Instructables
Picture of Globefarers of Catan
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Welcome to the Catanosphere!  

Do you want to make a great centerpiece for your board game sessions? Do you ever look at the surface of your game table and think it's a little plane? Do you love Settlers of Catan, but sometimes wish it could be a bit less Euclidean? Then wrap your head around this...

This Instructable will show you how to make your very own Catanosphere, so you can have mind-bending battles of territorial expansion over a whole new environment. It's designed to work with a standard Settlers of Catan game set, and you won't have to sacrifice any of your pieces to make it. You will, however, need to attach a few magnets to the pieces. OK, actually a few hundred magnets, but I think it's worth it.

I'll provide plans for how to cut out and assemble all the cardboard globe pieces you'll need, as well as software that will let you customize the specific dimensions (e.g. road width, tile size, hole depth, material thickness) of your Catanosphere, then output it as a printable or laser-cuttable file. Want to make your own yurt-sized version out of wood? No problem!

Once I've talked you through how to build your Catanosphere, I'll briefly discuss some suggestions for gameplay and then narrowly avoid going off on a tangent about surface geometry (see what I did there?).

I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to seeing all your Catanospheres soon!

Features of Globefarers of Catan (a.k.a. Settlers of Riemann)
  • 31 playable tiles!
  • No edges of the map!
  • Befuddling upside-down gameplay!
  • Convenient magnetic storage of all your game pieces!
  • Looks like something people would play in a '90s sci-fi TV series!
Disclaimer: This is in no way intended as a replacement for or an official expansion of Settlers of Catan. It was made for fun rather than for profit and is meant only as a fond tribute to the amazing games of Klaus Teuber. If Hr Teuber does see this project, I sincerely hope that he views it only as a new surface on which to play his games rather than an attempt to infringe on his intellectual property.
 
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BrainLobster6 months ago

Wow, this is great. I recently made a game for a game design class that utilized a similar spherical design with magnets etc. It's definitely influenced by settlers, and features space stuff like satellites and asteroids. http://portfolios.risd.edu/gallery/Abaddon/1354887...

I really like how your magnetic frame design lends itself to different tile arrangements. Great job overall, man.

Just took a look at it. That game looks awesome!

Great instructable! Will share some photo's when I'm done.

Word of warning for anyone doing this without a laser cutter....it takes frikin' ages!

That was wayyyy more effort than I was expecting...but it's finished! Haven't played yet but am chomping at the bit. Thanks for the instructable!

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dgateley7 months ago

I'll buy a frame kit should you decide to sell them. I want to populate it with small woofers and tweeters so would love it if scale could be specified within some limits.

PenfoldPlant (author)  dgateley7 months ago

I'm not sure I can legally sell these, but you can always make your own! I'm sure you could find someone with a laser cutter (or a scalpel and a lot of free time) who could help you make the parts. That way you'd be able to do all the size customization yourself using the Processing script I included above :)

I do like the idea of a booming Catan disco ball, though...

I've bought kits from creators on Instructables before. It is strictly a private buyer/seller relationship like any other that two people work out. Since you are in a different country than the U.S. that could complicate it, though, at least for me.

Where I am I don't have the ability to farm the laser cutting fab out locally and there are probably others in the same boat. I consider that pretty much mandatory for fit and finish reasons. So if you don't have the fab capabilities or just plain don't think it worth your while, do you know of any mail or internet order shops that could do the job from your data or a scaled version thereof?

For many, many, years I've wanted to lay a 2-way speaker system on a truncated icosahedron but the frame fab always put me off. Yours is far and away the best solution I've seen. I've got no idea how a pair of virtual point sources sound in a room but I want to find out.

In my mind's eye it would be bass ported through the tube that comprises the stand. The optimum length and diameter of that port would be easy to determine by measuring resonances and calculating the Theile-Small parameters used to calculate ports. I'd probably want to bi-amplify and use an active Linkwitz-Riley crossover.

Ultimately I'd like to put the crossover in DSP on a Raspberry Pi with convolutional equalization to compensate any irregularities in the global frequency response. That's stuff I know how to do. For me the hard part is the physical. Not sure where I'd find a fully reflective echogenic room for diffuse field measurement to base equalization on but I'll be that could be located. I've got everything else needed.

