Making our Giant Games

Now over to our tame ‘mad genius’ and one of the many club James. (One games night 1/4 of attendees were called James) He is muscle and brains behind the scenes who does the majority of the crafting of our games, and also donates / buys the raw materials.

Terror in Hereford City also needs graphic artists and a seamstress who donated their time and specialist skills for free. More information on the why we make giant games here

“What comes first, the chicken or the egg”

This is pretty much the question that I think of when starting with the games, with the one being the game in question and the other how practical that game might be in it’s finished form.

I suppose the first place to start is what game you might like to do, but think hard on what making it larger actually brings to the game.  You can get large chess sets, could easily make a large monopoly but you’re not actually doing anything for the game experience apart from making it a pain to play.

Once you have the idea of the game itself, then you are onto thinking about any rules changes that you might need to make it work in the larger format.  Tsuro didn’t need any tweaks to make work whereas Terror in Hereford City did need much more thought on what actions could be replicated, looking at the monster cards and other stuff to see what would and wouldn’t be possible to do.  As long as you keep the feel and spirit of the game it’s all good.

Finally comes actually making stuff!  Being the first game we made Tsuro is likely to be the one that in physical terms would outlast all the others.  You start with a couple of points,

  • What pieces do you need to make
  • What materiel could work
  • How to decorate the bits
  • What accessories do you need to make the game pop

Tsuro is easy on this front as you don’t need anything bar a stack of square tiles, and my instant thought was carpet tiles.  They work perfectly though are heavy to move the entire game.  Initially some brown fabric paint was bought but not only was this expensive but also not too visible and a pain to apply.  Easy change was black spray paint.  This combine with some templates for the lines made it pretty simple to do and I think has produced easily the more durable of the games so far.

Terror in Hereford City was dreamt up after a few drinks and we realised that it would be possible, though in fairness only because I had a big pile of used insulation board…to have bought that stuff would have put the price beyond reach.  Few ideas on the meeples led to the light bulb moment of the carpet tubes from carpet rolls.  Lots of decoration and set dressing has made it a very impressive and eye catching game, faithful on the whole to the original but a big pain in the ass to transport due to the size of it all.

Hey that’s my fish is back to simpler territory, and combined a bit of what we learned from the others.  Vinyl flooring instead of carpet has made it a fraction of the weight, though the compromise is a less durable finish being a pva glue and paint mix which does rub off a bit.  It’s a clean looking game with nice colours that pop out and helped by the team scarves that we got.