04 December, 2012

A plastic labyrinth

I'm really thinking about the game options that become available with 3D printing through a company like Shapeways. If you can build something in a CGI modelling program, then convert it to an appropriate file format, then they can manufacture it from steel, silver, ceramic, glass or a variety of plastics.

Game boards could easily be manufactured, especially the kind of thing that I've long been considering for the Goblin Labyrinth game.

A production run could be established for blank boards...


Another production run could be established for boards with pre-made walls.


A variety of boards could be created with different wall configurations. The blank boards could have houses, shops and other buildings added to them as pieces of 3D printed terrain (either integrated into the board or modular).

I've seen people pay upwards of $50 for a single piece of terrain, so my rough calculations of $15-20 per blank board ($20-30 for a walled board) isn't too extravagant...especially if the boards were going to be used on a frequent basis. I'm hoping that buying in bulk will reduce the costs on these, because I'd be looking at using at least 10 boards for a typical game set up (and thirty or more for a convention game with a dozen or more players).

The simpler option would be to print out hexagonal board segments on cardboard, and place a few of these into a small tin...certainly a more portable option and cheaper to produce, but not as visceral to play on. I like the idea of physical walls standing between figures.
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