Letterpress is a remarkably compelling word game for iOS, which plays something like a cross between Scrabble and Risk.  When, despite not having an iPhone myself, I became addicted to playing this game on my friends' phones, I knew I had a problem.

I wanted a physical version of the game to play in person with friends and family, so I made one!

Materials needed for this project:
3 sets wooden alphabet tiles
2 bottles Rit Dye (Fuchsia and Royal Blue)
Wood veneer
1/8" plywood
1/4" plywood
Clear acrylic
Cyanoacrylate (super glue)

Tools needed:
Slotted spoon, chopsticks or other utensils (for dyeing)
Laser cutter

Step 1: Feasibility Studies

My first attempt at replicating the game play used a single set of tiles for the board, marking who owns which tiles by using colored tokens.  This totally works!  If you have a scrabble set and some checkers pieces, you can play Letterpress at home.  Note that here we used a double stack of checkers to indicated blocked tiles.

Although this method of play worked, I found it unsatisfactory for a couple of reasons:

1. Manipulating the game pieces was awkward. Things tended to move out of grid formation, and putting markers under the tiles is a pain.

2. I found it harder to come up with words without being able to physically manipulate the tiles.  It can be difficult to keep track of everything in your head, especially when you are trying to make long words.

So then I came up with a new plan: colored tiles...
<p>Great.. Bring the board game into real stuff.. Nice..</p>
<p>This is great! One of my fave iOS games of recent times. Your version looks really nice.</p><p>I wonder if you could make a version a la Boggle using dice-shaped pieces with different colours on each side. It would mean only one set of letters and they could just be rotated on each player's turn. Might speed things up?</p>
That looks great! I haven't played the game before but it looks fun and I while I like playing games on my phone, it's never the same as actually holding the game pieces while playing the game :)
You should enter this into the <a href="https://www.instructables.com/contest/holidaygifts2012">Holiday Gifts Contest</a>!

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