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Article #11 – Demystifying Game Components (Printed Components)

Today I want to help demystify game components for all of you considering publishing your game yourself. – All the little bits and pieces that might end up in your game’s box… including your game’s box!

Terms & Technicalities

Most terms used below are technical, so you can learn the lingo.
Know that most games are produced Europe or China, so the industry standard is to use millimeters for all size terms; get yourself a dual tape measure that has inches on one half, and millimeters on the other.
All items can be broken down into one of two categories:
Printed Components (paper, punchboards, cards, etc.) Article #11
-Sourced Components (wood, plastic, & metal pieces) Article #12
At the end, we’ll briefly discuss Art & Graphic Design in Article #13 (coming soon!)


Printed Component(s)

What is it?

Everything that’s printed, all listed below; the box, the cards, the player boards, and more.



Punchboard 1
Click for larger view.

What is it?

Punchboard is a type of thick and solid cardboard, made of paper (similar to the back cover of a spiral bound notebook), that is used to create tokens. This is the most common material for common board game components, as they are easy to produce and fairly inexpensive; it is the cost to create the die cuts used to “punch” holes into the card ”board” that makes things expensive.

How is it made?

Punchboards are created by making extra thick cardstock with layered compressed paper, and overlayed with a printed sticker with the game-art pictures on it, usually on a white background. A die cut is then designed, made, and used to cut the punchboard around the images. You get it, pop out the tokens, and toss the extras.

What are my options?

Punchboard comes in various thicknesses.

1.0mm – Technically you can use this, but nobody recommends it because it’s too prone to warping from variations in humidity, and accidental bending, though may be perfectly satisfactory for smaller tokens in smaller box games.

1.5mm – The current industry standard is. It’s what you experience when you sit down to play Settlers of Catan (map hexes and border). If it’s good enough for Settlers, it’s good enough for you.

2.0mm – An A+ or better upgrade, an absolute premium.

Super upgrades involve: 2.5mm, 3.0mm, and I even know a game that uses 4.0mm (which is verrry unnecessary and expensive).  The only reason to do anything this thick is if the cutouts are very long and thin (and thus fragile), but again, even Catan map borders are 1.5mm, and they function plenty well.

What are my size limitations?

The only real size limitation is the size of your box.

Your punchboard dimensions must be 10mm shorter in width AND length than your box. Some manufacturers have max size limitations also (that are much larger than any box you’ll ever use; such as 420x570mm).  I recommend determining your maximum box size (by shipping needs and shelving preferences) and attempt to limit the punchboard dimensions accordingly; though adjustments may need to be made when laying out your die cuts.  (Details on each of these terms can be found below.)

Bear in mind that layered punchboards at 2mm thickness stack up thick and fast. (see box size info below).


-Open a new game, don’t punch out the punchboard yet. Study it.  How many different punchboards are there? How big are they? (Measure it: Length X Width.  Thickness.  Distance from edge of box.) How does the printing look?  What finish was used on it?  How’s the overall quality? Find out who the manufacturer is, then decide whether that manufacturer is an option for you or not.

-Start with 1.5mm punchboard, and get your manufacturing quotes, and thus Kickstarter Funding Goal, at that thickness at this level. Use upgrades to 2.0mm (or max of 3.0mm) as Stretch Goals.

-Read the section on Die Cuts below for valuable related information on designing your own punchboards.


Game Card(s)

What is it?

Cards are easy enough. The shuffleable set of …uh, cards… that are used in any type of game: Bicycle Playing Cards, TCGs, CCGs, and even the full on board games, such as: Gate Keeper Games’ The King’s Armory, Mayfair Games’ Settlers of Catan, Level 99’s BattleCon, Stonemaier’s Euphoria, etc.

How is it made?

A card stock paper is printed directly onto (no sticker), it is then cut by the standardized card die cut according to the intended card size.

What are my options?

You have 3 Major options in quality of game card card stock, all regarding the “core”.

Card Cores
Click for larger view.

Graycore – This is the industry standard. There’s no reason to start above this quality. Ask for 300gsm Casino Quality Greycore. … Sounds fancy, but it’s the baseline standard.

Ivorycore (Whitecore) – This is the next step up, and is considered premium. When bent by accident, they are less likely to crease.

