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After seeing more and more games like Zombicide using large floormaps that can connect to one another (either by being layable side by side without a hitch or even having connecting parts so that they can't be ripped apart too easily again), I've begun to wonder there a bit.

With video games the companies are using their own engines to create their games most of the time. With board games I dare guess that is not the case. So I'm wondering what is being used there to create the floor tiles. So what tools are they usually using there?

(I have troubles thinking that it is all "just" photoshop and printing, but could still be, thus curious there and didn't find any info anywhere)-

  • It's all just image editing software ("photoshop"). I have no idea what you are imagining. – ikegami Nov 8 '17 at 20:59
  • @ikegami I wasn't sure if its just such or a real dedicated software (for example many at least indie card game developers use dedicated card creation software as far as I'm aware). If its just photoshop my respect grows even more there! – Thomas Nov 8 '17 at 21:35
  • If you are talking about tile-able textures, for the most part it is "just Photoshop" as creating tile-able textures is more technique than tool. – Malco Nov 8 '17 at 21:50
  • You just send the printer a PDF with cut lines on there, and specify the material. Photoshop or inDesign would be standard software for preparing the files. – The Chaz 2.0 Nov 8 '17 at 21:55
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Graphics on printed tiles (like Settlers of Catan) are done with the same technology as static game boards -- printed on thin paper, which is applied to the backing board with adhesive. For tiles that have no border (like those for Settlers), or need to interlock, after printing, the tiles, and interlocks if present, are cut with dies -- the same kind of dies used to cut counters for traditional war games, parts for balsa model airplanes, and the pieces of jigsaw puzzles.

Of course, the image printed on the tiles is, as noted in comments, produced with common graphic editing software, either aimed at the graphic arts industry, or at the printing sector. There are specific methods of ensuring that (for instance) ground texture matches up from one tile to the next, if that matters -- it can be done "manually" with nothing more than copy/paste operations (S. John Ross has a good tutorial on his Risus web site on making maps with very basic graphic software; the same techniques apply to tiles), or there are semi-automated tools for the job.

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