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Mountain-Turning Game

December 15, 2011

This probably belonged to my sister, if it wasn’t in the generic family games collection.   We had several board games.  This one was more fun than average, due to the central plastic “mountain” that the players could turn under certain conditions, thereby messing up the travel plans of everyone’s pieces.  A pair of dice determined the number of step a player could take, as in most board games.  I don’t recall whether or not there were cards with oddball instructions like some other games had.

We had two transparent die, one red and one green, which found plenty of use for all games that didn’t have their own dice in the box.  I remember them clearly.

I couldn’t find any information about this game online.  Maker = unknown, title = unknown, what exactly was written along the paths = unknown.  I’m quite sure “Psycho Leprechaun” wasn’t actually a part of the game, but lacking sufficient good memory for a more accurate replication of the game, I had to fill the space with something 😀   Anyway, if you, my blog visitor, remember this game, please leave a comment to enlighten the ignorant.

There was some kind of cartoony artwork filling the non-path spaces of the playing board.  Seems like it was nature-oriented, had fantasy people such as  elves or  leprechauns, maybe a castle, horses… or maybe I’m way off.  This was back in the 1960s and early 1970s.  The details aren’t exactly fresh in my mind, although I do remember the look and feel of the green plastic mountain, the dice, and some other physical details.
These images were created using the Blender 2.61 modeler, Inkscape for the board artwork, and GIMP for various image processing tasks such as making the white paths more scruffy and painterly looking.   By no means was the actual game as clean and pure, bright and shiny as this 3D looks.  We played it often.  If I weren’t busy with other things like studying semiconductor physics and writing math and physics articles, I’d spend more time dirtying up this scene.  Fray the cardboard box corners, add subtle fingerprints and scruffy marks to everything, a bit of crud in some of the dice pips, and hints of CMYK halftoning  in the playing board image.

Yow, making the dice in 3D was an adventure!  I found several tutorials online, of which this <; (there’s a video at ) was best, but before doing things the obviously most productive by following one of those toots, I had a go at it by making it up as I went along.  I thought that maybe the mirror modifier would speed the mesh modeling process.  Perhaps it would be best to create nine pips on every side initially, by making one pip all by itself, duplicating it 3×3 to be the central part of a face, and then duplicating that six times with 90 degree rotations.  Finally I’d delete the unneeded pips and replace the hole with a simple flat fill-in mesh face.  Well, long story short, that was tedious, slow, error prone, and looked bad in the end.  While following the tutorial, I learned a few techniques that I didn’t know or had forgotten from two years ago.  Especially quicker, easier edge loop selection and removal.  More skill, more 3D power… more and better 3D toy images for future posts!

A view of the game in its entirety



Overhead view shows poorly remembered details of playing board. Well, not poorly rememered - just plain made up!


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One Comment
  1. BTW, one of my earlier attempts to make the dice was similar to this tutorial I just stumbled upon: This way is less than ideal – hard to make faces perfectly flat, and way too many vertices which slows rendering.

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