Daily Archives: February 9, 2021

Playing Card Finishes

All printed components should have a finish on them especially playing cards finishes. Without a finish, the ink will smudge away, and the printed components will very sticky. However, many creators do not know which is the best and most suitable playing card finishes for their game.

On this page, we will cover lamination, oil varnish, and linen finish, and provide you a clear explanation of each.

1. The first things to consider when choosing between oil varnish and lamination is the use of the pieces and the nature of players that play the game. Lamination is a plastic base finish, and as such, it is very thick and durable.

2. It is perfect for kids games, who tend to sometimes may very rough on anything they hold in their hand. Lamination will ensure that the cards will not tare and that even when bent they will maintain their shape for a long time. In comparison the oil finish is just there to protect the ink from coming off and doesn’t add any extra durability to the card itself. 

However, lamination also has a downside. Because it is a plastic layer it is:

A) not eco friendly

B) it prevents an easy and fast shuffle. 

3. The static friction made by the lamination layer causes many times the cards to stick together and not shuffle too easily. While oil varnish actually smoothest the cards and lowers friction and enhances the shuffle.

4. The second thing to think about is the glossy or matte effect. While in lamination there is either matte or glossy, oil varnish is in the middle. Oil Varnish is sometimes called Semi-Glossy finish. 

5. For board game boxes it is always recommended to use lamination, as the box needs as much protection as possible. Even the most delicate board game collectors can’t stop a box from getting scratched when taking the box in and out of the shelf.

6. In addition, the most annoying thing that can happen is a box corner splitting open, and lamination can make sure it doesn’t happen. 

Use Oil Varnish When:

  1. Players are gentle with game pieces.
  2. Shuffling is an essential part of the game.
  3. you can’t decide between matte or glossy.
  4. The board game box is light, and semi-glossy is essential.
  5. You want Eco-Friendly Production

Use Lamination When:

  1. Target players are Children
  2. Cards are meant to played a lot and are always at hand. 
  3. Cards are not shuffled too much. 
  4. Board Game box is medium to heavy.

Linen finish on cards is done by a press machine with steel plates that have a certain pattern. The paper goes through the machine and is pressed to get the same surface pattern. 
Linen finish on cards is used when you either want your cards to shuffle more easily or alternatively have an attractive looking surface.
However, the Linen finish on any paper make the paper thinner, so, we recommend to first use at least a 350gsm card stock, and second to lower the press pressure of the linen finish so it doesn’t damage your card. 
Linen finish is a process that is done independently of the other surface materials so it can used on any surface. Whether you have lamination, oil varnish, or aqua based finish to your cards, the linen finish can also done. 
The price for linen finish is about 0.15USD per sheet of paper. 

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 Check Other Components Learn About Playing Cards

Board Game Foldable Game Board

Paper tiles for board games

Many board games, and sometimes even card games, use a playing board in their game. The board is used as the game map, a point tracker, a game layout, and more.

Some games prefer having a dynamic/versatile game board (usually adventure/RPG), and for that, they use map tiles, which were covered in board game tiles. This article will cover a one-piece board for board games and talk about foldable game boards, their dimension, material, and template.

Foldable game boards are used when the playing board is too large to fit in the box in one piece. There are various ways of folding a game board, but generally, there are three ways.

A no fold game board is simply one piece of cardboard. As board games are generally limited in size and packaging, it is recommended to not pass the 30*30CM (12.5*12.5 inch).  

A bi-fold game board can be seen largely in classic games such as Scrabble. Boxes with these boards tend to be rectangular to contain the length of the game board when it is folded. It can be folded horizontally or Vertically.

If your game board is a square, it is best to use the Quad fold game board, as it will ensure that when your game is folded it will maintain its square dimensions.

A game board that has a long side to it, can be folded into a six-Fold. a six-fold is used in many current Euro and Indie games; they are rectangular and are usually very large. They max out at 640x880mm

Generally speaking, there are two ways to make a foldable game board; one way is a covered fold, and the other is a clean cut. View this video to learn more.

The game board, like the chits and tiles, should be ideally made out of cardboard. We recommend using a 2mm thick cardboard to keep the game board from bending out of shape. In that regard, the game board should also be made of high-quality, dense cardboard to prevent it from cracking, as there is a lot of weight applied on the seams during the folding and opening action.

