As of lately, board games have seen a phenomenal rise in popularity as people look for fun ways to interact with one another rather than simply watch screens. The renewal in board gaming has been a period of increasing interest with regard to customizable accessories that enhance the game as a whole.
The most popular custom accessories
Some of the most common custom board game upgrades are metal coins, customized miniatures, and decorative containers to hold all the pieces. Metal coins replace the paper money supplied in many games, adding visual interest, weight, and an increased feel of value to financial transactions in the game.
Games featuring warfare can be upgraded with miniaturized soldiers and equipment. More story-driven games use custom miniatures to establish recurring characters that players control. Detailed sculpts connect players to that little pewter avatar as their hero navigates adventures.
Creating custom items
Most custom board game accessories originate from small cottage industries that design and produce these items as their entire business. A few major board game publishers have also started offering editions of popular titles that replace components with premium materials and custom sculpts. Independent artisans are responsible for most customized items, however. These craftspeople start the design process by playing the game extensively to identify beneficial upgrade opportunities. The best accessories don’t just look pretty, they improve game play and storage. Design specs and technical considerations vary based on the materials used.
Detailed miniatures require a master sculpt from which artisans then make molds to reproduce models. It can be done at different scales, like 28mm or 15mm, to fit various game boards. Most miniatures are made of pewter, resin, or plastic, with rubber molds enabling mass production of copies based on an original sculpted figure. Some miniatures also feature hand-painted detailing for maximum visual impact. Producing metal coins follows a similar molding process. An engraving etched onto a die serves as the master mold for stamping coin shapes out of bronze, steel, or zinc at precise thicknesses.
Designers create 3D renderings of their concepts, tweaking shapes and textures virtually before printing test pieces. Accessories with detailed emblem art or structural compartments are well-suited to 3D printing. The mediated production allows mass customization since each print can feature different art or text without changing production.
Bringing your games to life
For passionate board gamers, customized accessories heighten the experience of returning to beloved titles by refreshing the visual and tactile elements. There is satisfaction in curating an upgraded set of components that makes gameplay more convenient, adds visual appeal, and breathes immersive new life into well-worn cardboard squares and chits. Observing and arranging all these birthdays and Christmases worth of accumulated upgrades completes the ritual around pulling a treasured title off the shelf. While editions of games may come and go, companies devoted to game upgrades provide constant components to keep experiences fresh and deliciously more tactile.
In the end
It comes back to the satisfaction of play. Dishing out exquisitely engraved coins across negotiating tableaus makes deal-brokering more theatrical and thrilling. And sliding decks of ability cards into leatherette holders is infinitely more satisfying.