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Meaker VI
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It seems to me that there are always people looking for how to do certain tasks in the BGG DIY world - making cards, boards, chits, painting minis, and building board games in general. Since this board already has most of the answers, I've gone ahead and compiled them into one big post for the community's browsing leisure.

If you don't see an answer in the category you're looking for, take a look through the external links at the bottom of the post where I've compiled many non-BGG links to sites that provide DIY gaming-related services.

Firstly a Primer:

In the DIY World, there is a kind of "manufacturing triangle" that rules over everything you do. Its points vary, but usually included are quality, cost, ease of use, and speed of use. The general idea is that, for a given quality product, you can only have two points of the triangle. You might find something easy to do and quick, but not cheap. You might find it quick and cheap, but not easy to replicate for everyone. You might find something easy and cheap, but it takes hours to do properly.

Don't expect anyone to provide you with a solution to a problem that doesn't involve at least one of cost, skill, or time. And even then, low-cost options usually aren't no-cost options, even the low-skill options require some skill, and even the quick options require some time.

Another note - don't expect to be able to replicate a manufactured product with your homemade one. If you're making cards, they won't match the cards included with your game; if you're making tiles, they won't be quite the same as the ones in the game, etc. That doesn't mean that the DIY parts can't be better, it just means they will probably be distinguishable. If distinction is important (cards), it probably means you'll need to remake all of them, not just a subset.

Now, with that out of the way, on to the list:

Printers:

I'm not going to provide printer recommendations; new stuff comes out way too often for that to work. However, my experience is that most home-grade printers work fine for DIY stuff. I've used a high-end office color laser and liked it, but laser printers are usually more expensive and this particular model would be prohibitive to buy. Inkjet is probably fine. If you're looking to go setup a professional printing company, this isn't the place to look for advice on printers.

Properly setting up printers is a difficult task. If you're picky about color, your monitor will display something different from what your printer prints. My experience is that prints are usually darker than expected. One or the other (or both) need to be calibrated, and that is beyond the scope of this post (especially since I'm color blind!). I think Photoshop's print settings can help with that.

In short, buy a printer you like/that is on sale and has cheap ink and meets your required criteria (prints 11x17, card stock, full-bleed, double-sided, color, etc.); then do test prints until you're happy.

Components:

Boards/Playsurfaces:

Generic miniature gaming surface
DIY anti-slip felt boardgaming mat
printing boards on fabric: spoonflower.com - Large format maps may be better on fabric
Folding Board Tutorial - with pictures
Risk (Help) Mounting Game Board onto a Wooden Board
What Material to Use to Wrap a Game Board?
Another board making tutorial - mounted, backed and folded this time.
Easy way to create your own mounted gameboards...
How to Make a Retail-Worthy Quarter-Fold Game Board
Card game 'mouse pad style' mat
Black paper underneath board games?
N/A - $30 shipped for a 14x24" printed mousepad from Inkedplaymats.

Hex Tiles and/or Hex Counters:

Dry Erase Hexes?
Large cheapish metal honeycomb (stencils) in HVAC filters!
Making my own hexes...
Making a 3D Game Tile - Nexus Ops Tutorial - COMPLETED
Exploring a new prototyping tool: Melt Plastic Beads - I'm going to put this on here twice, but one of the great uses is making fairly regular hex tiles; something that there aren't too many other easy ways to do short of purchasing them.

I've noticed a disturbing lack of good hex-tile tutorial threads. Many of the people making custom Hive sets seem to go for ceramic/porcelain hexagonal bath or kitchen tiles. Laser cutters get brought up alot, and buying them from a number of sources seems to be the most common option. Further down in the "Misc & Methods" area there is an example of how to cut out the hexes, which I've had some success with. Using wood working machinery is also an option for those with access to such things.

