M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stackable Square maps

First things first. You go out and raid every single local thrift store you can get your hands on, and purchase all the copies of the game UpWords you can find. I was able to find 8 copies (thrift stores usually sell these things at around $2 a box). You are gonna need these letter tiles. Lots of them.Next i would recommend washing the letter tiles. These thrift stores are 2nd hand, so you dont know where they've been. Once you have them washed, you want to glue some of them together. The reason for this is you want the tiles to be a quick and easy setup. Something you can do on the fly on the gaming table. If you are having to stack up each and every individual tile one at a time, it takes a while. So with some of them you glue them together. I would say about 30% made into 2x2 tiles, 30% made into 1x2 tiles, and the rest singles. Glue them together and make sure they have a set spacing so they fit easily on the game boards they come with.Once you have your tile groups made, paint them. Spray paints do great for doing the base colors. I will explain how to do the details in a bit. Now that we have our tile sections made, start thinking of what kind of terrain you want. Of all the tiles had made, i was thinking of a combination of rocky ground, cave floor dirt, dungeon floor coblestone, outdoor road coblestone and grassy. The quickest way to do this is get some printable sticker paper, and find on the internet some textures (google images was invaluable for this) and print the textures onto the paper. Cut them up into squares that fit the tile tops and stick them on.Now for your game board. As you may notice, one of the game boards isnt nearly big enough for what you need (around 10" x 10") so i had the idea to combine them. I took 4 of the boards and cut off some of the sides and glued them together on the bottom.Then spray painted the top. I did this too for a dungeon set.
And VOILA! Quick and easy stackable gaming terrain. We played with these and they were quick to setup and visually appealing at the same time. We also played with the dungeon set and i came up with a cool way to pull that off. I noticed that there was some space inbetween the tiles. So i printed off some cardstock with textures of cave and dungeon walls. I found i could stick these inbetween the tiles and they would stay standing. This made it feel as though your characters were actually enclosed inside, as apposed to just moving around on a map.
There you have it. The best way i found to make things all the more awesome for your games. It took a lot of time to make and set up, but the ending result is very pleasing. And all this from several copies of the old milton bradley game of UpWords.

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