Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making Dice

I love games.  For the past couple years I've been intrigued with making my own games.  I'm part of a yahoo group that revolves around making educational games for homeschool and school-school.  About a year ago I made a game from a suggestion by one of the mom's on that group.  The game is called "Extinction."  On the dice, 5 of the six sides are normal with dots representing numbers.  One side has a dinosaur instead of a number or dot.  Rules: First player rolls the 3 dice. The highest number is set aside and he rolls the remaining two dice. The highest of that roll is set aside and he rolls the remaining die (only 1 die is set aside from each roll.) Player's score is determined by adding up the 3 dice. EXTINCTION happens when a player rolls either 3 dinos in the first roll, 2 dinos on the second roll, or 1 dino on the third roll. At that time the score is reduced to zero and the player starts again. First player to reach a score of 100 wins.

When I read about this game I knew I wanted to make it.  The original person who suggested the game simply put a dinosaur sticker over the 1 dot on a regular set of dice.  Me being an overachiever and all, I had to make a set of dice.  So I bought a package of wooden cubes at the craft store (very inexpensive) and started by painting them with acrylic paint.  I put a few coats, allowing them to dry for several hours.  Then I used a contrasting color of paint and painted the dots onto five of the six sides of the cube.  I had a set of small dinosaur stickers and I used three different dinosaurs on the blank sides of the three dice.  When the number spots had dried completely, I got out some clear acrylic sealer and painted a few coats onto the dice.  These dice have stayed beautiful for more than a year.  So I would consider it a success.


Last week, I made two new dice.  Each die is unique to its own use.  One is the chores dice.  Every Monday, the boys roll for the chores that they will have for the following week.  Each boys has three daily chores and since we have two boys, it lends itself nicely to dice.  So, once again, I got out the acrylic paint and painted a few coats.  This time I used light blue.  Then, when the paint was dry, I wrote the chores using permanent black marker onto each side of the dice.  Then I painted several coats of clear acrylic sealer, allowing it to dry between coats.


The other die was painted yellow and on the sides we have written:  Mommy, Daddy, Big Mac, T Bone, You Choose, and You Choose.  This die will be used for a new game we are developing called, "Family Favorites."  I read about this game in the October "Highlights" magazine.  We will be making a list of everyone favorites in the family.  Then we will make a deck of cards that say, "Favorite Food", "Favorite Movie", "Favorite Book", etc...  The way the game will be played is that one person will roll the die to see for whom he has to guess a favorite.  Then he will pick a card and try to guess that persons favorite based on the card.  If he gets it right, he gets a point.


I like to make dice.  And I love to play games.  I especially love games that teach.  Extinction teaches math.  The chores dice teaches responsibility and Family Favorites will teach us more about each other.  You can't get any better than that.

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