Cards:

Spreadsheet -> Printable Prototype: Card Game Prototyper - A quick & dirty online card generator that uses your CSV data
If you're learning InDesign DataMerge to lay out your cards, here's a free kit to get started. - An Indesign toolkit/tutorial doing the same thing
Making Cards: You’ll never use your old method again.
ArtsCow: pictorial how to guide to making a deck for a game
My Overkill Card-Making Technique
Kardkutter - is this really as good as it seems?
Blank playing cards
Another Cardmaking Thread - heads up crafters and PnP designers!
DIY Cards with rounded corners - Links to a Fluxx-sized new printable business card from Avery with rounded corners
If you're learning InDesign DataMerge to lay out your cards, here's a free kit to get started. - A topic on using InDesign as a set making tool
Card Maker 0.99.1.8 (Updated 7/19/2015) - Not really about physical cards, but for card layout it looks like it'll help.
papercraft card shoe
DIY Clear Deck Boxes
Brainstorming - Universal Deck Building Card Tray
Origami card/tile rack from A4 paper.
Make quick easy and very very cheap card holders.
Card prototyping tool - Another tool for creating cards, will still require some programming knowledge.

Dials/Spinners:

How do you make a game dial?
Screw Posts / Chicago Screws / Those little connector thingies in color wheels and swatches - Also an apparent lack of spinner info, but they are really basically the same thing as dials. You can buy spinners from some of the sources at the bottom of the post. For those of you wondering "What on earth is a spinner?" - it's one of those boards with an arrow on it that you spin to pick your move/action/whatever; as seen in The Game of Life or Twister.

Booklets/Books:

Easy way to bind your own books!
PocketMod

Dice:

Open Source Dice Making, print your own custom dice.
Origami Dice
Another method for origami dice
Wooohoooo! The Game Crafter has indented dice and stickers to go with them
Making custom dice. Sturdy, cheap and stylish or: Taking arch punches to the next level (Image heavy)
Do it Yourself Dice Trays on the Cheap
How to build a dice tower using 1 copy of Jenga and 3 copies of Scrabble - with pictures!
Five minute dice tower
Build your own no-frills dice tower - illustrated instructions
Custom dice using wet-transfer decals & wood cubes
Design Tip of the Week #23 (How to make your own custom dice)

Money, Coins & Bags:

DIY - Old Pirate Doubloons
How I make molds for polymer coin projects ***updated with rest of instructions***
Game bags: Make Your Own! Here's How!
Looking for ready to print game money bills with various denominations.
How I Made Some Gaming Poker Chips
Best Money - A grand quest for good-looking money from existing sources
Nice coins for pimping games? - Where the consensus seems to be to try using actual currency since it's cheaper than anything bought

Tokens/Counters:

Making Circular Tokens and Counters with an Arch Punch
DIY chits
Tutorial - 1 inch double sided tokens with Ellision Allstar (pics)
Die-cutting wargame counters at home
FIMO / Sculpy Meeple Cutter
How to craft your own tokens for PnP games - an illustrated tutorial.
Make your very own wood blocks for wargames, part 1 - Essentials - I Couldn't find part 2, where he paints them
Make your own square die cut counters the easy way!
Token labels on the cheap
How to Transfer images to wooden poker chips
Decktet suit chips
Home made counter tray
DIY Wooden Game Tokens
Do-Them-Yourself Icehouse/Looney Pyramids (Deco version): colorblind- and b&w-printer-friendly!
Turning Jenga Blocks to Square Tiles
Making custom tokens by transferring inkjet to wood?
Mounting Game Counters with Floor Tile
Making High-Quality Circular Tokens and Coins - HowTo
What would be the best method for making 1.5" circular chits? - Not using an arch-punch
Gaming token manufacturers - Links to external token-companies
polymer clay 6x5 - Basically links to several other posts about how to use clay for making of components.

Minis/Painting/Finishing:

Looking for a complete guide/discussion on cleaning and maintaining paint brushes.
Little cardboard tanks (tutorial) - Exellent, simple, easy-to-follow instructions for very small DIY vehicles. Method not suitable for volume larger than your own stuff though.
Create a 3D Zombicide boardgame - Tutorial - - Highly recommended; some excellent work here and it includes some good process pictures. Boatloads of pictures.
Making wooden tokens with a router table - Add some appropriately sized hardwood boards/sticks and you too can make your own meeples (or other flat minis)!
You don't need special miniatures paint
Painting plastic minis - A "how to" guide for beginners [Warning: Contains 175 images!]
How To Fix Warped or Bent Plastic Miniatures - A Thorough Tutorial
Painting Miniatures: A Guide For and By the Talentless
Painting Miniatures - A Complete Newbies Guide
Making custom game pieces (pic heavy)
How to make Roborally robots: Blue version :)
DIY Spaceship Miniatures
Printed cardstock molds for resin-casting geometric bits
Q: What paints to use for miniatures?
DIY Sci-Fi Micro-Armor - Pretty easy method for making repeatable minis relatively cheaply. Probably your best bet for getting short-run custom minis.
Exploring a new prototyping tool: Melt Plastic Beads - Not super attractive and there are going to be limits to what you can do compared to more difficult methods, but it is a cheap & easy option for making custom minis.