Bluecore – A rough equivalent to Ivorycore. Manufacturers will usually offer one or the other. …my MTG cards appear to use Bluecore. Hmm. : )

Blackcore – The highest quality. When bent they are even less likely to crease, as they have the best core.

Alternate options:

Plastic (cellulose acetate) – These are made entirely of plastic and generate pretty mixed reactions from the gaming community.  Pro: The most durable and even waterproof – Cons: Super slick so they easily and often jump-ship while shuffling; they are also the most expensive.  Hence the mixed emotions.

Thickness. You can get 270gsm or 330+gsm, but there’s no real reason to do anything more or less than 300gsm. The price difference will be minimal at best, and 300 might be less expensive as it’s by far the most common for game cards.

Border. You can rock a Black, White, or custom color border.  This is up to you.
-Black: Classiest look, and helps the art in the middle to pop more.  Overtime the black, as it is printed on, will begin to wear away and you will be left with that common whited edge look.
-White: A basic look that brightens up the image, but doesn’t always offer the pop that black does.  Overtime the white won’t flake away, always remaining “white”, but it will show dirt more and end up “white”.
-Custom: Pick any color under the sun.  (If it’s not black or white, make sure your game theme warrants it.)  Overtime this color will wear away like black, leaving white spotting.
-Custom, Borderless: Have your art go all the way to the edge of the card, becoming more common to help fit lots of graphic design.  Ultimately your “background” becomes the border.

What are my size limitations?

You are limited to the size options already established by the industry. They are:

63 x 88mm Blackjack/standard size – (3.5 x 2.5in) (Playing cards, MTG, The King’s Armory, etc.)
57 x 87mm Bridge size – (3.5 x 2.25in) (Dominion & Euphoria)
Approx. 59 x 91mm Euro size – (This size and below are not universally standardized).
Double check with your intended manufacturer. These sizes are roughly standard, but tend to vary 1-4mm from factory to factory.

Alternate Options:

Approx. 44 x 67mm Mini size (Not standardized)
Approx. 70 x 70mm Square size (Not standardized)
Approx. 51 x 51mm Mini square (Not standardized)

Check with your manufacturer for their final dimensions, as they may vary by several millimeters.  By way of example: The above “Euro” is by PandaGMs measurement of 58x91mm, but Settlers of Catan, the ultimate Euro Game, has Resource Cards at 54x80mm; a distinct size not listed above.Card Types

(Inventing a card size other than those provided by your Manufacturer of choice will be very cost IN-effective; convert your idea to fit one of theirs.)

Nor do all manufacturers round card corners the same.  Notice this in the image.  (This won’t ever matter unless you’re changing manufacturers over time for the same game brand; so choose someone you can stick with for expansions, etc.)


-Depending on the use of the card in your game, choose the card most appropriate to your genre, factoring in the quantity of room needed for text, symbols, and misc information.

-Cards are printed in sheets, and sheet size will vary by manufacturer. Typically Blackjack sized cards are printed in sheets of 54. Know how many cards on your manufacturer’s sheet for that size card, because you’ll pay by the sheet, half sheet, or maybe quarter sheet; you don’t pay by the card.

-Find out how your manufacturer counts and prices the partial sheets mentioned.  Half isn’t always half, as they need to put in marker cards to know where to split the sheet between your cards and the next guys, so half of 54 = 26 (a loss 1 for the marker card).

-The reason for all these questions is that you may plan for 50 cards, but if the sheet has 54, you’re paying for 4 cards you’re not using… find a way to use them if you can.  …Stretch Goals…?


Game Box

What is it?

This is the sturdy 2-piece cardboard container your box comes in. Sizing this thing happens last, and can be tricky, as your punchboard (size and quantity) can vastly change your plans. Like drawing a comic: you write the text first, then draw the quote-bubble around it.  (See Punchboard above, and Die Cuts below for tips on how to make this work best.)

Note: Some smaller games, such as card games, may use a Tuck Box for their Game Box.
The “Suggestions/Tips” and “Additional Information” in this section will also apply to game boxes of this type.

How is it made?

