As an avid enthusiast of board games, I aim to create a fresh new look for a Settlers of Catan board. My main project inspiration comes from Matthew Sturm who made a Sorry game board in this course a couple years ago. To see Matthew Sturms complete work click here. I figured this would be an excellent chance to work on new skills as I have very limited experience with the laser cutter. It will also give me a chance to be creative. With the idea of making a Settlers of Catan board, I can work on my own designs for each resource, and develop experience in design and sketching.
I think this will be an awesome challenge because the possibilities are endless, I could even create my own version of the game if I really wanted to. I intend for the game board to look creative, and inviting.
To create a mechanism I intend to either make a spring loaded device to roll the dice for catan, similar to the dice rollers that can be found in Trouble. It is a Pop-O-Matic dice roller and can be found on this website here.
As with all projects, there are several roadblocks that hinder my project. The first constraint that I think I will run into is time. We only have seven weeks left in the semester and though I can try to put in six hours a week on my project, I don’t have a great gauge of how much time other projects in other classes will take. With that in mind I will have to try to utilize the free time that I may have in the next couple weeks in order to get a jump on this project. I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but the second constraint that may limit my ability is the fact that I haven’t really had much experience with the laser cutters in the ITLL. I believe that once I figure out how to work and operate the machines, this will become less of a constraint. My first prototype that is due Monday will aim to really develop an understanding of how to work the laser cutter. The third constraint that I face is money. Since I am a college student, I do not necessarily have a lot of money to buy some of the materials that I would like for my aesthetic. The fourth constraint that my project may face is my aesthetic. I would like to make a Settlers of Catan board out of wood that has been laser cut into several pieces. From the burnt wood I would like to give my project the sense of a nature feel. In order to do this I will create simplistic etches and use the laser cutter to burn my wood. The reason that I have chosen burnt wood to give a nature feel comes from a tree in Morrison Colorado. The tree has been struck by lightning and small rings can be found throughout the wood. I am not to sure why this resonates with me, my guess would be that it shows the true power of nature. The last constraint I face with my project is my time management skills. I do not have the best ability to sit down and lay out a schedule for my project, which I think will be imperative to finishing this project on time. If I am able to work on my time management and lay out a schedule I think it will lead to a well thought out project that has an appealing and successful aesthetic.
For my prototype, I decided that I would focus more on the aesthetics of my drawing skills. In Settlers of Catan, the game makes up of five resources. Lumber, Wheat, Ore, Sheep, and Brick. I decided that I would try to design a large logo of each resource that reflected simplicity and was still aesthetically pleasing. In order to do this, I designed all five logos and will upload images of the four others when I print them. Below I show the sheep logo etched into a Catan hex. I think that the design really portrays the simplicity I am going for. For my prototype I decided that I would see if I liked the look and feel of acrylic, because it is a lot easier for me to get my hands on acrylic than wood that I can laser cut. Unfortunately I really didn’t like the look of the acrylic. The acrylic also scratched easily and fingerprints are noticeable.
From here I intend to revert back to my nature feel and etch my designs into wood. The only downside, is I am not to sure what the capabilities are of laser cutters and if they are able to make hexagons like the image above. If they aren’t able to cut through the wood safely I will have to make a permanent Catan board that won’t be able to change game to game.