The DIP Method: A Step by Step Guide to Painting Miniatures

Looking for cheap custom minis?
robbdaman wrote:
Cheaply is probably impossible but here is a huge list of companies that make miniatures:

Armorcast-- Resin terrian and accessories
Avatars of War-- 25mm fantasy miniatures
Black Hat Miniatures-- 15mm: biblical, dark ages, cursades medieval, renaissance, samurai, aztecs, marlburian, napelonic, generic sci-fi, Martians. 25mm: vikings, samurai, gladiators, musketeers, robin hood, danes, super heroes, skeletal vietnam marines, zombies, generic sci-fi, Colbalt sci-fi, WWI fantasy, generic fantasy, wuxia chinese, Flagship Games Pirates. 54mm toy soldiers
Brigade Models-- 6mm: generic sci-fi, Areonef, Iron Starss & Squadron Commander spaceships. 15mm: genric sci-fi. 25mm: Celtos fantasy, WWI. Accessories: includes shapeways designs
Chapterhousehouse Studios-- Fixed link! "High-end resin and metal miniture kits and parts... [for] fantasy and sci-fi models..." 40K-compatible stuff
CNC Miniature Scenery-- Machined 25mm building templates, terrian, painting racks, and dice towers
Coolminiornot-- High end and/or limited distribution of 25mm & 54mm minatures mostly in the fantasy / sci-fi genres. One stop shop for competive miniature painters.
Copplestone Castings -- 1/444: WWII planes. 10mm: LotR fantasy. 15mm: fantasy. 25mm: Future Wars sci-fi, 70s spies, pulp, WWI, colonial africa, gangsters, tanks & armored cards
Corvus Belli -- 15mm: ancients & mideval. 25mm: Infinity sci-fi, WarCrow fantasy
CriticalMass Games -- 15mm Sci-Fi minis, vehicles, terrain, and tokens
CrocodileGames -- Alternative & fantasy Egypt & Greece minis
Dark Art Miniatures -- Resin terrain, displays, bases, fantasy/gladiator minis
Darkson Designs -- AE: Bounty & AE: WWII, I found no minis sold here, but designs were posted. I think they might be produced elsewhere
Dark Sword Miniatures Pewter painted & unpainted Fantasy
DwarvernForge -- Designed for D&D polystone terrain, terrian, minis, accessories; sci-fi, fantasy
Dragon Forge Store -- Fantasy Urethane resin bases, parts, supplies, terrain
Dreamforge Games
eM-4 Miniatures
Enigma Miniatures
Fenryll
Gaspez Arts
Hassle Free Miniatures
Helldorado
Heresy Miniatures
Kabuki Models
Kingdom Death
Khurasan Miniatures
Mantic
Mad Puppet Miniatures
Maow Miniatures
Zombie Smith
Micro Art Studio
Moonlight Miniatures
Mr Dandy
M.S.B. Toys
Old Crow Models
Pig Iron
Quantum Gothig
Raging Heroes
Ramshackle Games
Reaper
Rusted Heroes
Sacred Blade Miniatures
Miniature Hardware
Scibor Miniatures
Scotia Grendel
Secret Weapon
Shadow Forge
Smart Max Store
Spartan Games
Comfy Chair
Studio Mcvey
Taban Miniatures
Table Top World
Troll Forged
Ultra Forge
War Games Factory
World Works Games -- Apparently making Pathfinder terrain? That's a new one....
Wyrd Miniatures
Otherworld Miniatures
Games Workshop
Mega Minis
Acheson Creations
Adler Miniatures
Amazon Miniatures
Ares Mythologic Draconia
Assassin Miniatures
Black Tree Design
Canterbury Miniatures
Chiltern Miniatures
Crusader Miniatures
Denizen Miniatures
Dream Pod 9
Dust
Essex Miniatures
Eureka Miniatures
Excalibur
Freebooter
Grenadier
Griffin Miniatures
Gripping Beast
Hinchliffe Models
Black Orc Games
Kallistra
Gamefigures Inc.
Mithril -- Lotr stuff.
Naval Solutions -- Boats!
Navigator Miniatures
Pegaso Models
Pendraken
Pewter Craft
Pulp Figures
RAFM
Satyr Sculpting
Stan Johansen Miniatures
Wargames Foundry
Thunderbolt Mountain
Tinbay
SGMM
Warrior Miniatures
West Wind Productions
Wizkids
ZotzZotz -- 1/6 scale resin vampire kits
Red Box Games -- 25mm fantasy
Ginfritter -- resin bits (?) available from Armorcast direct
Custom Made Minis-- 25mm sculpting comissions (czech only?) w/ exisiting fantasy, norman, and sci-fi line.
Perry Miniatures-- 25mm: plastic & metal historicals; napelonic, english civil war, cursades, mideval, colonial, samuari, korean, american civil war, american war of independence. 40mm: napelonic, scottish reavers

