Only 12 more days til the PrezCon Winter Nationals February 22-28 where we’ll be playing our latest prototype of Weather Zen™! Will we see you there?
Storms are key to the Weather Zen™ story and to gameplay. As they move across the landscape throughout the game they continually challenge players’ planning and survival. Storms are a constant and active player in the game.
The Weather Zen™ storm tokens are busy little game pieces: they represent direction, storm severity and time of day. Players move storm tokens in the morning, afternoon and evening of each game day and there can be as many as 9 and 15 storms on the board at one time – that’s a lot to keep track of! Plus, these storm tokens needed to be big enough to handle while also being small enough to fit on the board.
That’s a lot to ask of one little game piece! It’s a design challenge we’ve been working on intensively these past few weeks: Which shape would best meet all these requirements?
We hit on the idea of a pyramid with a handle as the shape that made the most sense. The points of the pyramid show direction of storm movement and the edges of the pyramid can be painted to show the time of day. The handle allows players to move the pyramid in the direction of the day’s weather and also turn it to show it had been moved for that part of the day.
To start, we contacted a family friend who had this sweet 3D printer setup and a desire to help:
Next, we worked on the design and size, trying to strike a balance between making it large enough to easily pick up and move but small enough to not crowd the board. This size seemed about right:
At last, we settled on a first version to test and the design was sent through the printer.
Three sets were printed in 3 different colors to indicate storm intensities of mild, moderate and severe.
The next step was to place the token handles into our very own custom painting rig to paint the edges to show the time of day. Here you see the token handles placed into the rig to hold them steady. The storm tokens below are mild storms. Yellow edge = morning. Red edge = afternoon. Blue edge = evening.
Many thanks to David Wilton for the 3D printing and to Karen Robertson, our artist-in-residence!
Want to see these in person and learn how they work? Join us at PrezCon February 22-28th!