This came out surprisingly better than I had imagined and have had a number of people ask where they go to buy one. It's us. We're silly people. No, we're not making you one.
If you have been in a 20 mile radius of Information Systems lately you don't have the need to ask this question.
The game started to come together before the real IS trading game would begin. Initially, the idea was Ouija and I'll leave the names out to protect the guilty but it goes something like this. When something is sufficiently complex it looks like magic. The corollary has to do with when soething is sufficiently over-analyzed. Anyway, Ouija seemed like it would not only be funny, but could also be a helpful aid in running this organization. No longer need to fret over the network rates, what the ideal service team should look like, or whether something ought to be in a process or a practice. Bring the directors together and let Ouija decide.
Bought one around Christmas. The inner children lost their sense of humor. Still sitting in the closet.
So, last spring we talked about dusting off Ouija as a present for Jim's retirement. It just didn't seem to do it. We could customize it. Maybe we should save it for the new VP. Maybe we should try something else.
I had wanted to get Jim a little GPS. He probably wouldn't carry it around unless it was very small and the state of GPS watches isn't very far along (unless you're a runner). Those who were with us last year in Atlanta get the joke. Yes, this had to poke a little fun though Jim tends to ignore my attempts at sarcasm. Although in my defense it isn't sarcasm for sarcasm's sake, it's generally true. Besides, there's not much creativity in buying something out of a catalog.
Back to the customized board game idea. Somehow monopoly came up. I always liked being the car and putting my friends into bankruptcy. You can put all the IS teams around the board and Jim can buy and sell them why he explains what all this means to his grandchildren. Hmmm...
Tom: Jail can be ITLT. That's easy.
Mark: What's Free Parking?
Tom: Vijay. Then I wonder what we can do with Theresa?
Mark: She's the Community Chest.
And we were on our way.
Only about half of the IS teams made the board. The choices of the team templates and cards were largely made by what pictures or logos I had available. The teams were first sorted by budget then grouped into Process color groups for more interesting game play so they may seem a bit random.
Most but not all of the photographs are mine and were placed in a square template or one one of the draw cards. Most of the photos were taken using a digital Nikon Coolpix 5000 though some were scanned in from 35mm slides I had.
In addition to photoshop 7 on the G4 macintosh, other tools that came in handy were Pictographics icorrect Editlab, Visual Infinity Gran Surgery 2 and NIK Sharpener Pro, all photoshop plugins.
The board was printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 7600 printer (way cool printer) from a Mac using Epson's Adhesive Vinyl roll paper. Don't forget to clean the print heads.
The money was printed on an HP 8550 laser printer using thin laser paper. Once the sheets of money are printed, I made a page of a single solid color matching that of the denomination and print that on the reverse side of the sheets to give it a more realistic look. Jag liked this trick but the printer would oacciosnally object by jamming the paper. Kicking the printer helps it train for next time.
The Chance and Community Chest were printed on my little home HP OfficeJet D145 using HP's Matt Brochure & Flyer Paper 52lb. I had to replace all the print heads to get the really solid vibrant colors (print heads - what a scam!). Although these could have used a heavier card stock the cards came our pretty well. Again, the solid color was printed on the reverse side.
The mortgage cards, also printed on the D145, used HP's Photo Greeting Cards, white/half-fold, 80lb, glossy side up. The greeting card thing seemed strange to us to, and the half-fold is annoying to workaround, but this gives a close feel of the real cards.
The biggest pain was cutting all the money and cards. We had a simple paper cutter to do this. Just about 12 solid hours were put in behind that silly cutter.
The board was a different matter. A rough cut using a sharp razor and a long straight edge (also known as a piece of computer furniture) was made around the 19x18.75" image. A series of cuts were made to make this fit onto a real store bought monopoly board (only had to reprint once). The most difficult part was dealing with the prices since there isn't much room for error between that text and the end of the board. The cuttung defects were hardly noticeable but a larger cutting tool may have worked better. The backing of the print was peeled away and very carefully placed on the monopoly board.
A real monopoly game (The Boston Edition) was used as the base board so we also didn't have to worry about making the tokens and no one can claim we cheated the monopoly people out of a potential sale.
A last minute decision to customize the box cover. The graphics were easy and the page was laid out perfectly in a cross pattern to fit over the size of the box. Hint: use the dimensions of the box that will actually be used, as opposed to another box lying around that may have different dimensions. Oh well, at least the top of the box came out nice and we'll fix the side defects in the next edition.