Like punchboard (as it’s made from the same materials), it is cut, folded, then has a printed sticker overlayed (that will wrap around the edges to the inside). Go inspect any 2-piece game box you have.

What are my options?

Box Thicknesses (2)Any rectangle (including a square) that makes you happy …or that fits your components.

As for thickness, you can choose from:
0.5mm Super thin (old kiddie games like: Cooties)
1.0mm Thin (Catan & most older Games)
1.5mm Newer Standard (BattleCon: Devastation of Indines)
2.0mm Premium (The King’s Armory, Euphoria)
2.5mm (Crazy thick, Ogre may use this???)

What are my size limitations?

Up to you. Just remember all 3 dimensions: Length, Width, and Height. Just make sure it is at least 10mm Longer and Wider than your largest Punchboard, and roughly 2-5mm Taller (height) than your components when easily stacked inside by the manufacturer. All boxes are cut to size, there are no standard sizes that you can save money by using.

Note: Game Box Size is measured by the outer dimensions of the box lid. The box bottom is reduced in size by 5-8mm depending on the cardboard thickness, and in height by 1-3mm for the same reason.


-Start at 1.0 or 1.5mm thickness; Stretch Goal improvements.  If your game is particularly big or heavy, start at 1.5.  Unless it’s really large or heavy, 2.0 is always premium.

-For “big box games” like Catan, TKA, Euphoria, etc. that you start estimating around a game box size in your own collection; then adjust from there. We started with Catan Size, then ended up adjusting just a mm or two; side by side you wouldn’t notice the difference; but as The King’s Armory weights a ton (roughly 5.8lbs) we upgraded all the way to 2.0mm thickness (without even using it as a Stretch Goal) to make sure the box was forever tough enough.

-When laying out your Game Box’s Art, be sure to arrange the side panel art in the correct directions for the way the single sticker will be laid upon it then folded into position. Be sure to add plenty of bleed (18mm or more) on all edges, as the sticker gets wrapped around to the edges and inside of the box.

-The box bottom will be 5 to 8mm smaller in each dimension (W x L) than the box top is, so it fits, depending on the thickness of your cardboard.  (1mm boxes: -5mm; 1.5mm: -6mm; 2.0mm: -7mm; 2.5mm: -8mm.)

-Punchboard & Game Board max size (as mentioned above and below) are measured off the box’s primary dimensions (ie: the box top’s).  This one was hard to figure out, even when asking about it.

Additional Information:

Game Box Art is complicated, and usually requires professional help for the final layouts.

Box Layout Image
Click for much larger view.

Here’s a list of “Must Haves” for your game box layout (starred above):
-Game’s Title
-Designer’s Name (not applicable when self-publishing, but still an option)
-Catchy Art that displays the Game’s “energy”
-Company Logo (commonly approx. 25mm x 25mm size)
-Company Name
-Company Slogan
-Actual Game Art
-Image of the game laid out (usually designed by a 3d artist).
-“CE” image – an EU regulatory thing – research it, then (download it here)
Not for children 0-3-“Not for Children 3 and Under” image (download it here)
-Barcode / bar code (with “Made in China” next to it, if applicable) – Tip: If in the USA or Canada use a UPC; if you’re not, use an EAN. An EAN is the exact same thing as UPC only the EAN has an extra Barcode“Human Readable Number” printed on it that is the 1-3 digit Country code that of your company; the actual scannable barcode is the exact same on both (the black lines). Regarding the country code: Well, the USA & Canada are the default, thus in the absence of a country Code the USA & Canada share the default code of “0” (hence not printed on UPC). “Is there reason to not just use the ‘more modern’ EAN?” Technically: Yes, as some older retailers may use older accounting systems that only allow entry of 12 digits worth of codes; this isn’t likely in the gaming world, but better safe than sorry since the bars are the same either way. Read more about it here if interested – Can purchase them from the same site, but I usually get mine here (better pricing).  No, there’s no such thing as a “premium barcode”
QR Code for GKG website-Product SKU; you get to make this up, usually your 3 letter SMC (Standard Manufacturer Code), followed by a couple numbers, ie: GKG701 – Contact the Hobby Manufacturer’s Association to get one.
-QR CodePlayerAgeTimeDrop
-Suggested Age, Number of Players, & Playtime graphic
-Brief catchy description
-Copyright & Trademark information (in very small font)
-Company Website or Mailing Address (or both)
-Some version of a Game Contents list strongly suggested


Player Board(s)

What is it?

