3D Game Pieces - Martian Chess




As some projects are one thing leads to another. I had just finished my Adirondack chairs and Foot stool/table which I had decided to make into a checker board because I'm a huge game lover. It was after this I got to thinking I wonder what other games can be played on a Checker board layout. So I did some research. As it turns out there are quite a few other games. Obviously Chess, but some other lesser know games. Check out this link for a list and most of their game rules here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checkerboard

After looking through some of these I got intrigued with the idea of Martian Chess. The reason I chose this game is because it has the variation of two to four players. And based on the rudimentary example of the playing pieces on the website, I decided to create my own game pieces that would fit and be playable on my board/foot stool.

The Game has each player with Nine pieces. The normal game structure calls for: three small pawns, three medium drones, and three large queens. I added my own wrinkle to the game by changing the 3 drones to workers and then two of the queens to be drones, then one large queen. So my version breaks down like this: 3 small pawns, 3 medium workers, 2 large drones, & 1 larger queen. See attached game rules for movement and play.

Step 1: Step 1: Create Your 3D Designs.

I used Tinkercad, but I'm sure if you have a 3D program you prefer, as long as it exports the .STL file formats that 3D printers can use. I started off with doing a full size pyramid to fit exactly to the square on the board. Approximately and 1.5". I then made it to what looked like an appropriate height. When this was done I duplicated the piece scaled it down to where the insides was 3-4mms thick and positioned it down and made it hallow knockout. By doing this my intent was to make the larger pieces swallow or nest on top of the smaller pieces. With the first piece done I simply stepped and re-scaled each subsequent piece down until I had all 4 sizes created.
Once I had a complete set done I decided to create 4 different clans and gave each group a unique geometric identifier along with a unique color to be printed in. The clans are called: Ambertz, Hexatrons, Oblisq, Umbrax.

I also included the 3D .STL files, these need to be printed on a larger 3D printer.

Step 2: Step 2: Testing Fit, Adjust, and Export.

I opted to not worry too much about test print and fit as I felt pretty confident based on my testing in Tinkercad that I had made it for a good fit for the pieces to be stackable. So I just exported the .STL files out and sent to my daughter for printing.

And after the first set she printed proved my theory and designs were correct. They all nested fine.

Step 3: Step 3: Finalize Game

All 4 Clans finished sets. Pictured are all 4 sets now.
I hope you enjoy my variation on the game an the pieces I designed. Again I'll post the other clans as they get printed.

Step 4: Step 4: Rules and Back Story Updated and Stand Alone Game Board

I've created a couple game boards, also fleshed out a back story for fun and gave the rules a bit more of a graphic treatment for the rules as well. Next step will be to design a box to contain it all.

Step 5: Post Note!!

Thanks to Brian Hunt for pointing out to me how similar my game pieces are to an existing game an pieces that's out there. See his comments.

I'm blown away how similar my idea is to the existing one. Just goes to show there are no new ideas out there anymore. Well at least rarely anyway. Mine obviously a bit different but if your interested check out this link from Wiki links on the history of the game. I'm surprised I didn't stumble across this when I first looked for the checkerboard games. Guess I was just one click away.


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    7 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Now that you have homemade icethouse pieces, there are all sorts of games you can play. Two games I enjoy are Volcano and Homeworlds. There is a Wiki devoted to games with the icehouse pyramids. They can also be used with the piecepack system. For those wanting to get into them easily and cheaply you can find origami ones online plus you can just buy them from looney labs.

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    Amazing.... LOL I went looking for the game you mentioned and I'm blown away. I've never seen that game before. Just goes to show you (or at least me) there are no original ideas anymore. Here I thought I was doing something brand new. Oh well. I'm still happy with it.


    Reply 1 year ago

    I realize there are a ton of independent games out there. Never occurred to me there might something so similar. At least I didn't make claims that its never been done before.