However, unlike chits and tiles, which are best made with 250gsm paper, game boards are better off using 157gsm paper. As 250gsm is thicker, it will not allow the game board to fold completely flat and separate easily from the connected two pieces.

To ensure the thinner paper does not tare and that the game board does not crack in the seam, Hero Time offers a new reinforced game board with a fabric line holding the two pieces of the board. Ask us about it.

In this component, there is a difference between large and small publishers. While large publishers can customize the paper size they get from the paper mill, small publishers need to stick to the standard dimensions to lower costs. We covered this in more depth in the series of How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game.

But to go straight to the point, here are the most cost-effective sizes, and they are divided by Small, Medium, and Large. The game board does not have to fit precisely to the size mentioned but can be within the given scope. 

SMALL

  • 360x390mm (14×15.3 inch)
  • 380x430mm (15x17inch)

MEDIUM

  • 390x540mm (15.3×21″)
  • 430x580mm (16.9×22.8″)  *430x580mm is not available for 500 sets, only 1000 sets and up.

LARGE

  • 480x730mm (19×28.5″)
  • 530×770 (21.3×30.3″)
  • 540×840 (21.2×33″)
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EXTRA LARGE

  • 580x880mm (22.8×34.6″)  This is available only from 1000 sets and up.
  • 640*880mm (25×34.6″). From 2000 sets and up. 

In addition to these sizes, there are two popular sizes for board games. However, they are not cost-effective for small publishers and will increase the price of the game.

These sizes are: 508x508mm (20x20inch) , 609x609mm (24x24inch). Due to the large waste in these sizes, it is best to have them only from 2000 sets and up.

We are currently working on developing an automatic template generator. We will notify you when it is ready.

Boardgame boards can either be open edge or wrapped edge. Wrapped edge is about 0.15USD per board, so it is best to use it if you have only one board in your game. If you have multiple boards, it is better to use an open edge.

open edge 

binding

Board Game Tokens

Board Games Tiles /

Board game Chits and board game tiles are a widely used component in various board games. As, board game chits and tiles are made out of cardboard and are divided into two. The larger cardboard pieces are used more as map tiles for board games, while the smaller pieces are usually used as small tokens. 

In order to unify the definition, on this page we will call them both cardboard tokens. 

These cardboard tokens can act as any type of component you will need in your board game:

  1. They can use as a board game resource token and stand for coins, raw material, merchandise etc.
  2. They can also cut into tiles and areas to played on during your game like mentioned above. 
  3. It can also personify a character of your choosing. If your game has multiple characters you can print them on a piece of cardboard and stand that piece of a plastic stand.
  4. Some games also use them to resemble artifacts or items and so the list goes on. 
  5. Cardboard tokens can have different thicknesses. But, The thinnest recommend thickness is 1mm, after that 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, and 3mm.

To see the different cost of a token sheet per thickness visit our Cardboard Cost – How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game Article. 

Like we said Previously, they can be found in almost every board game on the market. Some of our favorite examples are Catan which uses them as tiles for areas. Gold west of Tasty Mineral games which uses them for resources. City of Horror by Repos Production uses cardboard for character tokens.  My First Ice Age by Z-Man games uses cardboard as items, houses, and more. 

Boardgame tokens are not made piece by piece but they are printed on one sheet of paper, which is then glued to a similar size cardboard piece, and then cut according to the token shape and size. As mentioned, these pieces can be anywhere between 1-3mm thick. 

When designing the token sheets, you should keep in mind that the cutting machine will not cut properly in a clean way a sheet that is too large. Because, There are 3 sizes of sheets that are used for small tokens, and one size sheet that can fit a larger tiles. 

If you are designing small cardboard tokens make sure they fit within the 12, 9, and maximum 6 piece sheet of paper.

For small tokens use one of the following sizes: 

  • 12 piece = 29.4*29.4cm.
  • 9 piece sheet = 29.4*39.4cm
  • 6 piece sheet = 44*39.4cm.  

For a large-tile area, you can use up to 4 pieces of paper but not more. 

4 piece = 44*59cm 

To learn more about how these tokens are priced visit the article about Cardboard costs and Printing costs

When making the cardboard tokens, you can choose between leaving the chits and tiles inside the larger cardboard sheet for the customer to punch out, or having people in the factory pre-punch out the tokens from the sheet. 

Most creators like to leave this job for the end customer, as the pieces are kept in better shape and in mint condition. 

