Game box durability and usability


#1

Has anyone else had durability problems with the game box? It may just be me and my crazy kids, but I tried to be very careful with the box and still it seems to be falling apart…

From Durability perspective:
Pictures to come, but essentially the bottom portion of the box is becoming disconnected from the main “middle” piece causing problems. I am thinking I could just glue it back together.

Usability:
It is a large box. I might not know the best way to configure it, but because of the way the lid fits on (which looks great) it makes it so you can’t put the game inside the upside down lid. Most games, you can take off the lid, flip it upside down and put the (now open) bottom part inside the lid to tuck it away until you are done.


#2

I think the extra piece around the bottom of the box might have been a deliberate design decision to stop that behavior.

As a kid I always flipped box lids over and nested the bottom of the box into the inverted top. As an adult I never do this, and always caution fellow tabletop gaming nerds to not do this with my game boxes. It’s reasonable to want to do this: at risk of misinterpreting Donald Norman (Design of Everyday Things), two nesting box halves create a natural affordance that encourages you to nest them inside each other. You want to create order from chaos, to put the two like things together.

Unfortunately, two slightly misaligned box lids stress the box lid’s corners. If the box lid is on top and being pushed down onto the bottom, there isn’t much weight on the box lid and the lid is free to push back and resist until it’s well aligned. If the box lid is on the bottom and a heavy weight is being forced into it, the lid can’t help correct its alignment by resisting. So the weight of the box bottom and its contents end up forcing the lid into a new shape – often by tearing a corner.

(I am also not a design or UI/UX person so that entire explanation might be terrible, and I apologize in advance.)

In other words, this box design might be trying to break people of a bad habit.


#3

@mspencer That all makes total sense, and I could see that being the intent (to protect the box), however I do like to be able to have that option particularly in tight spaces. Alternatively, having the option to use the lid as a backer to the open box by putting it behind perpendicular to box would be a nice way to open it and show off the “thank you” design on the interior.

Any tips on the durability aspect of the bottom component?


#4

Sorry, not from me.

I don’t know how to phrase this next bit without risking it sounding accusatory in some way, so please know that I mean no offense and am happy that your TT is being well-used . . . but so far mine has only been used by adults and I’ve treated it with kid gloves, so I haven’t experienced any of the wear you’re talking about.

I don’t think I have anything else useful to contribute really.


#5

Flip the box lid over and set up the stand and game board in it. That way any balls that get dropped are caught and don’t roll away and get lost on the floor.


#6

Hi jesusaurus,

This is great feedback. We’re getting ready for a second run right now, so if we could do something to make it sturdier, we need to tell them what to do soon. Would you mind sending a picture of the wear on the box? I haven’t seen the separation you described before.

Anyone else, too, if you experience the box falling apart, I’d love to know where it’s falling apart so we can fix the problem.

As for the box top not being able to fit on the bottom - yeah, that’s a bummer. I like the look and solid feel it gives the box to have it designed this way, but you’re right - there’s nowhere to put the lid. I suppose, though, even if you could put the lid underneath, you’d still be left with that top tray in the way. When we do library classes with TT, we actually keep all the lids (with the the top tray inside) on a table off to the side until the end of the class.

At some point, I’d like to redesign the box so that it doesn’t have a top tray at all. It’s tricky, though, because without it, the parts fall out of their places. I’m not sure how to keep them in their places without that top tray. If we do figure it out, though, then we’ll really need a place to put that lid. Any ideas for (a) how to get rid of the top tray or (b) where to put the lid after getting rid of the top tray?

Paul


#7

I like using the box lid under the TT board when playing. I also keep all the loose parts in there while working on puzzles. I prop the back side up a bit to keep all the balls rolling to the front. At the end of the session it makes ball clean-up super easy, just pour them into a bag using one of the corners of the lid as a funnel.

That top tray does keep the pieces from bouncing around inside the box too much, but the ramps still get all jumbled up whenever I carry the game around. I think having the game book over the gears and bits keeps them more stable.

Have you considered something like thick cardboard pieces that snap fit into the bottom tray over the pieces to keep them in place? You could print a diagram of which pieces go where on the cardboard pieces to give a visual aid during clean up as well.


#8

@paul here is the picture of the board, its only slightly separating from the bottom component. I have taken good care of the box and game, and am not letting my kids trash it (no matter what @mspencer says :slight_smile:).

One other thing that I find useful is a magnet wand (a stick with a magnet on end) for helping kids deal with the small balls if they happen to drop them into places they shouldn’t be. I ended up using one of those silicon-tipped tablet pens, and inserted a small neodymium magnet inside the silicon rubber which acts as a great pick-up tool (https://webobjects2.cdw.com/is/image/CDW/3827063?$product-main$)


#9

Noooo! I spent like ten minutes trying to phrase that part delicately.

Seriously, that’s interesting that it’s separating there. I might try putting a small amount of pressure on the same part of my box and see if it has any play.