I'd say research and contact companies to see if you can get what you want. Good luck!


Got this PM, and have added the descriptions he's provided into the first few links (through Copplestone Casting):
aronbc wrote:
Great list of miniature supplies. Was just starting to add some details on ranges supported by these entries...


If paper standees or top-down units are also an option:

Create stand-up avatars for your Print-n-Play
(Method) Paper Mini Stand Up ... made easy
Free 10mm paper mini armies
Junior General - Free/open source paper-based units; top-down and standees
RPG Now - Paid-once files for games.

And if you're looking for military unit designations:
Ben Hur
United States
Illinois
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Has put together this true-type font file.. Loaded onto your computer's font-folder, it should allow you to make unit tiles in just about any program that displays text. Here's what he says:
Quote:
The software allowed me to draw all the NATO symbols required, assign them to keys, and save them as a truetype font file. Since then, all I have to do is open a table in word with the desired dimensions, shift to that font, and start typing. A fair amount of work to set up, but simplicity itself to use. If you can still find it, I highly recommend it.

Others also used Excel to make their tables. I tried it out, looks like icons are assigned to non letter/number characters, but I found at least 30 icons (some of which appear to be well-known star-ships). A great resource!

3d Printing:

What would convince you to try 3D printing?
[thread=15801208]/thread]
[thread=1157215][/thread]
3D Printers and Minis and Painting
3ders Printer list
3ders Guides
New way to smooth out 3D printed miniatures... - Don't do this without knowing what you're about to do is hazardous for many reasons. I am not responsible for you in any way.
Makezine DIY Rotocaster - A way to build a jig for use in making multiples of any given 3d print relatively inexpensively.

A note about 3d Printing:

Many people see 3d Printing as being revolutionary, and they are largely right in believing so. However, many overlook the significant, and possibly irresolvable, issues involved in 3d printing - the time it takes to print, the actual finished quality of the print, and the material cost vs traditional manufacturing being among the largest problems faced by the technology. I feel this quote from JeffTimothy puts the issue pretty well:

JeffTimothy wrote:
I spent the past decade as a modeller in video games. I've been researching 3D printers for a couple years. The problem as it relates to components for games is this.

Even if they could print the level of detail required for mini's (which consumer level printers CANNOT), the per unit cost is too high and will probably be high forever...(that is in comparison to retail volume manufactured components.)

Think about printing a photo on your home printer VS going to a place like Walmart or Costco etc to print out images. The cost of Ink and paper means that printing at home is triple (or more) the cost of just having a pile of images printed at a store.

Wait another 5 years and we'll see 3D printers cheaper, higher res and easier for the consumer but the cost will NEVER be lower than the manufactured option. Now making your own custom components is a viable use for sure but we're still years away from the level of detail everyone demands and expects from quality components.

It also reminds me of when I was a kid and the common printer was a 9pin dot matrix. It printed out VERY low resolution and in black only. Now you have full colour super high res printers which are super cheap. It only took 25 years to get there! shake

Right now we're at the same place with consumer level 3D printers where dot matrix printers were.

It's also much easier to snap a photo and hit print then it is to 3D model an object and print it out. That's a totally different issue. Sure if you've got the modelling experience (like myself and many others in the industry) Then you're already a step closer to realizing your ideas in solid form but even then, why would I spend 20 or 30 hours modelling a character when I can just buy something cheap which is acceptable.

