MemberMarch 24, 2022 at 10:10 am
Great question, Anthony! If I can find some of the old pictures, I’ll post them…
Component design was extremely important with Junk Art. We wanted to ensure that you could use pieces in different ways – not just stacking! If you’ve played, you know that you can slot pieces together, get them to hang on each other, balance things in ways that are slightly different from other balance games.
So I spent a lot of time with a mitre box, drill press, and router to shape each piece lovingly. But I started out with good forms. I had seen these wooden model kits on sale at Michaels. You know, for a car, a helicopter, a plane, etc. and they were 2 dollars each. So I bought 4 of each (as you do when you’re a game designer and you see things that in useful shapes/colours). From those kits, Jay and I picked out the coolest looking pieces and the most useful pieces. We glued some together to come up with the pieces that are now in Junk Art and we cut or drilled or routed others to make them more useful for the game.
In the end, we had something like 15 pieces made in 4 colours which corresponded with the 60 cards in the deck. We had to reduce the set for publication due to the cost and weight of the product and eliminate some that couldn’t be produced easily. The size of the final pieces were reduced by 15% to further cut costs and save on weight (which affects shipping). One thing that also happened was that the factory we manufactured at was able to source a bunch of similar-sized wooden pieces from unassembled toys (e.g. a toy train) in vast quantities so we were able to increase the number of types of pieces again at a low cost because the pieces were already mass produced at the same factory. We just had ours painted differently!