If you want to consider it, I'd make you a pair too for the cost of the hardware. Making four isn't that much harder than making two. :-)
PenfoldPlant (author)  dgateley6 months ago

I'd happily help you tailor this design into something suitable for a speaker system. I don't quite follow your idea, but I'm keen to help. Do you plan to make the icosahedron into a point source by having speakers on each face? Or are you hoping the material and shape will act to diffuse a single speaker's sound in all directions?

If you send me a private message, we can discuss the details of how to design what you want. In terms of actually producing it, I might be able to help but you'd probably be better off using an online laser cutting service. I highly recommend Ponoko.com if you're in the USA. They can cut out of many different materials and send you the pieces by mail.

I'm excited to see where this goes...

I tried uploading the swg files that you provided to the ponoko site but it's giving this error:

You need to use a finer nib!
The cutting lines and/or vector engraving lines in your .eps file are thicker than we can handle. Please reduce all cutting and/or vector engraving lines to a thickness of 0.01mm then try again.

Would you be able to provide a new swg file that fits the requirements? I am completely unfamiliar with the process of creating these swg files for laser cutting.

kuraisen kuraisen6 months ago

I tried making some more adjustments when I realized the buckyball program can be used for editing but ponoko keeps complaining about one thing or another being wrong with the file. Would you be able to upload a ponoko friendly svg file? It also seems there's other people selling settlers cutouts and whatnot. It would be cool if you can talk with Ponoko and have your design available for print. I agree, a pre-cut laser board kit, maybe even with the magnets, would be a cool kit worth offering which it would make it easier for people to build the board you've designed. I'd be interested in it.

Yes, I would put small high excursion speakers on the hexagons for the low end, smaller high frequency drivers on the pentagons for the top end and use the stand tube as a bass port. 40 years ago, when I first began thinking about this design, an analysis program I wrote starting with the acoustic wave equation showed the compliance of the enclosed space to be far too low to be efficient at radiating bass but developments since then have trivialized the design of tuned ports which ameliorate that.

(As an aside, solving the acoustic wave equation for any general source configuration is a horrible problem generally requiring supercomputer simulation but for a spherical source it is closed form analytic and almost trivial.)

As well being an effective point source due to the merging of the radiation patterns, multi-element systems always sound considerably better than single element systems. It has to do with averaging driver characteristics to somewhat cancel any individual variances from nominal. The problem with multi-element systems has been the radiation pattern, they tend to beam, and this configuration solves that nicely.

Thanks for the pointer to Ponoko. I'll drop you private message when I figure out how.

I won't be able to jump on this immediately because I am finishing a project using DSP that can make any 'phone or speaker I can measure (in a proprietary way) sound like any other I can measure. The application of that to what I'm describing here should be obvious. The intrinsic frequency response of the construction doesn't matter because I can transform it to anything else including absolutely ideal so long as it has the bandwidth and has no really, really deep nulls in its response.

The really big question is a listener's psychoacoustic satisfaction with point source drivers in a room. I want to answer that with idealized sources.

Later.

You could (probably) get away with selling just the completed globe and have people put in the tiles themselves. It would still be somewhat of a kit but would save people a lot of work.

It occurs to me that perhaps you thought I was asking about the whole game. I understand there could be a problem with that. I was asking about just the black frame.

kuraisen6 months ago

Hi! I'm very interested in making one of these. I was looking at the prices for the magnets and they seem pretty expensive. Would you be able to post a recommended site where you get your magnets or a cheaper alternative to the magnets that you use?

oofnivlak56 months ago

Would like to make this, what size magnets did you use and where did you get them from?

legomensa6 months ago

would it be possible for you to put this into a dwg file? i would love to look at this in AutoCAD.

PenfoldPlant (author)  legomensa6 months ago

Here you go! I don't have AutoCAD installed at the moment, so I'm not sure how these turned out. I hope they help.

awesome. i'll take a look at it.

thanks!

zertifikat6786 months ago

Hey =)
Looks really good what you did there.
I had a similar Idea, but i made mine out of an actual globe.
I dont have my own game so i made houses and everything myself.
Doesnt look as good as your.
But on the other hand i tried to make it so that i could play more than one game. If i find the time im going to make a small world "addon" for it ;P
btw, you are german ?
where are you from exactly?

ps: i just read the comment beneath me. mine does rotate around 2 axis' =P
plus it glows. but it really is just too big and fopr just seddlers i really like your globe because its also stylish

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etopsirhc6 months ago

the only way this could get better it adding some mode of rotation to it, like mounting it in a gimbal, or making it levitate.

