There are several reasons you might want a polished game board for your fledgling* game. If you are seeking preview (pre-release reviews) of your game from reviewers, want nice photographs or videos, or want to give a “real” impression of the game to blind playtesters, or you simply want to SEE what you’ve created! Whatever your reason, here is an idea to make the board itself.
*If you haven’t already playtested (a lot) with sheets of paper and handwritten bits, it is too soon to make a polished prototype. This stage of prototyping should be for a 99% finished game.
I purchased quad fold boards from an online retailer, sized 18” x 18”. The printable surface is 17.75” x 17.75”. These are “real” game boards. They have the pebble textured backing paper and fold in to fourths.
I printed my board design on adhesive backed vinyl. In my case I had a sign shop print it at exactly 17.75” x 17.75”. The cheapest option is to purchase letter size (8.5”w x11”h) adhesive paper from a craft store or online and print in 4 parts.
If you want to get all 17.75×17.75 as one piece and can’t find someone to print on adhesive vinyl, you can try to spray glue it on the board. This is messy. This is hard (and smelly) but CAN be done. Make sure to follow the directions, most cans instruct you to spray BOTH items being adhered, not just one.
The most expensive option is to check out on-demand printers. For under $50 US (+shipping) you can get a single board made. I opted to do it myself to save money and not have to wait in queue.
Here is the finished prototype board for Ventures in the Void! Have you found a better or cheaper way to make your “final” prototype board? Let us know below!