Oh well, time will tell.


2014 Update:
Technology marches on and there are several consumer 3d printers available today for less than $500. Some even come assembled. In 2012 when this was first posted, most were over $1,000 as a minimum, so they are definitely more approachable. For DIY components, tricking out your games, and prototyping, they're definitely becoming a viable option. I've added links that should keep up-to-date automatically on what the latest and greatest tech is to replace the old threads discussing printers and tech.

Misc. & Methods:

How To: A Board and Bits Tutorial - Includes hex tiles & compound hex tiles
foamboard cutting tools
Laser Cutter online!
Comparison: Mattboard, 2-ply Chipboard, and Glued Manilla Folders
Easier to make, sturdy, and collapsable paper/cardstock "In-Fit" dice/cubes/blocks
Stopping Ruler Slip
Which is better chipboard or foamboard?
Question on molding my game pieces
Ideas on game bits?
Lining up full-page labels on full-page cardboard...
Dying wooden game components - the Rit Dye experiment
Suggestions on painting wooden tokens (like meeples)?
Magnetizing a wargame
Precision knife / medical bistoury
Make your own folder tool.
Game Collection Notebook (for browsing) - For those of you who need ideas on how to print out a sorted list of your BGG game collection
Free at Last: A Step-By-Step Look at How I Create a Print-and-Play Game
The Geeks guide to creating/finding player aides and other custom game components.
MUCH Assembly Required: My PNP & DIY Games, and What I Learned from the Experiences
DIY Tips and Tricks - reccommended by Ozludo; I've collated some of the information presented within into the rest of the list, some of it was already there. I appreciate that it includes a link to Dune, which I couldn't figure out a way to include here but definitely belongs as a DIY resource thanks to the many fans who have made amazing re-imaginings of the game.
Computer-controlled cutting device?
Finally something to add to DIY!!! Tuckbox folder aka: Pizza cutter.
Are there any other good general-use files and tricks? - Useful, mostly generic, gaming-related files
Looking to acquire: Mildewy and smoke-ridden games - Discussion on repairing games damaged as in the title
is there a way to clean the cigarette smoke smell from a game and game box? - 1 year in, drier sheets appear to work somewhat. Best bet: Verify all used-item online purchases are from non-smoking households.
Youtube Link - Link to a method for making your own mold-material for casting work. Uses readily-available corn starch, hardware-store silicone, acrylic paint (probably optional), and baby oil. Probably useful for mini-making or terrain, appears just like regular silicone mold-making material.

Artistic:

High resolution 15x15 hex terrain map
Beautiful maps - and an external link to the article on land form mapping
How to make your Print & Play Boardgames evene more pro using a bunch of Software
Make your board games look better -- a quick study of Edging
Inkscape Extensions for Boardgame Development
Anyone have experience with Random Map Generators? Making one, looking to bounce ideas.
New tool to generate card backs
Here's how to resize all images in a folder to the same size:
So, Adobe is letting you have CS2 for free... - They're not, it's supposed to be for CS2 licence holders as they're disabling the registration system. Still, I thought it might be useful for those who hold CS2 licenses (like myself ).
Inkwell Ideas - External link to RPG-Geared random map/inventory generators.

Obviously, you could also look around on The Board Game Art & Graphic Design board in this very forum for help too. But you knew that already.

Game Component Storage:

Build Your Own Customizeable Card Storage Chest
Need some tuck boxes? Follow this How To!
Cardboard box building howto
How to make a solid box for your DIY game
Telescoping Game Box How-To
Stripping an Altoids Tin
Another tuckbox generator... Gimp script-fu
Custom Mini-box Template
A box to go with that great PnP - More of a list of good examples and places to get boxes than a tutorial, but still good to look through
Foam Board Inserts: A quick how to and tips

Game Tables & Furniture:

First time working with wood, made a Game Table! - Has an excellent linked (external) blog showing the design and build process. Very beginner-friendly.
Game Table Project with Step-By-Step - Has design layouts, a good solid & simple construction that anyone with some woodworking knowledge should be able to follow.
N/A - Beautiful work with some nice innovations.
Game Table on a budget $200
How Big Should a Custom Table Be?
Custom Built Game Table
Hide away Game - Dinner Table
Game shelves?
Building an inexpensive gaming table top for your existing table
Even I could make one of these - Not really furniture or a table (It's a card holder for use during the game), but seemed interesting and would be super simple to build.
Made a semi-modular storage box to consolidate some 30ish games. Here are some rudimentary instructions with pics.