PenfoldPlant (author)  etopsirhc6 months ago

It does rotate! That's what the bearings in Step 10 are for.

i was talking about along all 3 axies.

Regiux 6 months ago
simply awesome!
PenfoldPlant (author)  Regiux 6 months ago

Thank you very much :)

Lord_of_Sofa6 months ago

Finally a new project for my 3d printer. Maybe I will skip some of the magnets and use my own tiles and a space elevator instead of harbors.

noel0leon6 months ago

This thing is so much win i bet Charlie Sheen will get one

PenfoldPlant (author)  noel0leon6 months ago

Hopefully he'll build one himself :)

Peterdog256 months ago

"Do you ever look at the surface of your game table and think it's a little plane?"

:) I see what you did there...

PenfoldPlant (author)  Peterdog256 months ago

Thanks, I was worried that joke would fall flat.

bsquared336 months ago

I'm seriously considering doing this as I have friends who would lose their minds over it, and I have access to to a laser cutter & 3D printer, but no excuse to use it.

How do you feel about magnetic paint? Perhaps only for the roads. As you've stated the stronger pull is important when tiles are stacked. But it could save a ton of time and magnets. I've read good things and seen it work well for large posters. Rare earth magnets are touted as the best to use with the paint.

And I don't know my metric so well, could you clarify what thickness of card stock & other materials you used?

PenfoldPlant (author)  bsquared336 months ago

Fantastic!

I don't have any experience using magnetic paint myself, but I've heard very mixed things about it. Some people swear by it, while others struggled to stick anything to it at all. If you do try it, please let me know how it goes. It's just as useful to know what doesn't work as to know what does work!

The card stock I used was 1.4mm thick. In American units, that's almost exactly two dozen hogsheads per acre. Or, if you prefer, just under 1/16 inch.

The axle diameter was 25mm, which is about an inch.

brycrbnsn6 months ago

How thick was the card stock you used?

PenfoldPlant (author)  brycrbnsn6 months ago

I used 1.4mm thick mountboard as my card stock.

bsquared336 months ago

I'm seriously considering doing this as I have friends who would lose their minds over it, and I have access to to a laser cutter & 3D printer, but no excuse to use it.

How do you feel about magnetic paint? Perhaps only for the roads. As you've stated the stronger pull is important when tiles are stacked. But it could save a ton of time and magnets. I've read good things and seen it work well for large posters. Rare earth magnets are touted as the best to use with the paint.

And I don't know my metric so well, could you clarify what thickness of card stock & other materials you used?

AJMansfield6 months ago

You should seriously consider getting a better postscript conversion tool. The postscript files should be at most 10kB, not 5MB. Adobe Illustrator is really not very good when it comes to postscript output, as it includes miles and miles of extra unnecessary preamble and definitions, which nobody ever even uses anyway, and then sticks the actual details of the file's contents in an ugly binary blob at the end.

loachridge6 months ago

Oh, by the way, YOU can sell whatever you build as a "board frame". Its not the game. Its just another unique way to frame it.

loachridge7 months ago

I havent seen the comment I want to make. Hope I dont step on any toes.

YOU ARE A GAME MASTER!!!

So, many ways to use your concept. I wish you worked for me.

PenfoldPlant (author)  loachridge7 months ago

I'm intrigued - what other ways do you have in mind? Maybe a multi-planet system, with interplanetary shuttles routes being built out of sheep? Lots and lots of sheep.

I was thinking lanes made with fish, but thats a whole other story.

I did some math and now have a plot that will handle the 91 hexes necessary for putting 2 expansions and extensions one half sphere 1 pentagon. And a plot capable of handling all 91 hexes on 1 sphere. NO Dysan needed. Its just those 12 pentagons that bug me. Now I need to make the time to prototype. Thanks for the motivation!

Eye Poker7 months ago

Quite simply one of the most epic board game Instructibles ever.

One improvement I can see. Needs to be built on a lazy susan.

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