Sudoku Board

I’m making a Sudoku game for my friend Adrian‘s dad who is a stroke victim. So the game needs to be intellectual and physical. Also robust. I think I’ll make one for my parents too.

The yellow drawings are based on a 1.75″ tile and 2″ tray. With 3/8″ outer and 1/4″ inner borders that comes out to 21″ square (9 x 2 squares, 4 x 3/8 thick border, 6 x 1/4 thin border).

One challenge with a physical game is differentiating between permanent and movable tiles. It’s taken for granted when we play on paper since the print of the permanent numbers is different than the numbers you write. So with the tiled game it’s easy to overlook this. One idea is to have the tiles a different shade on each side. So far that’s the best idea that’s come forward. Another idea was to fasten the permanent ones with magnets. But I don’t think that’s elegant since it doesn’t make the tiles look different (except some unsightly magnet perhaps).

Another issue is keeping the pieces in place. If magnets are used in the board and pieces it comes to a lot of magnets. And worse, you can’t flip the tiles over because of the magnet poles. I looked at magnets and washers but the attraction between washers and magnets drops off very rapidly with distance. Further there would be a lot of magnets and/or washers so the labor content would increase sharply.

So I’m looking at a tray system like I used in a tic-tac-toe board I recently made.

Screenshot 2014-06-08 17.08.54-1000

Screenshot 2014-06-08 17.08.34-1000I suppose 9 trays to hold all the tiles would be nice (a tray for each number from 1 to 9). Each tray would hold 9 tiles. I think it would be elegant to put the 9 storage trays in front of the 9 closest game trays. If the tiles are 1/4″ thick, then each tray needs to accommodate 2.25″ thickness of tiles. Let’s say that needs 3″. Then to reach across the board is about 25″. Placing the storage trays at the sides and the reach is just 21″. I think for a large board like this we could have the tray separate.

I’m also considering a smaller one where the board is inlay (like this checker game). But that’s for later if I get more requests to make these.