A tough term to nail down, as I’ve seen it used in several contexts.  I think it can be best described as a general term for the game component that an individual player may hold to better understand or play the game. The cardstock Hero Cards in TKA, the cardboard Building Guides in Settlers, and even a GM Screen may all count as Player Boards.Player Board Layouts

How is it made?

Depending on the selected material, they are made exactly like punchboard, like a custom size card, or perhaps with their own unique die cut. If they are squared at the corners (no rounded edges) they can be “trimmed to size” or “printer cut”. This is usually less expensive than creating a die cut for custom sizes.

What are my options?

Cardstock – 270gsm, 300gsm, 330, 400, etc.

Punchboard – 1.0mm, 1.5mm, 2.0, 2.5, etc.

What are my size limitations?

Limited only by your printer’s paper/cardboard sizes, which are usually way larger than you’ll ever use.


Nothing you can’t figure out by now. Just make sure you don’t forget to have nice art designed for the reverse sides of these also.


Game Board

What is it?

The large cardboard surface that the game is played out on. It can be a Single sheet, a Bi-fold (like monopoly), a tri-fold, a quad-fold, or even a hexa-fold. Alternately it can be Modular, that is, able to be modified; such tile based games like TKA or Settlers use this method, but in this event the Game Board is treated and ordered as punchboard or Trim-to-Size punchboard. The rest of this section will assume it’s a traditional fold-up game board, as we’ve already covered how to make punchboards.

How is it made?

Like Punchboard, it is cut then a printed sticker is overlayed and wrapped, only now the reverse side is also printed and wrapped, thus causing some level of extra coverage on one or the other side (usually the front). Notice how the black reverse side of your Monopoly board can be seen for a few millimeters on the play-side of the board.

What are my options?Game Boards

Folding or Modular.

Regarding fold-up game boards…
2.0mm (Standard)
2.5mm (Upgrade, possible standard for larger boards)
3.0mm (You can get crazy and go thicker, but it’s usually not required.)

(Remember: if you’re using the modular tile-based Punchboard variety, 1.5 becomes an option again, like Catan hexes.)

What are my size limitations?

Roughly 600-700mm x 900-1100mm, as that’s the max size of some some manufacturer’s punchboards. It must also be about 20mm smaller than the game box’s dimensions, to ensure it’s easy enough to get in and out of the box repeatedly.


We haven’t made any games with a classic folding board, but I will say this from what other designers have stated: Hire a Graphic Designer, and one that knows board games; and hire them to work in conjunction with the artist doing the background art (where applicable). This will avoid any trauma of the graphic design over-lapping important artwork.



Tuck Box

What is it?

It’s the cute little box that your Game Cards go in.  MTG sells starter decks in tuck boxes, Uno comes in one, some big box games include them for their card sets, such as Catan.

How is it made?

Tuck BoxesArt is very uniquely laid out under the tuck box template. The image is then printed directly onto the cardstock, and then a unique die cut is used to cut it. Some companies *ahem* only have 1 Die Cut Template that they consider standard, so if you don’t have a standard 54 card deck, then you’re paying for another die cut. This is the reason your Account Manager is trying to talk you out of a tuck box (die cuts are expensive, see below). We’re hoping to bring change to this in the industry by sharing the die cuts we create; we’ve already offered our 80 card tuck box die cut as a new standard they can offer others.  (80 is a good size, as it’s a Full Sheet plus a Half sheet; 54+26=80).  We shall see.

What are my options?

Not many. Tuck boxes are often made with 400gsm cardstock, as they get a lot of use and beating, but 300gsm will work just fine too. There’s no good reason for any thicker or thinner than these.

What are my size limitations?

Equal to your stack of cards.
Know your card size, know your card quantity… then attempt to build your box.