DIY/Do-it-for-you Services:

This Guy:
Andrew Tullsen
United States
Tigard
Oregon
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of Print & Play Productions and Print & Play Productions can make just about any component for you

And this Guy:
Bradley Eng-Kohn
United States
Poughkeepsie
New York
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has a Laser Cutter online!. - If you've set up shop somewhere, PM me so I can post the link (If I haven't already)!

External links:

The designer's resources list - Loads of links to design resources
Spiel Material - European bits and parts
Casey's Wood - U.S. based unfinished wooden bits and parts
Whole Salers USA - Glass gems & tiles
Superior POD - Print-on-Demand service. And the Superior POD thread - WARNING: Apparently they're doing poorly with the BBB & customer service.
Artscow - Print-on-Demand service
The Game Crafter - Parts & game production. And a review.
Printer Studio - From rhoubhe: Clunkier interface than Artscow but better price and quality.
Make Playing Cards- From Whizkid: [Sometimes more expensively] They offer 12 or 13 sizes of cards, including square (2 sizes), round, hexagonal, domino (2:1), business card (2.0" x 3.5"), micro (half of a mini which is half of a poker-sized card), plus the usual sizes.
Meeple Source - finished Cubes and various Meeples
Chessex - Dice! Also figure boxes, game mats, and accessories.
Dice Gamers - Dice, dice accessories, games, & other.
Craft Parts - Wooden everything
Bear Wood - Wooden game parts, pawns, checkers, discs; wooden craft items that might easily be re-purposed as game parts (toy 'cargo' parts especially).
Custom Cards and Games - Another parts & print company
Smart Cart - bits and pieces
Boards and Bits - more bits and pieces
Custom Meeple - Custom/unique bits, boards, & pieces; customization (painting) of pieces; On-demand print services. Based in Europe (Spain).
Board Game Innovation - looks like laser-cut pieces.
Walmart does printing on various sizes of poster, and other items. While picking up some prints the other day, I noticed they have fleece and throw blankets with photos on them. I think they also do canvas and other fabric prints, but if not, the fleece blanket was $40, 50 x 60", and reasonably full-colored; the throw was $75, similarly sized, but looked like 256 colors.
toutpourleju.com - French gaming supplies site
philibertnet.com - French game/gaming supply site. Can mail worldwide according to the requesting party (I'll take their word, as I do not know enough French to verify)
Drivetrhucards.com - Low and high volume card, sheet, and tile printing

Onlinelabels - Huge variety of label stickers (full-sheet and otherwise) for your PnP projects
Why I'll NEVER Work with Game Salute Again! - A horror story about one designer trying to work to get his KS project done despite using their service

3D Printing Services:
Cubify
Thingverse
Shapeways

3D Printing Resources:
Filiment prices
3D Printer Comparison chart

Useful Asset-Creation Programs:
Scribus - Freeware/opensource desktop publishing program. I suspect it supports both vectors and rasters, as it supports the .pdf format.
Inkscape - Freeware/opensource vector graphic creation/editing program.
GIMP - Freeware/opensource raster graphic creation/editing program. Now with Guild learning!
Paint.net - raster graphic creation/editing program.
Libreoffice - Specifically draw, but I'm sure the whole suite has something to offer. I haven't used it, but sounds like a freeware office suite. Someone may need to inform me - is it the same/similar as Openoffice? Or did Openoffice become Libreoffice?

A Tutorial on how to use Paintshop Pro (another image-creation tool) to do gaming-related parts.



You could also use Adobe products, such as Photoshop (raster - great for single images - now with Guild learning!) and Illustrator (vector - great for single-sheets) or InDesign (vector - better at books/magazines) to produce your projects, but they cost major money. You should use .pdf as a release format. It forces a page size, so your project will present exactly the way you want, but it also allows you to protect your assets.