However, take into consideration, that if you have an insert in your box, those sheets will lay above the insert, which means after they are punched out players might be left with a lot of empty space. Also, if you want to save on shipping, it might be a good idea to cut some loose weight. 

Board Games Tiles /

Board game Chits and board game tiles are a widely used component in various board games. As, board game chits and tiles are made out of cardboard and are divided into two. The larger cardboard pieces are used more as map tiles for board games, while the smaller pieces are usually used as small tokens. 

In order to unify the definition, on this page we will call them both cardboard tokens.

  1. They can use as a board game resource token and stand for coins, raw material, merchandise etc.
  2. They can also cut into tiles and areas to played on during your game like mentioned above. 
  3. It can also personify a character of your choosing. If your game has multiple characters you can print them on a piece of cardboard and stand that piece of a plastic stand.
  4. Some games also use them to resemble artifacts or items and so the list goes on. 
  5. Cardboard tokens can have different thicknesses. But, The thinnest recommend thickness is 1mm, after that 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, and 3mm.

To see the different cost of a token sheet per thickness visit our Cardboard Cost – How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game Article. 

Like we said Previously, they can be found in almost every board game on the market. Some of our favorite examples are Catan which uses them as tiles for areas. Gold west of Tasty Mineral games which uses them for resources. City of Horror by Repos Production uses cardboard for character tokens.  My First Ice Age by Z-Man games uses cardboard as items, houses, and more. 

Playing Cards For Board Games

Playing Cards for Board Games are probably the main part of every board game and card game. Cards are the parts that are held the most touched the most and hence are most prone to damage. In addition, cards come in a variety of sizes and options and have their unique tuckbox. In this page we will cover everything about playing cards, and card  for board games.

1. Custom Deck of Playing Cards:

The first thing to consider when you make a card game is deciding on the number of cards you should have in the game. To this, there are two approaches. First, through game testing, Because, you get an idea of the best number of cards to have in your game, and you follow it blindly. And the second way is to work from the manufacturing backward, to know how many cards fit in a sheet of paper, this way you maximize the number of cards while controlling the manufacturing costs.

 2. Sizes of Playing Cards for Board Games:

There are three sizes of printing paper that can be used to make a card game, Small, Medium, and Large.  

  • Small sheet size is 44*59cm paper (Total print area 41*56) – (16*22inch), total print area = 2300 Square CM (356″).
  • Medium sheet size is 54*78cm (Total print area 51*75cm) – (20*29inch), Total Print area =  3800Square CM (590″)
  • Large Sheet size is 59*88.2cm (Total print area 56*85cm) – (22*33inch), Total Print area =  4760 Square CM. (740″)
 
To calculate how many of your cards fit into one sheet you should multiply the height*width* the number of cards, and see how many fit in a sheet. (*as cutting is also involved it is not an exact science, so just contact us to confirm)

 

3. Things to take into account:

  1. Need a bleed of 3mm on each side, so add it to the card size in the calculation.
  2. You cannot have more than 80 cards in a sheet unless it is a standard playing card size as specifically mentioned below.
  3. Cards with rich artwork might not be suitable for small or large printing plates, ask us.
  4. You cannot choose two different plates for the same cards, as the color will not come out even. If you choose large sheet you must continue with it. You cannot have one large sheet and one small sheet in the same deck of cards.

Learn below about the standard card sizes and their quantity variants between sheets.

Dimensions of playing cards vary. you can basically have them in any size you want. Because, some custom size cards will require a custom cutting mold, which is not cheap to make. So it is best to either choose one of the standard playing card sizes or at least choose a size of playing card that was made previously this way cutting costs.

1. Standard Playing Card Sizes:

There are 7 standard playing card sizes that can be used in your game, but each of these sizes fits a different number of cards in it.  Check the table below: 

2. Size of Playing Cards:

If the standard card sizes are not suitable for your needs you can also have your own size of playing cards. To lower costs though try to find the most suitable size of playing cards in the list below. But, The list includes the width, Height, and Radius of the card. You can scroll down the list and find over 180 different sizes of playing cards for your reference. 

*radius refers to the card corner. if it is a round or sharp edge. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YT0CA7If21M6e0HRSsPQ14GZNTBsfn7SxLeh9-8JAgo/edit?usp=sharing&widget=true&headers=false

Because, Generally speaking, there are three types of papers that can be used for any playing cards: white core, blue core, and black core. Some factories offer some gray core paper, but Hero Time does not use it, as they are such low quality. 

