Game Prototyping Tip: Cheap Resource Cubes

by Loren Norman on Friday, January 09, 2015

Cubes Close Up

Looking for some of those lovely, colored, wooden cubes that are so popular in your favorite Eurogames? Need a bunch to prototype with, but don't want to break the bank? Read on for the skinny on some cheap cubes.

The Magic Word: "Learning Resources"

Hit up your favorite search engine and type "learning resource cubes" in there. You will likely find a variety of results, not all of them entirely as expected. I'm not entirely sure what "snap cubes" are used for, but the item we found of interest is the tub of one thousand, one-centimeter, multicolored cubes for $24 on Amazon.

So they're plastic, not wood. And hey don't have the same heft, and the colors are kind of pastel. And they're for kids, or something.



In a pinch and on a budget, these cubes are great. Just as we suggest you design games, not graphics, fretting over your physical materials at such an early stage is folly! Throw some materials together and get a game working. We use these in the core gameplay prototyping portion of our design workshop: with a single purchase, we have a dozen different colors and enough quantity to support multiple designers working on resource management games at once.

P.S. Check out the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section on that item on Amazon, there are a ton of other prototyping supplies on the cheap you probably didn't know existed!

Leave a Comment

Stephan Beal over 2 years ago said...

That same block kit via is 54 Euros - roughly than twice the price via :/.

Stephan Beal over 2 years ago said...

Buyers in the EU might be better served by these 1cm cubes for 5-8 Euro-cents each (depending on quantity purchased):

Thomas over 2 years ago said...

I've used these for MANY print and play game builds. Their great.

Xian almost 2 years ago said...

buying cube shaped beads can also be a cost effective way to get these types of resources if different sizes are required; so long as the designer doesn't mind a hole through the middle of them.. :)

Oil and rope logo

New Here?

The very best stuff from Oil & Rope at your fingertips.

  1. Design Games not Graphics
  2. SO you want to game with your S.O.?
  3. Game Prototyping Tip: Cheap Resource Cubes
  4. Tech Talk at Big Nerd Ranch

...and you'll find more to read in each article.