Vector vs. Raster: Vector Graphics are defined by points, lines, and math, and as such can be scaled infinitely without loosing fidelity when sent to print or translated to a raster/bitmap/image format. A circle drawn in a vector program can be printed at 1", 5", 10", 100', or whatever size you want; and will always have as sharp a line as the printer can draw defining its edge. Finally, all the objects you draw are kept discreet and can be redefined or deleted later.
Raster Graphics are defined by individual pixels saved into an image format (.jpg/.jpeg, .tif/.tiff, .png, etc.). Graphics in this format will change when scaled - that is, the pieces making up the image will be different if the image is scaled, unless a specific scaling method is used that basically just increases the size of the pixel you're using (1 pixel prints to 9 dots instead of 1, for example). Once a pixel is changed, it's always changed; a circle drawn can't be easily deleted later like in the vector format because the pixels that make up the image have been changed to include a circle. In this format, paying attention to your resolution is important. Most printed media is done at at least 300 pixels per inch. 600-1200 are also possible, depending on your printer's print resolution.
Both formats have their uses, but Vector is usually preferred for game assets. The images can be scaled without changing them, each element is an individual (changeable) object, and the file sizes are usually smaller.

Blender - Full-featured Freeware/opensource 3d modeling program. Very steep learning curve.
Sketchup - Easy geometry creation freeware 3d modeling program (What-you-see-is-what-you-get [WYSIWYG] renderer built in, 3rd party raytracers available). One of the easiest modeling programs to get into.
TurboCAD (Formerly DoubleCAD) - Low/no cost drafting-style vector creation.

Got one I missed? Did I leave out an entire category? Let me know and I'll add it!
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Duke of Lizards
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College Station
Texas
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Wow - great post. It's in my quickbar now. Thanks.

edit: typo
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Ian Hamilton
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Livingston
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Well done - I can see my output curve shooting up thanks to this wonderful list.
Congratulations.
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Timothy Yordy
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Any DIY links for spinners? I need a spinner that is only about 1.5 inches and everything I see to buy is 2.75 at the smallest.

Thanks
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say "em-cee-crispy"
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Basingstoke
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substandardtim wrote:
Any DIY links for spinners? I need a spinner that is only about 1.5 inches and everything I see to buy is 2.75 at the smallest.

Thanks
I'd love to help. But I have no idea what you're after. Over here a "spinner" is a particular type of fishing lure. I doubt that's what you're after. Or do you mean a dice alternative based on a spinning top or flickable pointer (a la Twister or Nuclear War)?
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Timothy Yordy
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mccrispy wrote:
substandardtim wrote:
Any DIY links for spinners? I need a spinner that is only about 1.5 inches and everything I see to buy is 2.75 at the smallest.

Thanks
I'd love to help. But I have no idea what you're after. Over here a "spinner" is a particular type of fishing lure. I doubt that's what you're after. Or do you mean a dice alternative based on a spinning top or flickable pointer (a la Twister or Nuclear War)?


Sorry, flickable point as in many kids games.
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Meaker VI
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substandardtim wrote:
Any DIY links for spinners? I need a spinner that is only about 1.5 inches and everything I see to buy is 2.75 at the smallest.

Thanks


I didn't see any actually. I'd use the disk-counter one though, it's the same idea - brad or Chicago bolt through the center of a disc and your spinning arrow. You can also buy them from The Game Crafter, and I'm sure PnP productions could figure something out.
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say "em-cee-crispy"
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substandardtim wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
substandardtim wrote:
Any DIY links for spinners? I need a spinner that is only about 1.5 inches and everything I see to buy is 2.75 at the smallest.

Thanks
I'd love to help. But I have no idea what you're after. Over here a "spinner" is a particular type of fishing lure. I doubt that's what you're after. Or do you mean a dice alternative based on a spinning top or flickable pointer (a la Twister or Nuclear War)?


Sorry, flickable point as in many kids games.
Hmmm... that sound tricky to me: having something that small that still spins freely is going to be harder than for something larger (there are momentum and friction issues - bet I've banged the Engineer-filled hornets nest with that one)
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Josh Morgan
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Suggest adding Printer Studio to the list of external links and in the card printing sections. Clunkier interface than Artscow but better price and quality.
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♬♪♪ ♫ ♩ ♫♫♪ ♩♬♪ ♫
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Some good links here too: DIY Tips and Tricks
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Meaker VI
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Ozludo wrote:
Some good links here too: DIY Tips and Tricks
Oooh, I hadn't seen that. I'll add and categorize it!