1. Material of Playing Cards:

The white core is used in most board games and is the standard. a high-quality white core is durable, elastic, and can maintain its shape for a long period. the thickness of white core paper is between 0.38-0.5mm. 

2. Customized Playing Cards:

If you would like your cards to be thinner, and shuffle a little better you can use blue core paper, though it will not be as durable as the white core. Because, For thin and good shuffle it is best to use black core paper, which is the same paper used for poker cards in casinos. However, do take into account that black or blue core has a high quantity entry. (usually around 5000sets of a card-rich game). 

Check the following video to learn more:

You can use any type of boxes for playing cards. If your game is an independent card game and has only cards in it, it is most recommended to use the tuck box (the same box used in poker cards), as it keeps the prices as low as possible. Because, if you have over 80 cards in your game, or you would like your card game to be more prestigious, the best box for that will be the flip box, that has a magnetic latch and a one piece box. 

You can learn more about boxes in our box page.

1. Playing Cards Box Dimensions:

Playing cards box dimensions depend on the size and number of cards in your game. Because, The size of the box should be according to the size of the cards, so if your cards are 6.3*8.8CM the height and width of the box should be 6.35*8.85cm,a s for thickness the cards are usually 0.42mm, so if you have 64 cards in your game box, the thickness of the box should be 64*0.42mm which is 2.6cm in total. 

We are currently building a template generator to provide you with pdf files template at ease. 

2. Playing Cards Box Template:

In the pursuit to provide you, the creator, the best service and tools for developing a game, Hero Time has built a web app that generated automatic box templates. You can simply choose your component, enter the required size, and click to download a suitable template.

There are a few essential rules for when designing your cards: 

  1. It is essential you work on the right size artboard. If your card is 6.3*8.8 the artboard should be the same size.
  2. The color setting for the cards and art needs to be in the CMYK setting not RGB.
  3. Make sure you add a bleed of 3mm just in case the cut is a bit out
  4. All important art should be in the right margin, 3mm within the cutting line.
  5. If you copy any art to the card, you should convert the art to a smart object so when the size changes it doesn’t lose quality.
  6. It is best to convert the text to an image and vectorize it, just in case we don’t have the right font on our side.
  7. If you cannot convert the text, or you would like us to change it you should also upload the font you used.

If you need any help with art adjustments you can contact us and we will help you easily.

If you need help with creating the artwork, feel free to contact some of our artists. 

Boxes for Board Games

Boxes for Board Games

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There are four types of boxes for board games ​

Board Game Boxes

1. Two-Piece Box

Is used for a game that has multiple decks of cards and then some extra components. It is relatively easy to make and is the most widely used form of board game box. The bigger the box though, the thicker it needs to be. 

Tuck Box Icon

2. Tuck Box

Is used for games that have a single deck of cards and maybe a rule booklet. It is light and cheap, made from the same material as the cards themselves. The tuck box is limited to 3CM (1.2″) width, as it is relatively thin. 

Foldable Box

3. Flip Box

Is a box used to leave a strong impression on the buyer. The magnet mechanism and the fact that the top is attached gives it a premium feel. Also, A flip box is stronger than a two piece box as it has an additional support layer. 

Draw Box 1

4. Draw Box

Draw box is an alternative for a tuck box and a two-piece box. It is perfect for games with a few components or a card game. It can be made either with cardboard or with a thick 400gsm paper. 

"Boxes for board games Dimensions"

There are three things to consider when deciding your board game box dimensions: the content of the box, your target retail price, and manufacturing cost.

1. Content of the Box:

As for the content of the box, you should think about all the components and pieces you want to have in your game, and the layout in which you want to have them in. Most industry leaders recommend against selling a big box with a few components in it.

As customers will feel cheated and they will frown upon the waste of space in the box. Many customers will end up throwing the box away and keeping the components separately to save space. 

2. The Retail Price:

The second thing to consider is the retail price for your game. In the US there are generally three price brackets for board games with boxes, under $20, under $35, and under $50, this price depends on the size of your box.

Where large boxes are sold for around $50, Medium for around $35, and Small boxes for under $20. However, remember that making your box bigger but keeping it empty is counterproductive.

