Games hosts online seminar Tuesday 28th 19:00 EST

Boda Games hosts an online seminar this Tuesday the 28th, starting at 19:00 EST. At boda games we are always excited to partake in events related to the board game industry. Usually these events will be at conventions. Panels, presentations, contests and other events. So when we were asked if we wanted to talk about board game manufacturing, we said yes without second thought. Because we love talking about board game manufacturing! It’s our bread and butter, it’s what we do every day from early morning until late at night. Unless we are at a convention, talking to publishers about it. Unfortunately right now, it is difficult for anyone to attend conventions. The whole world is restraining themselves from going outside and gathering in groups. So we have to get creative and find different ways to connect with each other. And one way to do that, is by organizing an online version of a convention! When the people from EESPEAKS explained the concept, we were intrigued. Although it is our first time, we are excited to be part of an online presentation. What will the seminar cover? Our director and one of the most knowledgeable people about board game manufacturing, Jeff Zhou, will do...

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Box Markings and Labels for Board Games

A board game or a card game needs to have the right markings on the outside of the box. Some of these markings are mandated by law, such as health related matters. Other markings are for stores and retailers their benefit. And some of these markings are for potential buyers of your game! What's important to remember is, all markings serve a purpose. Not all of them, however, are compulsory. Then, which markings are necessary for your box? This depends on a few things. Kickstarter or retail? First of all, Kickstarter has disrupted the traditional way to publish a game. Not all published board games  will be sold in retail stores. A game that isn't sold it in retail requires fewer markings than one that is meant to be sold in retail. Be sure to check the specific regulations and rules of the country / region that you are planning to sell your game in. For example, once at Essen Spiel publishers were taken by surprise when convention staff visited their booths. And informed them that all games sold at the convention must have an address printed on the box for contact purposes. What markings are often on game boxes? All games need a...

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