Monthly Archives: April 2021

Wooden Game Pieces

Board game wooden pieces

Wooden Game Pieces

The Wooden game pieces are a massive part of board games, and they come in a few standard shapes and with a multitude of custom shapes. Almost every mid-weight indie board game uses wood pieces in their games as tokens, resources, buildings, etc. Wood pieces are the best way to have 3D pieces that stand out of the board.

These wooden game pieces are in almost every game: meeples, pawns, cubes, discs, cylinders, sticks, houses, what have you. However, as even standard wooden game pieces are made per demand and are not always available in the right colors or quantities, you can also make custom-shaped wood pieces for the same price. 

The price for wood pieces is calculated by the number of curves and crevasses and the piece’s actual size

For example, while a humanoid meeple can go up to 0.06USD per piece (depending on quantity), a standard Helma Pawn will be only 0.045 at most as it is easier to cut and paint.

The Wood components can be either be made by Hemu or Beechwood. If you got a quote for wood components that is extremely low, it is probably because it is made of Hemu wood which is softer and is not as flat and even.

Another thing to look at is the paint job; very cheap wood components tend to miss some color on the curves and corners of the pieces and even in the wood piece’s flat areas.

“Printing on Wood pieces”

There are three types of printing that can be done on wood components.

Screen printing is done by creating a screen that has some minor holes and slots on it. The painter overlays the screen on top of the wood piece, adds color, and then swipes the screen with the color. But, The color then goes through the minor holes and is laid flat on the wood piece.

Though screen print probably has the crispiest colors, it is also the most expensive. Each color needs its separate screen, and those go for around 75USD a screen. In addition to that, there is a cost of 0.01-0.03USD per side depending on the number of colors.

UV print is the perfect solution for many components and pieces, especially for small quantities. It doesn’t need any setup fee and has unlimited colors.

The only drawback of UV print is that the print isn’t absorbed into the wood, and if you pass your finger on it, you will be able to feel the extra ink. However, this is a matter of personal taste; some creators like to have the feeling of print on the wood components.

Heat stamp is the most popular method for printing on glass, wood components, and dice. We use a hot film with a specific design on it for heat stamp, and then we stamp it onto the piece.

The significant advantage of heat stamp is that the ink is absorbed into the material and seems to be part of it. Heat stamp also has a set-up fee of 150USD per design, so it should be used only when you have a unified design for all components.  

If you want the wood to be engraved, that is also possible, and it is an entirely different process. For engraving, we lay the piece flat on a table and then go over all the pieces with the laser, or if the engraved part is a simple line, we will have the laser at the bottom and pass the piece on top of it.

The engraved area will have a darker color of burned wood. With laser engraving, you will not be able to fill in the engraved space with color. That will make it too complicated for production.

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– Hersh (Founder of HeroTime)


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