Here are our two die line templates, you are welcome to get started with if they work for you.
80 Card Tuck Box Template (at 300dpi)
100 Card Tuck Box Template (at 300dpi)
(Whether you publish your own game or not, you can now design and print your own Tuck Boxes at home!  Use these grey ones, they’ll hide while on your art better, while still showing you cut and fold lines: Grey 80, Grey 100.)Tuck Box with Die Lines

If you know you have expansion cs available, you can provide a slightly larger box to keep the expansions with the main cards, but I wouldn’t increase it much more than 10%.


-Ask your Account Manager to have the Press Team send you a custom template for the # of Cards you have; but don’t do this until after the Kickstarter if there’s any chance you are Stretch Goal-ing extra cards into the game. Note: Your Account Manager is not likely to comply unless you’re wholly committed to signing with them (or have already).

-Put all cards of the same game (regardless of type) in the same tuck box (like Catan does).
Until die cuts for tuck boxes are universally sharable, making more than one tuck box size for the same game seems a waste of resources.


Rule Manual

What is it?

The sheet or booklet that has all the rules on gameplay, the publisher’s information, some thank yous, and if you’re lucky… bonus content!

How is it made?

It’s printed like any common magazine or leaflet, usually on a nice glossy paper.

What are my options?

You can choose your design: Manuals 1
-A single Print & Fold sheet/leaflet
-Multi-page Saddle Stitched booklet, that is: stapled along the spine like a magazine

You can choose your content:
-Basic rules
-Bonus content (rule variations, bestiaries, etc.)
-Premeditated errata
-Intro, T.O.C., Thank you section
-Low, medium, heavy illustration counts
-Symbol Guide for back page

You can choose your paper quality:
-You’ll likely do something like 128gsm Paper for a booklet (or even a single sheet, with or without folds), maybe a little more or less depending on size.
-If your manual is a sizable booklet like ours, you can make the cover out of 300gsm paper to give the whole thing more heft and keep the guts safer.

You can choose color or B&W:
-Print in B&W to save a couple cents per game.  This only happens these days in remakes of old classics with text-only rules, such as for Dominoes, Chess, Backgammon, etc.
-Print in full color (…please).

What are my size limitations?

Limited only to the size of your box (with the usual -10mm dimensions). But if you do a single sheet (for simple smaller games) you can quad-fold that bad boy, having it net 4x the size of your box.


-Use a single sheet (with as many folds as needed) for smaller box games; design this in Gimp to save a fortune.

-Use a full-on booklet manual for “big box” games. –  You’ll need Adobe InDesign or a Graphic Designer (who will use InDesign). Find the designer early, officially start him late; or get Adobe Indesign yourself late. You’ll pay for InDesign monthly, and you don’t want to start the graphic layout until you have most or all of the game art, so you don’t have to pay for InDesign forever. Cancel your Adobe Subscription after Pre-Press is over. Sign back up for your next game.

-Pages for booklets must be in multiples of 4, as they are printed on 1 large sheet (called a spread), and folded in half; that leaves 1 front, 2 inside pages, and 1 back.  Every new spread has these 4 pages.

-When counting pages for your manual the Front Cover is page 1, and the back cover is the last page.  For our manual shown above, page 1 is the cover shown (you’ll see a #2 on the first inside page), and the back cover, which we used as a Quick Guide for Symbols (hint hint), is page #64 of 64.


Die Cut(s)

What is it?

Die Cut BladesThe fancy cookie-cutter style blade designed exclusively to cut out YOUR designs, according to your specifications.

How is it made?Punchboard Layout Process

The Die Line design is usually made by you, or a graphic designer if you hire them to handle this (save for box die lines, which should always be provided by your manufacturer’s Press Team).
Once that’s done, the manufacturer makes a custom blade according to the design you provided.

But, first you need to layout your punchboards, then you create the line-art die cut design on a separate art layer. The separate layer will be exported solo as a .png (or more ideally, as vector graphic if you can). The manufacturer then makes a high end cookie-cutter according to your “die lines” (see Step 8 in the image to the right).

What are my options?

Totally up to you.  Have at it!

What are my size limitations?

All die lines must be 3-5mm away from the edge of the punchboard they are designed for, and must be 5mm away from each other. You can get away with 4mm away from each other, but 5 is suggested.

Some die lines have minimum sizes within them, such as 8.0 or 8.5mm; that means the smallest item must be at least 8.5mm across; this does not apply to things like points of a star, but the net width of the star must be at least 8.5, and might need to be bigger.


