One Dimensional Connect 4 - the Remix.




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A couple of years ago, I turned a pencil-and-paper game into a more permanent wooden version.

Recently, I was stirred to play the game again when patatarium posted a version he had made, but I was disappointed when I remembered that I had given the original away (I tend to do that, or I'd disappear under a pile of Things).

So, it seemed the ideal time to remix the game.

Step 1: Design and Files

I had already done the design work, first time around, so it was really just a matter of re-drawing it in a format to suit the laser cutter.

I have, of course, attached every possible format for folk to use.

Step 2: A Note on Cutting...

It's not so important for this particular project, but it's worth bearing in mind for general practice;

When you are laser cutting, it is better to do all the surface marking - engraving and etching - before the cutting, because cut pieces can shift when they detach from the larger sheet of material.

The same sort of thing holds if you are cutting small pieces out of larger pieces - cut the small pieces first, just in case they shift or drop, spoiling your alignment or beam focus.

Step 3: Assembly

Assembly is easy - just glue the three banana-shaped pieces together, aligned at the bottom, with the narrow piece in the middle.

What is important, though, is not to clamp the pieces.

It is normally best practice to clamp glued joints to make them as strong as possible. This game doesn't need to be strong, but the counters, cut from the same sheet of material, need to fit easily into the slot.

If you blob on the PVA, and only press the pieces gently together, the final join is easily strong enough to survive normal use, and the slot fo the counters is just a little bit wider than the counters are thick.

Step 4: Playing the Game

I've cheated (a little) and lifted the rules straight from the original version of the game:

The rules of the game are simple, but winning isn't as quick as you might think.

  • Arrange all ten counters in a row of alternating colours.
  • Players take turns to move three counters at a time.
  • The counters must be next to each other.
  • At least one moved counter must be the player's own colour.
  • The three pieces must be moved to the end of the row (although it doesn't matter which end)
  • The three pieces must stay in the same order.
  • The end pieces may not be part of a group of three moved counters.
  • The gap must be closed by sliding the counters together.
  • The winner is the first player to get a row of four (or more) of their own colour.

I've drawn up a diagram of a typical starting move, and posed one in the photos, along with an example of a typical winning situation.

Give it a go, and if you make a set, please, post a photo of it in the comments

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    16 Discussions


    3 years ago on Step 4


    If you dip half the counters in some wood dye (and maybe the others in a different colour) - or you cut a circle out of half of them (to look like washers), since the dye might swell them to not fit so well - you could have the players sitting facing each other, as in more traditional games.

    Of course, you could just spin the game around so the other player can see which counters are which, but that'd risk knocking it over and having to restart the game...

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Step 4

    True, or you could just flip the etched counter over and etch the other side as well.

    (Thanks for the vote!)


    Reply 3 years ago

    You could also etch all of the pieces with the same pattern and just flip around half of them. That would work if you were facing side by side as usual, or if you were facing each other you'd just both be either black or white from your own perspective. Great project, thanks!

    Really cool! I actually have one of the latest Connect 4 games, that has 2 layers, as well as a BUNCH of rows, it's kinda hard if you are playing it with someone who's good, but it plays differently than your version of the game. :P

    4 replies

    3 years ago on Introduction

    This one is more classy~ I thought the blue background set it off. Thanks for sharing Mr. K.You got at least two clicks. Have a great week~


    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Hehe, thanks - I just used a [clean] towel that contrasted nicely. (That's the sort of thing that happens when your spouse leaves the laundry near your laser cutter...)


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Your spouse is brave LOL. Sometimes getting that beautiful contrast is a challenge. I really have to work at it. In-fact this instructable gave me an idea about using a bright blue tarp for my brown colored projects that are messy jobs like cleaning very old rusty iron pans. Oh yeah, I did not know connect 4 had different versions. Is this one more challenging than the vertical version?


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    It's a much shorter game, and I think the challenge is different, since you can't rely on pieces staying where they are put.