3. Manufacturing Cost:

The third aspect to consider is your manufacturing cost. Like in the target retail price, in manufacturing there are also three sizes to consider. Large, Medium, and Small boxes. Each of these encompassing sizes fit onto a different printing paper.

The sizes of printing papers are 36*37CM, 37*52CM, and 52*76CM. The bigger your box, the better material you need, and the more expensive it will be. The size of the box drastically affects the shipping prices so double-check the size. 

Here, I will outline for you the most common board game boxes according to the paper size they require, so you can make an easier decision. The sizes are according to the most common lists mentioned in board game design lab and Board game geek 

Large Size Boxes

Large size board game boxes are boxes that fit within the size of a 52*76CM (20*29inch) paper and print.

    • (9.5*9.5*3) 24.5*24.5*7cm

    • (12*12*2) 29.6*29.6*5cm

    • (11.6*11.6*2) 29.6*29.6*7cm

    • (12.5*12.5*3) 32*32*7cm

    • (12.5*9.5*2) 32*24*5cm

    • (15.5*12.5) 40*32*7cm

Medium Size Boxes

Medium size board game boxes that fit within the size of a 37*52CM (15*20inch) paper and print.

    • (7.9*7.9*2) 20*20*5cm

    • (9*9*2) 22.6*22.6*5cm

    • (9.5*6.5*2)24.5*16.5*5cm

    • (11*7.5*2)28*19.5*4cm

    • (9.5*9.5*2)24.5*24.5*5cm

Small Size Boxes

Small size board game boxes that fit within the size of a 36*37CM (14*15inch) paper and print.

    • (3*4*1.4) 7.5*10*3.5cm

    • (5.5*4*1.4) 14*10*3.5cm

    • (5.5*5.5*2) 14*14*5cm

    • (7.5*5.5*2) 19*14*5cm

"Board Game Box Materials"

Most board game boxes are made of cardboard. There are some games made with tin and wood, but most indie games are made of cardboard to keep prices low.

Within cardboard there are three categories:

1. Standard B quality.

2.Dense A quality.

3.High Density Double A quality.

In addition, within each of these categories there are different thicknesses (weights) that can be used. Generally speaking,

1. There are the 800-1000gsm boards which are 1.25-1.5mm thick, 2. The 1200gsm which are 1.8-2.1mm thick. 3. The 2000gsm which is 3mm thick and is very durable. 

If your game is heavy and has many components or a large box it will be wiser to use thicker cardboard, or at least a higher grade cardboard, so your board game box doesn’t bend easily, and has a long play life.

No one likes to pick up a board game box and get the feeling that it is flimsy and will break after one or two plays.

Watch the videos below to learn more about the different card board grades and their thickness and how it stands up to pressure and wight of various components.

"Board Game Box Design"

Making just a box is sometimes not enough. At times you want your board game box to stand out just a little more than other games. We call those extra touches “board game box addons” and here they are:

1. UV spot Print:

If you like to have on your board game box a unique pattern half glossy, half matte, or have some bright laser colors coming out, this is perfect for your game.

2. Emboss:

If your box has an area that you would like to concaved and with a gold or silver color, Silver or Gold emboss can be perfect for your needs.

3. Strong Reinforced Corners:

Sometimes when you pick a box of the shelf you feel immediately that it is high quality, sturdy, and that you are in for a treat. These boxes have reinforcements on in their corners to make sure they don’t get smashed as time goes by.

4. Protruding Lip:

Some board game boxes feel like a gift. The top seems to fit seamlessly onto the bottom piece and it just feels like the box was made for you. This is the work of the protruding lip and the additional layer glued under the box.

"Board Game Box Art"

Board game box design is a tricky subject. Ideally, you will want the customer to pick up your game and make a decision to buy it on the spot. This requires the board game box design to

  1. Be attractive and cathing.

  2. Clear enough so customers can understand the essence of the game within it in 1-2 minutes.

  3. Transparent, so customers know what to expect when they open the box. and lastly

  4. Attractive. Yes, we said it before, but we cannot stress it enough.

  5. If you wish to build your own board game brand, then the box should represent a large enough logo and a short slogan that leaves an impression.

In addition, there are some labeling requirements that you should pay attention to, for more on those click here.

It is essential you find the right board game artists for your game. Check here a list of board game artists.

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Board Game Creators are the pillars of the board game industry. As a board game manufacturer, it is our duty to make sure you have everything you need throughout your journey.

 

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