-Round the corners of your individual pieces on your die cuts. Squared or pointy corners on tokens wear out faster. If you have hexes or squares that are used to build a map, leave them pointy for a clean fit, but square tokens that are handled/traded can still have rounded edges in order to extend their longevity (just as your rectangle playing cards have rounded corners).

-Choose your component size; draw the die lines second; arrange the repeated die line shape (copy & paste) all over the layer; insert art last.

-Never scale art up in size; scaling down is usually safe.

-Put as many different die cut SHAPES onto a single punchboard as possible. Each new die cut design you make will cost between $300 and $700; that adds up very fast. By putting multiple shapes/sizes on 1 die cut, you reduce the need for multiple die cuts, and save a ton of money. This does make the punchboard layouts more complicated, but it’s worth the time for the price saved ($300 to 700 per die cut eliminated).  Stonemaier Games did a great job of this as shown at the start of this post.

-Make isolated die cuts for certain components makes layouts (and expansions) easier; increasing initial cost, but reducing expansion costs.  That’s what we did, as shown in the long image to the right.  That is our “Character and Status Effect” Die Cut.

-Consider making your die cut sheets small, but print twice as many. Die cuts are priced more by net size than by complexity; our 3d Tower Die Cut cost little more than our Circle Die Cut shown. Instead of laying out a 8.5x11in punchboard (a good economical size for all paper products), cut out 10mm from the middle and make TWO 4×5.5in punchboards that use the same die cut. Why? You pay for paper by volume, not by size, when you cut the single sheet in half, you’re still only using 1 sheet. This then makes expansions and reprints a breeze, as you can create half sheets instead of full sheets. It’s a certainly more work, but it keeps the future in mind. – Warning: Drawback: this does waste a bit of paper. That 10mm wide sliver in the middle you cut out?, you’re still paying for that, and now have 6 sides (along sliver in the middle) that require 3mm variance instead of 4 sides, and so you have a bit less room to wiggle your pieces into. Which is why I say “consider” it. It might work for you, it might be irrelevant, it might be too much work.




What is it?

The type of coating put on all printed components, from box, to cards, to player boards, to punchboard.

How is it made?

It is applied to the materials after or during printing.

What are my options?

Matte – A low shine finish. This is Finishesstandard, but has a slight darkening effect on the art. Standard CCG Cards are Matte Finish.

Gloss – A high shine finish. This is an option to increase the contrast of the art, and grab a little attention, but drastically increases glare.  (Notice the extra glare from my camera flash on the Gloss box compared to the 2 Matte Boxes next to it.)

Linen – A grainy textured contour that makes the item feel and appear like it has a cloth-like surface texture. This option can be stylistic (for an earthy feel), or can be used as to reduce Gloss’s glare. Either way, this finish is a noticeable ‘choice’.

UV SpotSpot UV – A unique finish for adding isolated designs in a slightly raised, very smooth, very shiny, manner.

Foil – Like those flashy shiny CCG cards you had as a kid. …as a kid… riiiiight.

What are my size limitations?Foil Finish



-Matte is a great default for all your components.
-If you want an earthy look, go linen. Linen can also come across as classy in the right contexts.
-Gloss is good for certain components that you really want to pop, and where glare isn’t seen as too big of an issue; but should be used with relative consistency across like components.
-Spot UV is a neat thing, but rarely needed.
-Foil isn’t cheap, and should be used sparingly bearing in mind that it usually is a mark of unique significance, rarity, or a certain degree of O.P.

Wrap Up…

Any Printed Component I missed?  Anything you’d like to hear more about?  Let me know in the comments.

Click to be brought to: Article #12 – Demystifying Sourced (non-printed) Components.



  1. mari
    September 19, 2015 @ 5:57 am

    Hi, Thanks so much. This has helped me get a quote for my own game. I was struggling to put all the elements together.
    I think it would be good to have some sample sizes for board games that are quad fold etc



    • John Wrot!
      September 20, 2015 @ 1:31 pm


      Super excited to help.
      Quadfolds fold nearly perfectly along seams, so if you had a 1000×1000 board, each quad would be 500×500 (remember: net = halves). They also lay surprisingly flat, so if it’s 2mm punchboard it’ll fold down to 8mm (x4); though with some potential warping, you could add an extra 1-2mm for planning the height of your box. Euphoria is a good example; with a 620x540mm board; it folds to 310×270; it’s 3mm thick, so it’s 12mm folded.

