Final Report Part 1 – Game Board

For my main project, I was originally inspired to make a chess board. I wanted to add a drawer hold the game pieces. This had come from a personal muse in life and the desire to connect with people in my life through this common interest. I came to the realization that I could not uphold my true vision of this chess board in the constraints of this class. To compromise with myself, I decided to make a game board that is well within scope but still captures that small community home-style feel. This way I could still expand my knowledge and skill of woodworking.

Similar to the chess board, I relied on my relationship with my father to draw inspiration. His parents had kept all of the games and Lincoln logs that he played with when he was a kid so that we could play with them. Coming from a different time in manufacturing, most of the game sets were made of wood and not plastic. They always had a certain ‘primary’ look that even across brands was cohesive. These games, like mancala, backgammon, and chess were timeless, and the sets I played with had a hand touched feel. This got me thinking about making a game set, one that another generation might find in a dusty attic one day. This thought process birthed a new vision and aesthetic of my final project.

I figured that this way I would only make as many game boards as I could, not worrying about crunching for time and compromising on project quality. I began the game set by making a “Tricky Triangle”, a triangular wooden board with 14 holes and 13 pegs.

The objective of the game is to only have one piece remaining. The player can jump adjacent pieces as long as there in an open space on the other side. The jumped piece is then removed to open up another space, and so on. This brain teaser type game should be easy enough to complete in a short amount of time, yet it is still interesting enough that it will be fun to manufacture.

As the semester progressed, I realized that a “Tricky Triangle” would be the only game I got around to making. It reminded me of both the old game sets, as it made frequent appearances in those, but as well as the community and aesthetic that surrounds ‘Cracker Barrel’. In these establishments, they have a “Tricky Triangle” board on every table. It provides something to do, something to talk over, something to have friendly competition with. Cracker Barrel is providing a common ground to its patrons through this game board. This is exactly the concept I was going for, so I ran with this aesthetic.

In the end, the artifact I made fulfilled my aesthetic vision and provides a timeless comfort to guests that sit around my coffee table.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Garrett Miller
    May 8, 2024 11:44 am

    Hey Riley! I really like this project, as I also love the aesthetic of “Cracker Barrel”. Looks like something that people will able to enjoy for a while to come. How much of the wood did you custom make yourself?

  • Travis Mulford
    May 8, 2024 10:41 am

    Hi Riley,
    I really like how this game turned out. I remember playing this game at Cracker Barrel as a kid. I also really like how the wood grain looks on this project. I know you had been planning on doing some woodburning with the project, did you end up burning it at all, or adding any wood stains?


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