Behind the Design of the Roll Saga Game Mat

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 7:23:00 PM

A lot of time was spent in our seemingly never-ending quest to make sure - absolutely sure - that the game mat (the playing field) was of premium quality and feel.

We chose a scale of 1 inch equals 20 feet in order to accurately measure out all of the design components on the field. We stayed away from distorting images or changing angles as we wanted the mat to stay true to a real-world stadium's field. And we did not want the players to have to consult charts about wall dimensions or distances. It's all there in plain view.

Many times over the last two years we were faced with decisions about quality. Most of these decisions centered around making something lighter or smaller so that we could ship it easier or increase our margins. But, every time, out of the love of the game and the passion for our project, we chose the high road. We prefer lower margins and higher quality. Not the other way around.

The idea behind having one field that can easily transform into any other field just by the simple exchange of the warning track was also very important as we wanted the game to take place in the field belonging to the host team - without making the customer buy and store 30 different parks... At 28 inches and 1/8 thickness, 30 parks would be very problematic for the average consumer. And costly.

Without this feature, true simulation could not take place. A home run in one ballpark might not be in another...

We opted for 28 inches because that is a size that says, "huge" but not "too huge." We wanted to have it as big as possible without being cumbersome. 28 inches falls just under the maximum limit for an average sized table.

Size became very important as we began to see that the larger the field, the more immersed players become in the experience. You are not just playing on a board - you're using the game mat as a true representation of an actual major league baseball ballpark.

We opted for the best quality material in all aspects of the game mat because we wanted it to last and easily roll up for storage and portability. We tested a lot of materials to see if we could fold it instead of rolling it up, but we were not at all pleased with even the slightest crease in the material after unfolding. 

We chose open cell rubber with a polyester face because it offered the best overall durability. And it looks good, too. Not to mention that it serves as a non-skid mat to be used for all game play: dice rolling, writing, placement of bench players in the dug out, etc.

While we looked into other regions as being a source for the game mat, we ultimately decided against it as we were not able to find the quality that we sought. It costs more - much more - to source American made products, but we were not going to take a chance on distributing something that we'd be ashamed of. No, we're not saying that all outsourcing product is bad - we're just saying that we couldn't find anything that met our standards.

Follow Roll Saga Baseball's board The Ballpark / Game Mat on Pinterest.

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