      Great idea!


  2. Leandro Pires
    September 20, 2015 @ 11:41 am

    Great article!


  3. david hancock
    November 15, 2015 @ 7:43 pm


    This is a cool article. I was wondering on the card sizes were i can find sheets to buy? I want to make some samples for my game. I want to print them on my own and need the sheets or at least a 4×6.


    • John Wrot!
      November 16, 2015 @ 10:30 pm


      Thanks for the compliment. Print & Play Productions has blank cards available here:
      But they appear to be pre-cut. I don’t know if TGC offers printable sheets either. You could always call and ask.

      You could get real creative and order the blank ones and tape them to a printer sheet… but that’s gonna get messy. Might be better off formatting them to PnPGames template and just letting them Print them for you.



  4. Sergio
    June 26, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

    Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll certainly digg it andd personally suggest to my friends.
    I am confident they wilkl be benefited from this web site.


  5. Repost of I Have a Board Game Idea, Now What? Part 9 – Finding the Right Manufacturer - The Hackers Guild Board Game Site
    September 27, 2018 @ 6:43 pm

    […] on what all those terms mean, check out John Wrot’s, from Gate Keeper Games, posts on Demystifying Game Components (Printed Components) and Demystifying Game Components (Sourced Components). Also Eric Hanuise, from Flatlined Games, has […]


  6. Tigre
    October 18, 2018 @ 3:40 pm

    Thank you! Such a great resource. Had most of it dialed in, but this was perfect for finalizing some things. Cheers!


  7. Mike
    December 5, 2019 @ 4:39 pm

    Thanks so much for this invaluable resource – has been very helpful for making some final decisions!



  8. Trevor
    July 12, 2020 @ 12:39 am

    I recently received some quotes for my board game board. It’s big, 20x40inch and one company said not to use anything thicker than 2mm greyboard. They said if I used 3mm board (as I was inquiring about) that it would be more likely to tear. I guess this makes sense since each panel would be heftier in 3mm instead of 2mm, but I was wondering if you had any thoughts, John?
    Really excellent read BTW!


    • John Wrot!
      July 13, 2020 @ 7:43 am

      Trevor, thanks for your question. It really depends on what you’re going to use it for. Punch/chip/grey board should never be folded, and if it is, like a game board, it does so at a pre-made expnaded-crease (so it’s not actually the chipboard folding). I suppose they might be saying it’s more likely to tear at the crease due to the extra weight, or misuse I suppose? I guess it would depend on how the folding point is made, and that I would leave to each company’s expertise. Some may make boards better than others, some may be pushing you toward what is more profitable for them, some may truly be trying to help because they’ve seen 3mm die in use. Ask about “Can we make a better crease that won’t tear at 3mm by adjusting specs and quality of the printed paper that glues the board together?” Or just be ok with 2 or 2.5mm.

      If you can get away with 2mm or 2.5mm it would leave you with a lighter game and slightly less costs for freight. : )
      If I were you, it sounds like I’d go with 2 or 2.5 to play it safe. Maybe 2 and 2.5 as stretch goal, type of thing.

      I hope this helps!


  9. Dominick
    August 9, 2022 @ 4:15 pm

    I find it much easier to design my game and then have a company take care of the production.


    • John Wrot!
      August 9, 2022 @ 7:50 pm

      Indeed. Producing your own game sounds nigh impossible!


    • John Wrot!
      June 5, 2024 @ 12:53 pm

      That’s certainly going to be true!


  10. Adam
    January 19, 2024 @ 7:03 pm

    Was wondering, what card core works best with foil to not bend? Every single time I look at a Pokemon box at the store the foil cards come bent!


    • John Wrot!
      June 5, 2024 @ 12:48 pm

      The thicker and higher quality the core, usually the better for all surface support as well. That said, your 9 year old sitting on it, or keeping it in his ‘wallet’ will destroy anything. : P


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