Design Review – Backgammon Board

Our only real constraint or direction for this project is that it must be dynamic. To me the idea of movement didn’t come from a sculpture with a moving hand or a robot on wheels. I want my project to have a human component and interact with the user. So for my main project I know I want to make a game. A homemade backgammon game. Some unique game sets I found are below.

My biggest constraint for this project is of course my skill level, I asm not an engineer. My next constraint sort of combines two, my material and my aesthetic, is the aesthetic, for the prototype I have decided to use a wood board instead of metal for my backgammon board. Because of the natural qualities of wood I want to give it a woodsy and naturalistic feel, just like the Pintrest photos below.

Another constraint is the tool I am using, a wood burning stylus. I want to practice different designs on this prototype before the real thing. But I have never used this tool before and definitely need to watch some tutorials on the best ways to do it. I also have no idea what type of wood I have and how the burner will react to this type of wood. My last constraint is the size of the wood I have I can only do so much with the small size!

Hopefully my prototype has started towards the forest feel I am going for. Please look at the video and picture below ( and yes I own a lot of flannel ) !

photos are from:

Down Under Escape: Halcyon House Cabarita Beach

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Marcus Gurule
    May 8, 2017 7:29 am

    I like the aesthetic that you have picked because it is a natural look and makes the board look more inviting for people to come and play. I also like that you are choosing to engrave the wood rather than painting on the wood. I have never played backgammon before but I am looking forward to seeing your final project and trying it out on the board you create.

  • Errol Romero
    May 1, 2017 3:31 pm

    I really like the way your prototype looked. It was simple and had a natural there to the design. The wood burning too really adds a sense of uniqueness to the design as well. I would try to learn a little more about the game because it is not only fun to play but I’m sure knowing some of the rules and strategies can help you add to the aesthetic in one way or another

  • I think you have picked a great aesthetic for a game that is normally represented with perfectly straight and ordered lines. The natural feel of the wood along with the exposed twigs really adds to the personality of your project. If possible, I think having a hinged box would enhance your design. Seeing it closed with the offset twigs of the two halves meeting at various intervals could be a neat aesthetic. This would prevent you from having the twigs lying flat on the border, but I think you could still create a nice border look by staining the edges darker and leaving the inlay lighter. Can’t wait to see how the final project turns out!

  • Oksana Schuppan
    March 17, 2017 12:42 pm

    I love backgammon! Will you add hinges to make your design foldable or will it be one solid piece?

  • Hi Olivia,

    I agree with Blake that you should stick to the all-wood aesthetic, and not include the magnets. You mentioned in your presentation that you were trying to get the lines for the triangles to be straighter. What if you did something like cut a triangle out of a piece of metal (like maybe pop-can thickness or something) and then you could use that to trace around with the wood-burning tool. Also when I asked about the size of the board, you said that it depended on what you could get at McGuckins. I might suggest trying the other way first: thinking about what size you really want, and then trying to conform your materials to do that. That way, you won’t end up with something you don’t really like the size of. It would have been cool to see a presentation about how you built your project, and what issues you had along the way and how you solved them. Good luck on your project.

  • Katherine Yarnell
    March 16, 2017 8:20 pm

    This is really cool! I like the woodsy feel of the project and the wood burning technique. I really like the branch border and the designs you made on the piece parts as well. Writing the rules on a piece of wood with the wood burner would be really cool!

  • Dean Alibrandi
    March 15, 2017 12:26 pm

    I think transforming a very popular game into an aesthetically pleasing piece of art is a great idea. I think the nature/reclaimed wood theme is a great idea. I also really like how you plan on incorporating a wood burner into your design that will add some very rustic and rugged touches that really will make the board feel like it belongs in nature.

  • Blake Arellano
    March 13, 2017 12:27 pm

    I would say stick with the outdoors, natural wood look. The metal magnetic pieces would be neat, but I think the wood is more fitting. Otherwise more practice with a burner and you’ll have a great personal backgammom board!

  • Faisal Al Balushi
    March 13, 2017 12:17 pm

    Nice aesthetic, I like how the wood gives it a special look. The fact that its dynamic aspect is interactive for people to play is a great idea in my opinion. Looking forward to the final product and how it will look.


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