Terraforming Mars had been on my “shelf of shame” for about a year or so. I recently wrote about my first impressions of the game (after playing a couple of times). I also wrote about buying acrylic overlays for the player boards. Today I want to write about a custom play mat that I had printed from Inked Gaming.
One of the frequent complaints related to Terraforming Mars is that the components are seen as being lower quality. The board is one of the main challenges. Even new out of the box, my board does not unfold to be completely flat. The other day I noticed that someone on Board Game Geek had posted a preliminary copy of some artwork that he was creating for TM. I thought to myself, “That’s awesome, because you know you need another custom game mat.” 😉
I downloaded the artwork provided and reviewed it. I noticed a couple of errors or omissions which I shared with the artist, and he quickly fixed them. Ultimately you can view the final product (which the artist is selling for the low price of only $5) here. The art is step one.
Step two is finding a way to transfer the art to a proper game mat. That’s where Inked Gaming comes in! I have used them in the past. I have purchased a Scythe game mat (awesome) and as already mentioned printed some custom beyond epic-sized game mats for X-Wing. I have been really pleased with the results. The proper size for this was the “custom two player playmat” which worked perfectly with the artwork that had been created.
One week later (yes, it really only took one week) I had this.
I like it! But one of the frequent questions about transferring art to rubber is how well the details translate. The answer is – not bad. They’re not perfect…the resolution of the image on neoprene will never be mistaken for an art print. But for a gaming surface, I think it’s perfect. You’re going to be covering the board up with bits and parts anyway, so as long as the main content is there it works. The slider below shows several different close-up images so you can get an idea of the final quality.
Bottom line: I would definitely do this again. Micah (the artist) was responsive to my suggestions and fantastic to work with, and Inked Gaming does a tremendous job transferring his art to rubber. My next session of Terraforming Mars is going to be fun!
(Disclaimer: the Inked Gaming link contains an affiliate code. If you click through and buy something I will gain a small commission.)