Keep the additions coming, I'll try to keep adding them!
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Josh
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This is an absolutely brilliant resource! Thanks so much for taking what must have been an immense amount of time to put it all together for us!!
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Marianne Waage
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Fantastic list. You should add:
Woodworks Ltd. http://www.craftparts.com/

They have a crazy variety of untreated square and disc wood (or magnet) pieces good for tokens, plus meeples, toy parts and craft parts. The disc and square tokens we bought from them were impressively regular in size and unwarped (unlike those we found at craft stores). Friendly and responsive.
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Coen Velden
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Wonderful, so many helpful links in one big list!

Thanks man.
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Meaker VI
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yamaraus wrote:
Fantastic list. You should add:
Woodworks Ltd. http://www.craftparts.com/

They have a crazy variety of untreated square and disc wood (or magnet) pieces good for tokens, plus meeples, toy parts and craft parts. The disc and square tokens we bought from them were impressively regular in size and unwarped (unlike those we found at craft stores). Friendly and responsive.


Thanks! Added.
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David Reed
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Does anyone have a source of Catan-style houses that is in the United States? I am positive that I have gotten them in the past, but, in looking for some to go with one of the Pandemic print and play expansions, I am not finding them anywhere other than with Spielmaterial. Any hints on this would be most welcome!
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Andrew Tullsen
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deacondavid wrote:
Does anyone have a source of Catan-style houses that is in the United States? I am positive that I have gotten them in the past, but, in looking for some to go with one of the Pandemic print and play expansions, I am not finding them anywhere other than with Spielmaterial. Any hints on this would be most welcome!


I'm getting an order from Spiel in the next few days/weeks, I should have them up on my website soon!

http://printplaygames.com/?page_id=103
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J D
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There have been awesome table projects on these forums. Any chance of adding a section for them?
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K H
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You can add this how-to thread to the the Storage section:
Telescoping Game Box How-To
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Meaker VI
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trobriand wrote:
There have been awesome table projects on these forums. Any chance of adding a section for them?


I think I'd skipped over tables at first because they seemed to be fairly one-off things; I didn't search the whole DIY forum to find the ones I've posted so far so if you see more of them let me know.

Slounger wrote:
You can add this how-to thread to the the Storage section:
Telescoping Game Box How-To


Done. If anybody sees anything they think needs to be in there, or any other new category I should make, let me know.
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Chris Schumann
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Meaker VI wrote:
trobriand wrote:
There have been awesome table projects on these forums. Any chance of adding a section for them?


I think I'd skipped over tables at first because they seemed to be fairly one-off things; I didn't search the whole DIY forum to find the ones I've posted so far so if you see more of them let me know.

I would leave furniture off this list, but perhaps with a link to another article about that. A collection is no doubt useful, but I think knowledge about crafting games and knowledge about crafting furniture are altogether different things, both deep and wide. Each should have their own page.

(www.sawmillcreek.org is a fantastic forum for woodworkers and many game table builds are described there, FWIW.)
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Meaker VI
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Whizkid wrote:
I would leave furniture off this list, but perhaps with a link to another article about that. A collection is no doubt useful, but I think knowledge about crafting games and knowledge about crafting furniture are altogether different things, both deep and wide. Each should have their own page.


This may have also played into my original decision, but adding the few links and leaving it a separate category doesn't seem to hurt. As this whole forum doesn't have much in the way of furniture crafting, I'd hope those links would point people to look elsewhere for the furniture part, and answer their questions about how well their game collection works with their design.
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K H
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I noticed that Scribus is missing from the Software section.

http://www.scribus.net

It is a free desktop publishing program which lets you create a single or multipage document layout independent of the final text and graphic content of the document. It is a free alternative to Adobe InDesign.

I used it to publish multiple editions of a rulebook, each featuring a different set of graphics. Others might use it to publish multiple language translations. Or both together.
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K H
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Here is a tutorial for making a tool to help with DIY gaming:
Make your own folder tool.

Should this subject matter belong here, or is it just a little too far out of scope?
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Stephen Williams
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Slounger wrote:

Should this subject matter belong here, or is it just a little too far out of scope?


FWIW, I think it's appropriate. Half the battle in making your own games is knowing where to find (or how to make!) the tools you'll need.
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