Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had some time to work on a side project and was feeling rather crafty, so I decided to work on another insert for a boardgame. My first foray into custom foamcore inserts was for Hull Breach over a year ago. Really? Over a year passed since I did this? Wow…life has been busy. I had meant to make more, but instead I purchased a couple inserts for games I was playing quite a bit. So many other things happened and I kept thinking I would do this again. Apparently time passed more quickly that I thought between these projects. I likely will purchase more of these incredible professionally created inserts, but I have quite a few games my family enjoy that no one has created inserts for. So, it was time to get out my foamcore, glue and tools to design and build another insert. To refresh my memory of how to create foamcore inserts, I watched some great Using Foamcore videos by The Esoteric Order of Gamers and referenced some of his plans as well.
He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
― Francis of Assisi
This second foray into custom game box inserts, I felt more like a craftsman. Not quite an artist yet since I have quite a bit to learn. I have learned quite a few other skills and seen some amazing insert designs since last I worked on my own first insert. That research and experience went a long way to me being more relaxed and creative as I built this one. My wife was quite pleased as I laughed at some of my mistakes and just kept working on the project.
But I am getting ahead of myself. I haven’t even mentioned what game I was working on. For this crafting adventure, I pulled off the shelf a game my family really enjoy playing…Quilt Show from Rio Grande Games. We were introduced to Quilt Show two years ago at Gen Con by our friends Lynne and Richard Hardy. Lynne is a quilter and really enjoyed the theme of this game. My wife and daughters fell in love with it as well. Game wise, it shares some similar mechanics to Ticket to Ride but is simpler strategy-wise. Quilt Show had a very disappointing and pointless cardboard insert. To store the game, we put all the components in plastic bags. Set up took a while as we had to empty all the bags then organize the game, thus it did not come to the table as often as we wished. I wanted to create an insert that would make storage simple and setup faster.
This new insert has the game ready to play right out of the box. Looking forward to getting this game to the table again soon to see how the insert work and to enjoy playing this game more often with my family. Now that I have built another insert, I am more comfortable doing this and feel I could make more for other games. I see me weighing the cost of purchasing inserts versus the time it takes me to build my own. I love crafting but I also enjoy playing games so those priorities will have to be weighed.
Have you made any custom inserts for your games? Purchased inserts? If both, which do you prefer?